DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of J. M. Lane and is copyright (c) 1988 by J. M. Lane. This story is Rated NC-17. Originally published in "Abode of Strife" #15, December 1988.



MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

J. M. Lane



"...and in conclusion," James Kirk said as he looked at his top officers seated around the Briefing Room table. "I want you all to keep in mind that even as benevolent as the Sivaoans are, they are also very strong , especially when provoked -- and they are easily provoked. So when you beam down..." He looked at Spock, Christine Chapel, and two junior officers, biochemists under the two senior officers' supervision. "--just do your best to stay out of the way. Stick to the ones you must work with while there. Understood?"

"Understood," the four said as one.

"Good. Now it's best that you four be on your way. The Sivaoans are also noted for their punctuality." Five minutes later the four officers were in the Transporter Room, equipped with everything they would need to accomplish their mission.

Uhura admonished Christine to give her feline friend Sunfall a message from her.

"I will if I see her," the nurse agreed.

"She's a scientist, so you probably will." Uhura sighed deeply. "God, how I wish I could go with you!"

"I know, but I'll give her your message ... and bring back any she may have for you."

"Thanks, Chris. I knew I could count on you." The women embraced warmly.

Spock raised a disapproving eyebrow. "Miss Chapel--"

"Of course, Mr. Spock. I'll be right there," Christine said, thankful her back was to the Vulcan so he couldn't see the hot flush in her cheeks. Just hearing his deep, velvety voice (which matched his velvet eyes) was making her heart pound and knees go weak.

She wasn't sure if she was going to be able to stand being in such close proximity to him for the week they were going to be down on the planet working together. She flushed again when she thought of the definitely non-regulation things she wanted to do to ... and *with* --Spock. She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself sufficiently so she could turn around and face him.

*Calm down, Christine. You don't want him to pick up your thoughts again. Remember what he said the last time you did this.* As if she'd ever forget! She had strictly banished all non-regulation thoughts of the Vulcan from her mind since that embarrassing scene ... at least while on duty. One of the hardest things she ever had to do, but she managed somehow.

*Only Heaven knows how*, she told herself. *He's on my mind so much these days!* She frowned as she took her place on the transporter platform. *Dammit! Why do I have to feel like this? -- and about Spock, of all people! I have about as much chance with him as a tribble does with a glommer!* She came back to reality when she felt the tingly sensation of dematerialization, finding herself on the surface of Sivao moments later with Spock and the others as well as their equipment and supplies. The beautiful, cat-like being Sunfall was waiting to greet them.

"Your promptness is very much appreciated," the she-cat said, twitching her long tail gratefully. "Now, if we could get to work immediately. Time is of the essence."

The four looked at each other and frowned, but said nothing and followed Sunfall into the laboratory.

* * *

The next few days were so hectic that Christine and the others were lucky to find time to eat or sleep -- for which she was thankful, for that made it easier to be around Spock, especially when the other two biochemists (both male) were close by. It helped to have Sunfall around, too. After Chris gave her Uhura's message and pocketed one for the communications officer, the two women became good friends as well as co-workers, eventually immersing themselves totally in their work.

Christine and Sunfall spent a large part of their time engrossed in medical and scientific discussions, even sharing lunch several times during their week together ... or whatever meal time they happened to have free.

Even so, it was all Chris could do to endure Spock's often uncomfortably close proximity, particularly when he would inadvertently brush her sleeve with his, or their fingers would brush when he handed her a test tube or like piece of equipment. Every time it happened, she bit her lip and stiffened her back, determined not to let her feelings show -- even if it killed her.

* * *

A couple of days later, five days into the mission, Sunfall asked why Christine had been so edgy around her and the two young researchers. She had snapped at them for minor mistakes, prompting strange looks from them and a worried switching of Sunfall's long tail. Chris sighed deeply, sadly.

"It's nothing to do with you or the researchers, Sunfall. It's--" She swallowed hard. "--very personal," she finished, not wishing to inflict her personal hang-ups on the Sivaoan woman, no matter how friendly she was.

"Please tell me your problem, Christine Chapel. I feel you are my friend, and I want to help."

Christine sighed again. "If only you could!"

The she-cat wrapped her tail around the Human woman and squeezed her warmly, not missing the look in the latter's eyes. She recognized it, as all women do. Christine was in love. Deeply so ... and Sunfall was certain that she knew with whom.

"Christine Chapel, I am not trying to pry. I care about you; even feel a kind of responsibility toward you since you nearly died trying to save my people five years ago -- but if you prefer to keep your problem to yourself, I will understand."

The female Sivaoan's concern touched Christine beyond words; perhaps it would help if she did talk about her feelings for Spock. Even if Sunfall couldn't help, she could still lend a sympathetic ear -- and God knew that she, Chris, needed one about now. Her feelings had gotten to be such that she couldn't even tell Nyota about them ... and as close as *they* were, that was saying something!

"It is the Vulcan, Spock. He is the object of your affections, is he not?"

Christine could only nod. Was she so transparent that Sunfall could see it?

The she-cat nodded understandingly. "He is a very attractive male Humanoid -- or should I say Vulcanoid. I can understand why you would fall in love with him."

"But there is much more to my feelings than that, Sunfall. Spock has every quality I've ever looked for in a man. He is decent, honest, hard-working and loyal ... just to name a few qualities. However, there is one quality of his which I find very difficult to deal with."

