DISCLAIMER: The characters and events in this story are based on Star Trek. I do not own them or Star Trek, they belong to the estate and heirs of Gene Roddenberry. This story is copyright (c) 2001 by Trish. This story is rated PG.
Be Careful What You Wish For
"I just heard," the tall auburn haired man said quietly, stepping behind her on the observation deck. "I'm sorry."
"It wasn't meant to be. I can't force him into something he doesn't want. I suppose I already tried that," The pretty blonde woman answered quietly, her voice faltering with tears.
"How could anyone not want you? Maybe if I had been there instead of tending the northern fields this never would have happened." The man tried to slip his arm around her tiny waist, but was repelled by a sharp shove and turn of the head.
"Mike, stop it," the woman ordered. "We've been over this before."
"Maybe now you see that he doesn't want you. I don't think he wants any woman." He hated to be cruel but he had loved her so long without hope that he thought perhaps harsh words could jolt her back to reality. "Maybe now you see what I could be to you. We could..." he began, trying to move closer to her, aching for a kiss. She stopped him with another shove.
"Why do you have to torture yourself like this, Leila, when I would be so good to you?" he demanded.
"I can't expect you to understand. I don't even know if I understand it myself. I love him, Mike. Don't you see?" Leila Kalomi had been over it in her mind a thousand times, and there was only one thing that made sense. "I would rather be alone than live without him. Especially now, after..." She did not finish her thought, but he understood it very well.
"He's a fool. He could have you at the drop of a hat and he lets you go twice. I could make you forget him," Mike vowed. "I swear I could."
"I don't want to." Her frustration grew too much to bear. "Please can't we just go back to the way things were, with us as dear friends?" she sobbed.
Mike stiffened, his desperate heart screaming for her. There was no way she would ever see him for what he could be, and no way he could let her walk out of his life. "Of course, Dr. Kalomi," he said cordially, almost mockingly.
"Thank you. Dr. Cartwright." She tried to smile, but was too lost in her laments to notice as he left her alone with her thoughts.
* * *
Spock stood on the observation deck, watching the transport courier speed Leila Kalomi from his life once more. It had been so wondrous, those few moments with her on the planet's surface. He had never dreamed he could love someone so much, or allow himself to act upon those feelings. He should have seen it years ago when they were younger. He had wanted her then, but as with much in his life his pride was too strong to allow his heart any chance. Now he had lost her again.
"You really love her. Don't you?" a soft familiar voice spoke behind him.
He turned quickly at the intrusion, coming face to face with the gentle caring eyes of Christine Chapel. "I do not wish to discuss the matter," he said, casting his own eyes from her penetrating gaze.
"No. I know you don't and I don't mean to intrude," Christine said cautiously. "You didn't have to let her go if you didn't want to. I was just wondering if ... if there was something that kept you from asking her to stay?"
He could hear the hope in her voice as she struggled for her words. She was the one person he had not wanted to hurt. If it had not been for Leila, perhaps he could have feelings for Christine, but he was certain he could not have acted upon those either. Spock was unsure which would have pained Christine more, knowing he did not love her or knowing he did and she still could never have him. He had to be true to his own heart, even if he could never allow it to gain control.
Slowly he turned back toward the glass, unable to meet her eyes. "No, there is nothing that prevents me from asking Dr. Kalomi to stay." He could almost feel Christine's heart breaking.
Spock could see Christine's reflection in the glass. She kept her head bowed and her eyes on the floor. He knew she was probably fighting tears. After a few moments of awkward silence, Spock could see Christine breathe deeply and swallow hard. "I just want to say that if you need someone to talk to about it... Well, I know a thing or two about loving someone you can't have."
"Thank you, Miss Chapel. I value our friendship," was all he said. As she turned to go Spock could, of course, not feel how his last word cut Christine like a knife.
