Continuing Tales

For the Rest of Us

A Star Trek Story
by Psicygni

Part 10 of 10

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She never would have thought Spock would be a lay-around-in-bed-all-afternoon type of guy, but apparently nudity and the offer of a back rub should be something she files away as tips and tricks for the future.

And if it gives her a chance to admire how the light plays over his pale skin and the way his muscles shift in his back, that's neither here nor there.

"No, like a decision with intent behind it, something you want to change," she says, drawing her nails lightly down the dip of his spine before digging her thumbs into the firm muscle on either side. "Something you're not doing now, that you'd like to be, so you promise yourself that you'll do more of it in the new year."

"Something I am not currently occupied doing that I would prefer to be engaged in?" he asks, turning his head slightly from where his face has been buried in the pillow, so that when he opens his eye he can stare up at her. "Sexual intercourse."

"No," she says, swatting at his shoulder and laughing. "That doesn't count."


"It just doesn't."

"Oral sex."

"You offering or requesting?"

"I am amenable to either scenario."

"Hmmm, good to know. But still doesn't count."

"The parameters of this tradition are dubious at best."

"You have cute butt dimples," she says, ignoring him.


She draws her index fingers over the indentations his lower back, just above where his waistband would sit if he wearing pants and not completely naked, which is how she has definitely come to prefer him. "I have them too."

"I would like to investigate further," he says, starting to move to turn over, but she doesn't budge from where she's sitting on his thighs and she presses her palm to his shoulder blade to still him.

"Nuh uh, only if you come up with a real resolution," she says, grinning at him, then leaning down to press a kiss to the eyebrow he's raising.

She sits up again, kneading circles on the back of his neck with both thumbs.

"Vulcans follow a lifestyle that does not leave room for such self improvement, as it is illogical to wait until an event as arbitrary as the change in the stardate in order to enact such revision in habit."

"Aren't you special." His eye, which has been slowly closing, opens again and she can't help but smile at him. She leans down and whispers in his ear, "You are, you know. In a good way."

"Is that so?"


She's worked her way down his neck to rub the heel of her hand into the muscle between his shoulder blade and his spine, her other palm spread on the back of her hand to add more leverage, when he speaks again.

"I have another submission for your approval."

"I'll allow it."

"It is specifically a research proposal."

"That's not a resolution."

"The resolve will be to diligently follow the experiment protocol, once we have established it."


The very corner of his eye crinkles and she swears that he's laughing in that way of his. He must be, because she can feel a surge of heady joy where their skin touches, passed back and forth between them, and she leans down and kisses him again, on the temple this time.

"I understand that human women are capable of achieving a significant number of orgasms, often within close conjunction of each other, and often in a repetitive manner."

"Oh?" she asks, her hands stilling so that she can turn her full attention to what he's saying. "That's um… I, uh, I've heard that that's true."

"I admit, I have never had the opportunity to fully investigate this occurrence with the type of thoroughness and meticulousness to which I am partial when it comes to science."

"Is that- is that so?" she asks, trying to keep her voice steady and normal. "So what… what do you propose?"

"A chance for an exhaustive inquiry into this subject matter. A longitudinal study, if you will, with as many data points as possible in order to ensure a robust statistical analysis."

"I will," she says quickly.

"However, as I said, it is illogical to wait until the Federation calendar changes to the new year, if such an undertaking can be begun more immediately."

This time, she lets him turn over, mostly because her hands seem to have stopped working.

His fingers spread warm and firm over her bare thighs.

"Unless you have any objections?" he asks.


"Very well."

His hand curves around her hip, urges her forward, and she rises up onto her knees and feels him scoot slightly down the bed. His lips brush over her inner thigh before he wraps his arm low over her hips to draw her down towards him and she scrambles to grab onto the headboard, her face buried in her arm and an embarrassingly desperate sound already rising from her throat.

She answers Spock's call on the first ring.

"I thought you had to work today."

"That is correct. Are you occupied?" he asks and it feels too weird to tell him that she all she's been doing is staring at the wall and contemplating that thing he does with his tongue.

"Reading," she says instead, looking down at the book she has had open to the same page for the last ten minutes. "So no, not really."

"May I ask if you have ever been in contact with the Romulan or Klingon Empire, or a representative thereof?"

"Um." She squints at her comm. "Nope. Never even sent the Romulans that letter."

"Have you had contact with anyone else who may have an interest in current Starfleet ship design or proprietary technology?"

"Not that I know of."

"What is your current security clearance?"

"A. No A two, I got permission to look at some transcriptions of talks with the Cardassians."