"I would assume that it is his refusal to express emotion openly."

Christine nodded.

"But isn't that the way of his people?"

"His father's people, yes. But his mother was Human, as I am."

"Then it shouldn't be too difficult for you to attract him."

Christine shook her head. "He is highly disciplined and very proper ... all Vulcan and logical. Most of the time, that is. Only rarely does he show emotion of any kind, much less single someone out to be his special friend. At this point, Captain Kirk is that special friend.

"As for women, Spock usually steers clear of them except in a professional capacity. Especially ones like me who are infatuated with him. Since Vulcans are telepaths, he senses my feelings whenever he is in proximity to me and therefore is very uncomfortable in my presence. That is why he avoids me except when we *must* work together, like now."

Christine's eyes closed in deep pain. Her voice was quiet, scarcely above a whisper -- but Sunfall's sensitive ears caught every word. *Almost as sensitive as Vulcan hearing,* she couldn't help thinking. She bit her lip again and forced the unbidden image of Spock from her mind.

The only way for her to maintain a semblance of sanity was to adopt a facade as coolly dignified as Spock's own, as she had done in the past -- but it wasn't as easy for her to maintain as it was for him. She also knew Spock to be kind, gentle, thoughtful and compassionate ... though he would have been highly insulted had anyone dared to accuse *him* of such illogical Human emotions.

"How unfortunate. It must be very difficult for you."

"You don't know the half of it."

Sunfall's large, luminous sea-green eyes brightened. "Wait here. I will be right back."

Chris nodded, though she couldn't imagine what Sunfall could have in mind.

The she-cat returned five minutes later, a small vial in her right paw, extending it to Christine. "Here. A gift for you, my new friend."

The Human woman's cheeks flushed with pleasure. "Why, thank you, Sunfall. What is it?"

"An aphrodisiac."

"A *what*?" Her voice rose an octave.

"An aphrodisiac. It stimulates sexual desire."

"I know what it does. What is it for?"

Sunfall's tail twitched in the Sivaoan version of laughter. "What do you *think* it's for, Christine Chapel?"

An unbelievable thought struck the Human woman. Surely Sunfall couldn't mean for her to *use* this -- and on *Spock*? "But isn't this only good on your people?"

"It is a strain we recently developed ... or rather, *I* recently developed. It has proven safe in all Humanoid species, including Vulcans."

"But Sunfall, this could be dangerous for Spock. He is just *half*-Vulcan."

The golden cat shook her head. "It will work on him as though he was fully Vulcan. Have no fear; it will not harm him."

"Be that as it may, I want Spock to come to me of his own free will, not because he's under the influence of some drug."

"And how long have you waited for him to come of his own free will?" the she-cat challenged, driving her point home with a vengeance.

For a moment Christine was tempted. Heaven knew how long she had waited for just such a thing as this to help her win Spock over ... but he might never forgive her if he learned that she had used an aphrodisiac to wangle her way into his bed. And another thing -- how could Sunfall guarantee it wouldn't trigger premature *pon farr*?

"Sunfall, for you to be able to develop something which can do the things you claim it does, you would have to know about something which is a very personal, private thing to the Vulcan people ... something they never talk about, even among themselves -- much less to an outsider, no matter how friendly. How did you ever manage to obtain such information?"

Of course, Christine had no intention of mentioning the fact that she only knew about the Vulcan mating drive because of the time she recalled when it had happened to Spock ... and even she didn't know very much. What she *did* know, she would take with her to her grave.

"I am a renowned scientist, as Nyota has surely told you. You would be surprised at the sort of information to which I have access ... but not even I had access to the information I so badly needed in order to successfully complete my experiments. Therefore, I ran a computer check on all Federation physicians in an attempt to find one with the knowledge I needed.

"I found several, one of whom is a Vulcan specialist who serves with you on the Enterprise -- as well as one who practices on Vulcan. I managed to contact him and explain my experiments to him, assuring him it would be beneficial. All the same, he checked me out thorough- ly before consenting to help me ... and even then, I had to memorize the information."

Christine frowned. "If this information ever got out, it could mean the end of that particular doctor's career, since it is a serious breach of ethics and gross invasion of privacy at best. At worst, it is something which could make Vulcan secede from the Federation should any of their top officials learn of it. And just where would that leave Spock and his family? Not to mention others like them. Quite a high price to pay for a little information, don't you think?"

Sunfall's eyes blazed, her tail twitching rapidly in the Sivaoan equivalent of fury.

"I assure you that Sivaoans are entirely trustworthy. What I have already related to you should be proof of that ... but since more proof seems necessary, allow me to inform you of a Sivaoan law which prohibits every Sivaoan citizen -- regardless of rank, age or gender -- from divulging a secret to anyone, even another Sivaoan, without express permission. Penalty for transgression of that law is death. If that doesn't satisfy convention, nothing will."

"Is there any likelihood of this triggering the Vulcan mating urge prematurely?"

Sunfall twitched her tail angrily. "Of course not. I took every possible precaution to see that it didn't. What it mainly does is relax inhibitions, allowing the subject to express his feelings more openly -- in private, of course."

"Sort of like the spores on Omicron Ceti Three."

The she-cat nodded. "But the potency is not destroyed by strong emotions as the spore influence was. It enhances any feelings the subject might have. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the effect of the aphrodisiac."

