Fic: Until You Tear It Off Me (Amanda/Sarek)

Title: Until You Tear It Off Me
Author: igrockspock
Pairing: Amanda/Sarek
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Tight, cheap, tacky red dresses serve no logical purpose that Sarek can see. Amanda teaches him otherwise. Title and inspiration from this poem by Kim Addonizio.

Once upon a time, before she had married a Vulcan ambassador, Amanda was not a practical person. She paid a lot to rent a little apartment in a trendy neighborhood, she wore high heels that made her feet ache, and she baked bread at any hour she felt like it -- including midnight. Now she lives in the suburbs in a house large enough to accommodate both of their possessions but small enough not to generate excessive utility bills. Most days she wears flats, and she bakes bread when it can be eaten promptly upon completion and will not disturb her husband's slumber.

It is not a bad life. Apparently, sleeping is good for her, and so is not tripping over possessions that she does not have room to store. Someone always comes home at night to sample her cooking, no matter how bizarre the experiment, and she no longer worries about dying alone and being eaten by her cat. Most importantly, she feels like the sort of person who could be responsible for the life of a small human being...or, more accurately, a small half-human, half-Vulcan. Provided, of course, that genetic engineering allows for such a miracle, but she tries not to dwell on that anxiety. She'd rather think of her life, full, with a husband and a child. She'd never have known it, but the pleasure of wearing impractical shoes to diplomatic functions pales in comparison to the satisfaction of the small sacrifices she makes for love.

It's only, well, there's a red dress she really wants. It's not even a nice red dress. It would be cheap even if it weren't on sale, and it's so tight that even the skimpiest underwear would show through. And she is partial to wearing underwear, always had been, even in her youngest and wildest days. Panties aside, she must address the question of where she would even wear it. And that, oddly, is the point. Address the question. She had never spoken like that, not even in her own head, not even when writing her snootiest research paper. That wasn't who she was; it was who Sarek was. Becoming her husband is not an option. She ought to march into that store right now and pay sixteen credits and leave with a tacky red dress that any red-blooded man would appreciate.

But her husband is not red-blooded. Her husband's blood is green, and that means she will have to explain.

"Wife," he will say, "I do not understand why you have purchased this garment."

She could answer, but he will view this as an opportunity for a 'frank discussion regarding both cultural values and household budgets.'

"The quality of this fabric is poor," he would say. "I believe we have previously agreed to invest in higher quality products rather than purchasing cheap and inferior ones."

Then he would suggest a compromise. Perhaps she could return this dress and purchase an alternative which could be worn to diplomatic functions. He would think that he was helping her. That was what Vulcans did for their mates, help them be logical when they had failed to do it on their own. And yes, she could explain, but it would take a long time, and by the time she was done, that cheap and tacky red dress would be a hell of a lot more trouble than it was worth. Especially when she can't really say why she wants it anyway.

So she doesn't buy it. Well, not for a week anyway. On the seventh day she stares at it hanging in the window of the shop by her office, tears prick at the corners of her eyes -- not exactly because she wants the dress, but because she wants. Sometimes she wants things that are stupid, things that have no logical explanation. Until she married a Vulcan, she had never realized that random wild impulses are what being human means. She cannot give up tacky red dresses without giving up who she is.

So she buys the dress. It is a risk. She does not know that she can endure her husband's questions, the way that his relentless logic makes her desires feel so fucking stupid even when it's not his intent. But then, if he can't see why she would want the dress, perhaps she can show him. After all, it would have been most illogical for Sarek to marry a human when he wanted a Vulcan.

When Sarek comes home, she is on the couch, wearing the dress with a push-up bra underneath. A glass of wine is in her hand and her panties lay in a heap on the floor. To tell the truth, leaving them there embarrasses her a bit. She doesn't need logic to know that it's revolting to put her dirty underwear on the carpet, and there is no need to worry about visible panty lines when only her husband will see her. But with Sarek, it's important to leave clues.

He forgets to take off his jacket when he sees her, which she counts as a minor triumph. His eyebrow raises. He tilts his head.

"I apologize," he says finally, "I have clearly forgotten our planned outing."

Wordlessly, she shakes her head and leans back on the couch, stretching her long, bare legs in front of her. She takes a sip of her wine, knowing how he loves to watch her throat as she swallows. When she is done, she looks at him and raises an eyebrow.

"You desire me to independently determine the reason for your unusual attire."

She nods. The corners of his mouth do not even twitch. She still hears the smile in his voice.

"I believe I will be equal to the task."

He pauses, head tilted slightly in a posture she has privately termed 'data processing.' It does not take him long; it never does.

"You have purchased a revealing garment which does not match your customary style of dress. And yet, you do not intend for others to see it. Therefore, you desired me to see it?"

Amanda rises from the couch and walks toward him slowly. Logic, she thinks, is not so bad. In fact, logic is her friend.

"Do you like it?"

"The cut of the dress displays your...assets most effectively."

She smiles a little, stepping closer. She likes the euphemism; it makes him seem a little coy and a little vulnerable. Not so perfect and logical that they cannot relate.

