Disclaimer: The usual. Paramount owns these folks; they just let me play with them.
Rating: PG
Summary: Spock participates in a sensual tribute.
Feedback: Yes, please. I really appreciate it
Note: Thanks to Janet for the beta. All errors and blam are mine, however.


He walked slowly from his official office to his unofficial one--the private study on the second floor. The one that was never entered by staff and only entered by housekeeper upon request. The one that was decorated to Terran tastes rather than Vulcan. The one that had the soft, sinkable, suede couch that could hold two comfortably (in horizontal fashion), the recliner which vibrated and massaged with a switch of a lever, the richly polished cherry desk, the ancient books of history, science, and eclectic fiction. The one with the blues, jazz, and gospel music recordings. The one with the private bar; a bar with even greater variety than the fiction. The one that still smelled faintly of vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, and floral candles. The one that the occasional Vulcan guest could never comprehend nor never
find the logic of such a sensual mix of textures, colors, and smells. The one room in his expansive home that was completely and wholly his lover's domain.

He hadn't been in this room of his house much of late. He told
himself that it was because his work had kept him traveling, more than he wanted certainly, more than was wise given his notoriety, but less than the work actually demanded. The one whom the room reflected, however, would tell him he had not been in the room much simply because he was not ready to be.

But he knew when he woke in his own bed this morning that he would end the day here. Knew it as he knew--he started to think 'his own name' but stopped mid thought to change to 'knew it as he knew the back of his hand.' Because the 'his' wasn't him. No, he knew he would end his day here in this room. Knew it as surely as he knew the back of HIS hands.

He entered the study and quietly closed the door behind him. He called for medium lumen and proceeded to the bar. As he reached for the most expensive bourbon in the cabinet, he thought of those hands. Hands that he first encountered as they healed him. Supple and square, smelling of soap and antiseptic. Fingers that were long and nimble. Nails that were smooth and white. A ring he was sure symbolized something other than mere ornamentation, but which he would not hear the story of for some time. Hands that were paradoxically soft and strong, attached to arms that were stronger, shoulders that were broad and stronger still, and a spirit that was strongest of all.

He had learned those hands well. Watched them as they traveled his body intimately. Watched them as they tried to discover if he had 'tickle spots.' Watched as they had comforted and soothed him. Watched as they had caressed and aroused him. Watched them until his vision was blocked, usually by the interference of thin, reddish lips descending upon his mouth or dusky blue eyes demanding a return of his gaze. Or, equally likely, until the arousal reached the point of
overriding his optic nerves. He had never admitted it to anyone, and he never would, but he had learned that the phrase "seeing stars" was not merely a metaphor nor an exaggeration. No one had done to him what those hands had done. And while he might again permit himself to feel another's hands on his body, although he had, to this point, not felt the need or desire to do so, he was fairly certain that no hands would ever touch him quite the same way again.

He took the bottle and a glass over to the couch. He poured himself a shot, and then decided to make it a double, before reclining back into the cushions. He remembered the first time he tasted this particular liquor. He had tried scotch before at Mr. Scott's insistence. He'd shared a beer with Capt. Pike and Dr. Piper. He'd tried brandy with Jim. He'd been offered bourbon, many times, before trying it. Bourbon and mint juleps, but the sweetness of the mint julep kept him from partaking in the straight bourbon for some time. They had been arguing (he heard Jim's voice ask "Again or just still?"). Instead of their usual point-counterpoint, however, he was trying out his father's suggestion of "do not let him get a word in
edgewise." He wondered if that would not be considered rude by human standards, but the looks he was getting in return were rather entertaining. Then again, he had not counted on the novel method by which his treatise was ended. It is most difficult to talk when another covers one's mouth. And it is difficult to not taste bourbon when that is what the other mouth has been consuming.

He took a sip of the beverage in his glass. He had learned to
appreciate the glow of the liquid--reddish amber depending on the angle of the light and quality of the glass. He had learned to
anticipate the flow of warmth down the back of his throat. But as good as this brand was, it would never compare to the taste of bourbon captured by his tongue from the tongue and recesses of Leonard's mouth. The taste that would start strong, spicy, and sharp and then diminish as their tongues dueled to where all he could taste was that uniquely satisfying and intoxicating flavor his brain labeled "Leonard."

He could remember Leonard. He doubted he could forget even if he wanted to, and he decidedly did not want to. He could still see Leonard, both in holos and in his mind. He could still hear Leonard's voice--efficient officer reporting tone; scientist tone, friend and confidant tone; southern gentleman tone; pissed off CMO tone; seducer, husband, lover tone. The words "you green-blooded, pointy-eared" coming in all but the first tone. But he found that it was harder and harder for him to still smell and taste Leonard. He had to resort to smells and tastes that reminded him of his mate. That was the primary reason this room has been left as it was; the primary reason he was the only one to enter it.

He commanded the computer to play one of the blues selections and ordered the lights lowered. He had slept sated on this couch many an afternoon and evening. Sleeping here would suit him tonight. He lifted his glass in a solitary toast: "Happy Birthday, Beloved. I miss you."