DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Melissa and is copyright (c) 1999 by Melissa. This story is Rated PG.



Memories That Wouldn't Die

Melissa



Christine waited patiently for the shuttle door to open. It had been years since she had visited Vulcan, but being there for Leonard and Spock were the most important things to her at the moment. So much so that she canceled her seminars on the introduction to advanced surgical medicine until they were both well again.

Waiting just outside the shuttle door was Nyota. Christine greeted her with a quick hug.

"How are they doing," Christine asked concerned.

"Well, you know how Dr. McCoy is. He's doing fine accept for a headache, but he swears that Spock did something to him for revenge while he was inside his head," said Uhura with a smile.

"Yeah, that sounds like Leonard all right. What about Spock?"

"Spock is doing all right in the physical sense, but his memory has holes in it. Sometimes when he looks at you, it's almost as if his death never happened and other times it's as if he just doesn't know who you are."

Christine nodded her understanding and then turned to get her duffle bag before heading off in the direction of the Klingon ship with Nyota.

* * *

"Borgus Frat ... damned Klingon construction."

Christine could just make out the form of Scotty lying under the hull of the ship.

"Mr. Scott, I wouldn't worry too much. You always seem to work things out."

Scotty quickly slid out from under the ship and extended his arms to Christine, "Christine, lass, it's good to see you."

Christine gave him a gentle hug, "Oh it's good to see you, too, Scotty." She let him go. "How are you doing?"

"Oh, I'm doing just fine, but this here ship, that's another story. I'd be a lot happier if the Klingons used pictures to communicate as opposed to that language of theirs. But she'll be fixed even if I have to reconstruct her from scratch."

Christine showed a slight grin at Scott's determination. She could remember how many times that sheer determination was what kept the Enterprise from being destroyed.

"Well, I better let you get back to work, Mr. Scott."

"Aye, it has been great seeing you again, Christine. Perhaps we can have dinner together some evening."

"That would be wonderful."

"Then it's a date, only would you mind cooking? This Klingon food has been giving me a sour stomach."

Christine smiled openly and let a small laugh escape, "I'd be happy to not only cook for you, Mr. Scott, but also give you something for that sour stomach of yours."

"Thank you, lass, you're always so thoughtful."

"Something that always brightened the faces of my patients."

Christine was startled to hear Leonard's voice coming from behind her. She spun around in excitement. "Leonard, oh I'm so very happy to see you."

"Well, I could say that seeing you is a surprise, but Nyota told me you were coming a few days ago."

Christine looked at Nyota with a slight bitter expression on her face.

"Oh, Nyota, how could you? I wanted to surprise him."

"I'm sorry, Chris, but he was getting bitter from boredom and I wanted to cheer him up."

Leonard spoke up for Uhura. "Don't get angry at her, Chris. I promised Nyota I wouldn't say anything. Either way I'm happy that you're here and the news of your coming did brighten my week, but I wasn't bitter, Nyota."

"Oh, yes, you were, Doctor," Uhura hissed.

All the while Leonard and Nyota were engaging in their friendly debate, which Christine knew Leonard wouldn't let up on, she could sense what felt like someone staring at her. She turned around to look but couldn't find anyone there. Just as she started to turn back to her two stubborn friends, movement in the corner of her eye caused Christine to look up towards the mountain. There at the top stood the figure of a man in Vulcan robes. She tried to see if she recognized the man, but the distance made it difficult and before she could get a good look, he turned and walked away.

"So, I see you got your first glimpse of Spock." Leonard's voice turned Christine around.

"Why does he just stand up there and stare down at us?"

"I don't know but sometimes I think he does that just to give us the creeps."

"Oh, Leonard, only you would think that."

Nyota started to laugh and the three walked along to the visitor's housing, so Christine could get settled into a place to stay.

* * *

Spock walked slowly across the mountain top and headed back towards his home. He entered the front and proceeded to walk to his room head down, feeling that a light meditation might help him to understand the images of what he had just seen.

"Is something troubling you, my son?"

Amanda had been reading in the sitting room when she heard the door open and decided to see which of her men had come home. It was Spock with his head hung low and a troubled expression on his face.

"Nothing of great importance, Mother."

"Spock, I know you better. Something is bothering you. What is it?"

Spock couldn't understand why his mother always insisted on troubling herself with his personal concerns, but nevertheless it would be disrespectful for him not to address her question.

"I have just come from watching my shipmates work on the Klingon vessel and among them was a woman I have not seen here before. She is not familiar to me, however, I feel is if I should know her."

"Spock, you know that it's going to take some time for your memory to fully return to you. Perhaps this woman is a person of your past, only you just can't remember."

"That thought has occurred to me, Mother. However, I believe I will meditate for awhile in the event that I happen to meet up with her at some time during her stay."