* * *
He had never expected to see her again. He was still reeling from leaving someone else he had cared for deeply in a frozen wasteland five thousand years in the past, when her lovely face appeared to him in small cafe on Star Base 17. Spock had been seeing to some minor repairs and had decided to have something to eat before returning to the ship for the day. Leila Kalomi was beginning another research expedition with many of the same members of her team from Omicron Ceti III.
"Mr. Spock," she had called to him from across the crowded restaurant.
His heart nearly stopped and then soared at the sight of her. "Leila," he acknowledged, almost happily, abandoning the proper and professional use of her title.
Even through his stoic countenance their greeting was filled with all the enthusiasm of old friends and all the hope of reunited lovers. It was soon apparent that neither had ever gotten over the other. Their meal was barely touched over their easy conversation and afterward they enjoyed a walk together in the station's public gardens. She invited him to dinner the next evening and he accepted.
He arrived at her quarters for their appointed rendezvous. Dinner was delicious but the two hardly noticed what they were eating. They were enthralled in each other. Their evening was not yet half over when they were certain. They still loved each other. Neither would take the chance of losing the other. Spock proposed to Leila and she accepted. They would be married. Both were filled with a joy that had for too long been denied to them. Their future seemed clear and bright as they loved each other throughout the night. There was only one thing left to do, tell those who had loved them.
* * *
Christine sat down exhausted at the bar. It had taken all the strength she had to drag herself this far. Luckily Star Base 17 had many establishments of the alcoholic persuasion and she would easily be able to keep herself entertained all night. She thought back to that afternoon when Spock had come into the Sickbay, almost nervous. She heard his words echoing in her ears. He was going to marry Leila Kalomi. There had never been any chance that he could have ever loved her. Leila had been his first love and Christine saw now he had always loved her.
Christine had been so proud of herself for the way she had taken the news. There were no tears, not in front of him. She smiled, thanked him for telling her, and wished them both all the happiness they could find. She had even complimented Leila as such a nice and kind person. It nearly made her sick. Of course, Spock did not see Christine nearly beat her pillow to death as she cried alone in her quarters. Then, when her red inflamed eyes calmed down enough to be seen in public, she made her way to the transporter room.
Now she ordered a double bourbon, one of Leonard's particular favorite cure-alls, and downed it nearly in one drink. At least the burning in her throat was better than the dull numb ache in her heart.
"So what kind of sorrows are you drowning, beautiful?" the auburn haired man next to her asked in a half-drunken stutter.
"Buddy, you wouldn't believe it if I told you," Christine chuckled bitterly.
"Try me. I bet I can beat it," he teased, momentarily forgetting his own sadness.
Christine finished her drink and order another. "Alright. How's this? Four years I gave to him."
The man snickered. "Hmmm, try six."
"Total devotion," Christine continued. "All the time thinking of him, even took care of him when he was sick. Does he ever thank me? Does he ever even look at me? Nooooooo." She scowled, the liquor beginning to take affect. "Man. I really loved him. Well, that's it, no more. From now on Christine Chapel flies solo, no more men for me," she vowed.
"Baby, I know what you mean," the stranger offered. "I mean, I could have really given her everything. All she ever saw was him. Even when he didn't want her she wouldn't give him up. There I sat like an idiot mooning over her for years, and she had no intention of ever giving me a chance."
"Exactly!" Christine agreed lost in her own troubles.
"If Spock thinks I'm gonna...." she started.
"If Leila things I'm gonna..." the mad chimed at the same time.
Both froze and turned toward the other. Their faces a strange mixture of surprise and shock.
"Did you say Spock?" the man said.
"Did you say Leila?" Christine needed to be certain she'd heard correctly.
Suddenly they both broke up into laughter. "Well, don't we make a great pair of losers?" he asked. "My name's Mike by the way."
"Nice to meet you Mike, I'm Christine, and speak for yourself," she grinned proudly.
"I know, and what do you mean?" he answered.