Of course, if the one night with the aphrodisiac had no ill effects on Spock, Christine reasoned, perhaps he would come to her of his own free will after that. Could she really afford to pass up a chance to make love with him as she had so yearned, *hungered*, to do for so long?

And if the little vial of aphrodisiac now resting so unobtrusively in her tunic pocket could guarantee her that chance, was the means employed by the Sivaoan scientist really so unethical? Christine sighed dreamily as visions of Spock wanting her shamelessly and making passionate, beautiful love to her danced repeatedly through her head. Oh God, what a lovely thought! But how was she going to get him to take it?

Sunfall answered her question before she voiced it. "The next opportunity you have, put three drops of it into his drink or food. It will not affect the taste, so he will not suspect that anything has been added."

"You make it sound so easy."

"Love *is* easy, Christine Chapel. It is the individuals involved who make it difficult."

"But won't he suspect something when he starts feeling unaccustomed desire for me?"

Sunfall lashed her tail in disgust. "You Humans are so distrustful and suspicious. You question everything. I guarantee that my aphrodisiac will work -- and work so subtly that Spock will not realize what is happening to him until it is too late. Trust me ... take my word on this. You will have the man you love. He will be yours -- if only for one night. Is it not worth giving it a try, if only for that reason alone?"

Sunfall was right. She had to try it. Even if nothing came of their time together, she would at least have the memory of one beautiful night to cherish in her heart. "All right, Sunfall, you win. I'll try it."

The golden cat purred. "I thought you would see it my way. When we have dinner, put the aphrodisiac in while he is not looking. That is, provided you are unable to do so while getting his food and drink for him. Then just sit back and relax. The aphrodisiac will do the rest ... and Spock will be in your arms tonight."

"That reminds me. Just how long is this stuff supposed to last?"

"That depends on the individual -- and it works best when the subject is at rest or unaware that he has received it into his body. But if you want a specific time, I would estimate between twelve and twenty-four hours."

"I feel like such a sneak doing this to him."

"There is an old saying on your home planet of Earth, is there not? 'All's fair in love and war'."

"Yes. A very ancient saying--"

"A saying which definitely applies to this situation ... a saying which will bring your beloved to your arms and your bed. Forever, if you wish."

Christine shook her head. "I'll see how the one night works out first."

* * *

Christine was as nervous as the proverbial cat when dinnertime came. She had been unable to get Spock's food and drink for him, but fortunately was able to put the aphrodisiac in when he was momentarily called away by one of their assistants. She slipped over to his table after making sure no one was looking in her direction, reached into her tunic pocket for the aphrodisiac and carefully counted three drops of Sunfall's concoction into his bowl of plomeek soup, one of several Vulcan dishes brought in from the ship especially for him. She then slipped back into her own chair, pretending to eat while waiting for Spock to return and finish his meal.

She didn't have to wait long. Chris picked up her cup of tea and raised it to her lips, heart pounding when Spock came back in and sat down. Half of her hoped it *wouldn't* work, the other half hoped it would, but still prayed he would suffer no ill effects. Because of his hybrid physiology, it was hard to tell how something would affect him, so she intended to keep a sharp eye out. Her eyes were glued to him as he ate; she couldn't have looked away if she tried. She watched as he finished the meal, disposed of the meal tray and left. She waited five minutes, then left herself.

Sunfall had not told her how quickly the aphrodisiac acted, so Christine wasn't sure how much time she had before he would come seeking her out. To be on the safe side, she decided to bathe and change as soon as she got back to her assigned quarters. Thankfully they were ahead of schedule due to their hectic pace of the first three days; they had definitely earned a night (or two) off. She was just putting the finishing touches on herself when her doorbell rang.

"Come," she said after unlocking the door. It was Spock, as she expected. So the aphrodisiac *did* work after all!

"Miss Chapel? Christine?"

She stood in the doorway to her bedroom, lustrous blonde hair held up by only a large barrette. Chris was clad in a silky shortie nightgown in a hot pink color. It had a relatively modest scoop neckline in front, but plunged below her waist in back. The fabric skimmed the ample curves of her body, and perfume was the only other thing she wore besides furry high-heel slippers. He would soon notice that fact if he was indeed as aroused as Sunfall had promised he would be.

"Right here, Spock." She took a deep breath and walked out to face him.

His eyes widened when he saw her. "Miss Chapel -- Christine -- I must speak privately with you." His voice was hesitant, even shaky. Was this another side effect of the aphrodisiac?

"Yes, Spock?"

"Something ... very strange has been happening to me."

"You were fine when we beamed down. What do you think it might be?" When he hesitated, she knew he was sexually aroused but unwilling to admit it.

"I have no idea," he prevaricated.

She knew he was lying to protect himself -- but from what, she doubted that even *he* knew.

"My medical equipment is in the lab and I don't have the door code, so I can't check you until morning. Do you think you could make do until then? If not, I'll rouse one of the boys and have him bring me my things."

"Yes. I ... believe that would be a most logical course of action."

She couldn't believe her luck; the aphrodisiac was working better than she dared hope. Spock had never hesitated or stammered over his words before, and she had detected flames of desire in his dark eyes. In spite of herself, her eyes wandered down to his groin; she smiled with satisfaction and licked her lips, hypnotized by the large erection straining against the confinement of his uniform pants. She reached for her intercom to call one of their assistants after somehow tearing her eyes away from him, but her hand froze in mid-air at his husky voice.

