DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of kira-nerys and is copyright (c) 2000 by kira-nerys. This story is Rated PG. Feedback: email@example.com URL: http://www.kardasi.com/lkd/ Comments. This is again for Catherine Kay, who challenges us continually on the S&C list. Thanks girl. You keep going! Beta: VastSee
Another step, and she would be standing close enough to the sickbed -- and to Spock -- to touch him. Christine hesitated, and knew that she probably would not dare. She felt like she had everything she wanted within reach, and still was too cowardly to touch him. Besides, it was a deceptive feeling. Even if he was physically close, he would never feel the way she did, and touching him wouldn't do her any good.
All these feelings were roiling inside her - desire, love, loyalty and friendship. They all fought for supremacy within her as she watched the half-Vulcan. He was lying peacefully on the bed, deeply asleep.
She fought the tears and slumped down on the chair standing beside his bed. She was working nightshift and it was rather quiet in Sickbay. She and Nurse Hendrikssen where the only ones on duty. It gave her too much time to think, too. She suddenly wished for an epidemic of flu or something that would take her from Spock's side.
Generally, she didn't think about Spock and her strong feelings for the Vulcan, but when he was in Sickbay for any length of time, it was difficult to avoid. He was disturbing her peace of mind. Right now, she wasn't particularly worried about him either. He had a severe head-cold, something he seemed unusually susceptible to. Perhaps it was the too-low temperature on the ship that made him succumb so easily to colds.
She watched him sleep. The shadows played against the austere face.
Spock was always so strong, so unreachable. Now, it was different. Asleep and sick, he seemed so much more vulnerable than any other time. Perhaps her feelings stemmed from that? She was among the few who saw Spock like this, so fragile. She knew that was probably one reason for his distaste of Sickbay. He didn't like being vulnerable. Who did?
She closed her eyes, cursing inwardly. She wished he wasn't here at all. Ever since the Psi 2000 incident she had tried so hard to push her emotions as far back in her mind as possible. But she couldn't. It wasn't particularly surprising. Just looking at him made her insides clench into a tight, painful ball. Kicking herself mentally for allowing her feelings to surface, she rose and turned her back to his sickbed.
She suddenly wished she could purge the love she felt for him and she wished she could ask for his help. Maybe that was the answer? Turning around again, she looked at Spock and the peaceful expression on his face. He looked so young when he was sleeping, pure and beautiful in every sense of the word.
Reaching out at last, she put her hand on his cheek. He could help her. His mind was powerful and he would help her if she asked, she knew that much. Spock might not love her, but he cared, that much she was sure of. Christine sighed and drew her hand over his cheek, feeling the stubble rasp against the palm of her hand. He was so warm, so hot against her human-cool skin, and the silky-soft brush of his hair against her fingertips made her shiver. She shouldn't be doing this. He wouldn't like it if he knew.
But the touch of his skin against hers was something she'd rarely felt, and longed for so desperately, for so long. Unable to fight against the emotions, she closed her eyes. Vulcans, no matter how asleep, would sense her distress, and he was certainly no exception, so she fought to pull her hand from him, but it was too late.
When she opened her eyes, he was looking at her, and he knew every emotion she felt. She must be broadcasting like a subspace beacon. She swallowed hard, yielding to his penetrating stare. She allowed him to see, yet again, everything she had ever felt for him. She had to, in order for him to understand and decide to help her.
It hurt her once again as she knew it would, for nothing of her own feelings were reflected in Spock's dark eyes, and she wanted to cry.
Defeated, she tried to withdraw her hand from his, but Spock's grip around her fingers was like durasteel. Yearning, always, for his touch, she relaxed and allowed his hold to continue. Want and need rushed through her and she closed her eyes in shame. Why didn't he just let go? Vulcans didn't allow casual touching and her touch must be appalling to him now, the way she lusted for him, the way she loved. Unable to avoid his gaze anymore, Christine looked up.
There was understanding in his eyes, and it made her feel a little better.
"Spock?" she whispered.
"Remember what I have to say, Christine."
Quietly, she waited for him to continue. Her heartbeat was painful in her chest and fear flowed through her, for she was afraid of what he was about to say.
"Never feel shame, for loving me," he said calmly. She had never seen him speak of it so calmly. The only times they had ever even addressed her feelings for him were the times when they had been forced to by outside factors. The time when they were suffering from the Psi 2000 virus, during his Pon Farr or when Parmen had forced Spock to kiss her. Christine swallowed and closed her eyes in shame at the memory. He had rejected her so many times. Why had she been so foolish as to touch him, wake him now, to allow him to do it again?
"Maybe I cannot return your emotions, and that is my failing, not yours."
"Spock ... " she said, "Help me."
Love, she thought, seemed to be a feeling he could not accept or understand. It saddened her.
"How can I help, Christine? You know that ... "
"I'm not asking you to love me, Spock. You say you can't, and I have to trust you, because I have never known you to lie."
Suddenly Spock turned his face away from her and was looking at their hands, still entwined. His long, delicate fingers enveloping hers. He was so warm and she loved the feeling of him touching her. This was the last time. Reluctantly, she pulled her hand away from his, and this time he allowed her to withdraw.
"You're not lying to me now, are you, Spock?" she whispered.
He didn't answer. It made her truly angry.