"I mean I'm no loser. If he thinks I'm going to lay down and die because I can't have him, well then he is going to be sorely disappointed. I've lost at love before and survived and I'll do it again," she proclaimed. "What do you say? We'll show 'em they can't kick us around."
"Yeah. I second that." Mike raised his glass. "Here's to unrequited love."
"Shoot. Here's to the real thing," Christine corrected. "May we both find it someday."
* * *
Spock and Leila sat quietly in the waiting room. Her nervous fidgeting was beginning to annoy him but he said nothing. They had been married and bonded for a little over ten years. At first these scheduled visits had made him decidedly uncomfortable. The waiting had nearly been the part he dreaded most, being forced to endure endless hours in countless waiting rooms with the other patients, mostly women in various states of expectancy. He had usually not minded his part in the procedures, understanding that it was a scientific necessity. It had been afterwards that had been the worst, trying to console his wife while his own disappointment burned within him. He felt her bitterness and resentment grow over the years and knew it was directed at him. They had high hopes this time, Dr. Renworth was the best OB-GYN in San Fransisco and pioneer in his field. If anyone could help them he could. Today they waited for the news they had longed to hear for so many years.
As they tried to pass the time with periodicals and pointless conversation, they did not even look up as a beaming couple emerged from the examination section of the office. The woman was obviously due any day and the man was being extremely protective. They stepped up to the window to schedule their next appointment and the receptionist greeted them warmly.
"The doctor would like to see you again in two days, Mrs. Cartwright," she announced. Spock and Leila looked at each other recognizing the name, it couldn't be. Their gazed turned toward the couple at the same time.
The woman at the desk, being enfolded in her husband's arms, laughed merrily. "If I make it that long."
"Yes," the younger lady across the counter agreed. "Dr. Renworth also asked me to again remind you to leave for the hospital as soon as you start having contractions. Both of your previous labors went very quickly."
"Tell me about it," the husband laughed. "Last time I thought I was going to have to do the honors in the parking lot." The wife only giggled and snuggled closer to him. They were obviously very much in love.
"Alright, Thursday same time, if not before," the receptionist smiled. The couple accepted and turned to leave.
"Mike?" Leila called out stunned, as she saw the face of the man whose arm was around his pregnant wife.
"Christine?" Spock countered. He could hardly believe she was the wife.
Christine and Mike's faces lit up at the same time upon seeing the couple they now only regarded as good friends. They made their way over to them and sat down, Mike seating Christine gently first and then joining her.
"How long has it been?" Christine beamed. Spock had never seen her so happy.
"Ten years, seven months, and fourteen days," Spock answered.
"I see you haven't changed a bit," she laughed. She didn't see Leila roll her eyes, in disagreement.
"This is a wonderful surprise. Especially now," Mike said.
"Why now?" Leila asked.
"Well, Chris and I were just talking about you two the other day." He squeezed his wife's swollen hand. "We were saying how much we wish we could thank you."
"Thank us for what?" Spock questioned.
"If it weren't for the two of you, Mike and I would never have met." Christine looked lovingly at her husband.
"I can't even think of not having this glorious woman in my life," Mike said, as he kissed his wife's hand. "We met on Star Base 17. The evening after you both informed us of your wedding plans, in fact. Well, one thing led to another and now we're just another old married couple." He pulled Christine lightly to him and kissed her temple as she nudged him in the side.
"Who you calling old?" she joked. "Really though, I can't imagine my life without him, or the children." She glanced lovingly down at her large abdomen.
"This isn't your first?" Leila asked, entranced by Christine's form.
"Oh, no." Christine smiled. "This is our third..." She looked coyly at Mike. "...and fourth."
"Twins?" Leila smiled in disbelief.
"Yep. Two beautiful little girls," Mike announced proudly resting his hand on Christine's middle. "They'll look just like their mother."
Christine could not contain her laughter. "You'll have to excuse him. He's just being the proud papa."
"You said this is your third?" Leila asked. Spock could sense the seed of jealousy forming in her mind.
