DISCLAIMER: Trek isn't mine, the characters aren't mine, the song isn't mine, my sanity isn't mine...Wait, oops, how'd THAT one get in there?? (LOL) Anyway, TPTB can kiss my ever-widening butt. End of story, and beginning of a new one...
Chances are you'll find me somewhere on the road tonight...
The hovercraft glided smoothly over the paved ground, its guidance lights illuminating the dark road in front of it. Inside, a lone male figure sat in the driver's seat, calibrating the direction into the craft's computer. He did not wish to "get lost", even though he had traveled this road many times before. The old city streets led him to the outskirts of town, until he was flying over Ohio flatland. Beneath his vehicle was a faded dirt road that he diligently followed. Nearing the end of the path, he switched off his headlamps and slowed the hovercar down until it came to a gentle stop.
Seems I always end up driving by...
A light went on upstairs in the large house he had parked in front of, and a very feminine-looking shadow stepped in front of the window to peer at the hovercar outside. Just as suddenly as it had appeared, the shadow moved out of the window. He felt somewhat guilty for arriving at this time of night. He made ready to start the car again to leave when the light on the porch turned on and a woman stepped out of the house. For the first time in his life, he caught his breath in appreciation of her beauty, even though he had certainly roused her from a dead sleep.
Stepping out of the car, he maintained a stoic demeanor and betrayed none of his thoughts. The shock on the woman's face was evident, and it was obvious that he was the very last individual she had expected to see on her front lawn.
"Spock? What are you doing here?" she asked in surprise.
Ever since I've known you, it just seems you're on my way...
He was silent a moment, then smoothly replied, "I was on my way to Starfleet Academy from Federation Headquarters, and I decided that it has been a long time since the two of us have seen each other, so I made the decision to...'stop by'."
She smiled at him. "Bullshit."
"I beg your pardon?" he said, trying not to show how taken aback he was.
"One doesn't just 'stop by' in the backwoods of Ohio on a trip from Paris to San Francisco, especially since you're in a groundcar. In order to have just come a distance from Paris to Ohio--over the ocean--you'd need a shuttle." She gave him a suspicious look. "Really, Spock, if you're going to lie, at least incorporate a healthy dose of logic."
He cocked an eyebrow at her. "Your scorn, Miss Chapel, is unnecessary."
She placed a painfully neutral expression on her face. "My doubt, Mister Spock, is a direct consequence of our history together."
Silence followed as he absorbed the years of human hurt encompassed by those words. "I...do not quite know how to reply to that..."
"...Miss Chapel," she finished for him. "I noticed we're back to that again."
"I assumed that it might be too..."
"Wonderful? Joyous? Loving?" she quipped.
"...Presumptuous to refer to you by Christine," he finished, pretending as if she hadn't interrupted him. "As you have mentioned, our rather...awkward...history together does cast a metaphorical shadow over things."
She seemed to be considering the issue. His heart seemed to sink as she turned her back on him and opened the front door. He had half-turned to the groundcar when her voice stopped him.
"Why did you really come here, Spock?" she asked, her back still to him and her head lowered.
All the rules of logic don't apply...
"I..." his voice trailed off as she turned to him with a controlled gleam of hope in her eyes. "There is no logical explanation..." he said with difficulty, feeling a lump rising in his throat, "...why I continue to drive past your house..." He saw her eyes open wide at the admission that he had parked on her lawn more than once. "I...am changed since the... incident..."
"You mean the part where you were forced to take me in your arms and kiss me passionately? Or the part afterward where you proclaimed your love to me and I foolishly believed you?"
Ah, yes, Spock thought as she continued with her interruption, the hard exterior is up again.
"Or, perhaps, was it the part where, when we got back to the ship, you ignored me as if I didn't exist, and have continued to do so since that time? Do tell, Mister Spock, since there are so many fragments of that 'incident' to choose from."
He stiffened and felt something snap inside him at her tone. "Miss Chapel, your sarcasm is unnecessary." She looked at him with the indignance one would acquire if that person had just been slapped. "If you had allowed me to complete my explanation, which you so desired, you would discover that it is the latter offense for which I have come to make amends." He sighed in a moment of human frustration. "I do think that Human females would be better served by infusing 'Vulcan logic' into themselves, as I do not think so many of their men would take refuge in deep space if they were to do that."
She stared at him, not knowing whether to laugh at or be insulted by his startling speech. His determined expression, which had replaced the uneasy one, was finally what tipped the scales in his favor. "Come in, Mister Spock. I don't wish to catch my death out here..." she said, turning again and walking into the house.
Following, Spock quirked an innocent eyebrow. "Was it thrown?"
I long to see you in the night... Be with you till morning light...
* * *
Spock took the opportunity to examine his surroundings while Christine brewed them both a cup of tea. He allowed his eyes to wander over the family portraits, until they landed on one in particular. Like a black hole, the picture sucked him in until he was only vaguely aware of Christine nudging him with a cup and saucer. Numbly, he took the drink she offered as he continued to gaze at the framed memory.
"My parents had taken me and Shayla to a fancy restaurant the night Roger asked me to marry him," she said softly as she joined him.
The portrait was an amateur picture taken of Christine, her mother, her father ... and an almost exact duplicate of Christine, only with longer hair. Since Christine had been a brunette when this picture was taken, the only way Spock could identify her was by the gold uniform the other one wore. It dawned on him then: Shayla was familiar to him ... as Number One.
