Summary: based on this prompt at the strek_id_kink. Kirk and his crew are invited to the Augments' planet for the celebrations of the establishment of the colony. Said celebrations involve a ball... Unfortunately, nobody on the Enterprise knows ballroom dancing!
Pairings: James T. Kirk/Khan Noonien Singh
Disclaimer: Nothing in this fiction belongs to me.
As the Enterprise dropped out of warp near Aditya, Jim caught himself fidgeting again.
Although resettling the Augments somewhere in the neutral zone had been his idea, he had never thought he would visit their world: he thought Khan resented his meddling in their final fate, not to mention the utter humiliation of having to depend on a mere human to save his crew... Yet, according to the admirality, Governor Singh had specifically asked for him.
“The ship is stable and orbiting the planet, sir.”
“Well done, Mr. Sulu. Lt. Uhura?”
“Ground control is hailing us, sir. Patching the call through to the main screen.”
Jim unconsciously gripped the chair's armrest. “Proceed.”
Much to his relief, it wasn't Governor Singh who looked out of the screen, but a dark-haired woman whose impossibly beautiful feature and the deep scar running down her cheek clearly marked her as an Augment.
“Aditya Ground Control, Officer Mahi speaking.”
“This is Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise,” Jim said, falling back in the well-known pattern. “We are here as official representatives of the United Federation of Planets for the celebration of Aditya's fifth anniversary.”
“Welcome, Enterprise, we were expecting you. It is an honour to have you here for this happy occasion.”
“The honour is all ours, I assure you.”
“We have not received requests for the planetside landing and accomodations of your crew. If you wanted to grant them shore leave, we would be happy to have them join us.”
Jim didn't have to look at his First Officer to know Spock had suddenly tensed – for all his claims that Vulcan did not, in fact, get tense.
“Thank you for your offer, but we have already arranged for shore leave at Hyperion. We have our orders.”
“I understand. If there is anything else you need, please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of my staff. On behalf of the Free Planet of Aditya and Governor Singh, I welcome you to our world. We'll be expecting to see you and your senior crew at the Anniversary Banquet and Ball at 1900 hours. Aditya Ground Control out.”
“Copy, Enterprise out.” It took a couple of seconds for Officer Madhi's words to sink in. “Wait a minute, did she say ball?!”
She had said “ball”. The program said “ball.” When it came down to it, their blasted personal invitations said “ball.” There was absolutely no escaping this.
On the bright side, he wasn't the only one quacking in his boots: the whole bridge crew looked faintly worried, with the exception of Lieutenants Darwin and Vignale (silver medalists at the last Interforces Dance Competition for Argentine Tango, of course they weren't worried).
Jim had half a mind to organize an emergency dance lesson, but a quick glance to their schedule revealed it wasn't feasible: they'd have to try and make it through the evening without embarrassing Starfleet and offending the Adityans. How hard could it possibly be?
Jim kept a smile on his face as he internally went through all the curses and swearwords he knew, . He should have known better than to relax, even if everything, up to that moment, had been going well: they had beamed down without accidents (i.e. Being ambushed), Officer Mahi had lead them into a tall white room with a long buffet on one side and lines of chairs all around the walls, they had been announced to the other Augm– Adityans and greeted very cordially by Governor Singh...
And then the dancing had started – because this was a fucking ball and they were all fucking screwed and the Admirality was going to roast them on a slow fire, but seriously, Jim would have liked to know what they would have done in his place.
He and his crew were pretty much huddled in a corner, staring as the Augments glided up and down the floor or spun so fast it made him dizzy just to look at them. And the way they stood! That couldn't be done by normal humans, not without falling over or straining their backs – even Bones was with him on that one, if the way he kept muttering about spines was any indication.
On the dancefloor, the Augments slid to a stop in perfect time with the music and bowed to each other, most couples exchanging partners for the next song – something slow with a very clear beat.
As the dancers changed position to something a bit more comfortable-looking and much, much closer, Lt. Darwin and Lt. Vignale both give an excited gasp.
“Do you think that's...?”
“The Lost Forms, it must be! Quick, do you have your PADD?”
