The Price of Admissionbyweird_little_stories©
Author's note 1: In this story, Spock engages in intense BDSM. If you don't want to see Mr. Spock behaving in such a fashion, do not read this story.
Author's note 2: My characters always talk for eons before they get down to business. (I can't IMAGINE where they get that from. :D ) So if you want a story with mostly action, this is really not the story for you.
Author's note 3: This story takes place in the original timeline of Star Trek, not during the timeline that began with the 2009 "reboot" movie. This story occurs a few months after the events in "Turnabout Intruder," the last episode of the original series. (In other words, Spock isn't cheating on Uhura, because they don't have a romantic relationship in this timeline.)
Author's note 4: Only the character of Elizabeth Fisher is mine; the others all belong to Paramount (legally) and Gene Roddenberry (morally). But this story is free, no money changed hands, so I'm allowed to borrow them for a moment. ;-)
Captain's Log, Stardate 4972.7
The Enterprise has encountered an unusual field of force in a previously unexplored region of space. The field has completely disabled our warp drive, but we were able to back slowly out of the field using impulse power. We are a long way from any known civilization, and Mr. Scott informs me that it will take approximately two weeks to repair the warp drive. Gravity and life support are unaffected, so we are unharmed, merely prevented from going anywhere for the next two weeks.
The field had a profound effect on our engines, but we had believed the crew to be completely unaffected until Dr. McCoy reported that one crew member was experiencing a serious effect: Mr. Spock. His intercom message was cryptic, and I am on my way to sickbay to discover the details.
Captain Kirk met Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock in McCoy's office, where they could talk privately. McCoy looked troubled, and Spock looked embarrassed, which worried Kirk. Whenever he could read emotion on Spock's usually composed face, it was a sign of trouble ahead.
"What is it, Bones?" Kirk asked. "What's wrong with Spock?"
Spock said, "I seem to be experiencing an unknown mental illness."
"Unknown, my eye! You're experiencing pon farr, and you know it."
Spock closed his eyes and bent his head.
"Pon farr?" Kirk asked. "But he just went through that two years ago. Don't we have five years before the next one's due?"
"We have five years before he'd undergo a naturally-occurring pon farr, but this isn't natural; it's caused by that field out there."
"If it's not natural, does that mean that you can reverse it? Can you bring him back to normal?"
"I wish I could, but now that it's started, it's acting just like any other episode of pon farr."
"You mean we have to get him to Vulcan within the week, or he'll die? Our warp drive is out! We'll be stuck here for weeks."
Spock opened his eyes and raised his head. "I am not betrothed to anyone this time, so while Vulcan would be ideal, it's not obligatory. Any humanoid female would do, if I were willing to mate with one. But I am not."
"Are you out of your Vulcan mind?" McCoy asked. "I just said that this is affecting you the same as any other pon farr. You may not want a human woman, but is having sex with one a fate worse than death? Because death's what's in store for you if you don't mate within the week!"
"I am aware of the ramifications of Vulcan biology, doctor."
Kirk took a step closer to Spock and stared into his eyes. "Explain."
Spock closed his eyes as if in pain. "Must I, Captain? The details of Vulcan mating are very private and extremely embarrassing for a race which prides itself on logic."
Kirk pointed his forefinger at Spock and tapped his chest with it. "If I'm going to lose the best first officer in the Fleet and my closest friend, I expect more explanation than 'It's private and embarrassing.' I expect ANSWERS! The last time we dealt with pon farr, what I didn't know almost got me killed, so I won't put up with half the story this time. I'm sorry to pry into private matters, but I must know what's going on."
Spock nodded once. "Yes, I suppose you must. And you also, Dr. McCoy. May I have your word that what I'm about to tell you will not find its way into any written records?"
McCoy shook his head. "Part of why I don't know what to do for you is because Vulcans are so blasted tight-lipped about this whole pon farr business. You're the only Vulcan on this ship, but you're not the only Vulcan in Starfleet. If we knew more about what happens during pon farr, we could do a better job of taking care of the Vulcans on our ships, not just you, but all Vulcans!"
"I understand scientific curiosity, Doctor," Spock said, "And I sympathize with your desire to be effective in your role as medical officer. But these details cannot be shared. If I do not have your promise, I will simply refuse to speak."
