DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Kella and is copyright (c) 1999 by Kella. This story is Rated NC-17 for mature situations. You must be 18 years of age to read it.



Matters of a Vulcan's Heart

Kella



Long before the first five year mission of the Enterprise

"Spock?"

The voice seemed to float up from the thin air of Vulcan. Spock turned at the sound, facing Amanda. "Yes, Mother?" he said softly, doing his best to keep all emotion out of his voice.

Amanda smiled gently, knowing how great the effort was for him. "Your father has gone to bed, Son. You do not have to hide what you feel in front of me." She smiled broader, opening her arms wide, as if in invitation of an embrace. Somehow, the sight of his mother's smile always seemed to melt Spock from the inside out. The only people on Vulcan who smiled where those suffering from Bendii's Syndrome. Theirs were the smiles of people gone insane, as Bendii's stripped elderly Vulcans of all ability to control their emotions. Amanda's smile had always seemed out of place on this planet, and Spock had been drawn to it constantly, like a moth to a flame.

His hesitance concerned the wife of Sarek, and her smile dissipated somewhat. "Spock? What's wrong?"

He stiffened slightly. "It is inappropriate that you present yourself to me as you are now, Mother."

Confusion flickered across her brow. "When you were little, you used to run into my arms and tell me everything that troubled you."

Spock sighed imperceptibly. "However, Mother, I am no longer 'little,' as you put it." He turned his back to her, gazing at Mount Seleya from their back terrace.

Amanda understood and schooled her face to solemnity, dropping her arms to her sides. She clasped he hands behind her back and joined Spock at the edge of the patio. "So," she said, as emotionlessly as she could, "what is troubling you, my son?"

Spock looked at her and raised an eyebrow.

Amanda, in turn, raised one of her own.

Spock took a deep breath and returned his gaze to the tall mountain in the distance. "It is unsettling," he began, and his voice trailed off.

"What is, Spock?"

"This bonding I must undergo tomorrow."

"Nervousness, my son?"

Spock straightened. "I am *not* nervous."

Amanda had to restrain herself from laughing softly. "It is understandable, Spock, if you are nervous. You are still learning the path of logic, and you have not been fully trained in the skills of controlling your emotions. In time, you will be successful, but do not think it makes you less a person because you are not yet fully trained."

Spock was silent.

Amanda lowered her voice conspiratorially. "You know, Spock, not even your father is completely successful at complete control all of the time."

Spock gave her an expression that mirrored his disbelief. Then, he returned his attention to Mount Seleya.

Amanda exhaled softly. "What troubles you about the bonding, Spock? Have your father and I made an error in selecting T'Pring as your future mate? Is there another you have in mind, my son?"

Spock shook his head. "T'Pring is the logical choice..." Again, his voice trailed off.

Amanda wanted to run her fingers through Spock's hair, to comfort her thirteen-year-old son. But that would offend his blossoming, delicate Vulcan sensibilities. "However?" she prompted.

"I fail to reconcile my Vulcan knowledge of tradition and my human ... *feelings*," he blurted awkwardly, then turned his face away from her before she could see the deepening color of his normally olive-cast cheeks.

Amanda smiled, unable to control it. "Please clarify, Spock, for I'm afraid I don't quite understand."

Spock clenched his fists as he controlled his emotions. "As a Vulcan, I know that I am not expected to feel any sort of attachment for T'Pring because emotional attachments are illogical. However, I must admit that I am disappointed that I feel nothing for her. I do not understand love, and yet I feel that it must somehow play a role in the bonding."

Amanda sighed. "Tradition, Spock, is a very tricky thing. And most often, it involves doing things that we don't wish to do. However, if you do not wish to bond with T'Pring, I will inform your father and..."

"No," Spock said curtly. "I will proceed with the bonding. It is ... logical." He turned on his heel and said flatly, "We never spoke of this."

"Of course not, Spock," Amanda solemnly replied.

* * *

"Dammit to hell, Spock, sit *down*!"

"Using profanities, Doctor, is hardly an effective means of staying your patients."

"If it weren't for the Hippocratic Oath I took, I'd gladly use *other* effective means." McCoy raised his medical scanner to Spock's forehead. "Well, aside from the mint julep running through your veins instead of blood, you seem to be back to normal."

"Thank you, Doctor." Spock stood from the biobed and proceeded to the nearest exit from Sickbay.

"Wait," McCoy called after him. "Aren't you going to at least acknowledge the man who risked *everything* for you?"

Spock paused for a millisecond, then turned to the chair near the door, where James Kirk was reclining with a dermaplast affixed to his bared abdomen. "Captain," he said, tilting his head.

"Please, Spock," Kirk said, holding up his hand and smiling faintly. "I'm sure you would have done the same for me."

Spock opened his mouth to say something, then closed it as he thought better of it. Instead, he raised an eyebrow.

Jim Kirk shifted in his chair to make himself more comfortable. "I'll see you on the bridge, Mister Spock."

"Ohh, no, you don't," Doctor McCoy interjected. "There is no way in hell that you're going back on duty for at least the next 24 hours."

"Bones," Kirk objected, "I'm the captain..."

"And I'm the doctor. You look like a pack of hounds ripped you to pieces and my grandmother had to quilt you back together. Don't make me sedate you, Jim."

Kirk sighed. "Point taken, Bones."

"Good."

Kirk looked up at Spock. "So, are you going to be returning to duty, Mister Spock?"

Spock clasped his hands behind his back, raising the other eyebrow. "Actually, Jim, I was going to return to my quarters."

Understanding sparked in the captain's eyes, for he knew that Spock had been through literally hell and needed the opportunity to center himself. "Certainly, Mister Spock. Take as much time off as you need."

"Thank you, Captain." Spock canted his head towards Kirk and, after turning to McCoy with a polite "Doctor", left Sickbay.

"Going to his quarters?" McCoy said skeptically. "It's not like Spock to avoid his duty shift. In fact, he's usually adamant about it."

Nurse Chapel chose that moment to make her appearance with a fresh uniform shirt for Kirk. The captain took it from her with a smile. "Thank you, Christine." To McCoy, he said, "Matters of the heart, Bones."

