DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Ronda Sexton and is copyright (c) 2002 by Ronda Sexton. Rated PG.


Ronda Sexton

Christine sat in her quarters staring at a dark mahogany chest. She had not opened it since the day they had found Roger. Rather the android body that Roger's mind and consciousness had been placed in. That had been the most horrible day of her life.

She still remembered every item that had been placed in that chest. It had contained all her dreams for the future. Dreams that had been shattered on the day that should have been one of the happiest of her life instead of the most horrible one.

It was the end of her second tour of duty on the Enterprise. It would also be her last one. Starfleet had offered her a position she could not refuse. She was going to head up Star Fleet Medical. She was weary of space travel. That chest had been with her for a long time, but she was uncertain what she wanted to do with it or its contents.

Her door chime announced a visitor. "Come," she said softly.

The door slid open, and to her surprise, Spock stepped inside. She quickly rose to her feet.

"Mr. Spock," she said.

"Dr. Chapel, may I speak with you?" he asked.

"Certainly, have a seat," she replied indicating the chair adjacent to her own. His visit at this late hour puzzled her. In a few days, they would be docking, and he had lots of duties to attend to as First Officer. Their relationship was that of casual friends, and he had never come to her cabin before.

"I wish to congratulate you on your new position. Chief of Starfleet Medical is an excellent position for you," said Spock.

"Thank you, Spock," she answered. It was not like Spock to make small talk, and she continued to wonder what had brought him to her quarters at this late hour.

"You may not be aware, but I have also taken a planet side position. I will be instructing cadets at Starfleet Academy." Spock watched her carefully, to gauge her reaction.

"I see," began Christine cautiously. She still had no idea why Spock was here. "Planet side duty can be very appealing after serving on a starship for a long time."

Spock looked at the floor then back up to her. "It is my hope that while we are both serving in San Francisco that the parameters of our relationship might begin to change."

"Change in what way?" asked Christine.

"I wish for us to spend time together to see if we would be compatible as bond mates," said Spock.

"Bondmates," she whispered.

"Yes," he answered. "During this tour, our growing friendship has made me want more. I do think we will be compatible, but I would not presume to ask you to bond with me until, as humans put it, I have courted you."

Christine smiled, "I would like that. The only thing about San Francisco that I was not looking forward was not really knowing anyone there." Spock reached over and grasped her hand in both of his. "San Francisco shall be a new beginning for us in more ways than our careers. I will see you in the morning."

After he left, she looked at her mahogany chest again. For years the chest and its contents had been a reminder of her shattered dreams. Perhaps now, it would become the symbol for her new dreams.