"Leave it, Bones," Kirk said. "Once we have the story, maybe we'll understand his reasons."
Spock closed his eyes again, visibly gathering his strength. After a few moments he opened them, seeming calm once more.
"You must have heard rumors," Spock said. "Even Nurse Chapel has heard rumors that Vulcan men are 'cruel' to Vulcan women."
"We've both heard those rumors," Kirk said, "and we've heard you say many times that Vulcan has a savage history. When we took you to Vulcan two years ago to meet T'Pring, you said that Vulcan mating biology was a remnant of that savage history, so I guess we've both assumed that Vulcans were less ... controlled ... during mating than at other times. But everyone is; it's nothing to be ashamed of."
"But Vulcans are much stronger than humans, Captain. And when in the grip of plak tow, we are incapable of restraint or even thought. During the six years, eleven months, and twenty days between bouts of pon farr, Vulcans mate with gentleness, even tenderness. But a Vulcan in blood fever cannot hold back. Do you understand?"
Kirk smiled. "If you're telling me that Vulcans engage in ... vigorous ... intercourse during pon farr, I don't see where that's a problem. I can attest that there are plenty of human females who enjoy a vigorous bout of lovemaking."
"I remind you again, Captain, that Vulcans are stronger than humans. A Vulcan exerting his full strength could break the bones of a human woman."
Kirk stopped smiling. "Oh. That does seem like more, uh, vigor, than most human women would enjoy. But can't we rig up some pillows or something to absorb some of the force? Surely having sex with you, even extremely hard sex, isn't such a terrible thing for a human woman that your death is a better alternative?"
"Captain," Spock spoke barely above a whisper. "When I asked you to take me to Vulcan two years ago, I compared Vulcans to salmon, who must return to where they were born in order to spawn."
"I have another animal analogy for you this time. Do you know the mating habits of Rigelian Desertcats?"
"I'm afraid I don't."
"I do," McCoy said. He looked at Spock with new understanding. "Desertcat males have to prove their fitness to mate by subduing the female they intend to mate with. It's not rape -- the female chooses the male -- but he still has to prove himself by besting her in combat, and the contest is violent enough that some females don't survive it."
"Yes," Spock said. "Vulcan has a harsh, unforgiving climate. Until modern technology made it easier, it was extremely difficult to scratch enough food and water from Vulcan's hostile landscape for even bare subsistence. Female Vulcans would not waste time or resources bearing children that had little chance of survival. In order to live in such a world, the child needed considerable strength and endurance."
"And Vulcan males prove their strength and endurance by..." Kirk said.
"By subduing the female through the delivery of what is essentially a savage beating."
"But what happens if the woman is perfectly willing? You wouldn't have to subdue her. I'm sure there are plenty of women on this ship who would be completely willing to have sex with you."
"You're trying to use logic, Captain, but this aspect of Vulcan life is the one area where we are not logical. That is why we are never share it with outsiders. Vulcan women are willing, but developing over many millennia in a harsh environment has given Vulcan women the peculiarity that they do not ovulate unless they meet a suitable mate. And suitability, for the purposes of ovulation, is determined not by intellectual closeness, emotional compatibility, pheromones, or any of the other things that normally cause one to chose a mate but by one thing: whether the male has proven himself worthy by the violence of his courtship."
Kirk had to take a moment to digest that, so McCoy took over.
"But you're not trying to reproduce; you're only trying to get the pon farr to go away. The woman doesn't have to ovulate, and that's not what makes human females ovulate, anyway."
Spock became visibly agitated and began shouting. "Do you think I want to die, Doctor? Do you think I'm sharing these extremely private details in order to horrify you? You know biology! You know that both sexes of a species evolve along complementary lines!"
McCoy opened his eyes wide for a moment, then turned to Kirk.
Kirk said, "What does he mean, Bones? What complementary lines are we talking about?"
"When not in pon farr, Vulcans have sex that you and I would consider normal. But when under the influence of plak tow, a Vulcan male can't ejaculate unless he has beaten his partner to within an inch of her life."
Kirk looked stricken. "And the pon farr won't end..."