She hears him typing something in the background before he asks, "Have you as of yet been issued an active duty uniform?"

"Yes I got one for a project I was doing on the Atahmin's sensor array."

"And I am not interfering with prior scheduled events in your day?"

"Nope. What's going on? And I really hope the answer is a very exciting mission involving subterfuge."

"I must oversee the transportation of equipment for the geology lab on the Enterprise today and I wondered if you might join me."

She nearly drops her comm she sits up so fast.

"When are we leaving?"

"I understand that it is not as exciting as-"

"Give me thirty seconds," she says, pulling her uniform out of the back of her closet.


She can't find her uniform boots. Not in her closet, not under her bed. She sets her comm down and starts rifling through Gaila's things.

"Ok, maybe ten minutes," she calls in the general direction of her comm.

"Meet me in Hanger Bay One when you are able," he tells her and she nods, even though he can't see it, and starts dumping clothes and shoes out of Gaila's closet.

There is something decidedly attractive about watching Spock pilot a shuttle, and that's even without taking into consideration how his science blue's stretch across his shoulders, or the way the fabric falls around his waist.

"This is always the best part," she tells him, staring out the window as the blue sky fades and fades and then turns black. Earth is huge below them, still taking up most of what she can see out the window, but beyond it, space stretches empty and dark and vast. "Especially since most times I make this trip, it's because we're being forced to practice space jumps, which are terrible."

She cranes her neck in order to see Spacedock come into view, the ships berthed at it looking like children's toys from this distance.

"Literally?" he asks, his hands flicking over the controls.

"Literally," she confirms and when he reaches over to squeeze her knee, she puts her hand over his, rubbing at his knuckles.

There's only a handful of maintenance workers on board since most of the staff is home for the holidays, and the few they do encounter just give them polite nods and don't say much other than a polite greeting.

Spock invites her to keep him company while he works in the lab and she does until the itch to explore the ship gets too strong. She gets a kiss on the cheek, a promise that he'll find her when he's done, and directions down to the Communications Bay.

She spends a long time examining the communications equipment, then gets happily lost among the curved corridors, walking this way and that and dreaming of a day she might know these halls as well as she does the paths around the Academy.

She finds the mess hall, eerily empty with so few people on board, and the door to the bridge, which she doesn't have access to open, and what will be the rec room, though it's completely empty with wiring hanging from the walls and only half of the lights installed. She winds her way to the Observation Lounge and that, too, is hardly finished, the walls still bare of paint and no rug or tile laid down yet, just the sub-floor that echoes hollowly under her boots as she walks across it.

The view out the large windows is dizzying as Spacedock slowly spins, so that Earth intermittently comes into view before it's wheeled away again. There are clouds over Vancouver and a storm forming near Alaska and each time she can see it, she studies the planet for as long as she can, her hands pressed against the window before all she can see are the stars again, hard points of light against the black.

She glances over her shoulder and gives him a grin when she hears the door hiss open, but he doesn't come over to her right away.

"What," she finally asks, when he still hasn't spoken.

"I may not have given sufficient consideration to the effect of spending so much time in close proximity to you." His eyes drop to her legs. "Specifically in that uniform."

She watches over her shoulder as he walks towards her, until he's close enough that she can feel the heat of his body wash over her back.

"You might just have to get used to it," she tells him as his fingers drift over the back of hers.

"Exposure therapy?" he asks, running his index finger down her bare arm so that her skin prickles and tingles.

"I see no other option."

She lifts her chin to look up at him and sees the tiny smile he gives her before he wraps his arm around her, across her chest, and pulls her back into him.

He's silent for a moment and she feels him press a kiss to the top of her head before he speaks again.

"Not so very long ago at Thex and Schori's, in a room quite different from this one, I encountered a newcomer standing in similar solitude."

"Is that so?"

"I had considered greeting her, but she seemed rather…"

"Frightened?" she guesses.


"I thought you were Gaila, coming to tease me."

"Rather, I had intended to find a moment of quiet among so many others, but it appeared that I was not the only one with that goal in mind."

"Hmmm, no, you weren't."

She reaches up to wrap her hand over his forearm, dragging her thumb across the soft fabric of his uniform and snuggling back into him.

"Are you well?" he asks after a long, quiet moment, as Earth spins back into view in front of them.

"I've just been so happy," she says and turns in his arms to face him, raising both hands to cup his cheeks. "I didn't even know I was waiting for you, and then there you were."

His hand rises to spread across the back of hers so that her skin tingles with heat, and he holds her hand in place as he turns to press a kiss to her palm.

"If I were prone to articulating my feelings, I would express that they are quite similar to yours," he says as he places another kiss to the base of her thumb.