"Oh?" the Chief Surgeon asked innocently, while putting away his medical instruments. "I wasn't aware he had one."

* * *

Spock had been sitting on his neatly-made bed, legs crossed in front of him, hands steepled in front of him, for over an hour. He was no closer to the peace of mind that he sought. The illogical emotions were roiling in his mind now, preventing him from attaining the meditative state he so needed.

He should have been relieved, were it not that relief was illogical. T'Pring had chosen Stonn over himself. He was no longer bonded. There should be no reason for his continuing discomfort.

And yet there was.

The incense from the burning meditation lamp did, however, make him a little more at ease. That was something, at least.

There was a ring of the door chimes, disrupting Spock's fifth attempt at meditation. He raised his eyebrows in confusion, since no one ever visited his quarters unless there was an emergency. He rose and crossed to the door, his black meditation robes flowing loosely with his movements. Hesitating a moment before he opened the door, Spock pushed all thoughts of what was bothering him aside. Then he opened the doors.

And the thoughts of what was bothering him stood before him, embodied in flesh.

Taking a breath to center himself, Spock addressed his visitor formally. "Nurse Chapel."

Christine Chapel's face was a mask of formality. "Mister Spock. May I come in? I would like to speak with you."

He gestured her in. "And I with you."

She walked in, the briefest of hesitations in her stride as she passed him, then she stopped and turned to face him. He closed the door and turned to her.

"I would like to..."

"I must..."

They both stopped speaking and Spock's eyebrows raised while Christine had to school her face to stillness. There was an awkward silence for a moment before she gestured to him to go first.

Spock cleared his throat, then looked at her. "I would like to hear what you have to say before I continue."

Christine fixed him with a nervous smile. "I believe you're stalling for time, Mister Spock."

"Yes," he replied matter-of-factly.

After a beat, Christine took a deep breath. "Well, I came to apologize for upsetting you a couple of days ago. I had no excuse to disturb you during your... ?" Her voice trailed off as she tried to remember the Vulcan term for it.

"Pon Farr," Spock supplied and she nodded. He clasped his hands behind his back, raising an eyebrow. "Nurse Chapel, it is illogical for you to show remorse for events you not only were unaware of, but had no control over. I do not believe you have done anything wrong; and certainly, you have done nothing to offend me." Chapel's expression changed to relief. "I, on the other hand," Spock continued, "must apologize to you for my own conduct. I was not in control over my emotions and threw a bowl of soup at you. I do not excuse my actions and I must apologize for them."

Christine gave him a small smile. "It's quite all right, Mister Spock. These things happen to even the ... most logical of us. To be honest, I'm actually glad to have seen some of that mysterious Vulcan emotion in you. It was a nice change, however brief."

"Insulting me, Nurse Chapel, is quite unnecessary," Spock said stiffly.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Mister Spock! I didn't mean to insult you!" she exclaimed, wide eyed.

"It's all right, Nurse Chapel. Now, if you wish to join me for dinner in the future, I suggest you alert me beforehand."

Christine headed for the doors with a lopsided grin. "And next time I won't bring plomeek soup. You didn't seem to like it much."

As she exited into the hallway, before the door to Spock's quarters closed, she heard him say softly, "Actually, Christine, I am quite fond of plomeek soup."

Was that a quaver in his tone?

And the doors closed.

* * *

"Oh, Leonard?"

McCoy looked up at the voice and saw Uhura standing in the doorframe of his office. "Why hello," he greeted her jovially. "What an unexpected surprise."

Uhura sashayed ever-so-slowly into the room in that way she had when someone had something that she wanted.

McCoy had no idea what that something might be. "What can I do for you, Lieutenant?"

"Well," she said sweetly, "I'm in the information-gathering business today, it seems, Doctor."

McCoy raised his eyebrows at this. "Oh?" He sat back in his chair and folded his hands across his abdomen. "Such as... ?"

Uhura leaned forward slightly and rested her knuckles on the doctor's desk. "Tell me some more about your Vulcan friend."

McCoy cleared his throat. "Well, I don't know that 'friend' is exactly the right word."

Uhura rolled her eyes. "Well, Leonard, *you're* his doctor. Does he have anyone that he talks to you about?"

Bones harrumphed. "*Him?* The only time I've even known that Vulcan had an inclination to mate was during this whole Pon Farr thing. Why?" He smiled innocently at her. "Are you saying you're interested?"

Uhura laughed lightly, drawing a finger along McCoy's jaw. "Oh, no ... My dear, I have someone *else* in mind." She circled the desk and softly dropped into McCoy's lap, causing the surgeon's eyebrows to collide with his hairline. "I already have my eyes on someone for myself," she said with a lowered voice. "I'm talking about your Head Nurse."

McCoy's eyebrows came down from their heightened state in skepticism. "Christine? What could she see in him, anyway?"

Uhura shrugged. "I'm not sure, Leonard. But whatever it is she sees, she likes it a lot. And you're going to help me get him to realize what he feels for her. And they're going to live happily ever after."

McCoy looked up at her expectantly. "I see," he drawled. "And, *ahem*, what would be *my* motivation for this role I'm being cast into?"

Uhura brought her face closer. "You'll see."

McCoy cocked an eyebrow. "What I'd like to see is the gentleman you seem to have snared for yourself. If he is, in fact, a gentleman."

Uhura smiled. "Oh, he's a gentleman, all right." Her face got closer ... and closer ... "Which is why he's going to help me."

And before the doctor could get out a surprised reply, Uhura had covered his mouth with hers and all thoughts of a reply vanished without a trace.

* * *

His body was on fire as she slid her hands up and down his chest, massaging his inner thighs. As her hands moved farther down, a moan escaped his normally silent lips. Her blond hair bounced around her shoulders as she smiled, enjoying his inability to contain his pleasure. He had been lying on his back for he didn't know how long. He didn't know how much longer he could contain himself before he ripped the nurse's uniform off of her slim body and buried himself in her.

All sentient thought left his mind abruptly as she closed her hand around his erect member and moved her hand up and down, up and down, until he thought he'd scream ...

But Vulcan's don't scream.