"Christine--" He pulled her hard against him, holding her lower body deliciously close to his for a moment before releasing her. "I ... do not know what is wrong with me. I have -- never felt like this before."

She lowered one hand to lightly touch him. "Is *this* your problem?"

He drew in a sharp breath, but strained closer to her hand. "Y...yes."

"So what do you expect *me* to do about it?" She forced herself to sound calm.

"Why do you *think* I am here? You are the only one who can help me."

"Spock, are you *propositioning* me?"

"I want you to ease my pain. If that is 'propositioning,' then yes, I am propositioning you."

He took her hand and again pressed her fingers against his groin to feel the painfully hard arousal, groaning at her touch. Almost before she realized what was happening, he had pulled her into his arms again and captured her lips in a bruisingly passionate kiss, clasped hands keeping her lower body tight against his as the copious evidence of his desire pressed between her legs when she stood on tiptoes to kiss him, his tongue entering her mouth and entwining with hers.

"Christine, can you not understand what I am trying to say? *I want you.* I need to make love to you!" He all but snapped the words out after reluctantly breaking off the kiss. "Is your door locked?"

"N...no."

"Then I suggest you do so."

"Anything you say, Spock."

It was a physical hurt to have to release his seductive lips and warm, sweet tongue probing into her mouth. He was one step behind her all the way; once the door was safely locked, he guided her hand to the waistband of his pants.

"Undo it."

"Spock--"

"*Undo it.*"

She fumbled at the fastenings with trembling fingers, soon exposing his hot, swollen flesh to her touch. He arched into her hand with undisguised pleasure, then backed away to strip off his uniform. The next thing she knew, he had torn off her nightgown to expose her bare skin.

"Christine ... oh, gods, *Christine*..."

She felt his hot, silken shaft probing as they kissed and caressed, trying to find the opening which would allow him access. Her thighs automatically opened to receive him; he took full advantage of the opportunity and thrust deeply to bury himself in her warmth. She gasped in astonished pleasure, clinging to him as though it meant her life.

And in a very real sense, it did. This was something that would normally happen only in her dreams -- but Sunfall's supposedly "unethical" aphrodisiac had made it reality. She must remember to thank her when she had the chance. Here was the man she loved in her arms, breathless with passion, having buried himself in her body and thrusting rhythmically, deliciously...

"Spock..."

He silenced her with passionate kisses.

"Spock, let's -- move to the bed."

"*No. I must have you, right here and now.*"

He lowered them both to the carpeted floor. The ecstasy was incredible as he began to move within her; how could anyone feel like this and still be on earth? Hardly giving her a chance to catch her breath, he lowered himself down onto her, intimately kissing and caressing every inch of her he could reach.

She wrapped her long legs around his slender hips to draw him more deeply inside her, gasping with a pleasure that was almost pain as he rode her through wave upon wave of almost unbearable rapture, her back arching again and again as her climaxes built up, one on top of another.

Spock held off as long as he could to let Christine take as much pleasure as possible before feeling his own orgasm build from deep inside his body, finally leaving him to enter her. With a momentary flash of his former sanity, he hoped she had had the foresight to take a birth control injection. Once he felt himself softening within her, he lifted her face to his and kissed her tenderly. His lips eventually, reluctantly, moved to kiss her face, finding her cheeks wet. She was crying!

"Christine, what is wrong? Have I hurt you?"

She buried her face in his neck, not answering him.

"Please do not shut me out now. Tell me what you are feeling."

"Spock, my love, *nothing's* wrong. Nothing whatsoever! Everything is absolutely perfect. In fact, I never *dreamed* it could be so perfect!"

He could not answer her, for his heart began to swell with an unaccustomed emotion he refused to name. He merely tightened his embrace after once again tasting of her lips, holding her so close they seemed to breathe as one ... moments before sleep claimed them.

* * *

Christine awoke with Spock holding her from behind, resting himself against her buttocks, lips on her neck and one hand at her waist, the other clasping the warmth between her legs. Never had she known such supreme happiness and contentment! At this point the whole world could have collapsed around them and Christine wouldn't have cared.

She had everything she'd ever wanted right here ... the man she loved holding her, once again feeling his erection renewing itself and pressing against her until she again opened her thighs to accommodate him. His lips nuzzled her neck and throat, making her shiver as his long, slender fingers teased her nipples into an almost painful hardness. A few minutes later he turned her to face him, pleasuring her almost beyond endurance with lips, hands and tongue. Eventually he lifted her chin to find her lips again.

"Christine?"

"Mmm?" she murmured against his lips.

"I want you again. I do not know why, but I do -- and cannot understand how I could be feeling like this."

"Don't question it, love. Just lie back and enjoy it."

Her suggestion must have made sense to him, for he had no further complaints, and proceeded to once again make passionate love to her, pleasuring her until she felt like she could die of it.

* * *

Christine woke again to find him sitting on the bed fully clothed and hiding behind his cold, logical Vulcan mask. She reached out to touch him; he flinched away from her as though her touch would burn him.

"Spock..."

"Good morning, Miss Chapel." His voice was cold and formal, eyes refusing to meet hers.

"Are you all right?"

