DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Catherine Kay and is copyright (c) 2001 by Catherine Kay. Rated PG-13.

PMS, or Only the Lonely

Catherine Kay

"This isn't an office, it's hell with fluorescent lighting!" scowled Christine as she caught a look at herself in the mirror in Sickbay. "Lieutenant Garroway was right! Damn stupid place to hang a mirror." Christine fumed as she carried the stack of reports into McCoy's office and dropped them from a distance higher than necessary onto his desk. She had the pleasure of seeing him give a startled jump.

"Ummm," McCoy hummed uncertain what response would be the safest. Ever since Christine had gone on a diet the tension in Sickbay had been almost unbearable. And it was getting worse by the minute as by his calculations Christine was nearing her period and chocolate was of course foresworn.

"Thank you?" McCoy said hesitantly.

Christine gave him a dark look and left. McCoy breathed a sigh of relief but his reprieve was going to be short lived he knew unless he could figure out a way to get her distracted and out of his hair.

After some consideration he called Spock. The Vulcan owed him big time when McCoy covered for him with the Captain on that idiotic move with Garth. Spock had been suffering from headaches and had been higher than a kite on pain killers. He shouldn't have been going down there at all. But the way McCoy looked at it, all's well that ends well. And there is nothing like having something on the Vulcan to occasionally make his life easier.

* * *

Christine sighed as she settled into a hot, rich bubble bath. The soft candle light flickered form the aroma therapy candles she had managed to purchase last year for a Christmas present for Lt. Uhura. At the last minute she had decided to keep them for herself when she discovered that Uhura really liked Scotch Whiskey Single Malt. As luck would have had it, she had gotten a bottle from Mr. Scott after she had nursed him through the Tarkalian flu. Although Mr. Scott was in no danger of dying, he had always claimed he nearly did. Christine could understand that as one of the little seen complications were swollen testicles. And unfortunately, Mr. Scott had come down with that rare complication. They had managed to save his virility and Scotty said that he was forever in her debt.

As the strains of soft mood music was drifting over her and she was just beginning to let relax the tight ball her stomach had been in all day, half from hunger, half from just the idea of being on a diet, there was a discordant shrill of the door buzzer that immediately resulted in her stomach back in a tight ball with the new addition of clenched teeth.

"Whatever you were looking for, you missed!" she yelled as the doors rolled open.

She blinked in surprise as Spock stood there absorbing this statement. There was a pregnant pause and then he said, "I assure you, Miss Chapel, that I did correctly connect with the door buzzer."

As she stood there in her damp robe dripping bubbles on the floor and feeling like a complete ass, she said in a somewhat normal voice that she dug up from her pre-diet days, "Um. What can I do for you, Mr. Spock?"

"Dr. McCoy asked me to come check on you," Spock said with an eyebrow on the rise as the scent from the candles wafted into the room. Lavender, he thought to himself in faint horror. He was allergic to lavender and not only would he have burning eyes in a minute but it caused hot flashes and bouts of insuppressible irritability.

"Not all men are annoying," Christine muttered angrily to herself. "Some are dead."

Spock, blinking his eyes rapidly to delay the reaction as long as he could, rejoined, "I assure you, Miss Chapel, that Dr. McCoy is only concerned for your welfare."

"He is, is he? Well why isn't he here himself?" Christine's temper was flaring again. Another damn pity date, she thought not sure who she was angrier at ... Spock, who was too damn dense to get it, or the others who were getting their rocks off doing this.

"I believe that Dr. McCoy said that he was unable to check in on you himself as he had a staff meeting to conduct," Spock said with increasing agitation.

"Spock. Isn't it strange that Dr. McCoy would have a staff meeting and I'm not there?" Christine said, deciding to put an end to these ridiculous nocturnal visits. There had been three in the last 2 months.

"Well, I'm asnbomg fwaat the dpretgknt saids " Spock said suddenly holding his nose and the rest was muffled.

"What?" Christine said.

"I'm assuming that it was a meeting of department heads," Spock said a little more slowly and forcefully.

"That's it. You assume that it's a meeting with the department heads. What am I?" Christine demanded hands on hips.

"You're just the nursing staff," Spock said shortly.

"That's right, mister! I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me!" grated Christine. "I'll remember that when you come in for your physical in two weeks," she hissed as she spun on her heel and headed into the bathroom.

As she went in and half turned to take off her robe, she jumped, startled, as she realized that for some strange reason Spock had followed her in.