Finally, as he was close to climax, he couldn't stand not being able to have his way with her ... and he ripped the front of her mini dress right down the middle, exposing luscious breasts. As he reached for them, he spasmed in an incredible climax that sent him reeling, screaming her name ...

Spock fell off the bed.

His sheets were tangled up around his legs, and they were wet with pungent white fluid. It didn't take a Vulcan to deduce where the sticky liquid had come from. His hand was still clamped firmly around his penis, which was now spent with what, apparently, had been nothing but his own exertions.

If he hadn't been Vulcan, he would have howled in frustration.

As it was, he scraped himself off the floor with as much dignity as he could manage.

Right as the door chimes rang.

The intercom buzzed and a female voice sprang out of the speaker. "Spock? Are you all right?"

Spock tried to slow down his breathing and heart rate to answer, but he couldn't manage it. The intercom automatically picked up the sounds of his panting and gasping. He heard her mutter, "Oh, my god..."

He knew what was coming next. "No!" he growled. "Christine, don't..."

"Computer, medical override! Chapel Omega Three Six!" her panicked voice cut straight through his.

A split-second later, Christine Chapel burst in to see Spock in all his manly glory. In a Vulcan's imitation of sheepishness, Spock quickly grabbed a pillow off of his bed and held it over the area that was drawing the most attention, as Christine's entrance had drawn it up to a prominent salute.

Expressions played over Christine's face, ranging from confused to bemused to amused. Then concerned. She took out her medical tricorder and scanned him. "The Pon Farr didn't go away, did it?"

She stepped closer to get better readings.

"Christine..." he began raggedly.

She looked down at the pillow, then up at his face and smiled. "Look, if it makes you feel any better, I'm a nurse ... I've seen it all before." She continued her scan.

Spock couldn't stand it any more.

Before Christine knew what was happening, she was wound tightly in Spock's arms, silenced with a fervent kiss. She felt positively giddy, for all of five seconds. Then her confusion and cautiousness began to take over, and she tried to extricate herself from his hold.

Spock, however, had no intention of letting her go, and his hands tightened about her waist, the muscles tensing in his arms as he held her even more tightly against him. His mouth pressed more firmly against hers, sealing off any protest she might have made.

Her mind lost all rational thought as she felt Spock's tongue thrust in and out of her mouth, probing and tasting her. She moaned, moving her hands up his chest and around his shoulders, stroking his heated flesh.

Until then, neither of them had noticed the price Spock had had to pay to have her in his embrace, until his arousal poked her abruptly in her abdomen.

She forcefully broke the kiss, gasping as she did so. "Spock, what the *hell*..."

Spock sighed, but did not release her from his grip. "I have come to realize something, Christine."

Still flustered, Chapel halted. He never called her Christine. Ever. She remained silent for a moment, then, "And that would be?"

Spock hesitated. "I am ... relieved that T'Pring rejected me."

Christine raised an eyebrow in shock. "Relieved?"

Spock nodded. "I never had feelings for T'Pring."

"So why were you going to mate with her?"

"Obligation and ceremony."

"Oh."

His arms tightened around her waist, causing her to find breath a rare commodity. "I meant the apology regarding the bowl of soup, Christine. It angered me that you ... could not be mine."

Christine was stunned silly.

Spock searched her face for any type of response.

After a moment, Christine smiled. "Why can't I?"

Relief flooded him as he took her mouth in his. He broke the kiss after a moment, staring into her eyes. "I am sorry I have let you love me for so long without telling you how I felt."

Christine stroked his face, every movement seeming as if it were in slow motion, and happening to someone else. "Spock, don't tell me." At his eyebrow's raising, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed against him. "Show me."

It took absolutely no time at all for him to remove her uniform and lay her on his bed. Looking around, she took stock of the state of his sheets. "Well, you've been rather busy, haven't you?"

With one hand, Spock ripped the underwear off of her, spreading her thighs with the other. He looked at her body and said softly, "I will be."

Drawing a finger down the length of her labia, he suddenly thrust it inside her, suppressing a smile as she gasped and arched her back. He slowly slid his finger in and out of her, wet his lips, then withdrew his finger and bent down to taste her. He gently massaged her folds with the tip of his tongue, then parted the folds with his hands to reveal her delicate little pearl. With tortuously slow movements, he touched his tongue lightly to the bud, making sure to keep his face out of the way as she bucked her hips in response. Then, with a sudden ferocity, he wrapped his lips around her clit and began to suck.

Christine moaned loudly and bucked her hips, then slowly rocked them in a circular motion as Spock flicked his tongue across her clit and inserted two fingers inside her, sliding them in and out.

"Oh ... Spock..."

He was irrationally glad that the bulkheads were soundproof, as Christine's moans grew louder with each flick of his tongue. Finally, as he sensed her about to climax, he stopped.

She gave a frustrated growl and was about to demand why the pleasure had ceased when she felt him plunge into her, his body pressing down upon hers... She screamed out his name as she felt him fill her with himself, thrusting in and out, in and out ... bringing his penis out of her until only the head grazed her outer folds, then plunging back in again. And when she reached her peak, he held her so tightly and kissed her so thoroughly that she never wanted to come back down ...

* * *

"Nyota?"

Uhura swivelled in her chair at the low, Southern drawl that addressed her. A smile flitted across her lips. "Yes, Leonard?"

He slowly walked up to her table in the rec room, where she sat alone. She gestured to a chair on the other side of the table. He shook his head, smiling secretively. "If you'd been monitoring intraship sound comms, you'd know that you owe me a favor ... or more."

Uhura cocked an eyebrow seductively. "Oh, really? How's that?"

"Well," he placed his hands on her shoulders. "You know how you wanted Christine and that emotionless droid to get fixed up?"

"Yes..."

He slid her out of her chair gently and placed her standing in front of him. "When do I get mine?"

Uhura feigned innocence. "What exactly do you think is yours, Doctor?"

McCoy smiled devilishly. "The same thing Spock's getting right now..."

And before Nyota Uhura could get the next question out, her mouth was covered by a warm kiss.

It wasn't long before she was in closer quarters, and more private ones at that, with a wetbar stocked with mint juleps and whiskey. She soon forgot to ask McCoy how he knew about Spock and Christine, as her body was soon dancing with another, rocking in the ecstacy they both discovered.

