ST fic: Persuasion [Pike/Spock, adult]
Title: Persuasion Author: celandineb Fandom: Star Trek XI Pairing: Pike/Spock Rating: adult Length: 4859 words Warnings: oral sex Summary: Having accepted a tour of duty at Starfleet Academy, Chris finds that there are benefits beyond the one he expected. Note: Written for chiralove for happy_trekmas 2009.
It had taken a bribe to get Chris back to Earth, to San Francisco and Starfleet Academy.
Not that anyone would call it a bribe openly, but it had been one, no question. Admiral Archer himself had offered it.
"We need someone like you at the Academy," Archer said. "Someone with real experience at command. I know, I know, most of our instructors have served as Starfleet officers on ships, but you know and I know they tend to be the ones who didn't reach the higher command levels. You're almost at the end of your current tour of duty; I'd like you to spend the next one as an instructor here on Earth."
"Why should I?" Chris asked bluntly. He had just finished a humanitarian mission to the P'Teng system, and he was bone-tired, less from the unrelenting pace than from the sickening sights and charnel house smells that had resulted from the plague there. "You may need someone like me as an instructor, but Starfleet also needs captains like me to be out with our ships."
"Ships, yes." Archer looked levelly through the screen. "If you take up this post, you will not be returning to your present ship."
"Yes, I know." Although Chris might not admit it openly, that was another reason for his reluctance. He knew the Yorktown intimately, from the least bolt in her hull to the quirks of the computer's operation. It would wrench his heart to leave her.
Archer continued, "There's a new flagship under construction, intended as an exploratory vessel, although with other duties as well, of course. Enterprise, they're calling her. She'll be ready to launch in five years, at just about the time you'd be finishing your next tour. Interested?"
He didn't have to spell out the offer further; Chris's breath caught at the thought of being first to captain such a lovely vessel.
"You have my complete attention, Admiral," he said. "Tell me more about what my duties would be at Starfleet Academy."
Earth seemed crowded and dirty, after all his years on board ship, but Chris settled into his quarters without too much difficulty. He was not to be an ordinary instructor; Archer placed him at the head of the command-track program, with the directive of revamping it as he saw fit, and he was in charge of North American recruitment as well.
That would keep him busy, Chris thought gloomily, as he started pulling up files to look at. Five years? It might take fifty to get things straightened out. At least he had a competent assistant.
"Cowper!" he called, and the young man appeared from the next room.
"I want to see the personnel files for all of the Academy's staff, every faculty member or instructor, whether they're teaching in the command track or not. Where do I find those?"
Cowper came around the desk and looked over Chris's shoulder, then reached for the keyboard and, typing rapidly, showed him how to access the complete personnel files. "You should have authorization to view all of them, sir," he said, "but if there are any that have restrictions, I can put in a request to the admiral to grant you clearance for those."
"Please do so now," Chris told him, "just in case."
"Yes, sir. Is there anything else?"
"Coffee. Black. And try to keep me from being disturbed for about the next three days; I want to familiarize myself with the personnel and the program before doing anything else." Chris inclined his head. "Dismissed."
"Very good, sir." Cowper retreated noiselessly, closing the door behind him.
Chris got down to work. Some of the names were familiar; a few had been on the faculty when Chris himself was a cadet, others he had served with or met sometime in the course of the past twenty-odd years. Many, however, were unknown to him, and warranted careful perusal of their records.
There were a few whose records were quite surprising, but perhaps none more so than the file on one of the very youngest instructors, a half-Vulcan called Spock. He had completed the Academy training and been immediately asked to join the regular science faculty, without ever having had a tour on a ship. Not a common thing. Generally it was only the part-time specialists who taught without having a history as officers.
Chris paged back through Spock's file. Admitted to the Vulcan Science Academy, but he had declined it in favor of Starfleet. Most unusual. Chris had always understood that for a Vulcan, a place in their Science Academy was a great honor, not something one would ever decline. He would have to meet this Spock, he decided, although the Vulcan was not one of the command-track faculty.
He instructed Cowper to schedule Spock in for an appointment sometime in the next week or two, then put the Vulcan out of his head for the time being to concentrate on matters of greater urgency.
Two weeks later, however, he gave Spock a cordial greeting. "Come in and have a seat, Mr. Spock. Can I get you any refreshment?"
"No, thank you, Captain." Spock sat stiffly upright in the chair, no mean feat since it was designed to promote relaxation in its occupant. Pike did not find it useful to have his visitors put on edge by the furniture; if necessary, he was well able to do that himself. The only indication of tension that Pike noted in Spock, however, was the twitch of a finger where his hands rested, splayed out, on his knees.
