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           He will touch me.  He says that I have gone too long without touch.  Even a day, he says, even an hour, would be too long.  The look he gives me is bittersweet and tinged with regret; his eyes fill with memories.  I know he is thinking of the times when duty or propriety prohibited touch between us.  When there was a conscious choice to be made.  When finally the cold implacable wall of a reactor chamber took away all our choices, separating us and preventing the touch that would have eased my dying. 

            He has a great deal to make up for, he says.  Years when I went without touch.  All those long years.  He tells me he will touch me now.  Tonight.  He will put his hands on me tonight, and we will touch.

            I do not know how to respond to this.  Despite the knowledge I have gained from him over the years, the words do not flow smoothly for me.  I suppose the sparking heat that flares in my chest, my side, my groin is an answer of sorts, but of course it is one he cannot hear.  He says he knows how I feel.  He says he does not need to hear the words.  He says that the last thing he wants is to change me, make me into something I am not.

            I reach for him.  That I can do.  The fabric of his uniform is heavy, warm beneath my fingers as I grasp his arms.  Just the barest wisp of his thoughts reach me, teasing me with the knowledge that soon we will be skin to skin.  Slowly even this thins and fades away.  He is shielding from me.  He has learned the lessons I taught him years ago far better than I had ever anticipated.  That is both pain and pleasure.

            He steps backward to the limit my arms can reach without moving forward.  I am tempted not to release him even though I know this is what he wishes me to do.  He waits, patient as he always is with me.  Waits for me to follow his lead in this.  As if I have a choice.  As if all my choices were not made years ago.  My hands drop back to my sides, empty and tingling faintly, echoes of my need.

            He smiles. The warmth of it touches my face, and I blink in the sudden radiance, as if coming out into sunlight after living in darkness.  It is my reward for acceding to his wishes.  My body waits.  It, too, has learned its lessons well.  The heat is there, yes, but my heartbeat does not increase, my respiration remains constant, my limp penis does not rise.  I understand I must wait for his touch to arouse me.  This is what he wishes, and so this is what I wish as well.

            He takes a step towards me, moving slowly, allowing the anticipation of his touch to become the first pleasure we will experience tonight.  I watch his hands as they approach.  Strong hands.  Capable hands.  Ending in blunt fingers. I have seen these hands in battle, mirrors of his thoughts, agents of his will.  Now they reach out to me in love, gentle and sure, and it is all that I can do to restrain myself from leaning into them.   

            He has always been free with his touches.  A palm on a friend's shoulder, a pat on a back, a warm firm clasp of a hand.  He is a physical man, bestowing touches as a king carelessly throws credits to an adoring crowd.  Touch has always been second nature to him, so much a part of his life.  So lacking in mine.  Though I am the touch telepath, until I met him, I did not realize the true power a touch can have.  These fingers will touch me soon, I think.  Soon they will land on my body, and for a period of time tonight he will spend those touches with which he so lavishly gifts others on me.    I am meticulously diligent in the care I expend so that no crewmember, no visiting dignitary, no upper echelon Starfleet officer should become aware how possessively I view this physical contact.  They would run from me in terror.

            His sturdy fingers land against the sides of my face, and these dark thoughts disappear.  He rests them there for a moment, and looks in my eyes for a response.  Does he see my need?  Does he know how much his touches mean to me?

            His hands on my face. Coolness to my heat.  Balm to my soul.  I close my eyes briefly and take a deep breath.  It is second nature to me to hide the depths of my feelings, but I force them open again after a moment or two.  I do not wish to hide myself in any way from this man.  There has been far too much of that between us in the past.  Perhaps he does know.  He looks deeply into my eyes and nods slowly, satisfied by what he sees revealed there, and I wonder how much of myself I have laid bare. 

            Now his hands move, resting momentarily on the meld points of jaw and cheek and forehead.  Where he touches my nerves ache with a pleasure that is kin to pain.  Then he moves on to caress my brows, and I understand that tonight he means to love me in the human way. 

            Without releasing me he orders the lights down to their lowest level. 

            I reach for him once more before remembering I must not and abort the movement to fumble for the catch that will open my uniform jacket. "Don't," he says.  One word, a mere whisper, and yet the touch of it sends my hands to my sides, impotent to do other than his will.  Leisurely he undoes the catch and removes my jacket.  The white shirt comes next and joins the jacket on the floor.  Light, skimming touches on my bare shoulders.  I force myself to stillness.  The boots, pants and briefs come next.  I stand naked before him.  He lifts his hands away and takes a step back. 

            He looks at me, a raking glance from feet to groin.  He touches me with that look as surely as if he laid his hands upon me again.  It is touch enough.  We both watch my penis stir to life, watch it lift, reach for him.

