DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Karen A. Bates and is reprinted from Nuages Five, published by Checkmate Press, 1986. Checkmate Press is the property of Karen A. Bates. This story is Rated PG-13.

Dream/Reality & Aftermath

Karen A. Bates-Crouch

Dream

Christine stirred restlessly in sleep, gradually waking into that state of limbo where reality and fantasy mingled freely. Something was out of place, but she couldn't mentally focus on it. A muffled noise. Lying as still as possible, she strained to hear it again. Certain her imagination was playing those middle of the night tricks on her, Chris classified it with the plethora of ship's noises that assaulted one's sleep at any hour. Then the chill raced up her spine. There was someone in her room. //Nonsense,// she told herself. //There is no possible way for anyone to get in here. The door is locked and the cabin was empty when I went to bed. There is no one in here.//

The words, logically and rationally thought out, went racing away again as the heart stopping fear swept over her. She could just feel the presence standing over her. Terror paralyzed her into immobility. The screams were caught in her throat and the muscles commanded to take her away from all this locked into place, refusing to move. //No ... no ... please, God, don't let this be happening...//

A hand pressed against her mouth and a heavy body covered hers. Chris struggled, fighting to free herself from whoever it was. Finally, one of her pinioned arms came free and connected with her attacker's head. There was a delayed reaction of shock as the truth struck home. Her hand had felt an ear, a pointed ear. //Spock? No, it can't be Spock. God, what's going on? Why is this happening?// Her own thoughts became more jumbled as he melded with her in the heat of his passion. His will became hers and she could no longer even defend herself, instead, finding herself complying, because of the indomitable control he had over her through the meld.

Later, Christine had the fleeting impression of enormous guilt mixed in the strange words and images. Gradually, her own pain overshadowed the alien thoughts. Then, a familiar gentle voice telling her she would feel no more pain and in the morning would remember only a bad dream. Christine was vaguely aware of the warm body slipping from the bed, leaving an emptiness behind. Heavy eyelids closed and sleep overtook her weary body.

The alarm went off and Christine groggily came awake. Odd memories filtered into her tired brain. A dream. A dream in which Spock had come to her in the night. //Pull it together, girl. Even your dreams are becoming crazy because of him. In one week's time, he's thrown soup at you in public, you've found out he's really been married all this time to someone else and didn't even bother to tell you, and now this... Imagining he's raped you in the middle of the night because of residual effects from the pon farr. Pon farr? What kind of word is that? Now you're even making up words...//

She shuddered slightly at the vestiges of the dream that remained. Glancing at the chronometer, she estimated there was just enough time for a quick shower before McCoy and sickbay would be demanding her attention.

Reality

Spock could no longer fight it. The temporary respite brought about by the kalifee had worn off and the full effects of the pon farr were raging out of control. The rational thinking Vulcan mind was buried away deep in the recesses of sanity as the primitive emotions rose to the surface and took over. He padded down the empty corridor on silent feet to the cabin where he could find relief. Using his position of First Officer, he overrode the lock cycle and entered the darkened quarters. Steady breathing in the other room told him she was sound asleep, unconscious of his presence.

His hand accidentally brushed some papers from the desk and the breathing pattern altered. There was no more time, she was awake. He could feel the heat of his lust fanning his body as he viewed her form in the bed. With deft movements, he disrobed and gathered her body into his arms, ignoring her feeble attempts to ward him off. His mind violated hers in a forced meld even as his body did the same. Spock ripped away the very essence of her resistance and replaced it with a desire equal to his own.

After satiation came the slow return of sanity, the penetrating throb of her pain bringing back the reality of his actions. //What have I done? I have raped the one woman who would have given herself freely, would have come to me out of love. I had never been free to accept it before today because of the bonding, and now... I am sorry, Christine, and am well deserving of your hate.//

With gentle words and thoughts, he carefully erased the violence of his actions from her memory and strengthened her resolves to break away from him and lead a life of her own. Sadly, he slipped from the bed, feeling the warmth of her body replaced by the cooler air of the cabin and an emptiness inside of him from the loss of this one he knew he must give up for her sake. In the morning she would remember only a bad dream, never knowing it had been reality. In the morning he would remember the reality and know it would forever haunt his dreams.

Aftermath

"There must be some mistake. The lab must have mixed up…" Her words trailed off at the shaking of McCoy's head.

"No mistake, Christine. You're pregnant, about three months along. I did a cross-check on the tests and readings myself."

"I just can't believe it. It's not possible. I haven't been sleeping with … this is ridiculous!" Her voice was defiant as she refused to accept the evidence.

McCoy slowly stacked the lab results on the corner of his desk, choosing his next words with care. "Chris… I have no intention of prying into your affairs…" For one of the few times in his professional career the physician was at a loss of exactly how to proceed. He'd worked alongside this woman for many years and had never doubted her veracity, but test results of this nature could not be dismissed lightly. She said there was literally no way she could be pregnant, yet she was. She was sleeping with no one, but someone was the father. "Chris, the spectroanalysis shows the fetus as manifesting a definite Vulcan phenotype. Spock…"

"Spock?" The very suggestion struck her as ludicrous and she chuckled slightly. "You can't be serious! He wouldn't come within ten feet of me."