His fingers are warm and soft on her jaw, the back of her neck as he pulls her close to kiss. She loses herself like that for a long time, his mouth so gentle, his kisses so meticulous and thorough that when he finally pulls back, she can't help but draw in a shaky breath.

"Thank you for accompanying me today," he says, his voice a low, rough murmur.

"Are you kidding? This is the best, ever."

"Was that also literal?"

"Yep." She lets her fingers dance lightly over the back of his neck and dip below the collar of his black undershirt. "But now that you've brought me here, I basically have no choice but to work hard enough to get this assignment. I won't want anything else now. Or anyone else," she tells him, pulling back enough that she can look him in the eye. "So you better be in this for the long haul with me."

He rests his forehead on hers and his arms tighten around her, just slightly.

"Of course."

"Good," she says softly, letting her eyes drift shut.

"I find," he says, the words barely above a whisper, "that I would very much be partial to hearing you express the same sentiment."

"Oh." She runs her nose along his own, touches her lips to the corner of his mouth. "Yes. Obviously. You're stuck with me for a very, very long time."

He is so warm when he pulls her into a hug, his body casting off heat in a way that makes her press into his chest when his arm tighten around her shoulders and back. He pushes his face into the space between her neck and collar bone and she smiles, kisses the very tip of his ear, and glides her fingers through the short hair on the back of his head.

"Excellent," he says, the word muffled against her skin.

"That can't be safe," Nyota says.

"Please, Ny, leave genius engineering projects to me." Gaila chews on her bottom lip for a long moment before adding one more final touch to the huge ball. "You get your words, I get… this. It's all done, it's perfect, it's amazing."

"It's something, that's for sure. How, exactly, are we going to get it over there?"


"He's working."

"No wonder you're here, not getting pounded into the mattress." Gaila shakes her head at Nyota, her curls bouncing, before she squints at the ball again. "Think it's sparkly enough?"

"I don't think it could possibly be sparklier."

"Is sparklier a word?"

"Dunno," Nyota says, her attention on her comm.

"Wow, are you ok? Do you have a fever? Should I call a medic?"

"M'fine," Nyota answers as she scrolls through what Spock just wrote.

"Is Spock really working or just texting you from his office?"

"Pike's late for their meeting," Nyota murmurs, her thumbs flicking over the keypad as she writes back to him.

"Are you writing him something dirty? I hope it's dirty. Should I leave? I can leave, let you two do this in peace."

"It's not… No, Gaila, of course not."

"You sure?" Gaila asks, flopping on Nyota's bed next to her and peering over her shoulder. "Is it about what I gave you? How'd that go? Awesome? Really, really awesome?"

"Hmmm, yes."

"Knew it," Gaila grins then slides Nyota's comm out of her hand. "I'm going to tell him that I'm taking you shopping for more."

"Give me that," Nyota says, swiping it back before Gaila goes scrolling through any of their other messages. "He's just asking how much champagne he should get for tonight."

"Tell him probably three to four times as much as you're thinking." Gaila pauses, then adds, "And that we need this ball moved."

"Call Thaalan. Or N'Takim. Or Thex. Or just do it yourself, you're freakishly strong."

"What is the point of you having a boyfriend if I don't get some benefit," Gaila grumbles.

They manage to get the ball over to Thex and Schori's in the back of Thaalan's car, who can't stop peppering Nyota with questions.

"So you just let it drop," he says, again, as he pulls up in front of the house.

"It's a controlled drop," she assures him. "It's not like you throw it or anything."

"Nyota said that there's counting," Gaila adds from the backseat.

"A count down," Nyota explains. "Do you ever watch Terran news on New Years Eve? They show the ball being dropped in New York."

"I often watch the celebrations on Andoria for the changing of the stardate. It is very beautiful, with many fires. Each clan hosts great feasts."

"Well, we drop a ball," Nyota shrugs. "And don't ask me why."

"A big ball," Gaila says, twisting around in her seat to lean into the trunk and give it a pat. "And what about fireworks? Can we do fireworks? Cause I brought-"


Schori helps her make Nyota's grandfather's matoke recipe, which makes the entire house smell like her grandparent's, and makes a deep pang form in her stomach.

"It is good," Schori says after sticking a spoon into the pot to take a sample. "Highly palatable."

"It was always my favorite, I'd request it every single birthday."

"It is pleasing," Schori nods, then looks at all the pots on the stove with the same expression of confusion that she's had for most of the afternoon. "But why so many versions?"