"You do what you feel is necessary, my son, only try not to be too hard on yourself. If you don't remember her, I'm sure she'll understand."

"As you wish."

Spock bowed to his mother and left her company headed for his room to meditate.

* * *

"Thanks for helping me get settled in. I really appreciate it."

"Oh, don't mention it, Chris." Uhura reached to the back of the sofa to grab her jacket.

"Yeah, we're all too happy to give you a hand little lady," McCoy added quickly.

"Well, I really appreciate it," Christine said with a smile.

"We better get going before old Jim boy thinks we got lost. I'm suppose to go with him in an hour to see Spock. Christine, you haven't had the chance to see Jim or Spock yet. Why don't you come with me and we can make it a threesome?"

"Oh, I don't know Leonard. After all, the Admiral wanted you to go with him. I don't want to be a tag along."

"He'll be happy to see you, Chris, and I know if you don't see Amanda while you're here, she'll be upset. She always talks about how important you were to saving the lives of her two men during the heart surgery."

"All right, Leonard, I'll go, but the minute I feel like a tag along I'm leaving."

"Deal."

* * *

An hour later Christine found herself standing in front of the Sarek residence with Admiral Kirk to her left and Dr. McCoy to her right. James Kirk proceeded to open the small gate that was the entrance to the lovely home and rang the bell in the front yard that signaled their arrival.

Amanda emerged from the front door and walked towards the small group.

"Good day, Jim, Leonard, and is that the lovely Christine Chapel?"

Christine pushed a little past the Admiral and Doctor, extending her hands towards Amanda's and taking them in a warm welcome.

"Hello, Mrs. Sarek. I hope I'm not intruding but the good doctor insisted that I come."

"Oh, no, you're not intruding at all. In fact, I would have been very upset if you hadn't stopped by. Shall we all go inside and get out of the heat?"

They nodded in agreement and started to head for the door when Spock emerged from the doorway. He looked from his mother's warm smile, then proceeded to look at Jim and the doctor, to finally stop at Christine. She was a lovely woman, so much more lovely to look at from such a close proximity as opposed to the mountain top. But did he know her?

"Good day, Admiral ... Dr. McCoy."

Amanda turned to her son. "Spock, this is Dr. Christine Chapel. She's a friend of mine and your ship mates."

"Ah... Good day to you as well, Dr. Chapel."

Christine raised her hand in the Vulcan salute. "Live long and prosper, Mr. Spock, and please call me Christine."

"Very well, Christine."

With all social graces out of the way, they headed for the house. Spock waited for them to pass in front of him so that he could close the door once they were all inside. He couldn't help but watch this Chapel woman as she entered his home. Why did he feel as if he should know her? Did he know her? Surely his friends would tell him if he had known this lovely creature before and if not why wouldn't they tell him? In time he would have the answers to his queries.

Spock entered the house and closed the door.

* * *

It didn't take long for Christine to feel comfortable in Spock's home. Amanda was so warm and gracious it was hard to believe that she could have spent a good portion of her life on such an emotionless, logical planet. Spock on the other hand was more lifeless than she ever remembered. The sitting room where the Sarek family entertained its guests contained a small table, two chairs, and a sofa. Christine sat on the right end of the sofa next to Leonard and the Admiral sat on the other end. Spock was in the chair closest to him and Amanda was sitting adjacent to Christine.

"Christine, so tell me what have you been up to since you became a doctor?"

"Well, I've helped with finding a cure for the Morovian flu and worked on advanced medical techniques to help improve the healing time needed for patients after surgery. But mostly I've just been a simple doctor assigned to wherever my medical knowledge is needed."

Leonard and Jim sat listening intently to how their former crew member had done well for herself. The more Christine spoke of her accomplishments, the more proud Leonard looked and Jim couldn't help but feel good that a member of his former crew who had helped nurse him back to health many a time and shown comfort to the injured, was now a thriving woman with a great new life.

Sitting in the far chair, Spock couldn't shake the disturbing feeling that he indeed did know this woman. Perhaps he knew her because his mother knew her. Or maybe it was because she was a friend of the Doctor and Admiral. But if she was their friend might she not also have been his at one point? Why could he not remember?

"Spock?" Kirk looked at him with a puzzled expression.

"Yes, Admiral."

"Jim, you used to call me Jim. Don't you remember?"

"I am sorry, but certain things are still not as they should be. Please accept my apology."

"Spock, there is no need to apologize. I understand. You look a little preoccupied. Is something bothering you?"

Spock sat in silence for a few moments, not knowing what to say. Should he tell them what he was thinking? But that would be illogical. He had to say something, for the silence would surely cause them to be suspicious. "Nothing beyond the fact that I still can not remember things that I should and have the feeling that there is so much that I still do not know."