* * *

Nyota awoke to the smell of bacon and toast, opening her eyes to see a tray of food resting next to her on the bed. It smelled heavenly -- and fattening. For a moment, she battled confusion as to where she was and why she had slept naked. Then, as she saw McCoy walk across the room from the replicator in a green silk bathrobe, she remembered how incredible last night had been. She smiled and stretched lazily.

He was carrying a pitcher and two glasses as he came to her and sat at the foot of the bed. Setting the pitcher on the tray while he looked into her eyes, he said softly, "Good morning, m'dear."

She propped herself up on one elbow and laughed softly. "Good morning, Leonard."

He took her hand and kissed it. "May I ask what you find so funny?"

Uhura shook her head in wonderment. "I just never thought I'd be waking up next to you, I guess."

McCoy smiled. "I'm not quite sure how to take that."

Uhura put her hand to his face. "I've had my eye on you since you first set foot on this ship."

He smiled again. "Then what took you so long to tell *me* about it? Why wait until you wanted something?"

She put on her best innocent look. "Why, Doctor, a girl's gotta have an excuse."

He pulled her into his arms and they laughed together. When their eyes met, the kiss that followed was sweet and full of promise. Their lips parted and deepened the kiss, falling back on the bed, forgetting about the tray of food, up until the point that McCoy's stomach growled loudly, in synchronization with the near-upset of the pitcher.

He pulled back with raised eyebrows. "I'm hungry."

Nyota laughed and slipped her hands under his robe. "So am I."

McCoy looked dubious. "That won't fill your stomach." He reached for the pitcher and one of the glasses, holding them over her as he prepared to pour. "Want some?"

"What is it?"

He didn't answer, instead partially upending the pitcher so that it splashed an orange liquid all over her abdomen.

She shrieked. "Leonard! That's cold! What are you---?"

She trailed off as his lips descended to her abdomen, tongue lapping up the liquid as delight showed on his face. "Mmm," he said as his head came up. "Orange juice. Just as the doctor ordered." Down he went again.

Any thoughts she might have had regarding Spock and Christine immediately vanished as her lover's attentions went south ...

* * *

Meanwhile, Christine was waking up in the heated arms of her own partner. His hand was still resting on her face from a passionate session, involving a mind meld. She never knew that sex could be so wonderful. She looked up into his face, saw his eyes were closed, and assumed he was sleeping. She gazed at his features for the longest time and wondered how it finally came about that she was with the man of her dreams. She sighed in content and he stirred. She immediately froze, not knowing how Vulcans reacted when awakened from a deep sleep.

*We react, at first, with a yawn...* came the humorous thought into her mind.

She was puzzled, because she knew that thought had not been hers.

Spock's eyes opened and she saw a corner of his mouth raise slightly, right before he yawned. *Vulcans are touch-telepaths, Christine,* he reminded her.

*How long have you been awake?* she thought to him playfully.

*Long enough to overhear your ponderings...*

*Regarding?*

*Us.*

*And these ponderings would be?*

Spock opened the other eye and stared into hers fully. *You test me, don't you?*

*No, I just...*

*You test me.*

Christine sighed. *Spock, it's just that this is so sudden. One minute you don't even know I'm _alive_, and the next minute I'm in your bed after an incredible night that, until now, I'd only _dreamt_ about.*

Spock canted an eyebrow. *That is a logical view.*

Christine chuckled. *Logical? This coming from a Vulcan in the throes of Pon Farr?*

He stiffened. *Something else is bothering you.*

Christine pursed her lips. *Don't know what that would be.*

Spock looked at her like he was being patronized and, quite frankly, didn't like it one bit. *I am only lightly touching you, so at the moment I can only read what you send out. However, I am prepared to find out more.*

*Why, Spock! Was that a threat?*

*Indeed. Do not make me go in there.*

She laughed like she had not laughed in a very long time. *Oh, Spock. That is the funniest thing you've said, I think.*

*Do not expect more of it. The Pon Farr is 'affecting' my logic.*

She read in his thoughts the underlying excuse that it gave him to abandon it for a period of time, guilt-free. She also read that he was still waiting for an answer. She sighed. *It's just ... The Pon Farr ... When it's over, will you still feel the same?*

*It is in remission. I believe it will completely disappear in three point two days.*

*Oh... So then...* She let the thought trail off.

He understood and gathered her closely into his arms, losing his purchase on her face. Out loud, he said, "I will not hurt you, Christine. I may be in Pon Farr, but I know my..." He struggled for a moment, as if deciding whether to break a taboo in his culture. "... feelings are true. After the Pon Farr is completely gone, I will recognize whatever commitments I made to you last night."

After a moment of indecision, whether or not to believe him, Christine nodded and laid her head against his bare chest, feeling completely safe and ... for the first in a long time ... loved.

* * *

Nyota stepped through the steam and out of the shower, into the main room of McCoy's quarters. The marathon lovemaking session they'd just completed had been a new record. It had left her breathless and light-headed ... and confused. She had gone to take a hot shower, hoping the confusion would drift away with the steam.

Of course, Leonard had followed her.

It had been a very enjoyable shower.

The confusion had drifted away all right ... as well as all sense of time. The computer had chimed after two hours, interrupting yet *another* intimate encounter, letting them know that Doctor McCoy's water rations had been exceeded for the day. They had laughed in a ridiculously silly moment, for no reason whatsoever, other than that they felt embarrassed at the computer where to do their business. Now, as she wrapped herself in a towel, she heard Leonard follow, humming "It Had to Be You".

She felt him slip his arms around her and hold her tightly against him. "Good morning again."

She laughed. "Morning."

He sighed. "You know, we actually do have to be on duty today..."

"Oh, Leonard," she groaned, sagging back against him. "What a mood killer you are."

He kissed her cheek and said, "Sorry, Nyota, but if you feel sick today..."

She grinned. "I know where your office is."

He picked her up and swung her halfway around before setting her down, turning her around to face him. "That's not nearly private enough. How about a medical storage cabinet?"

She giggled. "Why do I suddenly feel so naughty about all this?"

"Because, m'dear, that's what makes the whole thing so much fun."