"YOU! ... Off my planet!" she yelled as she pointed a finger toward the door, resulting in her fingertip grazing his sternum.

Spock's eyes were dark and stormy. This registered somewhere in Christine's glucose deprived brain but the rage she was in stopped her from taking adequate notice. As the flush to his face also failed to register properly as a Red Alert.

Spock grabbed her by the wrist of her outstretched arm and yanked her close. "What is wrong with you?!" he hissed.

"I plead contemporary insanity," Christine snapped. "To think that women and nurses would actually be treated with respect in the 23rd century must qualify me for a nice rest somewhere in a nice asylum on a peaceful planet where there are no Vulcans."

"We need to get out of here!" Spock said coming to himself for just a minute as the pain in his eyes distracted him from his flash of anger.

"I have a computer, a vibrator, and pizza delivery! WHY should I leave the house!" Christine yelled in frustration, now beating on his chest to try to get him to let go of her arm. But it was stuck fast in his grip.

Not replying at all, he pulled her out of the bathroom, she struggling every step of the way. The fact that she couldn't even slow him down infuriated her even more.

But the fury turned to horrified embarrassment as he kept going through her living area and toward the door.

"Wait!" she screamed now making him drag her as she clawed at her hand locked tight in his grasp. The door opened and so did her robe to the gawking eyes and dropped jaws that watched the whole fiasco of Spock dragging the head nurse down the Officer's hall to his own quarters.

Kirk hearing the commotion popped out of his suite and said, "Problem Mr. Spock? Nurse Chapel?"

Before Christine could open her mouth, Spock said, "Not at all, sir. I'm handling something for Dr. McCoy."

Kirk said, "I see. Well carry on then," giving Spock a wink.

And with that Spock had pulled Christine through the door of the Vulcan's quarters before Christine could even make a plea for help.

"Let me go!" Christine screamed at him, now on her feet and fighting like mad.

"I can't," Spock said stonily.

Christine stopped struggling, her chest heaving as she glared at him. The only sound in the room was her heavy breathing.

"It seems you are calming down," Spock said after a few minutes.

"Actually, I'm trying to imagine you with a personality," Christine zinged back, angry but no longer screaming.

"I have calmed down then," Spock said soberly.

It took a second for that statement to sink in. "Huh?" Christine said.

"Lavender," Spock said simply.

It took another minute to put together what Spock was saying. With a groan she pulled her robe together and flopped down on his bed. Of course, lavender. And he was allergic, she remembered. But then suddenly the actions of the last five minutes left her confused.

"Why didn't you just leave?" she asked him puzzled.

"I could not. You were obviously in trouble as Dr. McCoy had told me. I do not leave my friends in trouble," Spock said seriously.

Christine opened her eyes wide. "Friends." He had said, "Friends."

Part of her leapt in joy to be included in part of Spock's inner circle as another part of her sank into the depths of despair. Only friends.

When Christine said nothing, Spock continued. "It has come to my attention of late from ... several sources that you have not been yourself. Indeed, tonight, I can see this is so. May I ask the cause of your ... disharmony?"

Spock was feeling definitely calmer but also a little shaken by all that had transpired. He was afraid to touch her again. Afraid that he had hurt her. But she was obviously emotionally distressed and people had asked him repeatedly to aid her even though he had told them that he was the least qualified on board to do so. Everyone had disagreed with him. He wasn't sure why.

Christine raked a hand through her slightly damp curls, making her more beautiful, Spock noticed and then the next thought was if the lavender was still affecting him.

"I guess it's this stupid diet," Christine said a little apologetically, relieved that she didn't have to reveal why she was on a diet. "I just wanted to take a few pounds off so that I could wear this dress I bought for the annual Christmas Party. It's illogical, I know..." she said lamely as she raised a hand to forestall any comment in agreement.

"I don't understand," Spock said. "You bought the wrong size dress and so now you are starving yourself to fit it?"

"Women do that all the time, Spock. Human, illogical women that is," Christine amended with some defeat, deciding that the diet was not worth trying allure a man determined to marry his own kind. His choice was only logical.

Christine sighed.

Spock studied her in her robe and sat down next to her. He took her hand and pushed her sleeve up to look at the wrist he had so ruthlessly pulled on. There was some faint bruising starting. He gently stroked the inside of her wrist and looking into her eyes fully he said, "I'm sorry if I have hurt you, Christine."