"Don't worry about it, Spock. We won't push you to remember anything. It will come back to you eventually", McCoy stated with his Southern drawl.

Amanda watched the exchange and could see that the visit was taking a toll on her son. It was about time she ended this friendly gathering and offer him some time to reflect on the day's events and hopefully find some peace.

"Well, Christine, you must be anxious to finish visiting your old friends and get some rest. I don't know about you but after a good amount of travel, I like to just take an evening and catch up on some sleep." Amanda hoped that Christine would see what she was trying to do.

Of course, Christine didn't miss a beat. "You're so right, Amanda. I could use some rest, but I wouldn't dream of leaving without someone to walk me back to residence." Christine gave Leonard and Jim the look that said now is your time to offer so we can let Spock be, but before either one of them got the chance, someone else spoke for them.

"Ms. Chapel, if it is not too much to ask, I would be honored to escort you back to visitor housing."

That came as a shock. Here Amanda was trying to give Spock the time to get away from his confusion and to their surprise, he was anxious to spend more time with Christine.

"My son, are you certain that you do not wish to spend the extra time in meditation before your father comes home?"

"Mother, I believe that I have spent all the time in meditation that I need for the day, but I do appreciate your concern."

"Well, in that case, Mr. Spock, I would be delighted if you walked me home."

Spock looked at Christine and gave her a slight nod before excusing himself from the company of his friends and walking with Christine to the door. There in the living room sat three people staring at each other with only one thought on there minds. Why did Spock choose this particular moment to start taking an interest in Christine? As if things weren't complicated enough.

"Well, I'll be damned." McCoy was the first to break the silence to what would be another hour of pondering over Spock's behavior.

* * *

Spock closed the door behind them as Christine started to walk toward the gate and stopped to wait for Spock to catch up. It would be at least an hour walk back to the complex where Christine was staying and so far Spock hadn't said a word. How typical of him was the first thought her mind formed. Maybe I should go a little easy on him. He said he would walk me home, not talk to me.

Spock was troubled. Maybe he should just come out and ask Christine if he had known her. That would be the logical solution to answering the question that he held in his mind. Yes, he would ask her so he stopped dead in his tracks and folded his hands behind his back.

"Ms. Chapel, Christine ... may I ask you a question?"

"Of course, Mr. Spock"

"Do I know you?"

Christine was a little startled and confused. She wasn't told that she couldn't tell him about his past, but what should she tell him. They hadn't really been on the best of terms before and things were going a little better now. At least he was talking to her. She looked at him for a moment, confusion in his deep brown eyes. Yes, those eyes ... she had to tell him.

"Yes, Mr. Spock, we know each other."

"How long and in what way? Forgive me for being so bold, but I have the feeling that you were important to me in some way."

Christine felt as if someone had just slapped her in the face. He feels that I was important to him. Spock never treated me as if I were anything more than sickbay furniture or a shipboard pest.

"Mr. Spock, we served together on the Enterprise. I was the head nurse on board at the time. We were colleagues."

"Thank you for the information, Christine."

With that Spock turned back toward the road and they continued walking. The silence was driving Christine mad. She wanted nothing more than to know what he was thinking, but maybe he wasn't thinking anything. This Spock was different than the one she remembered. He was so cold, so distant and more withdrawn than she had ever seen.

As they walked Spock contemplated her words very carefully. If they had indeed been together on the Enterprise, than why did he not remember her? Perhaps I am confusing her with someone else that I have known from my past. In some ways she reminds me so much of mother.

Both lost in thought, neither realized that they were now standing at the entrance to Christine's room. Without thinking Christine palmed the door open and began to step inside, then turned around to say good night to Spock.

"Thank you for walking me back, Mr. Spock."

"The pleasure was mine, Dr. Chapel."

They stared at each other in silence and Christine couldn't' stand it anymore. This might not have been the Spock she remembered but it was Spock and he was standing with her in front of her door as if they had just walked home from a date. Stop dreaming, Christine.

"Would you like to come in for a moment, Mr. Spock?"

Yes, definitely like mother , strong yet feminine, and very graceful. A lovely creature.

"I do not think that would be wise, Christine. I need to get home, for it is illogical for us to protest against our natures."

A line, the same one he had spoken to her years ago and still she didn't understand what he meant by it. Maybe this time she would get an answer.

"I don't understand. I just wanted you to know that you were welcome to rest here for a moment before you make the walk back to your home."

In an instant a small fragment played itself in Spock's mind. He was in his quarters on the Enterprise. It was dark and he was shaking. He burned from within. Then he could sense feeling strong emotions coming from someone. Concern and love were compelling him to rise. Ms. Chapel... My name is Christine. Yes, I know Christine. A lovely face with blonde hair, the face of the woman now standing before him but brunette instead. He wiped a tear from that beautiful face and touched skin so soft, the flame in him burning brighter for this one female. The one to whom he wanted to bond. Those same lines spoken. It is illogical for us to protest against our natures, is it not... I don't understand. It was suddenly clear. She didn't' reject him; she just didn't understand.