"Oh, Leonard, you *are* bad."

"Shh ... just don't let that pointy-eared hobgoblin know about this... He'll probably give me a whole lecture on logic just for hearing about it."

Uhura laughed again. "Your secret's safe with me." She looked over at their clothes, which were scattered across the floor. "I guess we'd better get dressed. I don't think the captain would like me showing up on the bridge naked."

McCoy waggled an eyebrow at her. "Are we talking about the *same* Captain Kirk? Surely you're kidding, he'd be ecstatic..."

"Oh, you..." She batted him with the tips of her fingers.

* * *

Christine was just getting dressed herself, looking furtively over at Spock's still form. He was meditating and the room was eerily quiet. Earlier, he had entertained her with his playing the Vulcan lyre, and he had composed a song just for her. Of course, she was sworn to secrecy about it. She agreed, supposing the concept of "composing" was also taboo on Vulcan.

Shrugging into her nurse's uniform, which she decided she really ought to have cleaned after last night, she fumbled behind her for the zipper. She couldn't quite get it up all the way and she made a grunting noise as she tried and failed. Suddenly, her hands were covered by a pair of warm ones, and she heard Spock's voice behind her as he finished zipping her uniform up.

"Leaving so soon?" he said softly. It almost sounded like the old Mister Spock, the emotionless Mister Spock.

She turned to face him. "I hope you don't mind, but I still have duty today. Leonard would ask too many questions if showed up to Sickbay late this morning. I'd rather not subject either one of us to *that*." She smiled and kissed his cheek.

He nodded. "Return soon." He traced two fingers down her cheek and she heard in her mind, *A part of me will be missing until you return.*

She thought back to him, *As with me, as well, Spock.*

* * *

As she entered the medical bay, Christine saw McCoy ducking into his office quickly. Apparently, he had just arrived as well, which made him thirty minutes late for his shift. She walked into his office, depositing her medical kit on his desk.

"Checking kit number 27 back into inventory, Doctor," she said formally.

He looked up at her and she couldn't help but notice a faraway look in his eyes before it cleared away, revealing the joviality she was accustomed to seeing in him. "Good." She started to walk away when she heard him say, "You want to explain to me why you didn't finish your shift yesterday?"

She froze in her tracks. Quickly running excuses through her head she turned with a deadpan expression. "I ... did, didn't I?" She thought fast. "I mean, you sent me to do in-quarters checkups, and..."

"...And as I recall, you were supposed to check in with me after each one. You wouldn't happen to know why I stopped receiving word from you after you reached Spock's quarters now, would you?"

She looked at him, suddenly realizing he was baiting her. She gave him an innocent look. "I don't have the foggiest," she said followed by an expression on her face that said *And that's _all_ you're getting from me.* She turned and walked away, hearing him chuckle behind her.

She had the distinct feeling of being set up.

She resolved to talk to McCoy later about it.

As she ran through her instructions he had given her yesterday, while she busied herself updating medical files, she remembered that he had said she should go to Spock's quarters during the course of her check-up run and give him a scan to make sure all traces of Pon Farr were gone. At the time, she had thought nothing of it. Then, during last night, Spock had exhibited all the passionate signs a Vulcan would have during Pon Farr. If it was supposed to be gone, then why ...

The thought trailed off, and she sat down at the medical database, updated since their recent emergency trip to Vulcan. Stealing a glance at McCoy in his office to make sure he wasn't paying attention, she quietly called up all available information on Pon Farr.

* * *

She entered her quarters confused and slightly upset. Dropping her belongings on the bed she sat at her desk terminal and stared at the blank screen. The information she had received in Sickbay had presented an interesting puzzle. She reflected back on the scene that had played out after she had accessed the Medical Database.

When she tried to access the files on Pon Farr, they turned out to be encrypted -- under McCoy's passcode. He had come out of his office, unnoticed by her, to see her smacking the terminal in irritation. He leaned over her shoulder now and saw that she had been trying to access the restricted Vulcan medical records. A smile played at the corners of his mouth.

In his Southern drawl, he commented, "Is there something you need to ask me about?"

She jumped, like a kid caught with her hand in a cookie jar. "I'm..." she began, "just doing a little research."

"I can see that. Any questions I might be able to answer for you?" His polite way of ordering her to tell him what she was up to.

Christine chewed her lip hesitantly as Nurse DeMarco walked in, eyeing them both curiously. Christine started to shake her head when McCoy cleared his throat.

"Nurse, may I see you in my office, please?"

Christine looked up at him cooly, as if nothing was wrong. She knew he was doing her a favor, offering to discuss the subject away from the renowned gossiper DeMarco. Raising an eyebrow as if there were nothing wrong, she switched off the terminal and got up. "Of course, Doctor."

As she followed him back into his office, she heard Reya De Marco sing-song, "Somebody's in trouble..."

Christine bristled slightly in annoyance, but ignored her until the door to McCoy's office hissed shut behind her. Slumping back against the door, Chapel closed her eyes briefly and sighed. "I really don't like that woman."

McCoy had gone back behind his desk and sat down, resting his feet on the top of the desk and leaning back in his chair. "Neither do I."

"She's so..." Christine shuddered as she sat down. "Damned annoying, if you ask me."

McCoy folded his hands across his abdomen. "I didn't, but you read my mind." Clearing his throat, he looked up at the ceiling and then back down at Christine. "You, uh, wanna tell me what you find so interesting about Vulcan medical studies?"

Her attention was immediately drawn to the terminal on his desk. Flashing red words on the screen read: ATTENTION, UNAUTHORIZED ATTEMPT TO ACCESS RESTRICTED FILES IN PROGRESS.

She silently cursed herself. He must have been notified the second she said the word "Vulcan". Damn. She shook her head innocently. "I was just doing research," she started.

McCoy waved her excuse off impatiently. "Dispense with the bullshit, Chris."

"Leonard, I..."

"Was looking for something in particular," he finished. "Come on, Christine. We both know this has to do with Spock. Now I want you to tell me what."

Christine's thoughts narrowed, as did her eyes. "Speaking of Mister Spock, why do I get the distinct feeling that I'm a lab rat and you're the scientist?"

McCoy looked partially taken aback. "I beg your pardon?"