When she is close enough, he runs one finger over the thin strap on her left shoulder. The touch trails heat over her skin, and through it, she can feel the faint brush of his mind against hers, a sensation she is only slowly learning. He feels as cool and smooth as always, like she has somehow pressed her brain against the wall of a marble building. But underneath that, she can feel a frisson of desire that ignites an answering spark in her own body and mind.

"Forgive me," he says, and she strains to feel some change in the cool recesses of his mind, but there is none. For the moment, logic still holds firm. She stiffens a little, bracing herself for the onslaught of questions to come.

"I do not fully understand the purpose of this garment."

Fully understand. She clings to the qualifier, grateful for the small reassurance that he understands some part of this, that she is not wholly inconvenient and alien and inexplicable. His thumb brushes the hollow under her collarbone, and she clings to that too. He knows what she wants from this; he feels it too. It frightens them both a little, even after all their time together. She does not know that either of them will ever be used to the strange ebb and flow of her lust and his control, or the pressure of their alien minds against one another. The prospect of their formal bonding, six months in the future, terrifies her as much as it reassures her.

She licks her lips and looks into his eyes.

"What do you want to know?"

He leans down, bringing his head closer to hers.

"I presume that you are aware I find you attractive without the aid of provocative attire."

She remembers their first kiss, when he had arrived at her apartment at six thirty in the morning bearing a tray of muffins. She had answered the door with her face creased by sleep, wearing sweatpants and an ancient, bleach-stained hoodie. She used to count the kisses, but they blurred together into an endless procession of snapshots: sweat-stained at the end of a desert hike, mascara smudged at the end of a long reception, bedraggled after being caught in the rain (again) without an umbrella.

She traces her fingers across his face, skirting fearfully around the contact points for a mind meld, even though she is not certain whether she could initiate one or whether he can sense her thoughts now anyway.

"I know."

"I had hoped so. If you are aware that you need not take such extraordinary measures to make yourself attractive, why have you purchased this garment?"

She looks up into his eyes, mouth twisting into a half smile that she knows makes her lips look just a little plumper.

"So you can tear it off me."

Sarek steps back from her, just far enough that he can take in her whole body. Her breath catches in her chest and heat blooms between her thighs at his long, slow glance. He slides one of the straps over her shoulder, fingers trembling almost imperceptibly. He licks his lips before he speaks, a small token of his slowly fading control.

"I would prefer to remove it slowly."

She traces the pointed tip of his ear with her finger before she leans in to whisper, "I find your compromise acceptable" in the most formal Vulcan she can pronounce.

Sarek reaches behind her to turn off the light.
Dear God. This pairing. You writing this pairing. I cannot even... my toes, they are curling.

nemo_r said everything I was going to pretty much.

This is wonderful. Especially Amanda deciding how she can make Sarek see the logic in such a garment. ;)
Amanda. Getting a Freakum Dress. For SAREK.
Oh UNF. :P My brain melted by the hotness of this scene. RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME without being slutty LOL. :D
This put a smile on my face. She made him see her point, yay! :-) Also, how are these two so hot?!
I love your Amanda. She's so real, with all her quirks, so believable. I love that she was wrong about Sarek's reaction; he may not understand human impulses, but he understands her. I really loved this.
Thank you so much! I really love writing her, so I'm glad the characterization here works for you. To be honest, it's exactly the sort of thing I would do -- work myself up over something that turns out not to be a big deal after all.
I have no words other than:

Simply wonderful! *claps excitedly*

I apologize for my lack of meaningful input, but that seems to have escaped me right now.
Ooooh, lovely character piece and very sexy to boot! Hee, I love that Sarek still turns off the lights.
Thank you! I think Sarek would turn off the lights, at least for a couple years - it will take him some time to get comfortable with being sexual.
"You desire me to independently determine the reason for your unusual attire."

She nods. The corners of his mouth do not even twitch. She still hears the smile in his voice.


I love how you write Sarek and Amanda. They grock each other, not so much despite being from different cultures but because of everything they each are and the synergistic couple they make. And I kind of needed a reminder today that people can understand each other at all. Thank you for this.

lovely story . . . also that is my favorite poem . . . i read it five years ago and i reread it every year (if not many more times within that year)
Thank you! I hope the story did justice to the poem. I ran across it pretty recently, but I love it too!
Thank you! I guess you can keep it forever since I won't be deleting it or moving it or anything :)
I love your Amanda more than I can find words to express. This:

Amanda rises from the couch and walks toward him slowly. Logic, she thinks, is not so bad. In fact, logic is her friend.

is a perfect description of her state of mind, the state of her marriage, the state of herself.

I loved how you explore Amanda and her alien husband in this piece, and all I could think about was how alien we always are to our partners and mates, red- or green-blooded, Vulcan or not. Amanda's beauty is her willingness to share herself with her partner. Sarek's response -- the turning off of the light -- is beautiful itself.

Lovely work.

P.S. You're missing an "of" in the following sentence: "I presume that you are aware I find you attractive without the aid provocative attire." Sorry! I notice such things...

Thank you so much! You always leave such lovely feedback. And yes, I do think we are alien to our own partners so often. I confess I've put a lot of my own relationship in here.