"I believe I have exhausted myself with the day's activities and I do not wish to worry mother by not returning immediately."

"Well, perhaps I'll have the opportunity of seeing you again before I leave."

"That would be most agreeable. "

"Well, rest peacefully, Mr. Spock."

"Goodnight, Nurse Chapel"

Nodding to each other, Christine stepped fully inside and the door slid shut. Tired, Christine changed into her nightgown and walked over to the window and thought about Spock. He claimed to not remember, but yet he called her Nurse Chapel. Maybe he really wasn't ever going to be like he use to. In the street below she could just make out the form of a tall figure in a white robe and knew it was Spock, but what shocked her was that he turned around to look back and from the distance she could tell he could see her watching him from the window.

* * *

It had been two days since Christine had last seen Spock, but that didn't matter. She had enjoyed herself nonetheless, spending all her free time with her old friends. Today was no exception, for she was having dinner on board the Klingon vessel with Mr. Scott. She knew it would be impossible to pry him away from his work for too long so at least she could get him to stop long enough to eat with her.

"Well, lass that was the best food I've had in a long time. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to eat home cooked meals," Scotty said with a smile.

"I'm glad you enjoyed it, Scotty. It's been awhile since I've cooked for anyone other than myself. I had hoped that I could still cook good enough for someone other than myself to eat."

"Not to cut our evening short but I have to get back to the ship. She may not be the Enterprise, but she's our ship now nonetheless."

"No need to explain, Mr. Scott, I understand completely. Besides it's getting late and I should head back anyway before it gets too dark out."

"In that case, lass, I'll walk you to the hatch."

Christine nodded in agreement and rose from the chair with Scotty following her towards the door. As they walked, Christine began telling him of her intention of leaving in a few days since everyone seemed to be doing well and she needed to return to her work. So engrossed was she in her conversation that Christine rounded the corner and just as the outside door opened walked straight into none other than Spock.

"Oh, pardon me, Mr. Spock. I wasn't watching where I was going."

"That is quit alright, Christine. No harm was done."

"Well, lass, here we are. I really enjoyed your company tonight, especially the dinner."

"Thank you for the compliment, Scotty. Have a nice night."

"Goodnight, lass."

With that Scotty turned and headed back inside. Spock began to move past Christine then something made him stop and turn.

"Christine, may I inquire as to where you are going at this hour?"

"I'm walking back to my room, Mr. Spock."

"Would you care for some company?"

"Yes, I'd love some."

They walked in silence. Spock's gentlemanly actions were causing Christine's heart to flutter. It had been so long since she thought of Spock in any other way than that man who would never give her a chance. As the night approached, the temperature began dropping. Christine felt a chill and clasped her hands to her arms rubbing them to create some temporary heat. Spock glanced in her direction. Yes, the nights would be considered chilly to a human.

"Christine, you seem to be cold. Am I assuming correctly?"

"I'm just a little chilled, Mr. Spock, but I'll be alright."

"Are you certain? With your permission I can be of some assistance." Christine couldn't figure out for the life of her what he could do to help her get warm, but curiosity got the best of her. With a nod she gave him permission to do whatever was in that logical mind of his. To her surprise Spock gently pulled her close to him wrapping an arm around her. At first she didn't know what to do. She knew the contact must have been bothering him especially in his weakened condition. However, if he was about to open up to her, she wasn't going to let the chance pass her by.

Wrapping his arm around her, Spock felt Christine tense. Perhaps he was too presumptuous in thinking that contact of any kind was welcome among humans. Had he misread his mother in the past few weeks? Should I apologize and release her?

They continued to walk and Christine's arm started to hurt. Granted being this close to Spock was a blessing, feeling the warmth of his body to hers, but the positioning of her arm pushed tightly to her side was beginning to bother her. She couldn't ignore the numbing ache anymore. *Oh, what the hell? Now is as good a time as any.*

Spock felt her stir and concluded that his touch had indeed been unwelcome. Ready to stop, he was shocked when he felt her arm reach around his waist. Raising an eyebrow in confusion, Spock continued to walk with her in his arms and thought better of saying anything.

They were within yards of her residing quarters when Spock released her. Being late in the day, they had not encountered any others traveling along the same path that they followed, but now it would be logical to assume that they would indeed run into a few people.

Instant coldness hit Christine as Spock released her. She hadn't realized just how warm and comfortable she was getting in his arms until they were taken away. *Mustn't get used to a man's warmth, Christine, especially not this particular man. Getting your hopes up again about Spock will do nothing but leave you with a feeling of emptiness and longing.*

They reached the door to Christine's room and Spock patiently waited for her to open it. With the imprint of her palm, the door slid open and Christine stepped inside. She turned to say her good night to Spock.