"*You* dispense with the bullshit, Leonard. I walked in here earlier and I could have sworn you knew the *exact* answer to every question you fired at me. We both know this has to do with Spock, and I want *you* to tell me what the hell is going on!" Christine had said the last bit with her arms folded securely across her chest, giving her best *I'm not taking your bullshit* expression.

McCoy smiled slightly and rubbed his chin with one hand, feeling the 24-hour stubble there. He hadn't had a chance to shave this morning; he and Nyota had been engaged in other ... more worthwhile pursuits. "Why," he drawled slowly, "what do you mean, Christine? Have you been up to questionable activities?"

Raising an eyebrow at McCoy, she said, "I'm sure you already know the answer to that, Mister I'm-Smiling-Because-I-Just-Got-Laid-Myself."

McCoy's eyes popped wide open. "What?"

"Oh, come on, Leonard," she said smugly. "You're grinning like the cat that ate the canary, or the crewwoman ... whichever the case may be."

"Well, I'll be damned," was all McCoy could say.

Christine stared back at him placidly. "You set me up, Leonard, admit it!"

Leonard sighed and rubbed his chin again. Finally, "Well, yes ... but it wasn't my idea. Besides, you seemed to want him pretty bad. We just helped you out."

Christine leaned forward, propping her chin on her hands while her elbows rested on his desk. "Who, Leonard. Who is *we*?"

McCoy smiled. "Now that I won't say."

Christine smiled enigmatically. "Don't worry, I'll find out soon enough..."

McCoy cleared his throat and changed the subject. "Now, you were saying something about wanting to know more about Vulcans and Pon Farr?"

Christine sighed deeply. She might as well confide in Leonard. "Well, you obviously know that Spock and I ... Well, anyway, he sort of blamed his emotional displays on after effects of Pon Farr. He said that the symptoms would go away in about three days, but that doesn't sound right to me."

Leonard chuckled lowly. "Looking the Vulcan gift horse in the mouth, are we?"

Christine blushed. "I -- I guess I just want to know if he's really going through Pon Farr still and will he still mean the things he said to me after it's over?"

McCoy smiled, reaching out to pat her hand. "Chris, he obviously means whatever it is that he said to you."

She looked at him in puzzlement. "How do you know?"

"Because he's not in Pon Farr," the doctor said simply.

"He's *not*?" she said, mouth agape. "Why would he lie about it?"

"Apparently," McCoy mused, "he wanted the excuse to love you without breaking Vulcan ethics..."

Christine sat there silently for a few moments afterward and thought of the implications of that.

* * *

As she stepped through the curtain of steam caused by the shower and reached for a towel, the door chime rang. She quickly wrapped the towel around her, arranging it until she was sure she was modestly covered, and called out, "Come in."

As the doors slid open and she saw who walked through the open door, she was struck with the sudden feeling that the towel wasn't nearly modest enough.

"Good evening, Christine," Spock stated solemnly, allowing the doors to slide shut behind him before he moved closer to her. "I hope I have not inconvenienced you by coming at this time."

Christine struggled to keep her voice level as she answered. "Well, Spock, I *was* in the shower."

One eyebrow raised as Spock took in the water droplets that dripped from her wet hair, rolling sensuously down her shoulders, over her collarbone, and down the beginnings of her breasts before the towel absorbed them. He noticed that her skin was covered with a watery sheen, that heightened his appreciation of her skin, and she was glowing, as if she had just emerged from an ocean. Her blue eyes sparkled invitingly, beckoning him. Suddenly, he had a barely controllable urge to rip the towel from her body and pull her into his arms.

All of this took under a second.

He straightened slightly. "Indeed. Then it appears I have arrived too late."

Christine did a double take, not quite able to believe she'd heard him say that. She immediately thought of her earlier conversation with Leonard, as well as the implications that left open about Spock. She came to a quick decision. All of this in about a second.

Closing the distance between them, she smiled up into his face, bringing her hand up to trace the tips of his pointed ears. As her moist fingers grazed his heated skin, he gasped and clutched her hand. She barely had time to smile before he crushed her to him in a searing kiss, one that left her dizzy and unable to feel the deck beneath her feet.

When their lips parted, Christine smiled and rubbed against him slightly, causing him to realize that her wetness had caused a large damp spot to form on his uniform shirt. He looked on the spot with mild distaste.

"Christine, I had forgotten: You are quite wet," he complained good-naturedly.

"*Now* I am," she replied in a husky voice.

His eyebrows shot up to his hairline at her blatant implication. "Perhaps," he began carefully, "I should dry you off?"

She pressed up against him, so close that she could *feel* his love for her, which was rapidly growing in size. "I'd like that," she purred, "but it might make me even *more* wet."

Spock playfully quirked an eyebrow at her, as if he was encountering a scientific problem. He bent his face to hers and whispered, "It is a risk I will have to take." He captured her lips once more, pouring more fire into that kiss than the first.

Christine felt herself going weak in the knees and she brought her other arm up to wrap around Spock's shoulders, losing her purchase on the towel in doing so. As it fell to the ground between them, Spock's hands roamed down her backside, finding bare skin where he had expected to find terry cloth. Grabbing her buttocks firmly, he maneuvered her over to her desk, which he swept clear with one hand. He lifted her and placed her on the top of the desk, drinking her in with his eyes.

The naked desire in her eyes prompted him to quickly remove his clothes, dropping all but the shirt. With the shirt, he gently dried the moisture from her rosy nipples and the surrounding creamy skin of her breasts. He proceeded to manipulate the shirt over her abdomen, moving further down so that she had to spread her legs to grant him access to the more forbidden regions of her body. He softly ran the fabric of the shirt over her blonde curls, making sure they were mostly dry before he ran the fabric more delicately down her labia and her sensitive clitoral hood.

As she moaned in pleasure and impatience, Spock dropped the shirt and sat down in the chair at the desk, drawing her closer to the edge to grant him easier access. He bent his head and touched his tongue tentatively to her clitoris, which was now swollen with anticipation. She shivered visibly and he smiled. He began to massage her inner folds with his fingers while he rotated the tip of his tongue around her pearl. She began to moan his name and he scooted the chair closer, abruptly swinging her legs over his lean shoulders, drawing her closer to his hot mouth. He cleverly worked his tongue up and down the undulating folds between her thighs, concentrating in her most sensitive area for a moment then moving away from it, then moving back to her nub and suckling it before moving away again.