"Yes. We have two sons. Justin is six and Joshua's two." Christine already had the two dimensional pictures she carried in her wallet pulled out, ready to proudly show off her two little men.
"Oh, they're adorable." Leila fought the urge to cry. Spock heard the sarcastic remark she could not control in her thoughts. Oh this is our third and fourth, she mimicked in her mind. Sure, she's get four, and I can't even have one.
"Yeah, they're with Grandma today," Mike said proudly.
"Have you picked out names for your little girls yet?" Leila asked; she could not help herself from wanting to know every detail, somehow living vicariously through Christine.
"Yes. Heather and Hope," Christine said.
"Those sound like extremely appropriate names," Spock told her. He had been sitting quietly watching her. He noticed that she barely noticed him.
Suddenly a thought occurred to Christine and she drew in her breath. "Are you...?" she asked Leila.
Spock could feel his wife bristle and was uncertain what her reaction would be. "We're still trying," was all Leila offered.
"Oh. I wish you the best of luck," Christine offered genuinely. "There is nothing like bringing a child into the world." She was too caught up in her own joy to realize how her comment stung the other couple and she certainly had not meant it to do so.
"Thank you, Christine," Spock spoke up before Leila could say anything. "We appreciate your well wishes."
"Honey," Mike interrupted, speaking to his wife. "We'd better go, before the baby store closes."
"You're right," Christine nodded. "We still have some last minute things to pick up." She rose slowly, her stance hindered by the two little babies she carried. Mike half supported, half pulled her to her feet.
"I'll be thinking about you. I hope everything goes well," Leila told her.
"Thank you, and for you too," Christine grinned. "It was very nice to see you again Mr. Spock."
"I enjoyed speaking with you as well, Mrs. Cartright. Doctor." He nodded to Mike who smiled back.
Mike and Christine were just leaving the office when Leila and Spock were called back.
* * *
The ride home had been a silent one. Spock knew that Leila was swallowing the tears she would allow to flow once she was alone in their master bathroom. Somehow over the years she had gotten the impression that he found her crying distasteful and there were things she would not share with him, her inner most turmoil being one of them.
Leila had sat quietly in the passenger seat of their ground car, staring out the window, unable to face him. Dr. Renworth's words echoed in her ears. "I'm sorry, Dr. Kalomi, the embryos did not form."
Spock knew she blamed him for it, although she never said anything to that effect. He had sensed things from Leila in the past, thoughts that if she had married a human she would be a mother by now. His creation had been a one in a million chance. An outcome that was alluding them. At times he had even lamented the fact that perhaps a Vulcan woman's physiology could have accepted his gene pattern and created a child.
They sat wordlessly at dinner. Leila forcing herself to once more enjoy the vegetarian Vulcan cuisine, but wishing it were steak. Somehow over time their interaction had become routine. Not the happy knowing that Christine and Mike shared, but forced rituals of two people trying desperately to hold onto something that perhaps would be better let go.
Leila watched Spock, knowing he was thinking of Christine. She did not blame him, she was thinking of Mike. It was true she had not loved him, but maybe she should have tried. It was possible her life would have been very different.
Spock pictured Christine's happy face. She deserved every moment of it and wondered if she could have been as happy with him. He even wondered if she could have conceived his child. Would it have been easier for Christine to live with a Vulcan? Life for him and Leila had not been the same as their time on Omicron Ceti III. Leila had created a dream world that he could never live up to. Christine had only wanted him just as he was. He thought that somehow she would have understood. It was useless to speculate and he would not have taken her happiness from her for anything.
After a while, Leila's gaze found her husband's face. She studied him, although he did not realize it, being far too lost in his own thoughts. Once she would have done anything to have him and had gotten what she wished for. Now, it did not seem like such a gift. She raised her own mental shields the way Spock had taught her and hid her disgust.
I hate you, Leila thought as she looked away. She wondered if would be difficult for a woman her age to find a lover.