"Mr. Spock, thank you for seeing me to my room. It was very kind of you."

"I would not have felt comfortable had I not personally seen to it that you arrived here in safety."

"Well, I'm sure your family will be waiting for you and I don't want to take up anymore of your time. I thank you again, Mr. Spock, for bringing me home."

With that Christine turned on her heels and started to let the door close, when she heard it slide back open. Christine backed away and standing in her room was Spock.

"Christine, may I spend some more time with you, please?"

Quickly removing the look of shock from her face, Christine motioned for him to enter.

"Is there something in particular that I can do for you, Mr. Spock?"

"If I may be so bold, there are a number of things that I have been remembering, images that I cannot quite place, many of which concern you. I was hoping that perhaps you could help me fit the pieces together."

*Memories of me, but Spock always ignored me or maybe he just wants to let me know that the niceties between us for the past few days have come to an end because he remembers he can't stand me. Oh, stop torturing yourself Chris and just see what he has to say.*

"Well, I'll see what I can do, Mr. Spock, but I was told specifically to let you remember on your own and not try to force things on you."

"I understand that, Christine, but there are a few things that I do not understand."

Christine started walking towards the kitchen and motioned for Spock to follow.

"Well in that case, Mr. Spock, we can talk while I make some tea. Would you like some?"

"No, thank you, Christine." Christine opened the cupboard and removed a small tea kettle, cup and tea leaves. She placed hot water in the kettle and set the kettle on the warming surface before turning to see Spock slightly fidgeting. Walking to the table she pulled out a chair and sat down.

"Well, Mr. Spock, why don't you sit down and we can discuss your memories." Nodding Spock moved to the chair opposite Christine's and folded his hands on top of the table. Letting out a sigh, he closed his eyes and pressed his lips tightly together before releasing his tension and beginning to speak.

"In my memories I see visions of a women that looks much like you but with blonde hair. She seems to be always running away from me or I her, but there are other times when I see this woman in a different way. I have shared consciousness with her I think and I have kissed her, touched her face and felt her hand touching mine when I was in a distant place of healing. Is this blonde haired woman you?"

Christine couldn't believe he was saying these things to her. All the memories of his injuries in sickbay, the pon farr, Platonious and Henoch came flooding back to her. She had tried so long to forget him in those moments, the embarrassment and shame haunting her. Spock watched a display of emotions playing across Christine's face waiting for a reply to his question. Maybe he should not have asked her.

"Yes, Mr. Spock, I am the woman in your memories and I'm sorry if they disturb you."

Spock nodded his head in understanding then pressed his lips together again in thought. "Christine, as I have said before, my memories are not intact but from what I do recall I would conclude that we were in a serious personal relationship. Am I correct in my assumption?"

Already saddened by the memories that were now in her mind, Christine felt a sharp pull at her heart as she looked up into the questioning face of the man she had loved more than any other in this universe.

"No, Mr. Spock, we are not in a serious relationship nor were we ever likely to be in one. You were right. We did try to avoid each other at all costs. There was a time when I confessed my love to you and I remember your apology for not being able to love me in return. From that moment on, you took every opportunity to avoid me at all costs. Those intimate encounters were a result of things that we couldn't control. We were never anything to each other."

Spock watched her as she spoke, hearing the hurt in her voice and watching the tear as it escaped her eye and rolled down her cheek. On impulse Spock reached his hand across the table and with one finger wiped it dry as he did so many years ago. They stared looking in each other's eyes for what seemed like and eternity when the sound of the tea kettle broke the spell.

Christine rose quickly and walked to the kettle, turning it off. With as much dignity as she could muster, she turned to face Spock.

"Mr. Spock, I believe it would be best if you would go now. I'm very tired and have to pack tomorrow for I will be leaving the day after next."

"I understand, Ms. Chapel, and am sorry if I have upset you in anyway."

"That's alright," she said with as much of a smile as she could manage.

"Will I be seeing you before you depart?"

"I don't think so, Mr. Spock."

Spock shifted uncomfortable then extended his hand in a Vulcan salute. "In that case, live long and prosper, Dr. Chapel, and may your journey be free of incident."

"Peace and long life, Mr. Spock. I wish you all the hope for a speedy recovery." Spock nodded to Christine one last time as he walked to the door then quietly slipped through, leaving Christine with feelings of hurt that she hadn't had in so long.

* * *

"9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4," Sulu's voice called out as the Klingon bird of prey headed towards the sun.

"Admiral, I need thruster control", Spock yelled out over the noise. "Fire thrusters on Spock's command."

"9.6, 9.7, 9.8..."

"Steady, steady now."