The frustration for Christine was almost painful. Her entire body was one giant electrical current and it sparked every time Spock reached her clitoris, diminishing every time he moved away from it. She growled impatiently and pressed against his face slightly. He broke contact with her long enough to smile up at her, which was almost chilling ... but wonderful. She had never seen Spock smile. He craned his neck up to kiss her and she tasted her tanginess in his mouth. The kiss was wonderful and filled her with more longing for him to fill her. She moaned into the kiss and placed her hands behind his head, caressing the tips of his ears with her thumbs and hearing him moan back ... just as he thrust two fingers fast and hard into her.

She broke the kiss as she arched her head back and screamed with pleasure.

Spock couldn't contain himself any longer. He picked Christine up in his arms and carried her over to her bed and laid her down. His eyes heavy lidded with passion, he could barely make out the image of her hands moving down to possess his manhood, stroking it tenderly ... making sure it was ready. That it was ready, Spock had absolutely no doubt of.

He entered her slowly, relishing every centimeter of her slick warmth that enveloped him, squeezed him. He lost his breath momentarily in the ecstacy of it all. The feel of her around him was enough to drive him insane, let alone to the brink of release before it was time. He took it slow, enjoying each movement within her to the fullest. He suckled her breasts, their rosy nipples, firm with arousal and sex flush. She moaned with each movement he made, bringing his mouth up to hers for a heartfelt kiss, tongues dueling furiously in the heat of passion.

She grasped his shoulder blades and wrapped her legs firmly around his hips. "Harder," she whispered into his ear.

Spock felt her gently massage his ears again, which she had correctly assumed to be a Vulcan erogenous zone, which served to make him thrust harder and deeper into her. Her moans of sheer ecstacy caused him to tremble slightly and a small moan of his own escaped his lips, followed by a passionate, "Christine..."

"Spock..."

He raised his hand to her face, positioning his fingers in the correct points on her face. *Christine... * She heard whisper in her mind, in his deep timbre. *Christine, my t'hy'la ... How you complete me.. *

She suddenly realized that he had melded their minds and she thought back to him, *Spock, my love... *

As a product of the meld, she suddenly felt not only her own erotic sensations, but that of him as well. She was sure that he was experiencing her pleasure, too. With each thrust into her, the double whammy of sensation nearly drove Christine over the edge. Soon, she could feel herself near the precipice ... but she held back until she could feel that Spock was quickly catching up to her.

Together, they fell spiraling of the edge as one.

*Christine!*

*Spock!*

*My T'hy'la ... !*

*My soul ... *

* * *

Christine awoke, swaddled in a feeling of love and contentment. She smiled as she became aware of a weight across her abdomen: Spock's arm, wrapped protectively around her waist. The higher warmth that was the norm for his body soothed her and heightened her sense of comfort. She looked up and searched his features -- so solemn when he slept, so disciplined. So serious.

He shifted as he began to wake up, disturbing the perfect image. She brushed her thoughts against his gently and gave him a tender kiss. He stirred more visibly and she thought she could see the hint of a smile playing across his sleepy face. She reached up and traced the tip of one elegantly pointed ear, smiling as she felt his response hardening against her thigh. Moving her leg slightly, she heard him groan and clutch her harder against him, his eyes opening abruptly. If there had been any doubt in her mind whether or not he was fully awake, it was gone now.

"Christine..." he said huskily, as she sensuously teased the tip of his ear with her fingers. "I..."

She laughed softly and kept her legs tightly closed. "But, Spock... You're past Pon Farr, now, remember? I'm just testing your control..."

He kept his voice as level as possible, while she continued to arouse him. "Do not assume that Vulcans cannot ... perform ... because we are not in Pon Farr."

"Oh," Christine said lightly, "I am fully aware that they can."

The mysterious tone in her voice gave Spock a moment's pause. "I beg your pardon?"

Smiling impishly, Christine said nothing, but she broke contact with his body. She didn't want him to be able to sense her thoughts. "I said, I am fully aware that Vulcans can 'perform' outside of Pon Farr." She rolled off the bed and sauntered nude into the lavatory.

She was followed by a very puzzled Spock. "Christine, what do you mean by that?"

Christine poked her head out of the shower doorway and gave him her most innocent look. "What do you mean what do I mean?"

Spock raised an eyebrow. "How many Vulcans have you had 'experience' with to have come to that awareness?"

Christine came fully into view, placing her hands on her hips in annoyance. She was fully aware that she was completely nude and, in this pose, showing off her breasts -- which was exactly where Spock's eyesight was trained. "Spock, I don't have time for your teasing. I'm a nurse, and my shift starts in exactly 15 point three minutes."

Spock shook his head slightly and smiled a bit. "A lie?"

Christine shook her head back at him innocently. "Overtime," she said, bending slowly to pick up her clothes, carefully making sure to display her body to its best advantage.

Right before he could take a step forward, she pivoted on her heel and, with a disarming smile thrown over her shoulder at him, sauntered into the shower ... locking the door behind her.

* * *

"Dammit, Chris," Leonard griped. "What the hell are you whistling about?"

Chapel smiled at him. "Oh, nothing, Doctor. I've just had a *very* interesting week. You?"

"Well," Leonard quipped, "while you were rumpling the bedsheets, I was alone. So there." He walked into his office sullenly.

She followed him. "I know, I'm sorry Uhura had to work late last night."

Leonard looked at her in shock. "You *know*?"

Christine laughed delightedly. "Oh, come on, Leonard. Did you honestly think my best friend could keep a secret from me for that long?"

McCoy looked at her suspiciously. "What *else* did she tell you?"

"Only that the two of you set me up!" She stabbed him in the chest with her index finger and giving her a stern look. "I didn't need her to tell me that you had, but that she was in on it was a surprise to me..."

McCoy groused. "Damned women can't even keep their own secrets ... " He sat down in his chair behind his desk, right as the doors to Sickbay hissed open and Spock became visible.