He took a sip from the steaming cup. Number One ... He remembered her as a vibrant woman, gung-ho in her approach to solving problems, and possibly the first Human female he had ever respected enough to confide in. He wondered what it was about Christine that made it extremely difficult to speak to her.
It's your love for her ... the Human voice in his head whispered. You didn't love Shayla, but you love Christine ...
That is ridiculous, the Vulcan voice in his head rebelled. Love is illogical.
Christine's voice: "Snap out of it!"
He blinked. "I beg your pardon?"
"Your mind was in orbit around Tricus Three," she stated, hands on hips. "How'm I supposed to be a good hostess if my guest isn't aware of his surroundings?"
"My apologies," Spock said, crossing to sit on the couch. "Thoughts trouble me."
She smiled in memory. "When have they not, Mister Spock?"
They both lapsed into silence, remembering a troubling past.
I remember clearly how you looked the night we met ...
Christine Chapel was busying herself around sickbay when, turning around, she found herself pressed full-length against an obviously-male body. Looking up she saw the dark handsome features of Mister Spock, and had been smitten with him from that point on.
I recall your laughter and your smile ...
Spock would, of course, be uneasy at first about entering sickbay. However, upon arriving, he couldn't help but be captivated by her easy bedside manner and shy smile. If he happened to walk in while she and McCoy were having a debate, then it was her fiery temper that somehow was alluring to him. Even though he would never admit it to anyone else, her presence became soothing to him.
I remember how you made me feel so at ease ...
I remember all your grace, your style ...
Christine would spend hours thinking about him, mournfully knowing that he would never return her affection. Still, she would pull extra shifts in sickbay, on the off-chance that he would come by.
And now you're all I long to see ...
You've come to mean so much to me ...
Then came the incident with the Platonians ... and Parmen. That changed everything from neutral ... to good ... plummeting down to bad. That one incident and the aftermath that followed would estrange them from each other for a long time. But that didn't stop them from thinking about each other.
Chances are I'll see you somewhere in my dreams tonight.
You'll be smiling like the night we met.
Chances are I'll hold you and I'll offer all I have.
You're the only one I can't forget.
Baby, you're the best I ever met ...
And I'll be dreamin' of the future,
And hopin' you'll be by my side.
And in the morning I'll be longing
For the night, for the night..
Their eyes met. Neither of them spoke; they just gazed into each other's eyes, as if a mutual effort had been formed to force the pain away. Stiffening, Chapel closed her eyes and tried to draw inner strength for what she was about to say.
"Spock, I think you should leave."
He looked positively shocked. "I beg your pardon?"
"I ... appreciate your ... thinking of me and stopping by," she struggled, trying to appear confident, "but your presence here, as you may understand, is very difficult for me."
An alien feeling rose from the pit of his stomach, crawling a trail of fire upwards until it settled in his throat and threatened to deprive him of further breath. He forced himself to stand up calmly. She took this action as an acquiescence to leave and she stood and walked towards the door to open it for him.
"Christine, listen to me very carefully," he said in a stern tone that brooked no room for argument.
Slowly, she turned to face him. She was surprised that he was using such a tone with her. "What is it?"
He set his cup down on the saucer that lay on the coffee table. "I must say, you have done nothing to make my task here easier. No--" He held up his hand to stop further speech from her, "do not interrupt me. I am 'on a roll'. Admittedly, I denied you reciprocation of your feelings for me on the Enterprise. Granted, before the end of our five-year mission, I declared similar feelings for you and afterwards avoided you. I was ... uncertain about myself. However, I realized after failing to achieve Kohlinahr that you were the reason they rejected me: For that level of discipline, one requires a complete mastery over emotion, as well as no emotional ties to any person. You, Chrstine, were the one tie I could not dissolve.
"I was still uneasy over those events when I returned to the Enterprise. After the threat of V'Ger was over, and having nearly been killed, I fully realized how ... afraid ... I was that my life would end without you in it. I find it highly counterproductive to our relationship that, while I am doing my best to express my apology and regret ... and love ... to you, you are denying both of us the right to have that love, and are aborting any attempt at a reconciliation." He sighed loudly in a human moment of frustration.
"What am I supposed to do, Spock?" she snapped bitterly. "Say that the past ten years' worth of hurt and sorrow haven't happened and that we can flip the cosmic 'reset' switch to make everything right? I'm sorry, Spock, I just don't have the strength anymore ... "
"Christine, shut up." Spock closed in her and pulled her against him. With one hand, he tilted her chin upward. Moistening his lips, he bent and kissed her, savoring the feel of her in his arms. He felt her put a resistance up, in yet another attempt to shield herself from further pain, and pull back. "No," he said, grasping her shoulders firmly, "I will not let you go again. I was a fool to do so before. I will not make the same mistake twice."
He kissed her again, deepening it so that he could explore the heat of her mouth. Tentatively, she returned the exploration, slowly brushing her fingertips up his arms until she finally grabbed and held him close against her. They stayed locked together like that, kissing each other passionately until she had to come up for breath. She pulled back again to look into his eyes, which, she was surprised to find, were wet.
"It was," he said huskily, "an extremely difficult 'reset' switch."
* * *
When Christine woke up, she broke down into tears. She was alone in her bed. It had been a dream, after all. After all she had worked to purge herself of those cursed feelings ...
She stopped at the sight of Spock hurrying to her side, concern etched into his features. "What is it, T'hy'la?"
"Oh, Spock!" she gasped, clutching him to her. "Never leave me again!"
He wrapped his arms tightly around her. "Never, my t'hy'la," he murmured. "Never ... "