Clouds of darkness enveloped them as the ship hurled into the future. Just as before Spock felt dizziness as he saw images of his life. "For so long I've wanted to be close to you, now all I want to do is crawl away and die." Christine. The bridge of the Enterprise after 5 years. "So help me I'm actually pleased to see you." Dr. McCoy. "How do you feel? ... How do you feel?" "I do not understand the question?" "What's troubling you Spock" "I do not understand the question, mother." "You're half human. The computer knows that. As my son you will have feelings and they will surface." Mother ... feelings. Total darkness took over.

* * *

"Get him back, get him back." The wind against the shelter caused the glass to break.

"Look there!" Ambassador Sarek pointed toward a Bird of Prey emerging from the sky and heading towards the ocean. Christine was huddled next to the injured men on the floor and watched as the vessel descended from the sky. They would crash and probably need help, but there was nothing they could do without power. Her first duty belonged to those men on the floor and in the building, but her heart went out to her friends that were on that ship. Twenty-five minutes passed before the storms began to withdraw from the sky. Whatever they had done worked and power was slowly coming back online.

As Christine worked frantically to get things cleaned up, she could here the ambassador talking about sending a vessel to retrieve her friends. "Ambassador Sarek, they might need medical attention. What if someone was injured?"

"Most logical a medical team should accompany the rescue."

"I volunteer to go."

The standing admiral cut her off," I'm sorry, Doctor Chapel, but you would best be served here. I will assign a medical team to the rescue."

"Yes, sir."

Christine began to move away when she heard a voice," Doctor Chapel, you must have great concern for your friends. I too am worried about my son."

"Thank you for telling me that."

"There is no need to thank logic, Doctor. Strength is often gained by sharing one's thoughts to clear the mind." All Christine could do was smile at him.

* * *

"All charges have been dropped except one which is directed at Admiral Kirk. For disobeying direct orders from a superior officer, this court finds that you should be given the duty that you have so greatly earned -- the command of a starship. I hereby strip you of rank to that of Captain. You have saved us all. Thank you."

The room burst into applause as everyone stood. People walked up to congratulate and thank the people who had saved their lives and Christine got up too.

"Oh, Leonard, I'm so glad you're all right." Christine slipped her arms around him and gave him a hug." I was worried about all of you."

"I knew we would make it back. It was rough there for awhile but that god forsaken medieval place, there was no way we could have stayed there."

Spock watched from the corner of his eye the exchange that was taking place among his shipmates. No -- his friends. Christine was there with them and he felt something as he watched her. Yes, feelings that he had purposely buried deep inside himself, but were now finding their way out. "As my son you will have them, they will surface." Yes, Mother was right. They have surfaced and as her son it is my duty to not dishonor her. I must speak with Christine.

"Your shipmates are people of good character."

"They are my friends."

"Yes of course. I will be leaving for Vulcan within the hour and I would like to take my leave of you. Is there anything you want me to tell your mother?"

"Tell her I feel fine." Sarek's eyebrow shot up into his hairline. " Live long and prosper, Father."

"Live long and prosper, my son." As Spock turned he could see Jim standing at the side of the room waiting for him. He moved to join his friend, finally feeling a little peace, but he still needed to speak with Christine. Side by side they entered the hall only to run into the rest of their friends talking and there was Christine standing next to Dr. McCoy, with her back to him. Christine was listening to the stories of their journey and didn't hear Kirk or Spock approach. It wasn't until a light touch of a hand on her waist did she slowly turn around and look straight into Spock's eyes.

"Christine, I must speak with you."

"Now?" she asked.

"Yes, it is most urgent that I speak to you. The matter is not only of great importance, but also very private."

"Oh, okay, Mr. Spock, where do you want to discuss your private matter?"

"Your office is on the next floor. I would suggest going there."

"Okay." Christine turned to the little group, "Would everyone please excuse me, I have something that I need to attend to."

Leonard turned to her and spoke for them,"Yeah, sure Chris, but we will see you later?"

"You can count on it." With that Christine turned and head down the corridor to the lift. It seemed like the lift was taking forever. As she waited, the faint sound of footsteps could be heard behind her. The lift opened and Christine stepped inside and turned around just as Spock entered. The doors closed and Christine stared at Spock in silence for a few moments, not knowing if she should say anything or just wait until they got to her office.

"State your destination, please", the computer interrupted the silence.

"Level 3", Spock answered quickly.

*Well, he sure knows where he's going,* Christine thought with some amusement. *I wonder what's bothering him.* There was no time to ponder the question as the lift came to a stop and the doors opened. Spock motioned for her to exit and followed closely behind her down the hall. Finally Christine reached the door and palmed it open. Entering, Spock was right on her heels. To give herself some distance, Christine moved to her side of the desk and took a seat in her chair. Spock looked a little uncomfortable but with a look and gesture from Christine he took a seat across from her.