"Of course." He stood up and started for the door.

"Spock, please don't go."

He didn't seem to hear her. "I will be in the laboratory. I suggest you dress and follow suit."

He stepped out the door before she had a chance to stop him. Tears welled up in her eyes, overflowing down her cheeks as she buried her face in her pillow -- a pillow which still held the essence of him. This was what she'd been afraid of: that once the effects of the aphrodisiac wore off, he would be embarrassed and ashamed ... which he definitely was. How could she ever convince him that there was no need?

* * *

But Spock did not go to the laboratory. Instead, he called the ship and asked to be beamed up. Scotty was surprised that Spock, of all people, would beam back before their mission was accomplished, but didn't question him.

"Where is the Captain?" The Vulcan's voice was flat and toneless.

"In th' Officers' Mess."

"Thank you."

Spock kept his mind carefully blank, refusing to think about or acknowledge what had happened last night. If he did, he would surely go mad. It seemed an eternity before he reached the Officers' Mess, finding the Captain in the midst of his breakfast.

"Jim--"

Kirk looked up into the face of his Vulcan friend, unable to believe the expression there or the tone of his voice. It was as though he'd just committed the worst crime in the Galaxy. "What are you doing back so soon, Spock? You can't be done already. The work down here is supposed to take you, Miss Chapel and the others at least a week to complete."

"I must speak privately with you." Spock's voice held the telltale flat quality which the Captain knew concealed an active volcano of suppressed emotion.

"Could I finish eating first?"

The Vulcan reluctantly nodded, sitting stiffly in a nearby chair until the Captain stood up. "Come on, Spock."

The First Officer followed silently, mechanically; the facade remained until the two men were behind Jim's locked door. "Okay, what's so important that you needed to get away from work to talk about it?"

"Jim, I--" Spock began, flushing a deep emerald all the way to his hairline before bending at the waist to bury his face in his hands as he sat on Kirk's bed. For a moment, Kirk was sure his "unemotional" friend would cry, and he didn't think he could stand that.

"Spock, what's wrong? What's happened?"

"I ... Miss Chapel..." he stammered, again turning green.

"What about you and Miss Chapel?"

"She-- I... We--"

"Spock, I can't help you until you start speaking in complete sentences."

"Miss Chapel... I-- We... *We made love last night*!"

Kirk blanched as white as a sheet. *Oh my God, no wonder he's so upset!* "What's wrong with that?"

"Jim--" The Vulcan's voice was that of a boy in distress. "Jim, you do not understand. I did not...*want* to, but could not help myself. I *had* to -- I just had to have her!"

"As I said, that's no crime. It's long overdue for you, anyway. It happens to the best of us sooner or later; it was just time for it to happen to you. All it really means is that you're a normal male."

"Jim, *listen* to me! I feel certain I was drugged with something. Something that made me do it. I believe it must have been ... some kind of aphrodisiac."

Kirk couldn't believe his ears. Spock had to be terribly upset, because he seldom -- if ever -- raised his voice. But he really couldn't see Christine resorting to aphrodisiacs in order to seduce Spock, though he couldn't blame her if she had, now that he thought about it. After all, none of her other attempts had been successful, so it was only a matter of time until she tried an aphrodisiac ... but he had had no idea the one Bones had told him about would have such far-reaching effects.

"So what do you intend to do about it?"

"Do? What *can* I do? It is done."

"How are you feeling right now?"

"I am feeling many things. Far too many things. Things that no self-respecting Vulcan has any business feeling."

"What would you have felt if you hadn't been drugged?"

Spock raised an astonished eyebrow. "I do not know what you mean."

"I think you do," Kirk corrected. "If you hadn't been drugged, would you have resisted her, fought against temptation?"

Spock even surprised himself with his answer. "No. No, I would not."

"You're sure?"

"Absolutely."

"But you always swore you'd never get involved with any woman aboard ship -- *especially* Christine."

"This is different, somehow. I cannot say exactly how ... but it all seemed so perfect, so very right."

"And you think it would be right with her?"

Spock's reply was quiet, just barely audible to Kirk's ears. "More than right. Jim, she is--" He stopped, bending his head to intently study the toes of his boots. "She is ... *extraordinary*. So intelligent and capable -- but so beautiful and feminine at the same time. I never dreamed any woman could mean as much to me as she does. I do not know *how* I can feel as I do. I only know I *do*. I cannot pretend not to care now, Jim. Not after last night." The Vulcan's brown eyes were soft and warm, full of tenderness and sincerity.

"Spock, are you telling me that you've ... fallen in love with her?"

"She is a part of my heart, my soul, my very being." After that, he was unable to speak for a long time.

"Have you told her this?"

The look on Spock's face spoke for him. Kirk mentally kicked himself. *Silly question, James. Of course he didn't. He couldn't!*

"I could not face her this morning. All I did was get dressed and leave. I must have hurt her very badly by doing so. I deeply regret it, but could not have endured another moment in her presence feeling as I did then. I needed time alone to sort out my thoughts -- and talk with you."

"I can understand that, but you've got to face her sometime. It *did* happen, you know. You've got to acknowledge that fact. I mean, you don't want people thinking that you ... a Vulcan ... are a coward, afraid to face a mere woman or your feelings for her."

Spock's head jerked up in shock and indignation, but he was unable to deny the truth of anything Jim said.

