by kbk

Ensign Sato had requested her assistance in meditation, T'Pol coolly informs him at the start of her next shift. Having observed the lack of success obtained using traditional mental techniques, she had surmised that a physical form of tension release would be more effective. Unfortunately, this had taken somewhat longer than anticipated and thus run on past the time he had arranged to meet her. Which was why he walked in on them fucking.

T'Pol's door is always open to him. He can over-ride any door on the ship, of course, but his sense of honour will not allow it. It is only her door that welcomes him, that is keyed to his touch, that has become the gateway between the real world and his refuge. And yesterday he walked through that door to find that the refuge of her touch was not reserved for him.

As he stood there, frozen, he absently noticed that Hoshi looked taller on her back. Laid out like a sacrifice, skin looking darker against the bright white sheets, she took up more of the standard- issue bed than he would have expected. Her eyes shut tight, her head thrown back, her body undulating with an uninhibited grace as waves of pleasure washed through it, she didn't see him standing there, watching. But the other woman, the one he had come to find, the one knelt over the ensign with perfect poise; she saw him. An appraising glance that made him feel, strangely, more naked than either of the women, an eyebrow slightly arched, and she turned her gaze down again in dismissal.

He turned around, and walked away. He did not hear his linguist crying out in ecstasy.

He is dumbfounded, again, by the Vulcan's arrogance. He listens to her speaking on the nature of desire, on sexual relationships and the chain of command, on the fact that even now he does not truly understand her nature. It is not his fault, but as always he must bear the responsibility. He interrupts her smug self-righteousness and tells her to go to her post. "Captain," she replies with an inclination of her head.

He watches her go, and remembers that he had thought himself in love with her. He never expected the Vulcan woman to love him in return, but he had hoped that she would tender to his antiquated, all-too- human beliefs and perhaps refrain from fucking other crew members behind his back. He feels stupid.

Though he truly does not want to, he walks out of his ready room and takes up his customary seat on the bridge. There are a hundred minor matters he could have dealt with to avoid this, but he has never been a coward. He sits, unconcerned, and his eyes scan the portion of the bridge in front of him. He does not turn far enough to see T'Pol, knowing as he does that she stands there as poised and calm as always. He does not linger on Hoshi, looking at her just long enough to see that she, too, is as usual, though she will not meet his eyes. He sits back, and thinks a little.

T'Pol is too valuable to lose, and requesting a change would cause more questions than he cares to answer. Besides, he still enjoys her, and it is unlikely that they could find another Vulcan more tolerant of his command choices.The ensign, on the other hand... He could have Hoshi transferred -- attached to the Vulcan liaison on Earth, perhaps (and the juxtaposition of those two words prompts another flash of memory, curvaceous figures on the bed, a hand dipping between sweating thighs) or simply thrown out for behaviour unbecoming... He pushes the idea away. It is not her fault. If anything, he is to blame. He should never have expected anything else.

He will tell himself this until it sticks.

In the meantime, everything will go on as normal, but for the fact that he will no longer walk straight into T'Pol's quarters. It is too dangerous, not knowing who may be occupying the space, which officer will be warming her bed, relinquishing their control to skilled, practised hands. He does not want to know how many of his crew have been where he has.

They will work together, and eat together, and when he can't take it any more he will knock on her door and he will fuck her, this deadly beauty with the heart of ice. And he will know that she will never melt for him. Perhaps, instead, he will freeze.


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