"Perhaps on a shore leave, maybe while we were at Altair 7, the timing would be about right--"

She shook her head, negating his theory. "I really don't understand how, but since your diagnosis must be correct, I'm going to have to make some definite plans."

* * *

The door buzzer interrupted her late disembarking at Starbase 8 in the morning. Figuring it was McCoy or Uhura, Christine called out a negligent 'come in'. She turned to see Spock enter. He spoke without preamble.

"You carry my child."

"What are you talking about?"

"The child within you is mine."  The words were flat, totally devoid of inflection.

"Terrific. You walk in here and calmly announce you're the father of my child. Would you mind telling me how you gained this information?" The frustration and anger caused by her predicament had worn her to an edge since the encounter with McCoy a week ago. Surely he wouldn't have told Spock…

"I have complete access to all computer records. When your transfer came through, I did a routine check."

"How convenient. Tell me, does this same computer of yours also walk around the ship impregnating women during off-hours? You'll have to do better than that, Mr. Spock. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to finish packing." Christine stopped mid-motion, realizing her behavior and conduct toward a senior officer was inexcusable, no matter what the circumstances. "I'm sorry, Mr. Spock," she said simply.

His stiffness remained as he searched for words to explain what had happened. The humiliation and embarrassment was taking a toll on his already thin thread of composure. "I … took you in the night… after leaving Vulcan 3.2 months ago. Vestiges of the pon farr were still in my system." Spock found himself unable to meet her eyes. "Because T'Pring divorced me, there was no … physical relief … and I lost control," he finished lamely. He anticipated her unasked question, "I melded with you and forced the memory to be erased."

She sat down on the edge of the bed, trying to absorb his words. It certainly would explain much. The dream of such an event that kept coming back at odd intervals in her sleep, the alien words, two of which now had substance. Pon farr. Such words did exist. Things started coming into focus at last. "So now what?"

"The chi ld is mine, I will marry you."

"No."

"No?" Spock was confused. "Is that not what you have always wanted? I am offering--"

"Offering?" Christine came to her feet in rage. "Offering me what? I was never good enough for you -- always avoiding me like the plague, watching me make a fool out of myself in front of the rest of the Ship, but you didn't care -- just as long as you remained the untouchable dignified First Officer. No, the child is mine."

"It is mine, also. I am the father and have the right--"

"The right? The right to what? You come sneaking in here in the middle of the night and rape me because you haven't the guts to do it like anyone else. And then you expect me to acknowledge you as the father and fall at your feet, thanking you for all this," Christine lightly touched her stomach with one hand and pointed at the confused mess of packing with the other. "Forget it. I'm leaving this and you behind me."

"No."

"What will you do? Pull rank and force me to stay with you? Remember, that same rank can also be used against you. I'm sure you could eventually work around raping a junior officer, but it'll always be on your record. Do you really want that?" Christine couldn't believe what she was saying. She had wanted this man for so long and now was threatening to ruin his career, his very way of life. How had it come to all this? Couldn't he just let her go, let her build a new life for herself and the child? The stony look on his face told her his answer before he even spoke.

"There can be no excuse for my behavior. I lost control which is unforgivable, but that is not the point. It is the child's life which concerns me. I have offered you marriage, I see no reason why you should not accept."

"Spock, I desired you for a long time. I thought you were the epitome of what a man should be. Intelligent, caring," she held up her hand at his movement, "don't deny it, I've seen the kind of man you are. When Sargon placed your consciousness inside of me I felt the essence of what you are. That is what made me continue hoping for so long. But now I see it was all an illusion. Not that you still don't have those same qualities, you do, but I see now you will never acknowledge them to yourself. I could never marry and live with a man who constantly lived behind a facade, refusing to admit reality. There was no reason you couldn't have come to me that night and asked, I have a feeling I would have understood and accepted, but you didn't. You denied the inevitable to yourself until it was too late, then you had no choice but to act as you did. I still admire and respect you, Spock, but I need more than you can give me."

"I am willing…"

"To change?" Christine smiled sadly. "Forty years of ingrained habits is a great deal to try and adjust. Marriage has to be built on more than what we have ."

"I will not give up the child. It is doubtful there will be others."

"Why not? You're young. There'll be other women in your life." She could almost see the internal struggle to deny her statement. Christine knew there had to be a way to make him realize how much was at stake here. He wouldn't give in easily, the child was too important to him. Odds of the unborn infant even surviving were slim at best and a marriage and life built around something so fragile was suicide for both of them. Only one option remained to her, since the rest of her arguments had failed. It was a gamble, a bluff, but she was depending on those very inner qualities that had attracted her all these years.

Christine allowed her anger to surface again, or at least what appeared as anger. "Spock, I don't want to discuss it anymore. My decision is made and I'm not going to let you bully me into anything. Maybe you don't care what my charges will do to your record, but just remember, the child is within my body and I have the power over whether it lives or dies. That's one decision and action you can't control. You can probably force me to marry you, but if that happens there will be no child, not now, not ever. Do I make myself clear?" She literally held her breath as the violent words struck their intended mark.

"You leave me no choice." There was naked pain in his eyes as he said the final words. "I wish you well, Christine. Good-bye." The door slid shut behind him.

The salty tears left a bitter taste as she wept.

THE END