"You'll have to work with her for two more days. How do you intend to do that after what's passed between you?"

Spock sighed. "I will manage. I always do."

* * *

Spock and Christine worked fairly well together for the remaining two days -- at least as long as they stuck to the business at hand and allowed no personal thoughts to intrude. When lunchtime came on the last day, Spock steeled himself to walk up to Christine and speak to her.

"Come with me back up to the ship's Botanical Gardens," he said.

She merely nodded and went along with him. After beaming up, they walked through the gardens, eventually stopping next to a fence and leaning against it. Christine hesitantly moved back to rest her head on Spock's shoulder. He put one hand on her right hip, the other on her belly while resting his cheek on her fragrant hair. For a time they were quiet, simply savoring the other's closeness ... then Christine stepped away and turned to face him.

"Spock, why did you just walk out that day? Was what we did so terrible that you couldn't even acknowledge that it had happened? It nearly broke my heart to see you walk out so cold, stiff-necked, and proper after all we'd shared. I cried for an hour -- and then these last two days..." Her voice broke; tears again slid quietly down her cheeks.

Spock lifted her chin to face him, softly kissing them away. "Please do not cry. It is distressing to me."

Christine squared her shoulders and tried to smile. Since they were alone, he moved to hold her close, her head on his chest. One of her hands rested over his heart as his entwined hands rested on her back; his lips warmly kissed the top of her head.

"I deeply regret any pain I have caused you, but you must try to understand that the feelings I was experiencing at the time overwhelmed me. I had no idea I was capable of such emotions."

"But I--" she began, then flushed and stiffened in his arms.

"But what?"

"I ... I put that -- aphrodisiac in your food. That's what made you act as you did that night."

Spock raised a surprised eyebrow. "Such artificial stimulants seldom work on Vulcan body chemistry. How did you manage to find one that did?"

"S-Sunfall gave it to me. She developed it and presented some of it to me as a gift."

He frowned. "I was wondering where you had procured it. Do you realize that you have invaded my privacy by employing an artificial stimulant? Not in all the long history of my planet has a woman ever needed to resort to any kind of stimulant in order to emotionally and sexually arouse a man. Of course, I should have expected this from you."

Christine hung her head like a naughty child being scolded. She really couldn't blame him for being upset, but had no intention of taking all the blame -- nor could she bring herself to regret even one moment of the night they had shared.

"Christine, did it never occur to you that the attractions you already possess might have 'turned my head', so to speak? I assure you that no aphrodisiac will work without romantic and erotic feelings for it to enhance. In other words, I was attracted to you *before* you ever employed Sunfall's concoction."

"Then why couldn't you have told me a long time ago? I would never have considered using an aphrodisiac if I'd had any idea whatsoever that you felt anything for me ... but no, you make me wait five years before telling me. Just what did you expect me to do, wait *another* five years for you to make up your mind? Damn it, Spock, I'm only Human. I love you, I want you! I got tired of waiting.

"If that's a crime, I'm guilty -- and incidentally, I'm *sorry* for invading your precious *privacy*. But you Vulcans are so damn tight-lipped, how was I supposed to know that you had any feelings for me? You never seemed to care whether I lived or died, but now I'm expected to forget all that and believe only that you've always loved me. Isn't that 'highly illogical'?"

His frown only deepened. "Christine, I will never understand why you always expect me to react as a fully Human male would when I am not. However, in spite of your subterfuge in obtaining what you desired from me, I am still very much attracted to you."

Christine's voice was bitter. "And I'm supposed to be *thankful* for that? I swear, Spock, I've never met anyone as arrogantly sure of himself as you in my life! If you're so certain that I'm *totally* to blame, that no fault whatsoever lies with you because of how you've treated me all this time... If you won't even *try* to understand my position, what you've put me through -- or what motivated me to do what I did in order to get your attention... *Well, then, I don't need you!*"

She burst into tears again and fled, ignoring him when he called to her.

* * *

Late that same night after Christine had fled the Botanical Gardens in tears, Spock lay awake and alone in his quarters, heart aching more than he believed possible. He had wanted so much to run after her and apologize, but the restraints were too long ingrained. Was what she had done really so unforgivable? After all, the only thing she had done was to invade his privacy -- and there were far worse things in the Galaxy.

He wanted more than anything to be with Christine now, feel her close to him ... let his arms, lips and body say all that he could not. But at this point, he'd be surprised if she allowed him in the same room with her again, much less allowed him to make love to her again.

He felt warm stirrings of desire rising in his body, as if responding to his thought -- soon turning into a dull, throbbing ache, the resulting, painfully hard erection making the bedding rise. He attempted to relieve the ache by manipulating the highly sensitive flesh with his hands ... but it only made matters worse.

Self-manipulation never worked for male Vulcans; only the soft warmth of a woman's vaginal walls could bring him to orgasm and give him relief. At the thought of her, his heart and groin ached in unison, his eyes stinging with unaccustomed, unbidden tears.

*No!* he scolded himself. *Vulcans do not cry!* But he had already borne so much pain and loneliness in his lifetime -- it was impossible to bear any more. Just before he fell into a troubled sleep, the tears had come, and his throat hurt from trying to force them back. *Christine, Christine ... what have I done to you? To us?*

* * *

Christine's night had been no better. She had tossed and turned for hours, eventually crying herself to sleep. In the ensuing days, she avoided Spock whenever possible, even if it meant going out of her way. She refused any attempts on his part to make amends, speaking to him only when necessary and then exclusively on business.

