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) 2002 by Catherine Kay. This story is Rated PG-13.

The Sky is Dark

Catherine Kay

The sky is dark, black endless with the coldest points of light imaginable. They say space is cold. But the black depths look warm compared to the cold lights of the stars. Why? Is it because I wish to hide in the inky velvet stillness? The universe's endless night might be large enough to wrap myself up in so as not to face my uncertainties and fears.

Grace, back home, thought I was crazy. In these darkest moments of self-reflection, there's a voice in my head that agrees with her. What am I doing here?

"You have no self control, Christine," Eloise Chapel said two years ago in a voice dripping with disapproval. "I know you love Roger, but he is either hopelessly lost, dead or in the arms of another. You're bright and they have offered you his research position. A smart woman would take it."

But I explained that I couldn't do that to him. Be so small as to cheat on him by taking his highly sought after and hard won research position at the Institute. It would be like stabbing him in the back. And I love him. That position was his. But it had been two years and the Institute, after sending many search parties, had decided to pronounce him in breach of contract. His family had declared him dead after launching their own investigation. I know I should move on but something in me couldn't and can't let go, can't believe he's truly gone from my life.

So I lowered myself to Star Fleet's Head nurse position to go find Roger where others had failed. It wasn't a problem. I had treated Admiral Nogura's son for a rare parasitic infection he had picked up from his exotic pet from Nura Puana Prime. The condition had stumped all the other medical experts. We had become fast friends. Nogura's whole world is his son. He was extremely happy to put an extremely over qualified person into sickbay. He seemed a little anxious to put someone in sickbay that was more "traditional" as he put it.

I saw what he meant after working with Dr. McCoy for three weeks. Dr. McCoy would be okay but for the drinking. He's playing it awfully close to alcoholism. And his respect for Star Fleet is practically nonexistent. Makes me wonder how he got this position. I guess he has friends in high places as well.

It hasn't been all bad. Although Dr. McCoy, CMO, can be a real pain in the ass sometimes. And he is a complete dictatorial control freak. I thought that kind of Doctor-Nurse relationship went out 200 years ago. But he is one of the best diagnosticians and forensic scientists I have ever seen. His knowledge of pharmacology is superb. And in the lab we work well together. It's only when he gets an actual patient that he becomes a dinosaur.

So here I am writing reports for Nogura on Dr. McCoy, which of course no one knows about. And looking for my fiance which Nogura told me is a good possibility since he said he would send Enterprise in the vicinity that Roger was last heard from.

Sometimes when the brass on this cruise get too pushy, I just smile because I know that Nogura's pushing them around because of me. People have mistaken that for a Pollyanna cheerfulness. A dumb, grinning blond. Blond I'm not. Dumb I'm not. And that's what is making me so annoyed with myself right now.

"Spock."

One word and that word is trouble. I have arranged the last two years carefully. That kind of string pulling isn't easy. And it was all to find Roger the love of my life. So it all makes sense except this ridiculous attraction I find for Spock.

It's true that he reminds me of Roger in many ways. They are both extremely intelligent, precise, dedicated men. They are both scientists in the highest form of that profession. They are even both brunettes. But that's where it ends. And for the life of me, I can't understand why I am attracted to Spock. It's not like I'm the adulterous kind. I've seen those kinds of women. Playing with men like choosing chocolates in a box. The worst are the ones that take a small bite and put the half eaten chocolate back in the box. What remains is permanently ruined for anyone else. No. I'm not one of those women. Yet here I am having all these "feelings." I love. And God help me. I seem to love two men.

Does Roger feel this betrayal?

A therapist would tell me that I'm using Spock as a substitute Roger. But that's not it. Or is it? Is it because I can't have one and I'm thinking of that one all the time? I have been losing hope as we have been cruising the area that Roger was last seen for 9 months with no trace. Is it because I need a confirmation for myself that a man like Roger could exist? Is it transference?

It's tearing me apart.

What will I feel when I see Roger? How can there ever be trust between us when I'm not sure I can completely trust my heart any more? We'll he see that I have changed?

"Nurse Chapel to the Bridge."

"Chapel here. Is there an injury?"

"No. We've come across a beacon from a scientific research mission ship. Roger Korby was in charge of the mission. And our records indicate that should we discover anything about Roger Korby to inform you and include you in the rescue party?"

I'm trembling. Whether from fear or excitement I can't tell. I can barely hit the call back button. I manage somehow and also manage not to weep. "Yes that's right. I'll be right there."

In that brief minute my world has righted itself. I have found Roger where everyone else had failed. And in that span of time my feelings for Spock disappear as if they've never been. Transference then. My world has finally been restored to me. A star, warm and bright looms closer through the windows as I exit the lounge to be reunited at last with my love. Soon this world of boredom, deception and loneliness will be gone and I can go back to my real life. They way it was suppose to be. The way I was suppose to be.