"Oh, it's human tradition. Or not, I mean, since a lot of people throw their hands up in the air and refuse, but my family always would make a vegetarian version, and a vegan one, and one with no wheat, and one that's not spicy, and so on, depending on who was at the house, and it just seems to make sense with so many different people coming tonight."

"That is a formidable undertaking."

"Humans can be pretty picky."

"How does one throw their hands up?"

"I'll show you," Nyota grins. "You can use it on Thex if he ever drives you nuts."

"Or if you have spoiled the group and they now all expect personalized dinners."

Nyota laughs. "Or that."

Spock, when he gets there after work, brings what Gaila dubs enough champagne, but barely.

"Thank you," Nyota says, standing on her toes to give him a quick kiss as she helps him bring it in the house. "How was work today?"

"Unfocused and inefficient."

"Well, it's the holidays, nobody wants to be in the office this week."

"I meant, rather, that the Captain spent the afternoon inundating me with questions about you."

She laughs and the bag she's holding is heavy and he's carrying two of them and it's freezing outside and she could already be in the house pouring herself a glass of champagne, but she stops to kiss him again, quite unable to help herself from doing so.

"I do not agree," Gouth says, his arms crossed and his nose twitching at her. "I do not want to improve myself."

"Then you can resolve to just keep doing what you're doing," Nyota explains.

"You should resolve to improve your argumentative skills," Trav says, then burps into his champagne flute.

"You should resolve to not violate Terran manners while at a Terran celebration," Gouth tells him.

"You should resolve to not tell me what to do."

"You should resolve to not be so impertinent."

"You should resolve to not be so ugly."

"Anyone else?" Nyota asks, raising her voice to be heard over them. "Any other questions about resolutions?"

"Why do humans so often fail to adhere to what they choose?" Thex asks.

"Uh, sometimes we get a little idealistic. Or we choose something that requires more effort than we really want to put into it."

"We need examples," Schori says, "so that we know how best to come to a decision"

"Well, you can decide you want to exercise more, or eat fewer sweets-"

"-No," Gaila says.

"Or not leave projects to the last minute," Nyota says, casting a glance at her roommate. "Like homework. Or you could decide that you want to be better with your credits, or pursue a hobby you've always wanted to do but have never made the time for, or call your parents more often, something like that."

"May we ask our parents to resolve to call us less?" Thaalan asks.

"Um, no," Nyota says, shaking her head. "It's about you, something you can control."

"What are the consequences for not doing what you have promised to yourself?" Chorenn asks, his beak clicking as he speaks.

"There are none."

"This is illogical," Gaila declares. "I mean, c'mon, who would actually follow through with this?"

"It can be nice," Nyota says. "It gives you a chance to decide on something that you want to change about your life."

"Like not throwing your roommates' stuff all over?" Gaila asks.

"Exactly. For you to stop doing that, that would be a big change and I'd be very supportive."

"Not what I meant," Gaila grumbles, picking up a bottle of champagne and frowning at it when she finds it empty.

"What are helpful parameters to follow?" N'Takim asks, handing Gaila a full bottle.

"Well, if there's something you've been thinking about for a while, or something that you want to push yourself towards, or something that you admire in someone else and would like to adopt for your own life, or maybe a promise that you want to make to someone."

"Must we share our decision with others?" Schori asks.

"No, no, it can be private."

"Will you share yours with us?" Thex asks.

"Oh, I…" She swallows, her mouth suddenly slightly dry. Spock is watching her, a glint in his eye that probably nobody else notices but which is making her mind a little fuzzy. She carefully looks away from him and at everyone else, instead, all sitting there in Thex and Schori's living room, the scent of dinner wafting in from the kitchen, Gouth and Trav still muttering to each other, Didiza patting one of Yeinydd's leaves, and Gaila handing back her missing globs every few minutes. "Well, um, so a good thing for me would be that because I sometimes spend too much time on my school work and get pretty obsessed with it, in a way that isn't really healthy, I'm going to try to not let that happen as much this year." She lets herself look at Spock again, just for a moment, and returns his small smile. "I want to have time for other things in my life and to make sure to set aside my work and come here every week, even when the semester gets busy."

"May we all use yours?" Schori asks.

Nyota smiles at her, too, and at Thex, who has put his arm around his wife's shoulders.

"If you want to, yes," she answers.

Thaalan stands, steps over everyone who's sitting between them, and comes over to fold her into a tight hug.

"We will hold you to it," he says. "You are the only human we have but you may not be so human that you abandon such a promise. You have become very important to us."

"Thank you." She squeezes him back, grinning. "And likewise."

For the Rest of Us

A Star Trek Story
by Psicygni

Part 10 of 10

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