            That slow smile again.  My vulnerability excites him.  His eyes rise finally to meet mine.  Do not leave me alone like this, I think.  He does not.  Quickly he removes his clothing, and once more we are the same in our nakedness, his penis arching away from his body, to meet mine its only goal.  For now, he denies us both.  Moving slowly, he circles behind me, the hairs rising on my neck track his progress, his breath a soft hot wind that brings my head up and makes my flesh crawl with anticipation.  And finally, a kiss.  There...there at the nape. My skin is on fire with the contact.  He trails his tongue around my neck.  Slowly.  So slowly.

            And then he is in front of me again.  I find my eyes have closed.


            My name on his lips is a touch as well.  I feel it with my heart, with my soul as well as my ears.  "Please," I say and do not know what I am pleading for.  I move blindly toward the bedroom, but again he stops me with staccato words that hit me like phaser blasts.

            "No.  Here.  Now.  The floor.  On your back."

            I drop to my knees, hurrying to please please us both.

            He touches me....  My nipples leap to pointed peaks in the curves of his hands, nerves in my side flare under skimming fingers. Gently, gently I remind myself, yet grasp him harder than I wish to, release him, then pull him closer once more.  His mouth surrounds my aching core and reduces me to moans I cannot suppress.

            "Enter me.  Enter me, now."

            He begins to lift off my body.  I grasp his upper arms.  This time I will not release him.

            "Spock.  Just a minute.  Let me get some oil."


            "It'll just take a-"

            I push him down on his back.  Take his penis in my mouth.  Lave it with my tongue.  This time I will not be denied.  The taste of him against my tongue...and I have become lost in the desire to drain him, and it is difficult to acknowledge the hands pushing...his hands pushing me away, and a strident voice, and "Now.  Now."

            He clambers up my body, thrusting, thrusting and he is inside and I am asking without words and he is acquiescing without words and my hands quite without my conscious volition reach for his face and we are touching.  Touch me...touch me...touchme...touchmetouchmetouchme....Ahhhhh.




            "Yes, Jim?"

            "It's a new day, isn't it?"

            "Yes.  Stardate 9748.06"

            He turns to me.  One cool hand around my neck draws me close.  "Happy 25th anniversary, Spock."

            We kiss.  A soft brush of lips to lips in the darkness.  "Happy 25th anniversary, Jim." 

            He rolls onto his back, and breathes a low sigh.





            "Yes, Jim?"

            "How many?"

            "How many?"

            "Yes.  C'mon.  I know you know."

            I sigh.  His eyes are closed, and he is smiling.

            "4, 928."

            "We've made love that many times?"

            "Yes, Jim.  I fail to see why you repeatedly ask me this question."

            Lazily he opens his eyes and turns to me.  The smile turns into a grin.  "It gives me emotional security."

            I smile back.

            "I suppose you remember each and every time."  It is not a question.

            "I do."

            The smile disappears, his eyes turn dark.  "It's not enough."  He grasps me tightly, nestles into my arms.  "It will never be enough.  I want to love you ten thousand hundred thousand times."  His voice is a quiet rasp against my neck.

            "No, not enough, but...Jim?"

            A yawn.  "Yes?"

            "It is a good start."

            He laughs at that.  Another yawn.  "Someday I want you to remind me about them, describe them for me.  I don't want to forget."

            "All 4,928?"

            "You can skip our first time.  I remember that one perfectly and this last one-I think I've got this one-," another soft smile; his eyelids flutter and close, "but the other 4,926."  His respiration slows into deep even breaths.  "You can start tomorrow after the ceremony."

            "I will.  Rest now, T'hy'la."

            Within moments he is asleep.  It will be no hardship to do as he asks.  I remember them.  I remember them all.  Each is whole and distinct in my mind.  Each is a gold coin from a treasure trove of memories, untarnished and brilliant as if just come from the minter's hand.  Each continues to be a new miracle...a first time that repeats itself over and over again. 

            I shall tell him of number 7 when I entered his body for the first time, and of number 82.  We lost a whole landing party on Fisher's World.  Twenty good men gone.  He took his anger and his grief back to me and found his peace there in my body.  Number 3,244 was after my death and rebirth when he took me with a desperate and pounding joy I was hard pressed to match.  There were numbers 1,506 through 1,531.  The first pon farr we shared as bondmates, and how he banished my fear and made it a time of indescribable pleasure.  When my mother died, I found my solace in his arms, and could weep for her there as I could nowhere else.  That was number 3,845.  But there were also number 3001 after celebrating Sulu's promotion and number 633 after Chekov's wedding.  And there were all the times we shared our bodies with each other out of love and the happiness of being with each other at the end of a perfectly normal day.  Perhaps those are the coins that glimmer with the brightest light.

            Today we will dock at Starbase 22. In the bucolic beauty of that place, with our friends and families present, we will reaffirm our vows to each other.

            And tonight we will touch once more. 

            Tonight we will make love for the 4,929th time.