"Spock, if you cannot love me, you must help me. Meld with me. Erase these feelings I have for you from my mind. I can't seem to get rid of them, and I'm losing respect for myself. It is pitiful!" Her voice was strong and she couldn't hide the anger now.
He looked up at her then. "You wish me to purge your mind from your love for me?"
"Yes, you can do that, can't you?"
"Then do it."
Spock closed his eyes and then he turned to her. "I realize, I have been selfish. I should have offered this to you long ago."
"Selfish? What do you mean?"
Spock didn't reply. Instead, he lifted his hands, and placed them on her temples on the meld points. Christine shivered. She could count the times Spock had touched her willingly on one hand. She swallowed.
"Oh, Spock," she whispered, tears streaming down her face now. "I will miss this."
He pulled away.
"You do not wish me to erase your feelings then?" His voice sounded strange, and her eyes flew open. His face was so close to hers. His lips so close to hers.
"Yes, I do," she said firmly. What good did it do to dream about his kisses, when he didn't want her, and never would.
This time, his fingers settled on her face quickly and she gasped as the sensation of falling grabbed her, but she landed softly. Spock's mind caught hers, and the descent into the meld became slower and more controlled.
// Christine? //
// Yes. //
// You can hear me. That is satisfactory. //
// What do you want me to do? //
// I wish for you to feel, Christine. Feel your emotions for me to their fullest extent, and I will find them and erase them from your mind. //
// Oh, Spock. //
// This is sadness you are experiencing. Why? //
// It is part of what I feel for you, Spock. Come, follow me. //
And the meld took on a physical place. Images of Spock flowed past them. Scenes from their lives and Christine's feelings for Spock played out before them.
Spock, standing on the bridge of the Enterprise, and Christine entering a step behind Dr. McCoy. She could only see the back of Spock, as he was standing with his face turned toward the viewscreen.
*Strong, lithe, beautiful.*
Spock, in Sickbay, in horrible pain. One of Deneva's creatures deeply intertwined with his nervous system. She could hear her own voice protest when Dr. McCoy orders her to 'sew him up'.
*I wish I could take away your pain.*
Spock, turning around in sickbay, grabbing Kirk's shoulders, a brilliant smile lighting up his face. *I wish your smile would turn to me. Hope. There are emotions within you, Spock.*
So many feelings rushing through her. Love so many times, seeing Spock work, doing the things he does best. Happiness when she read about his achievements in science. Sadness when he seemed to consciously avoid her. Resignation when she finally accepted that he could not love.
Jealousy and a strange sense of hope when word about Zarabeth spread across the ship.
// You knew of her? //
// Yes. It is a small ship, Spock. //
// I am sorry. //
// How could you love her? ... and why not me? //
Suddenly shields in his mind seemed to fall away. Hard glass-walls disintegrated and vanished.
// Come, // Spock said. Suddenly he materialized beside her and took her hand. Together they walked past the place where the barriers had been.
There were no images. Instead, Christine could feel, volatile emotions, raging beasts fighting against durasteel shackles, keeping them at bay.
// This is how your emotions seem to you. //
// This is what I am, who I am, Christine. //
// You are Vulcan. //
// I am half-Vulcan. My emotions are as strong as any Vulcan's, but my human part make them more difficult to control. I must maintain my control at all times. I do not know what would happen if I unleash them. //
// Won't you try? //
Suddenly, images from Vulcan surrounded them, as if standing in a large theater. Christine followed the scenes, and watched as Spock killed Kirk. // This is what you believe will happen if you let your feelings out? //
// I do not wish to take the risk. //
// You were in Pon Farr. //
Christine turned to Spock and looked into his face.
// Why are you showing me this? //
// I do not wish to purge your emotions, Christine, // he whispered and turned his face away.
// Why? //
// Because you love me. //
And suddenly she understood. Love was an emotion Spock had seen precious little of in his life. It was an emotion that frightened him, but he craved it like an animal lost in the desert.
// Take us out of the meld, Spock, // she said softly.
And he did.
Spock took his hands off her face and relaxed back onto sickbed. His face was drawn tight and he looked tired.
"Have you ever allowed anyone else inside your shields, Spock?" she asked finally. God, she couldn't believe she'd been so bold as to say what was on her mind, but he had seen it all. He knew everything she felt.
Fleetingly, something showed in Spock's eyes, but then it disappeared. Even so, Christine felt encouraged.
"Don't let fear keep you from feeling, Spock!"
"Christine ... ."
"Because that way, your life will always be barren, cold and alone!"
Spock looked up at her, seeming reluctant to speak, but finally forced the words over his lips. "I am frightened, Christine. Love is an emotion I am not familiar with."
"But I am, Spock. I know love. I will show you. You don't have to fear it, because I'm not afraid. Not at all."
"Perhaps you should be?"
"I don't think so." She leaned across the bed, put her hands on his cheeks. This time their eyes met, and there was a glint of panic in Spock's eyes, but she ignored it. She leaned closer, and pressed her lips against his.
Tentatively, he relaxed beneath her. She brushed her lips against his again, licking at his lips, and finally he opened beneath her, allowing her to kiss him deeply. She was finally able to truly kiss him, the way she'd longed to do for so long, and when his arms came around her waist, pulling her up beside him in the sickbed, tears were running freely down her cheeks.
She had come home, and so had he, even if he didn't know it yet.