"May I inquire why you have requested my presence, Captain?" Spock tilted his head, one eyebrow rising by a fraction.
"I know you're not, strictly speaking, in my area of supervision," Pike acknowledged. "But I like if possible to be familiar with all personnel with whom there is a reasonable chance I will interact. Your background intrigues me; half-human, but raised on Vulcan, and yet you declined the chance to attend the Vulcan Science Academy in favor of Starfleet. May I ask why?"
"I believe that information is in my dossier." Spock remained still, although Pike thought he detected a slight greening of the man's cheeks, which he supposed was a blush.
"The statement in your file is not very informative," Pike said. "It merely indicates that you admire the goals of Starfleet and its methods of pursuing them. It says nothing specific about your reasons for deciding against pursuing the study of science on Vulcan, which, if I may be blunt, has a significantly higher reputation in science than that of Earth and Starfleet Academy."
If he had been calm before, now Spock drew into unearthly stillness. Pike waited. At last Spock spoke.
"As my records show, although my mother is human, I was born and raised and educated on Vulcan. In my youth there were several..." he paused, apparently to choose the precise word he wanted, "incidents between myself and other children of approximately my own age, who were of course all full-blooded Vulcans. I decided then that I would find the greatest satisfaction and contentment by immersing myself in my father's culture, and I pursued that course with success. I believed that my abilities and achievements spoke for themselves. To my dismay, however, I learned that other Vulcans continued to see my human ancestry as a disadvantage. I therefore chose to join Starfleet, where it seemed to me that intelligent beings of all species were welcomed."
"And have you found it so?" Pike leaned back in his own chair, resting his elbows on its arms and steepling his fingers before him.
"To a great extent, yes." Spock blinked. "I confess that I had a second motive, as well, which was to learn more about human nature through observation and thereby perhaps understand that aspect of myself better. I have been less successful in achieving that intention."
Pike eyed him thoughtfully. "It's a laudable goal. How have you gone about it?"
"As a student, I joined several of the clubs and societies available. Those gave me an opportunity to interact with my fellows in more social situations than that of a classroom. I also have engaged in various human cultural events, attending such diverse events as baseball games and skating exhibitions, and going to museums of both scientific and historical interest."
If those were the sorts of things he had done, and assuming that his mannerisms were as stiff in social situations as they were here in Pike's office, no wonder he came across as far more Vulcan than human, despite his ancestry. Yet his interest in understanding humans appeared to be genuine. On impulse, Pike asked, "Did you date?"
Spock gave no indication that he found the question too personal. "I am aware of the custom, naturally, but no. It seemed to me that if I wished to understand humans and their society, being around larger numbers would be more efficient than spending time with a single individual."
"Ah, but getting to know one person in greater depth is a worthwhile experience. Establishing an emotional connection can provide insight unavailable any other way," said Pike.
"I take your point, Captain. I suppose it would not be impossible to arrange a date. My father must have done something of the sort when he first began to be acquainted with my mother. I have always anticipated that I would find a suitable marriage partner in Vulcan society, and therefore had not considered trying to establish such a relationship with any human, despite my father's example."
Pike's lips quirked. "You might find that you enjoy it. I think many humans would find you attractive, certainly." He did himself, rather to his own surprise. Spock's speech was stilted, his manners far more Vulcan than human, but physically he was quite handsome, and Pike had always had an eye for good-looking men as well as women.
"Thank you, sir." Spock inclined his head respectfully. "I believe I will take your advice with regard to dating. Was there anything else about which you wished to speak to me?"
"No, that will be all for now. Thank you for meeting with me today." Chris rose to his feet at the same time Spock did, accepting the salute of the junior officer. "Good afternoon."
He returned to the task of reading through reports on the current composition of the Academy's student body, and began making notes of ideas as to how recruitment might be changed to ensure a greater diversity. Not just humans were served by Starfleet, after all; they needed a substantial complement of the many allied alien species as well. Perhaps some time he would confer with Spock again and see if the man had any ideas about how to attract other Vulcans into the training program.
Some weeks later, Chris was holding a tray in the Academy's cafeteria and looking around for an empty table. He made a point of eating lunch there when his schedule permitted it; he felt it set a good example. Cadets almost invariably complained about the food, but it was as good or better than what they would get on board any ship, and officers ate the same as their crew. A far cry from the old water navies on Earth, back in the Industrial Age, when officers had much the best of the available rations.
A raised arm caught his eye, and he blinked in surprise to recognize Spock.
"I wouldn't have expected to see you here," Chris greeted him as he sat down.