Two Adytians, a man and a woman, suddenly approached them, nodding a respectful greeting to Kirk before addressing directly the two Lieutenants. “Do you know the Argentine Tango?”
“Only the modern version, I'm afraid.” Lt. Darwin replied.
The Adytian woman smiled and turned to Lt. Vignale, offering him her hand. “Would you care for a dance?”
The man also offered his hand to Darwin. “May I have the honour, Lieutenant?”
Both officers quickly glanced at him out of the corner of their eyes: it took Jim a second to realize they were asking for permission. He quickly nodded and watched as the Augments lead them to the dancefloor, determined not to let them out of his sight.
“It's good to see your crew enjoying the festivities, Captain.” A deep, well-known voice spoke up somewhere on his right, almost making him jump out of his chair.
“Khan – I mean, Governor Singh, good evening,” he could already feel Uhura glaring at his back for his slip. “Thank you for inviting us, it's really a lovely party.”
Khan's lips turned in a small, deceptively soft smile, “It's the least we could do. None of us has forgotten it was your contribution that made this possible. We are all very grateful for your help.”
Jim felt himself blushing under his intense gaze. “It was nothing. Any decent Starfleet officer would have done the same.”
Khan shrugged “Forgive me if I'm not convinced...but let's talk of something else, this discussion is a bit too serious for a ballroom. You officers are very good dancers.” He said, turning to look at Vignale and Darwin.
Jim didn't know what they were doing, but it looked complicated. “Yes, they are.”
“It's not a common hobby nowadays, is it?”
“Not this kind of dancing, not really. We're more club people.” He almost laughed when Khan sneered. “Oh, come on! I thought you were from the original 80ies!”
“Disco sucks,” Khan replied calmly. “Ballroom dancing is more elegant and pleasant.”
“And more difficult.”
“Actually, it isn't.”
Jim couldn't help but laugh a little. “Well, you would say so, being better than us mere humans and all.”
“You forget humans invented ballroom dancing – and I confess I've always had some difficulties with the polka.”
“The polka? Which one is it?”
“The fast one in 2/4.” Blank look of incomprehension. “The one when we turn a lot?”
“There's at least two dances where you turn a lot,” Jim replied.
“You're thinking of the Viennese waltz: there are only turns and change steps and it's in 3/4. The polka is the one with the chassés.” Another blank look. “Sideways steps at the beginning and then lots of turns?”
“Oh, ok, I think I got it now.” Jim looked back to the dancefloor. “That's not really helping your case about the beauty of ballroom dancing.”
“Really? I'm surprised you'd say such a thing.”
Jim turned to look at him and found himself trapped by piercing blue eyes. “Really? Why is that?”
Khan smiled slowly. “There's a certain... pleasure, I'd say, associated with mastering something difficult. Don't you agree?”
Jim swallowed hard and forced himself to look back to the dancefloor. “No, that's true.”
“In that case, may I have the next dance?”
His crew gasped behind him.
“Excuse me?!” It came out as a squeak, damnit, Bones was never going to let him live this down.
“Come on, Captain, don't tell me you are afraid to try something new?” Khan offered him his hand, his eyes sparkling. “I promise I'll be gentle”
“I'm not afraid,” Jim grabbed his hand, ignoring both the second part of his sentence and the blush spreading on his cheeks. “Lead the way, Governor.”
Khan's smile looked vaguely predatory. “It will be my pleasure,” he purred as he pulled Kirk to the side, making sure they remained at the edge of the dancefloor and out of the way of the other dancers.
Jim, whose previous experiences with any kind of slow dancing had been of the universal “hold on and sway” variety, unthinkingly went to put his arms around Khan's waist, but his hands were intercepted.
Khan pulled him even closer, placing his right hand high on Jim's back and clasping Jim's right hand in his left. That left his other hand overing uncertainly – Jim's eyes unconsciously slid down to Khan's chest.
“Your left hand ought to be on my arm, but my shoulder will do.”
Jim nodded wordlessly and obeyed. He hadn't how close the dancers actually were – it almost felt like an embrace...
Jim desperately tried to think of something else. “Which dance is this?”