As the Vulcan entered Sickbay's office, he took one look at McCoy and said, "If you don't mind, Doctor, I would prefer to speak to Nurse Chapel alone."

Leonard looked nothing so much as flabbergasted. "Let me get this straight: You're telling me to get out of my own office?"

Spock looked at him placidly, while Christine tried hard not to laugh out loud. "Indeed, it would seem so, Doctor."

"Well I'll be..." McCoy looked from Spock to Christine, who just looked at him innocently ... a look she seemed to have been perfecting as of late. Finally, McCoy simply said, "All right. I'm going. But you just behave yourselves..."

And he proudly walked out.

Spock turned to Christine as the door closed behind the doctor. After waiting about two heartbeats, he stepped closer to her, something of a glint in his eyes.

"I *do* expect an explanation of that comment you made earlier, Christine."

Christine's eyes widened innocently. "What comment was that, Spock?" she asked. If *he* could stretch the truth, then so could she. She would never lie to him. *That* would be going too far, for either of them, but she was going to play the same game he was.

She couldn't help grinning, but managed not to until she'd turned away and started toward Dr. McCoy's desk.

Spock's eyes narrowed as he watched her. "Christine, you know *exactly* what I'm talking about. Vulcans are not exactly forthcoming about ... things of this nature. I want to know how you came by your knowledge."

Christine turned slowly to face him, having mastered her expression. "You do, do you? Well, truth be told..." she said, pausing to step toward him.

Spock continued to watch her warily. "That *is* generally the best course of action," he said, when she did not continue.

"I asked."

"You what?!"

Christine almost lost her composure when she heard the utter shock that escaped Spock's control. "I asked," she said again, carefully ennunciating both words.

Spock couldn't speak for a moment. He dreaded the answer to the next question that he could not hold back. "Who?"

"It doesn't really matter that much Spock," she answered nonchalantly. "Just someone I know. That's all."

Spock almost cringed as he mentally reviewed the only Vulcans, and the people who knew Vulcans well enough, that she knew, to have answered her question correctly.

It was a *very* short list. If she asked one of those two people... Well it just didn't bear thinking about. "Who did you ask?"

"Actually," she said, drawing out her answer. "I asked Dr. McCoy."

"What?" Spock asked, shock once again revealed in the volume of his question. He blinked twice, then narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. "And just *how* did he know the answer?"

"Why, Spock," Christine said feigning surprise. "I think the answer to *that* question should be painfully obvious."

"Sarcasm, Christine, hardly suits you," Spock patiently observed.

"Playing games, Spock, hardly suits either one of us, so who wins?" she retorted.

"I beg your pardon?" Spock folded his hands behind him, deciding to play the innocent card as well. "Exactly what is this game you are suggesting I am playing, Christine?"

Christine sat down slowly on the edge of McCoy's desk, noting that the hem of her mini dress was just rising above mid-thigh. "Oh," she said sensuously, "I don't know. How about this little game I heard about. Maybe you know it? It's called 'Musical Pon Farr Dates'. Pretty hard to play, unless you're making up the rules as you go along." This last was said as she coyly looked up at him. She saw him stiffen and the barest hint of awareness sparked in his eyes, although he didn't betray it outwardly. She pressed on. "Symptoms still occurring *after* the *Ka-li-fee*? I may be lovestruck, but I'm not naive. Neither is Leonard, for that matter."

Spock's voice was like gravel when he finally spoke. "What is it that you are hinting at, Christine?"

Christine dropped the sexuality bit and stood to face him, eye-to-eye. "I'm not hinting, Spock, I'm saying outright: Why did you have to use the pretense of Pon Farr to say you loved me?" The naked question in her eyes bored right into his heart.

Why did he need pretense?

*Because I am Vulcan,* one half of him reasoned.

*That is no excuse,* his Human half replied.

*It is logical,* the Vulcan half persisted.

*Damn logic, where has it gotten you?* the human in him replied.

*That outburst is illogical...*

*You repetitive robot...*

*She is angry, it is a foolish Human emotion.*

*Emotion is not foolish, it is a viable indicator...*

*It is illogical.*

*Damn logic*

*Ease her pain.*

*What pain?*

*The pain of loving you...*

*Make her laugh?*

Dropping his stoicism, he uttered, "Damned Vulcan politics."

She said nothing for a moment, stunned by the sudden illogical outburst. Regaining her thoughts, she said simply, "Okay..."

"Christine," he said, slowly gathering the pieces of his logical mask back together, but not quite putting it back into place. "I do love you. It's just that the expression of love is taboo on Vulcan, *except* when in the throes of Pon Farr."

"Oh," she said softly, "I see. Well, then..." She smiled at him warmly. "What they don't know won't hurt you: You've officially contracted some sort of virus that temporarily prolonged the effects of Blood Fever."

Spock quirked an eyebrow. "A lie?"

Christine shook her head innocently. "I prefer to think of it as a flight of imagination..."

She never got to finish as her mouth was suddenly covered by his.

When he pulled back, she saw the slightest glimmer of humor in his dark eyes. "I believe the effects of the 'virus' have begun to reassert themselves, Nurse," he stated solemnly, before lowering his face back down to hers.

When McCoy peeked back into the window of his office, he saw what should have been two people, locked together in a strong embrace that made them appear to be one single form. Chuckling softly to himself, he went about his business.

Spock raised his head again from hers and looked deeply into her eyes. "*T'hy'la*, I must ask you..."

"Yes, Spock?" she asked, still a little heady from the kiss.

"When the time comes, will you ... bond with me?" The last part was practically forced out uncomfortably.

She looked at him for a moment. "You mean, it will be another *seven* years before we get married?"

"No, no ... we bond now, but we officially get married at the *kunat-ka-li-fee* in my next Pon Farr."

She was silent, realizing that her dream was finally coming true. Finally, she kissed him deeply. "Yes, beloved. I will bond with you."

Spock gave her a half-smile. "You have just agreed to spend the ritual week on Vulcan, meeting my parents for their approval."

She gasped, just before he descended on her with another kiss.

Any protest she might have had was banished from her mind, as he opaqued the windows of the office and locked the door.



THE END

1