"Unless he ejaculates. Yes."
Spock looked away, his face a stiff mask.
Kirk tugged on his shirt as he stood awhile in thought. Then he put a hand on his first officer's shoulder.
"Spock. I know you're more emotional right now because you have pon farr hormones in your bloodstream. But you don't have to be embarrassed. Vulcans' mating habits are a little extreme by human standards, but they're not unknown in the galaxy. You yourself gave the example of Rigelian Desertcats, so you know that this isn't unheard of. And you didn't choose it. You inherited this along with your father's blood; you're a victim of these circumstances. We would never judge you for something that's not under your control."
"That's right," McCoy said. "We know you better than anyone, and we know who you are. You deplore violence so much that you're a vegetarian. You practically worship at the altar of emotional control. Your mating biology isn't up to you. This is something you suffer."
"Gentlemen," Spock said. "You still do not understand me. Everything you say is true, except one. Although Vulcans have no control over this aspect of our biology, and although this is considered a secret that one should never share with outsiders, it is one that Vulcans cherish."
Kirk and McCoy blinked, startled.
Spock continued. "You enjoy your own mating biology, do you not? You romanticize it and celebrate it in song and story? Vulcans feel the same way. We may choose to have much gentler encounters when our biology gives us that choice, but that doesn't mean that we despise the violent matings that come once every seven years. Those periodic reminders of our history are part of what keeps our entire culture focused on peace, tranquility, and logic. Giving one's partner a savage beating is a reminder of what is inside all of us, of what we must control. But it is also a measure of our passion. We normally turn that passion to science or art, but once every seven years, we turn it to violent forms of sexual expression, and yes, we do celebrate it."
"So, you'd normally be looking forward to beating up some poor girl?" McCoy looked angry.
"No, doctor. I'd normally be looking forward to beating up a Vulcan woman who was herself looking forward to this rare outburst of passion in her life, a woman who was prepared to fight me tooth and nail, not because she didn't want to be there but because she too was in the grip of plak tow; she, too, wanted all the violence that either of us could muster, she too -- for one week out of every seven years -- found beauty in our former savagery."
Kirk said, "So, you aren't opposed to mating -- even mating violently -- in general. What you're opposed to is imposing this on a human woman who's not prepared for it and who can't give as good as she gets?"
"Yes," Spock said. "But there's more." His voice deepened and became even more raspy. "Don't forget that Vulcan mating ends in a mind meld. For Vulcans, this is a beautiful, cherished intimacy, but Vulcans are prepared for it and long to share themselves with someone in that way. A human woman would have never done this before, would have no control over the process, and would find it invasive, even traumatic. For a human woman, I can only imagine that the most beautiful thing in my culture would feel like psychic rape."
"But I've seen you perform mind melds before, on humans, on aliens, even a horta," Kirk said. "They weren't traumatized by the process."
"I performed those mind melds when I was not in the grip of plak tow. I was able to go slowly, to use finesse, to go only as deeply into their minds as was necessary in order to accomplish our objectives. I kept much of my mind out of theirs."
"And you can't do that while in plak tow?"
"No. My mind will crash into my partner's mind, insistently and all at once. Even a Vulcan finds this stressful, but a Vulcan woman would have experienced mind meld before, would have received training in how to share her mind while retaining her self. A human woman's personality could well be simply ... obliterated."
They were all silent for a moment, considering this.
"Wait," McCoy said. "I have someone."
"There are no other Vulcans on this ship."
"No. But as Chief Medical Officer, I get a fuller psych report on all of our crew members than even the captain gets. Only the ship's psychologist sees what I see."
"I have studied many variants of human psychology, Doctor. I know that there are at least a few humans who would be capable of the kind of sharing that a mind meld brings. And I know that there are practitioners of what I believe is called 'BDSM' who mate more violently than the average human. But both, Doctor? You know of someone refined enough for a mind meld and coarse enough for a beating?"
"Don't spread this around, because it's not something I'd normally share ..." McCoy rubbed the back of his neck in thought.
"Of course not, Bones," Kirk said. But we're trying to save Spock's life, here. You have those files specifically so that you can use the information in them if some emergency warrants its use."