Spock was suddenly putting together not only the last five minutes but also the reason other people had insisted that he was the only one to aid her. He had heard that love was blind. But now understood how blind he had been to his own love. It wasn't logical. In fact it was a flash that he had only heard of in ancient literature ... insight ... foresight... He wasn't sure which. But he KNEW that he was right for Christine and Christine was right for him. They were meant to be together.

Christine was glad she was sitting on the bed because her knees would have buckled from his intense scrutiny.

Spock's hands traveled up to her shoulders and toward the front of the robe. He began to push the robe slowly from her shoulders opening the front of it to expose her breasts. Never once did he lose eye contact with her.

"What are you doing?" Christine asked slightly panicked. This didn't make any sense.

Spock drew her up by her shoulders and steered her around his bed so that she was standing in front of his closet door which had a full length mirror on the front.

"You don't need a diet," he whispered softly into her ear. "If you lost any more you would be detracting from your beauty."

And with that he firmly pushed open the robe from her slightly protesting fingers to expose her nude body completely underneath to the mirror in front of them.

He brushed a hand along the nape of her neck and said softly, "You have a beautiful long neck. It needs muscle though to fill out the shape. You don't want to lose any more muscle. It's perfect the way it is."

His hands traveled to her shoulders as he breathed in her scent from her hair and said, "Soft and creamy. Beautiful to the touch."

His hands traveled lower and he cupped her breasts as he finally succumbed to what he was doing, giving himself over to it completely. "Too little weight would ruin the fullness of your breasts."

As his hands traveled lower still, Christine shut her eyes unable to meet his intense gaze in the mirror anymore. Convinced that somehow it was a dream and that she had fallen asleep in the tub to drown. Death was not as horrible as it seemed. At least not death by drowning and she WAS drowning.

When his hands passed her waist she shivered. Spock noticed it and felt himself begin to shake. "Hips. Beautiful, full, the sign of fertility. How could you endanger your fertility so? It's not logical," he whispered huskily.

"All the women on your planet are thin and lithe and beautiful. I know you're attracted to them. I wanted you to be attracted to me," Christine murmured. This was her death dream. She was going to make the most of it.

Spock smiled against her cheek. A soft smile. An endearing smile. A smile she didn't see because her eyes were closed. The only surrender to shyness in the possibility that this could somehow be real.

"How many Vulcan women have you seen?" Spock asked lightly.

"Well, I've seen T'Pring and pictures of T'Pau and the Romulan commander who is an off-shoot of your species, and an instructor at college," Christine answered now opening her eyes to turn to look at him.

"Four. Quite a biological sample," Spock said with an almost smile.

Christine found herself grinning sheepishly. "So if it isn't my looks, what is it?" she asked him.

"A bit of logic," Spock said.

"The fact that I'm not logical?" Christine guessed.

"No. The fact that I wasn't ready to marry. And you are for marrying," Spock said.

"Is that a proposal?" Christine said her mouth falling open even though she knew it was a dream.

"No," Spock said. And Christine's face fell a bit.

"This is."

And with that he kissed her deeply and she could suddenly hear his mind voice asking, Christine, beloved, touching and touched, do you await me?

Christine dredged up the memory of that awful day. I await thee in the appointed place.

He came fully into her mind then ... bonding with body as well. Wiping away time and fears and hurts.

* * *

Christine came awake with a start. Something felt different. For one thing the air was hotter than she liked. I must have gotten out of the tub and flopped into bed, she thought to herself groggily and that's when an arm suddenly flopped across her. "Eek!" she yelled in surprise.

Spock said groggily, "Do you always awaken with a yell?"

Christine just stammered, "It wasn't a dream!"

Spock frowning said, "Of course not. Life is not a dream. You definitely need breakfast, wife." And he rose to get some.

Later that day, Christine sailed into sickbay and slammed McCoy's door open. McCoy recoiled behind the desk saying, "Now, Christine. It was for your own good. I couldn't figure out any other way to get you -- ooooph!" was all he could finish saying as Christine swooped down on him and gave him the biggest hug and kiss McCoy had in a long time.

"Well," he said when they broke apart from the near death squeeze she had embraced him in and cleared his throat. "Does this mean we're engaged?" he teased.

"Nope. I'm already taken," Christine said and whirled out of the office practically dancing.

"Well, that big old elf," McCoy said to himself.

"Congratulations!" he yelled after Christine.

"Out of the dog house at last," he chuckled as he poured himself a well deserved drink.