"Alright what can I do for you, Mr. Spock?"

"There is something that I wish to discuss with you."

"Yes, I'm listening."

Spock looked down at his hands as they sat folded in his lap then letting out a sigh he lifted his head and began to speak. "When we were coming back from the past I saw more images, Christine. They were images of Dr. McCoy, my mother, Jim, and you. It was as if by coming back into this time I watched my life play before me. Before we left for Earth, I was retraining and the computer asked me a question that I did not understand and one that I felt illogical and irrelevant."

Spock stopped for a minute and looked at his hands again. Christine sat in silence and waited for him to continue. He looked up again but this time he appeared to be looking at some point over her head. "It asked me how I felt and at the time I didn't have an answer," he said finally.

"Well, Mr. Spock, do you have an answer now?"

"Yes, I feel fine, but there is more to it than that. What I am about to say now may mean nothing to you, but I must say this to honor not only you but also my human heritage. Christine, I love you and not only do I love you but, I have been in love with you for sometime. It wasn't until recent events that it seemed right to tell you, however late it may be."

Christine sat shocked in silence. Why did he have to tell her now of all times? She just didn't know what to say.

"I should leave now." Spock started to rise form his chair and head for the door.

*Think Christine, this is what you've always wanted, now Spock admits he loves you. Stop him,* her mind screamed.

She rose quickly and moved around the table to catch his arm before he activated the door sensor. "Spock, wait."

Backing away from the door Spock turned to face her, looking down at where her hand rested on his arm. Christine looked and realized what she had done and immediately made to release her hold on him, but Spock would have none of it. Gently taking her hand, he brought it to his lips and kissed it ever so tenderly. Christine felt her heart in her throat. He was touching her of his own free will. There was no Sargon or Henoch, no drugs or spores, just the two of them.

"Why did you stop me, Christine?"

"Spock, did you truly mean what you said, that you love me?"

"Vulcans do not lie, Christine. I meant every word of it."

"How much, Spock? Enough to want me now? To try and have something together or just to tell me so you could feel at peace with yourself?"

Releasing her hand, Spock walked away from the door and towards the window in her office. Looking out the window he watched the people down below hoping to clear his mind enough to speak. Letting his shoulders drop, he sighed and turned toward her again. "Christine, do you remember my pon farr?"

"Yes, if I remember correctly, you threw a bowl of soup at me."

"Do you remember what I said about not protesting against our natures?"

"Yes, Spock, but I didn't understand it then and I don't know."

"Do you not see that at that moment when you were in my cabin I wanted you? I was so startled by that realization that I fled to the kohlinar. Vulcans are not suppose to have feelings, yet I feel so much for you. I had hoped that over the years it would fade and for awhile it was easier for me with you gone, but, Christine, I have seen death and before that with the exception of Admiral Kirk and the Doctor I was alone. I do not wish to be without anymore, Christine. If there is a chance for something between us, but perhaps I am too late and there is someone else that you share your life with."

Christine considered his words. There wasn't anyone else and there never would be. She realized that with her first two boyfriends after leaving the Enterprise. No matter how wonderful they were, Jonathan and Samuel were never Spock, so she dove into her work. Even then work could only do so much, but it couldn't sit with her on the long lonely nights and share in her hopes and dreams. She loved Spock, that was certain, but did he truly love her or was he just confused after the mission and the fal tor pan? Christine had to know.

"Spock, there is no one else. There never really was, but I don't know how to take this. You never show any interest in me then you have a life and death situation and now all of a sudden you are confessing that you love me. I don't know what to think. You've never done anything to prove that you cared for me even one shred."

He knew she spoke the truth and that he must do something to convince her that his words were sincere. Taking four quick strides, Spock placed a hand on the side of her head drawing her face up to his, he touched his lips to hers. At first only shock registered to Christine, then she felt how soft his lips were and knew this wasn't a dream. Spock was really kissing her. His kiss was light but she could feel the passion behind it. His feelings were flowing through her from his touch.

Spock had intended the kiss to be short and gentle, but as his lips found Christine's a fire ignited in him. Spock found this light kiss to be more than he expected. Their feelings were bouncing off each other through the touch and Spock found himself wanting more. Moving his other hand up her arm, Spock cupped the other side of Christine's face and applied just enough pressure with his thumb to cause her lips to part slightly. Now with access he gently slid the tip of his tongue between her lips. A moan escaped her as his tongue sought hers and Christine knew she had found heaven. Instinctively she leaned into Spock, causing him to release his hands from her face as she brought her arms around his neck to run her fingers through his hair. Their bodies were pressed tightly together now, Spock's arms locked around her waist as Christine's hands found their way down to his backside.