Spock raised one eyebrow. "Indeed? May I inquire why not?"
Chris shrugged. "You struck me as a replicator-sandwich-in-the-lab type of man."
The second eyebrow joined the first. "Eating in the laboratory is liable to result in contamination of experiments."
"I suppose that's true," Chris acknowledged, and brought a forkful of pasta to his lips. He ate quickly, aware that Spock had nearly finished his own meal and was watching Chris with an indecipherable expression. Why had he waved Chris over, anyhow? It was not until Chris was biting into the brownie he'd picked up – an indulgence he rarely permitted himself – that he found out.
"I have attempted to implement your advice, Captain, but I have been less than successful, I must admit." Spock's voice was calm, showing no hints of any distress. "Perhaps you could give me further guidance on appropriate date etiquette?"
Chris almost choked on his brownie. "How to ask someone on a date, you mean? Why, you just ask. Say something like 'Would you like to have dinner with me this Friday?' or 'I'm going to be art museum this weekend. Would you like to go with me?' Something like that. Or did you mean how to act when you're on the date?"
"The latter. I have managed successfully to ask two different individuals on dates, but the experiences have been less than satisfactory. The interpersonal dynamics were awkward, despite my best attempts at maintaining conversation."
"First dates are almost certain to be uncomfortable," Chris said, "and quite often the next few with the same person as well. It's only to be expected. It takes a while to get to know someone well enough to be truly comfortable with them, and since it is normally assumed that asking for a date implies a romantic interest, that adds to the awkwardness for many people."
"I see." Spock nodded, his narrow face thoughtful. "I have generally been able to establish good working relationships quickly, in the lab and in the classroom, but I can see from what you say that the circumstances are different enough that strategies of interaction must likewise vary."
"That's right. I'm sure you'll do fine, with a bit more practice." Chris nodded encouragingly.
Spock seemed to hesitate, although perhaps that was only Chris's imagination. "I was planning to go to one of the civic parks this Sunday afternoon. Would you like to join me? Perhaps you could observe my behavior and give me further advice."
"So, not really a date." Chris was trying to make a joke, but it fell flat. Spock merely gazed at him, waiting for a proper reply. "I suppose so. I had no special plans for this Sunday."
"I will stop by for you at ten o'clock Sunday, then. May I have the location of your residence?" Spock asked.
Chris gave him the address, wondering why and how he had allowed himself to be sucked into this. Oh, well, it was only one afternoon, Spock's company was not unpleasant, and it was all in a good cause. He reminded himself that a better acquaintance with Spock might also help him devise more effective alien recruitment strategies.
For a wonder, the weather was cooperative that Sunday: sunny and almost warm, instead of foggy the way that San Francisco was so prone to be. Chris chose a short-sleeved shirt to wear, although he made sure he had a jacket as well.
Spock arrived promptly at ten. Chris had been glad Spock had indicated a preference for the morning. Had it been late afternoon or evening, or somewhere less thoroughly public and innocuous than Golden Gate Park, it would have felt more like a real date, and that wasn't what it was supposed to be.
They took a bus from Chris's apartment in the old Castro district down to the park. Despite the presence of Starfleet Academy in the city, aliens were still a relatively uncommon sight. Spock endured the occasional stares and whispers with equanimity, Chris noticed. Not that he would have expected anything else from a Vulcan, or even half-Vulcan, but it still spoke well of him.
The park was filled with both tourists and locals enjoying the beautiful day. They walked slowly around the perimeter, chatting about science and Starfleet. Spock, it transpired, had wanted to be commissioned as a ship's officer, and had accepted his present appointment only with reluctance.
"I've always preferred space duty, myself," said Chris.
"Why, then, are you here?" Spock asked. "Surely you have enough seniority to have refused a ground assignment if you chose."
Chris gave a snort. "They bribed me, more or less. Promised that if I took a five-year stint at the Academy, I'd be first in line for the new flagship Starfleet is building. Nothing in writing, but Admiral Archer assured me of it informally. To captain the Enterprise I'd put up with far worse than this."
They had completed one circuit of the park. Chris gestured toward a bench from which an elderly couple were just rising. "Shall we sit for a few minutes?"
"Certainly." Spock took a seat at one end of the bench, sitting very upright with his ankles and knees together, in much the same posture he had used in Chris's office.
"Relax," Chris said, sitting beside him. "I thought I might give you some comments on your behavior as a date so far, if you'd like."
Spock nodded. "It would be my pleasure, Captain, to hear whatever you might have to say."