Every time that happened, he hurt so much that it felt as though someone had reached inside him and torn out a piece of his heart -- and the loneliness was almost unbearable. Never in his life had he felt so lonely! Had he been too hard on her? After all, she was an emotional Human and absurdly sensitive, especially where he was concerned.

If only he could think of a way not to yield his position, but still win her back! Even as much as it hurt to be at odds with her, he was still reluctant to forgive her use of Sunfall's aphrodisiac. Even his Human mother Amanda had seen no need to resort to such things. He just didn't know what to do or say to her. Perhaps if he talked with Jim again... Spock shook his head.

He had already spoken with him twice, and nothing had changed between himself and Christine. If anything, she was growing even more cold and distant toward him. What was it going to take to get through to her, make her realize how deeply sorry he was and how much he wanted to make things right between them again?

* * *

Spock waited around the corner from Sickbay, planning to intercept Christine as soon as she came off-shift. He was brought back to reality by the opening and closing of the sickbay doors, illogically hoping it was her -- and fortunately he was right in his assumption.

"Christine?"

Her eyes were ice-cold, her voice even more so. "Leave me alone, Spock. For God's sake, just do me a favor and leave me the hell alone!"

"Please do not freeze me out, Christine. I must see you."

"Dammit, Spock, let me go or I'll call Security!" She was on the verge of tears, struggling fiercely in his strong grip.

He held her with one arm, the other hand forcing her to look at him ... look at the love, pain and sincere apology in his dark eyes. "Christine, please do this one thing for me. Hear me out -- then if you wish to leave, I will not stop you."

She stopped struggling in his grip, but he still held onto her, fearful that she would again run away if he let her go. She was being a damn fool, letting him get to her again after all the pain he'd caused her ... but God help her, she still loved him so much -- and had missed him almost unbearably. But even with as much pain as she had borne because of her feelings for him, it was well-nigh unendurable being without him any longer.

"All right," she agreed quietly.

"Thank you."

They walked in silence to a turbolift and stepped inside. He ached to hold and kiss her, but that would have to wait until (and if) she accepted his apology. Moments later they reached T Deck, where the Botanical Gardens were located. The Gardens -- which featured plants, flowering and otherwise, from various Federation planets -- were an ideal place for lovers aboard ship who wished for a pleasant, secluded place where they could go for a private rendezvous, such as the aforementioned couple wished to have.They sat down on a bench behind a large, thick hedge of roses, the most romantic spot in the entire Gardens. Spock explained what had happened with him since their quarrel and the conclusion he had finally reached. Tears again misted Christine's eyes when he finished -- but this time they were tears of happiness.

"Oh, Spock... Beloved! Of *course* I forgive you -- if you'll forgive *me*."

"I forgave you long ago." He again brushed her tears away with gentle fingers, one of them eventually reaching to stroke her lips. "Christine..."

She saw naked love and desire in his eyes, and wanted more than anything to be in his arms again, feel his lips on hers -- but there was something she needed to say first. "No, Spock, not yet. There is something I must say first."

"Then kindly say it and be done with it," he snapped, eyes lingering on her lips.

She smiled tenderly. "Patience, my love. This is very important."

Christine explained how reluctant she had been to use the aphrodisiac on him, and how Sunfall had finally persuaded her that she had nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying it. "I felt like such a sneak doing it to you ... but Sunfall guaranteed it would work--" Her voice broke off. "As we both know it did," Christine finished quietly, blushing furiously.

"As I've said, I didn't mean to invade your privacy by drugging you, but didn't see any other way I could get you to pay attention to me. Nothing else I did worked, so it seemed worth a try. If nothing else, I would have one beautiful night to cherish in the years to come. And I'm not trying to shift blame to Sunfall, merely explaining what happened."

"You really thought it necessary to use an aphrodisiac?" The Vulcan sounded like he couldn't believe he would ever need one ... though he now understood why she had believed otherwise.

"You must admit it worked when nothing else did," Christine pointed out.

"I suppose I did need some assistance at first -- but no more." Spock took her face in his hands, then bent his head and kissed her tenderly. "What time do you want me to come tonight?"

Christine was dumfounded and couldn't say a word for a minute.

"Is something wrong? Do you not *want* me to come?"

Christine eventually managed to find her voice again. "Of -- course I want you ... but didn't think you'd still want to come, especially since the aphrodisiac wore off days ago."

He stroked her lips again with a finger. "Christine, it wasn't *all* the aphrodisiac. Give me at least *some* credit. In addition, I now believe I owe you the opportunity to know me as I really am -- without the influence of any kind of drug."

He had never talked so intimately to any woman before, but it was illogical to conceal his feelings from her after the intimacies they had shared together. There was nothing wrong in speaking so openly with her as long as they were assured of being alone... It was then that he looked around, noticing more couples on nearby paths. "This is becoming too public a place for what I have in mind, so let us retire to your quarters quickly."

There were obviously still some lingering effects of the aphrodisiac, but Christine sensed that Spock was essentially speaking as himself -- and that he still wanted her, even after what she'd done. He pulled her into a turbolift soon after leaving the Gardens.

"E Deck," he said.