The emergency siren sounded and startled them back to reality.

"Dr. Chapel, medical emergency, room five." Quickly Christine moved away from Spock and straightened her uniform before running to the door.

"Christine."

"I'm sorry, Spock."

"I understand. Go." With that Christine nodded and left a disheveled Spock in her office.

* * *

Head hung low and exhaustion written on her features, Christine walked down the never-ending hall way to her office. The door opened and she crept in, not stopping until she reaching her desk. Plopping into her chair, Christine grabbed the data padd in front of her and began recording her report.

"CMO medical log regarding microchemistry lab explosion. At 0330 hours, an accident in the microchemistry lab caused a minor explosion resulting in the evacuation of the Star Fleet main science building. Emergency medical treatment was administered to roughly 20 individuals. Most injuries were chemical burns and cuts due to flying matter. Regrettably, Lieutenant Pierce was lost to the explosion. Formal medical report to follow in log attachment."

Pushing the save button Christine ended the log and put the padd back on her desk. With a stretch and a sigh, she pushed herself up out of the chair and moved toward the door, longing for the peace of her apartment. It was only a five-minute walk from her office to the apartment complex that Christine lived in, but tonight it felt like five hours. Her feet were sore from standing for three hours working in the trauma unit and now that the strain of the day was setting in, it wasn't only her feet that hurt but her entire body.

The lift took forever to arrive at Christine's floor. The doors parted and Christine moved swiftly for the place of comfort just down the hall. Using her palm and placing it on the key pad just outside the door, she was granted access to her residence. Immediately Christine could tell something was wrong. She always left the lights on at sixty percent illumination, but they were clearly down past forty. Glancing around quickly she looked to see if anything had been touched as an indication of who might have been here or was still there but she saw nothing.

Moving a little farther into the apartment Christine caught light reflecting off an object from the direction of the kitchen. Cautiously she approached the room and on her table sat a vase filled with white carnations and in the center sat a beautiful red rose. Just under the vase sat an envelope with "Christine" written across the front. Carefully she lifted the vase and retrieved the envelope. The letter inside read as follows:

"Christine, It is most unfortunate that our encounter was interrupted, however I hope that you will not find my intrusion into your living space unforgivable. I have taken the liberty in the little time that I had to do a few things and would like you to follow the following instruction precisely as my small gift to you. Be sure to stop after reading each activity and complete its task before reading and starting on your next. Enjoy!

"1. Walk to the replicator and retrieve the first of my gifts."

As she was told to do, Christine strolled over to her replicator and lying in wait for her was a plate of various seasoned and steamed vegetables over rice in a butter sauce. Beside it was a flute of champagne. Christine retrieved the items with a smile and noticed that the plate and its contents were still warm. Sitting back at the table, she began to eat and slid the letter back over to read her next instruction.

"2. Your being human has lead me to the assumption that you are reading this before you have finished your meal so it is important that once you have consumed the food that I have selected for you, place the utensils in the recycler before proceeding to the next task."

Christine couldn't' help but smile. The long day she had was all but forgotten as she played this little game of discovery with Spock. With all the commotion of the trial and the emergency, somewhere she had lost the thought of the passionate moment they shared together, but here was Spock making her feel giddy like a school girl and he wasn't even in the room.

Finishing Christine moved to place her dishes in the recycler. Walking past the table she picked up the letter and bent down ever so slightly to smell the flowers. The fragrance was intoxicating and she thought back to the few days on Vulcan and the smell of Amanda's flowers. She couldn't believe that things had changed so much in the last three days. Pushing that thought aside, Christine read the next part of the letter.

"3. This is your final instruction. Proceed to your bedroom and take the package with you into your bathing room. Do not open it until you are inside. I will be thinking about you.

"Live long and Prosper, Spock"

Moving quickly through her living room, Christine entered her bedroom and on the end of her bed was a package wrapped in gold paper tied with a red ribbon. A smile on her face, she picked the package up and walked to the bathroom. Inside she was shocked to see steam and a full tub of warm water waiting for her. With lightening speed she ripped the package open and inside lay an ivory Vulcan robe with an IDIC symbol embroidered on it. Sitting on top of the robe was another letter.

"Christine,

"I hope your gifts were received well and I am sorry that I was unable to be there to see the look on your gentle face as you discovered each one. Enjoy your bath for I know after today's activities you must be exhausted. Very soon I will return from the new ship. I have three weeks of shore leave that I am required to take, therefore with your permission, I wish to spend it with you. I will keep in touch. Until then, rest well, my T'hy'la.

"Spock"

With a grin of pure joy Christine hung her new robe in the bathroom and moved to get ready for the warm bath that was calling her. Lying in the tub, she wondered... If Spock could do all this for her when he was away, what would he do when they were together? Two days was all it took for Christine to find out.

END

1