"The first thing is, relax. If you're on a date with someone – with a human anyhow – the hope is that you'll enjoy yourself. If you look as though you're on the parade ground, your date is going to be uncomfortable." Chris watched as Spock shifted his position, crossing his left ankle over his right knee. "That's better. Also, turn a little more toward me, which indicates through body language that your attention is on me, rather than whoever might happen to walk by."
"Like this?" Spock turned, fixing a grave gaze on Chris's face.
"Yes, that's good. I don't really have any criticisms of the conversation we were having; it was pleasant, somewhat work-oriented, but that's what we have in common, so that's fair enough. As with your body language, your speech tends toward the formal, but most people will notice that consciously and discount for it, given your background. For some reason posture isn't something as easily recognized as making someone uncomfortable, so it's more important that you think of that, I would say."
"I appreciate your observations." Spock lifted his right hand, the one closest to Chris, and rested his arm on the back of the bench. "I noticed several people sitting with partners who had their arms like this. Would this attitude be considered a suitably informal one?"
"Probably. If you're sitting this close to the other person, so that your arm touches their shoulders as you're doing now, that might be construed as being too personal of a contact on a first date, but not by much. If you weren't touching them, certainly it would be fine."
"Do you mind?"
"No, but then, this isn't a real date. Also, some humans are more comfortable with physical contact than others. If the other person tenses up or moves away, you should withdraw a bit and allow them to make the next physical contact when they're ready."
"I see." Spock left his arm where it was. "Since you have indicated that you do not find such contact distasteful, then I will continue it."
"Other than that..." Chris shrugged, feeling his shoulder move against Spock's fingers. "I would say that really, you shouldn't have any difficulty on future dates. As I said before, pretty much everyone finds first dates somewhat awkward, so if you feel that way, don't think you're necessarily doing anything wrong. Probably the other person feels the same, and it's by no means a sign that the two of you can't be compatible." He paused a moment, watching Spock, who returned his look calmly.
"Maybe one more thing," Chris said. "Since you told me that your reason to try dating is to learn to understand humans better on a personal or individual level, I'd advise at least starting out with doing something like this, or asking the person for a meal. Don't suggest dates where you'd go to a movie or a performance or a sporting event, because at any of those, you won't have much opportunity for conversation, which would defeat your purpose."
"Thank you, Captain. This has all been most useful advice."
"Chris," Chris corrected. "Since this is a social occasion, you really should use my name, rather than my title."
"Chris," Spock repeated.
The sound of his name on Spock's lips sent a tiny shiver down Chris's spine... or perhaps it was that Spock moved his hand at the same moment, resting it more firmly against Chris's shoulder, so that he could feel the warmth of Spock's touch even through his clothing. He licked his lips and glanced away, thinking that he should give Spock an opportunity to speak, whether to ask Chris any questions he might have about Chris's observation of his behavior, or simply to make date-appropriate casual conversation.
Spock remained silent for some minutes, however, as they both watched the people walking by.
A family group walked past their bench – mother, father, two young children – all industriously licking ice cream cones. Chris's stomach rumbled audibly. He hadn't eaten much breakfast, and that had been early. Now it was after noon.
"May I take you to lunch?" Spock asked. "That would be an appropriate offer if one wished to prolong a date, would it not?"
"Yes it would, and yes I would be happy to have lunch with you, although we should split the bill, given that this is not a real date."
Spock blinked and nodded. "Agreed. I must confess, however, that I am unfamiliar with the restaurants in our immediate vicinity. Do you have any suggestions, or shall we walk and choose one that appeals to both of us?"
Chris shrugged. "I'm game to pick one at random. This isn't my neighborhood either."
Unsurprisingly, as soon as they got up, another strolling pair claimed the bench. Chris grinned to see it. "Looks like we're doing a public service by leaving now."
"The park is open to all, however. I believe the phrase is 'first-come, first-served,' is it not?"
"It is. I was joking, really," Chris said, reminded again that Spock was not merely alien by ancestry, but also by upbringing.
They found a small Chinese restaurant that claimed to be run by the fourth generation of the same family. What made Chris choose it, however, was the fact that most of the customers appeared to be Asian. He assumed that they would have good judgment of the quality of the food in their own ethnic heritage.
So it proved. Chris wasn't entirely certain of the identity of everything they ate – the food was served family-style, so he and Spock shared their choices – but it was all delicious. He overate, in fact, and thought to himself that he had better find time to work out later that day, and have something light for dinner as well.
"You don't need to see me home," Chris told Spock when they emerged, blinking, into the sunny street again. "I'm sure you have other matters to attend to today, and it is getting on for mid-afternoon."
"I would enjoy going home with you, though, if you have no objection," said Spock.