“A slow waltz. The basic step is very easy: take a step backwards with your right foot, like this...” Jim did, right as Khan stepped forward with his left foot. “That's one. Good, now on two your left foot goes to the side – like this, good. On three close with your right foot... Don't raise it from the floor, glide. Then you do all over again, but starting with your right foot.”
“Right...That doesn't sound too difficult...”
“Shall we try again? One...Two...Three, One...Two...”
Jim managed another sequence before he fumbled on his own feet.
“Shift your weight on two, not on three. The closing foot always starts.”
“So there's a trick...” Jim whispered back, determined to get it right.
Jim managed to cover half the room without stumbling.
“Very good, Captain. Shall we try with the music?”
Jim was about to ask if they were not before, but wisely reconsidered. “Of course.”
“Don't worry, I'll still count the steps. Ready? One, two, three, one, two, three – slow down when you close – one, two, three...”
Jim was definitely getting the hang of it, which meant that as soon as he stopped concentrating solely on the steps, he noticed how Khan's leg brushed between his own – not high enough to be indecent, but he was definitely aware of it now...
Jim stumbled again.
“Are you alright, Captain?” Khan asked as they started again.
“Fine,” Jim replied between gritted teeth.
“Feel free to grab onto me if you slip.”
“Is it likely to happen?” It came out as a Bones-worthy growl, but he was past caring.
“Not with the basic step. Don't worry, I'll take good care of you.”
Jim felt himself blushing again. He tried to concentrate back on the steps, but he couldn't stop feeling Khan's body so close to his own, the warmth of his hand on his back... Jim could swear he had gotten less intimate with people he'd actually slept with.
It seemed like the music would never end, until, suddenly, it did – or at least Jim thought it sudden. He had barely heard it at all, with Khan's soft, dangerously sexy voice right in his ear as he kept counting the steps for him...
Khan gently took his arm and started leading him back to his crew, as though they were in a Regency novel.
“What do you think of your new experience, Captain?”
There was a hint of promise in his voice... Jim pushed the thought away, trying to find an answer that didn't involve the words “sexy,” “erotic,” or any other synonim. “It was very...interesting.”
Khan didn't grin, yet he still looked like the cat that got the canary, even with his whole landing party (except Darwin and Vignale, who appeared to be taking notes on whatever a group of Augments was saying) openly glaring at him.
If their looks could have killed, there would have been nothing left of Khan but a pile of smoking ashes.
“I hope you'll be willing to repeat it later, then... Perhaps you'd care to try a tango?”
“I, er...” His face felt on fire. Fuck, he must have been redder than the Academy uniforms!
“There's no need to look like that. If I were evil, I'd have asked you for a Viennese waltz.”
Jim would have argued with that, but they had reached the rest of the Enterprise crew and they looked ready to cause a diplomatic accident, the Admirality be damned. Khan released his arm and stepped back, not looking the least bit concerned.
“Thank you for the dance, Captain. It has been a pleasure.”
Before Jim could put together a suitable platitude, Khan took his right hand and raised it to his lips, brushing the lightest of kisses against his knuckles. All his thoughts suddenly ground to a halt.
Somewhere behind him, there was another collective gasp and a thud that sounded suspiciously like somebody (say, Bones) trying to raise from his chair and being forcibly pushed back down.
Khan straightened up, nodded to the other officers and walked away with a perfectly innocent air – the bastard!
Jim collapsed on the closest empty chair, his heart beating too fast and his cheeks aflame.
“Not a word,” Jim muttered, glaring at Khan's retreating back. “Seriously. Not a single word. And if any of you filmed that, I'll throw you out of the airlock.”
Uhura, as usual, ignored him. “Do you think he was serious about that second dance?”
Jim whimpered and hid his face in his hands, wondering if the answer would be spontaneous combustion.
Authors' notes: Don't believe Khan, he is evil. And a flirt. Poor Jim doesn't stand a chance.
If you'd like a mini-soundtrack, I imagine Khan and Kirk were dancing either to Annie's song slow waltz or to "Eternity Melody slow waltz" - very pretty songs, slow waltzes tend to be a bit too depressing at times.
The name "Aditya" for the planet is borrowed by the works of one of my favourite science fiction writers, H. Beam Piper.