Saavik took a deep breath and entered the geology lab at exactly 0:700. She was intent on not riling the older Vulcan in his current state of distraction. She realized at once that her fears of an empty lab had come to fruition, but she forced her mind not to dwell on the forced privacy.
Spock was already there—naturally--and in all likelihood finding things to complain about. She pushed her thoughts aside and purposely strode toward him. He looked up and nodded then turned his attention back to the computer that was performing an analysis of the mineral sample they had brought back.
“I was not able to obtain a satisfactory answer from the Derilians concerning this mineral,” he said regrettably
“But surely they are familiar with a mineral common to their planet,” Saavik argued.
Spock nodded. “Indeed,” he said, “ but even though the Derilians are a very loquacious people, a clear answer is not easily come by.”
He consulted the readout on the computer and nodded. “ As I suspected,” he said, “it is a ferromagnetic mineral, mildly phosphorescent, with a density and gravity higher than any we have yet encountered.”
He made some adjustments on the computer and waited for the next computation. Saavik glanced over long enough to see what he was working on, then bent over her own computer to conduct other tests. They worked in silence for some time, occasionally comparing results and delving deeper into the mysteries of the rocks.
Suddenly Spock pushed his chair back and stood, the action so immediate that Saavik startled where she sat.
“Saavik,” he said behind her, “we must talk.”
She stood to face him, searching his face for his intention, but not finding it there.
“Then talk,” she said abruptly.
He raised his chin, taken aback by that response, but stepped toward her anyway.
“Saavik,” he tried again, “do you...regret...our association?”
It was an odd question but she answered immediately.
“I have benefited greatly from your rescue and your tutelage,” she said. “It would not be logical to regret such benefits.”
He considered that and took a step nearer. “If I am sometimes...abrupt... in my instruction, it is not a rejection of that relationship.”
She stared at him quizzically. Was he really trying to apologize?
He stopped himself from taking another step forward and suddenly raised himself to a formal posture.
“Is there one you wish as your bondsmate,” he asked without preamble, "or one who holds your promise?”
“No,” she stammered, blinking rapidly. He stepped toward her again, stopping in front of her, well within her personal space. She looked up at him, suddenly wanting to touch his upswept ears and feel his heat on her skin.
“It is logical,” he was saying, scandalously offering her his outstretched fingers, “ for us to make our association permanent.”
She took in a quick breath but laid her fingers against his own. “You wish to be mated...to me?” she asked, aghast that she may have misunderstood.
And he smiled; not the half smile he sometimes offered humans, but a full smile that softened his face quite dramatically.
“Indeed, Saavik-kam,” he said, taking both her hands in his and bending to kiss her. She recklessly allowed it, freeing her hands from his and pulling his head even closer, her fingers stroking the elegant ears she had long wished to touch.
She heard the quiet gasp a second before he pulled back and resumed his hold on her hands.
“Little cat,” he chided, using the Romulan meaning of her name, “Vulcan ears are quite...sensitive.”
“Indeed?” she said, smiling innocently, but knowing full well that he was right.
He searched her face a moment and raise an eyebrow. “You have not given me an answer,” he said pointedly.
She matched the raised brow and smiled. “Yes,” she said, “I wish very much to be your consort.”
He smiled at that, catching her face in his hands and kissing her slowly. Her hands encircled his neck, pulling him closer still. He laughed softly as his hands slid into her hair and his lips found hers again. She savored the welcome heat of his skin and the quiet whispers of thoughts that accompanied each touch. As his lips explored her face, her hands once more reached for his pointed ears.
The soft moan that escaped his lips sent a welcome shiver along her skin and he let her hands remain a moment before catching them again.
“Take care, Saavik-kam,” he scolded gently, “I am not as calm as I appear.”
She laughed with delight and reached up to kiss him again. He held her hands firmly as his lips sought hers, and they sighed together as the mind whispers grew louder.
Hearing the whoosh of the doors, they both turned but did not let go of one another’s hands. Captain Kirk stood there, half in and half out of the room, looking very hesitant about either choice. Finally he stepped forward if only to grant them the privacy of the closing door.
“I..umm.,” Kirk said, pursing his lips and searching for a rational thought. “I see you are.....talking...again,” he said, staring in open surprise that they were still holding hands in his presence. “Well...carry on...”
He turned to make a gracious exit, but Spock called him back.
“Jim,” he said. “We are to be wed. And since our route takes us near Vulcan, perhaps...”
Kirk smiled widely as he interrupted. “Leave granted,” he said with a small bow. “For both of you. I would be honored to stand with you, Spock,” he continued, “provided things go as planned this time.”
Spock raised an eyebrow at Saavik before answering. “I do not anticipate any challengers this time, Jim,” he assured him.
“Well,” the captain said, clapping his hands together, “I guess I should go tell McCoy that he won the pool.”
Saavik looked from one to the other in confusion but Spock nodded slowly.
“Ah, yes,” he said, “it is most difficult to deceive one, once melded.”
“Indeed?” Saavik purred with interest as she freed one hand long enough to brush the side of his face. The telepathic current leapt like plasma between them. “Then perhaps we should accomplish that as soon as possible.”
He caught her hand again and held it firmly. “That,” he said, “will be accomplished in private.”