Chris looked hard at him. Had Spock meant that as some sort of hint? He couldn't tell, and asking seemed awkward. Perhaps it would be best to allow Spock to return with him to his apartment, and see what happened.
"I have enjoyed spending this time with you, Chris," Spock said as they walked along the street that led to Chris's apartment building. "Your company is most pleasant."
"So is yours," was Chris's honest response. Awkward or difficult to interpret on occasion, yes, but he had had a better time than he had expected. He slowed to a stop when Spock touched his sleeve. "What is it?"
"I am curious," Spock said. "You have made it clear more than once that you did not consider this a true dating experience, I presume since you knew that I wished for your comments on my behavior. If that had not been the case, how would you have perceived our time together?"
"Why don't you come inside," Chris said. "I'm not sure I'll be comfortable discussing this on the street."
Once in his apartment, he sank into his favorite chair and gestured to Spock to take the one opposite, noting with approval that Spock's posture seemed more relaxed than before.
"If you were trying to ask if I would have enjoyed this as a date under other circumstances, the answer is yes," he said. "I thought I had made that clear enough already, but I guess not."
Spock nodded. "You had in fact done so, but I hoped by my question to elicit precisely the response you then gave; that is, to invite me inside. Perhaps this is an inappropriately rapid move, but I find you most attractive and would like to continue to spend time with you. You are one of the most agreeable humans I have interacted with, and I believe that since you are not in direct authority over me, there is nothing in Starfleet regulations to prevent us from establishing a personal and intimate relationship, if we are so mutually inclined."
His voice was calm as he spoke, and he showed no visible signs of nervousness, yet somehow Chris was sure that it had taken more than a little courage for Spock to ask this. The purpose of the day became clear; it had been Spock's way of subtly learning more about Chris, to enable him to decide if liked Chris enough to pursue more than a mere acquaintanceship, without causing Chris to feel any pressure in the matter.
Chris chuckled. "No, it's not against Starfleet regulations, and I'm flattered that you would be interested in me. Since you were straightforward, I'll be blunt too. I'm not one to beat around the bush anyhow. I'm not looking for a serious romantic relationship at this time, but I find you attractive also and would be happy to establish a friendship with a physical dimension to it, if that would interest you." He realized with interest, and a little surprise, that he had picked up Spock's somewhat stilted style of speaking.
"It would," Spock said, "although my experience in sexual matters is quite limited."
"That's all right," Chris assured him. "I've experience enough and to spare."
"Then I would like to learn more about the physical from you today, if that is agreeable."
"It is." Chris stood up. "Come here. You've at least kissed someone before, haven't you?"
"Good." Chris put one hand on Spock's shoulder, cupping his cheek with the other to bring their lips together. For all that his blood might be green, it was hot enough, Chris thought, as the kiss gained in intensity.
When Chris undressed him, Spock's body was as he'd imagined it: slim yet strong, nearly hairless except around his genitals, which were not visibly different from human except in coloring. If a deep green dick looked odd, it felt no different in Chris's hand, tasted no different on his tongue. Chris had always been fond of blow jobs, whether giving or receiving them, perhaps more than any other type of sexual encounter. He sucked Spock off first, amused to note that even at orgasm, Vulcan disinclination to expressing emotion prevailed. Spock's expression scarcely changed, his body stilled, and he made no sound as he spilled into Chris's throat.
Chris had no such inhibitions. Spock might never have given head before, but he was a quick learner, picking up on every technique that Chris had used on him, and adding his own variations as well. Chris groaned and grunted and urged him on, his hands tangled in Spock's hair, thumbs stroking the pointed tips of his ears. He was careful to give warning before he came, thinking that Spock might not be comfortable with swallowing his semen, but Spock did not pull back. Chris came then with a wail, the best orgasm he'd had in years, as he told Spock afterward.
Spock accepted the compliment with equanimity, remarking that he always strove for excellence in all his endeavors, and Chris grinned.
"I'd say you've succeeded."
The aftermath was no more awkward than any such encounter: cleaning up, getting dressed, making a certain amount of small talk until one of them was able to come up with an acceptable reason to end it. In this case, Spock indicated that he had work to complete that evening, and Chris nodded.
"I meant what I said before, you know. That although I'm not interested in anything by way of a serious relationship just now, I'm more than happy to both be friends with you and also have sex together." Chris winked. "As long as you're not under my direct supervision, in any case." He tucked away the thought that when he captained the Enterprise, he'd need a science officer, and Spock would make an admirable one. That day was a long way off, and anything could happen in the meantime.
If he had been human, Spock might have smiled, Chris thought, but all he said was, "Understood... Captain."