Disclaimer:  Star Trek is the property of Paramount Viacom.  This story is copyright © 2006 SterJulie.  Rated PG13.

 

AFTER THE CREDITS—The Enterprise Incident "Bridle Dreams"

Ster Julie

 

Spock had no idea where he was.

Dappled sunlight played over his closed eyelids.  The sweet fragrance of a meadow in June embraced him with its warmth.  The "shlupp, shulupp" of water hitting the lakeshore caused Spock to waken.

As the Vulcan stretched his lanky body and sat up, large, warm lips nuzzled him below his ear.  Spock was surprised at his lack of reaction, as if horses touched him in this manner every day.  He reached up and gently scratched the golden beauty between the eyes after first brushing aside a stray lock of straw-gold mane.

The horse nudged Spock under his arm, encouraging him to rise.  Spock got to his feet, his hands never leaving the horse.  He brushed his fingers along the animal's sweet, strong face.  The horse kept its gaze locked on Spock, first one eye, then the other, as if it was trying to communicate with him.  It then lowered its massive head to Spock to show off its mobile pointed ears.  Spock took both ears in his hands and the horse whinnied in delight.

/What is your name?/ Spock sent.

/You know my name/, the horse sent back.

/Thyla?/ Spock asked timidly.

The horse tossed its head in response.

/Mount me/, the horse instructed.

Spock's eyebrow touched his hairline.  He looked again at the horse.  It was wearing a bridle, but it had no saddle.  Spock had never ridden bareback before.

/It will be all right/, the horse assured.  / I will not drop you./

Spock grasped the reins along with a handful of flaxen mane and threw his right leg over the horse's back.  With some maneuvering, he seated himself somewhat comfortably.

/Where to?/ he sent.

/Out there/, the horse replied.  /Thataway./

Spock held on as the horse took off, first skimming across the surface of the lake, then up a small rise and right off the edge.  The horse's hooves beat a pattern on the treetops.

/Ah/, Spock mused, /so I am dreaming./

/But isn't it a wonderful dream, T'hy'la?/ the horse responded.

/I suppose that you will remind me that "Life is but a dream."/ Spock sent drolly.

/I don't need to/, the horse replied.  /You know that already/.

Spock had never been fond of dreaming, so he asked, /May I wake up now/?

/Why ever would you want to?/ the horse asked with amazement.  /We are not even up to the stars yet./

/I travel between the stars with you every day, T'hy'la,/ Spock reminded the creature.  /It is our home./

The horse came to a stop on a thunderhead.  Below its hooves, the mist lit up with electricity waiting to be discharged.  Soft puffs of vapor were dislodged as the horse pawed at the cloud.

/You're right, of course./ The horse tossed its blonde mane again.  / Do you like my ears? Aren't they pretty?/

/I had forgotten how vain you can be, T'hy'la,/ Spock chided gently.  The horse snorted its disdain.

/Can we have this dream again?/ the horse asked.

/We cannot choose our dreams, T'hy'la/, Spock reminded.

/I thought you'd like my ears/, the horse moaned petulantly.  Spock reached forward and caressed the tawny tips.

/These are quite lovely, he commented, and quite natural for the face you now wear.  The monstrosities that Dr. McCoy placed on you for passing as a Romulan were hideous.  When you awaken from the anesthesia and I am released from this dream, I will come and show you how much I prefer your original ears./

/Promise/ the horse asked.

Spock leaned forward so he could whisper into the animal's ear.

"Promise."

Whether from the sudden feel of Spock's breath in its ear, or from sheer delight, the horse shuddered and shook itself from tip to tail.  The sudden movement caused Spock to slip from his perch and fall, through the thunderhead, through the sudden pelting rain, to the treetops below.

The horse leaped from the cloud and dove under Spock in time to prevent him from being impaled on a tree branch.

/For the record/, the horse defended, /I didn't drop you.  You fell off.  And I still didn't let you get hurt!/

* * *

 

Spock awoke with a start.  He had fallen asleep in Sickbay at the captain's bedside.  Jim was snoring softly, still not awake after surgery.  Spock moved closer to him and traced his T'hy'la's very round ears with the barest of touches.

A puff of air burst from Jim's lips, sounding for all the world like a whinny.

Spock reached up and gently scratched the bridge of Jim's nose.

The captain smiled in his sleep.

END