After the doors closed, he brought her chin up to face him. "Have you no idea how truly extraordinary, how beautiful and exciting you are? Not to mention the fact that you have an unfortunate tendency to underestimate your attraction?"

Christine couldn't believe her ears. This was not the aphrodisiac talking; this was *him*! To her surprise, he picked her up in his arms just prior to reaching E Deck. She looked at him strangely but smiled when she realized what he had in mind, squeezing his shoulders affectionately and brushing his left ear with her lips, blowing softly into it. She felt a shudder of pleasure course through his body.

"And I would be most grateful if you would refrain from touching me intimately or kissing me until we are behind closed doors." When the turbolift stopped, he said, "Now act like you are asleep."

"Why?"

"Just do it. Trust me." She kept her eyes closed all the way down the corridor, smiling to herself as she heard Spock explain to a young crewman that she was exhausted and he was taking her to her quarters for some rest. He must have been new, since she didn't recognize his voice. That meant he was not only unaware of her feelings for Spock, but his for *her*. They reached her door a few minutes later.

"Christine, we have arrived."

She was reluctant for him to put her down, but it was necessary so she could open the door. Her movements were swift, authomatic; within a minute they were behind the locked doors of her quarters.

"Christine--"

"Spock..."

The next moment found them in each other's arms, holding each other tightly, closely, kissing passionately as she once again felt the large hardness of him press deliciously against her. His lips brushed her right ear, softly blowing into it. "Undress me. Quickly," he urged -- but there was barely a chance for them to do so, even partially, before he pulled her down to the floor on top of him, straddling his hips as he lowered her onto his achingly hard shaft. Both gasped and cried out as he moved rhythmically inside her, preparing to thrust deeply and let himself go.

When they turned on their sides, she moaned and gripped his buttocks to draw him inside her as far as possible. "Spock, my love... oh, my God..."

He all but tore her uniform from her body and was just as impatient with his own uniform shirt, throwing it across the room once he got it off to once again contentedly bury himself inside her. At last all superfluous clothing was gone ... now they could concentrate on more important matters. He whispered softly in her ear, reminding her of the previous intimacies they had shared before telling her what else he planned to do to her tonight.

After another mind-boggling climax, he began kissing his way down her body to her belly, then took a thigh in each hand and opened her unresisting legs, moving one hand to gently part the velvety folds he found there. He slowly lowered his head to draw his hot tongue the entire length of her, beginning to gently suck out her juices ... tasting both her and himself in her intimate flesh. She arched and jerked, moaning in exquisite rapture. Oh God, how much more could she stand and still live?

Once they calmed down, he gathered her close in his arms. "It is all right, my *t'hy'la*. Our interlude was most enjoyable -- and you were wonderful."

"Then why am I feeling so ashamed?"

"Since when do you feel ashamed for wanting me? I am not ashamed of wanting *you* ... at least not any more."

"But you never--"

"Never is a long time."

"But you never got involved with any woman aboard ship. Everyone knows that."

"Not until now, that is." He nuzzled one breast with warm lips.

"And why now?"

"Why? Because of you." He turned her beneath him to slide between her parted legs, his engorged sex pressing insistently at the opening to her body before thrusting in. "I simply never wanted it badly enough before ... not with anyone. Until you. That reminds me -- I would be most honored if you would bond with me. *Marry* me, Christine."

She was struck speechless.

"What is the matter now? Do you not wish to marry me?"

"Oh yes, Spock. *Yes*. It was just such a surprise."

"Surprise? I consider it only logical -- especially since we have been physically intimate so often of late."

"You have a point. After all, I want our children to be legal."

"Are you saying that you are carrying my child already?"

She laughed. "Of course not. At least not yet ... but that's not to say that I wouldn't *like* to. For Heaven's sake, I've wanted *that* ever since I first fell in love with you!"

His lips tenderly caressed her throat.

"Oh, Spock ... beloved. I never dreamed I would ever hear you ask me to marry you."

"Would you like me to repeat it?"

Christine laughed again and gave him a playful kiss on the nose. "No, my love. Just love me..."

He complied with her request, willingly and thoroughly. After resting a while, he lifted her from the floor and carried her to her bed where the lovers lay down together and settled into each other's arms, cuddling and whispering the sweet nonsense only lovers share. Then the fully satisfied, relaxed and happy couple finally drifted into a deep, restful sleep, clasped together in a loving embrace.

* * *

Leonard McCoy was suspicious after receiving no answer from either Spock's or Chris's quarters. He checked the Vulcan's quarters and found it empty; that meant he had to be with Chris in hers. He tried that door and found it locked, confirming his suspicions. He smiled broadly as he retraced his steps, almost insufferably pleased with himself at the role he had played in bringing them together -- beginning with sending Chris down to Sivao to work with Spock for a week.

He had even arranged for Sunfall to give her the vial of aphrodisiac responsible for her finally hooking Spock ... after getting Jim's okay, of course. It may have been slightly unethical, but it was *logical*. This way there would be no need to rush to Vulcan the next time Spock went into pon farr. Even so, it was still pretty much up to them to decide the final outcome -- and was he ever glad things had worked out the way they did ... for both of them. Bones again grinned broadly as he stepped into the turbolift which would take him back to G Deck and Sickbay.

*By God, it's about time that crazy half-breed woke up and died right!*



THE END

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