McCoy said, "Dr. Elizabeth Fisher -- usually called Dr. Liz -- the ship's psychologist, is the only other person who has access to these files. She IS the ship's psychologist partly because her appetite for intimacy is so large. And I'm not using 'intimacy' as a euphemism for sex; I mean that she likes to get close to people, to know them thoroughly, to dig down to the bones of a person's psyche and see what's there. That's part of why she's a psychologist. I think she's always been kind of sad that no one wants to know her quite as thoroughly."
Kirk said, "So a Vulcan mind-meld would be the chance of a lifetime for her. But the physical aspect, Bones. What about the physical aspect? Spock speaks precisely, always. If he says 'savage beating,' that's exactly what he means."
"What Spock's talking about goes beyond anything that someone could enjoy, or do regularly, and still pass the psych eval required to be a member of the crew. But we can heal physical damage pretty easily; I think Spock's more worried about the psychological damage that the physical damage could produce."
Spock inclined his head in respect. "Astutely reasoned, Doctor. Yes. I expect that a Vulcan male in full plak tow would do rather extensive tissue damage to a human woman, but with competent medical care, she could heal that in a few weeks. But the emotional trauma is something else again. I know enough about the lasting effects of emotional trauma to feel incapable of its infliction."
McCoy said, "But that's the other part of what makes Dr. Liz a likely candidate. She does practice BDSM. She practices a much lighter version than a Vulcan in full blood fever mode, but taking pain from a sexual partner isn't bizarre or frightening for her; it's something she does on a regular basis. This would be a difference in degree, compared to what she's used to, but not a difference in kind."
"You think that would make enough of a difference?" Kirk asked.
"I don't know, but I think it's worth talking to her about," McCoy said.
Spock opened his mouth to speak, but McCoy cut him off. "I know you don't want to share these details with non-Vulcans, but the ship's psychologist hears people's secrets all day every day. Have you ever heard her talk about her clients except in general terms? And damn it, isn't your life worth a little embarrassment!"
Spock nodded gravely. "Thank you for your efforts on my behalf. I do know and like Dr. Liz, but I am not as close to her as I am to either of you. Could I ask, Doctor, that you share the pertinent details with Dr. Liz out of my hearing?"
McCoy looked at Spock. "Normally, I'd make a joke right about now, but I know this is hard for you, so I won't. I'll talk to Dr. Liz for you. But if she agrees to try to save your life, you'll have to talk with her, yourself."
"Of course. It is because I believe that a human woman can not give informed consent to mating with a Vulcan in plak tow that I refuse to mate with one. If you tell me that Dr. Liz is willing, I will, of course, need to explore that consent with her in detail before anything else can be done."
McCoy nodded and left sickbay.
"Can you do that?" Kirk asked. "While you're in the unusually emotional state that pon farr brings on, can you talk dispassionately about all of this with a woman you barely know?"
"I know her perhaps better than you realize, Captain. I actually often spend time in her company because she's the only human on board this ship who accepts me exactly as I am."
Kirk was surprised and even a bit hurt. "But ... I love you, Spock. You know that."
"I do know it, and that knowledge warms me more than you can ever know. But you still think that I should be more human, more emotional. It is rare that a day passes when you don't try to provoke an emotion in me or try to catch me in one."
"I ... I guess I never realized how it looked to you. I didn't realize that it would feel like lack of acceptance for who you are. But I do know you. I know that you have a lot more emotion than you ever show."
"And if I fail to show it, that, too, is my choice. That, too, is who I am."
"I know. I know. I'm ... sorry, Spock. I never meant to imply that I wanted you to be different. I value your logical ability, I rely on it to calm me down when I need it, to point out flaws in my reasoning, to help me run this ship."
"I know that, too, Captain. We are best friends, and it is not a one-sided relationship."
"Does that mean that you love me, too, Spock?"
Spock raised an eyebrow and clasped his hands behind his back. "I believe that's implicit in the statement I just made."
Kirk laughed. "You still seem much as usual. Are you sure about this pon farr? Sure it's not just a momentary blip caused by that field out there?"
"I am exercising considerable control in order to appear much as usual, but that control is fraying. Indeed, you saw me shout at the doctor just a few moments ago."