Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the property of SterJulie and is copyright 2005 by SterJulie. Rated G.





Spock felt like pacing.


Sickbay was so full of patients, both crew and colonists alike, that Doctor McCoy had ejected all but essential personnel--and that included Spock--to give them all some elbow room.


Dr. Leila Kalomi was being treated for overexposure to Berthold rays, like many of the others that had returned to the planet or remained behind to pack up the colony without the benefit of spores from the Omicron Ceti III lily.


Spock was still smarting from the conference he had had with his mother. Poor Amanda had to act as the mediator between father and son--a daunting task. Spock had begged to be released from his bond to T'Pring. He much preferred to take Leila as his wife than that ice princess. Leila was everything T'Pring was not. Spock had argued that T'Pring had closed herself off to him long before he went to Starfleet Academy. Sarek would not be swayed. Amanda tearfully cut off the communication with, "I'm so sorry, son."


So now Spock had to disappoint Leila once again.


The doors to Sickbay finally opened and Leila walked slowly into the hall. At the sight of Spock she smiled tiredly.


"Were you waiting for me?" she asked in her sweet voice.


Spock moved to her side and placed a supporting arm around her waist.


"Are you all right?" he asked with concern.


Leila nodded. "I will be, with some rest," she answered. "Could you help me to my quarters?"


"Of course," Spock answered. "Can you walk?" he asked, ready to sweep her into his arms.


"Yes," Leila replied as she slipped an arm around Spock.


The two walked in silence until they reached her cabin door.


"Leila," Spock began awkwardly, "I wish to speak with you."


"Come inside," Leila invited as she palmed open her door.


Spock settled Leila on the bed, then pulled up a chair and sat next to her. He studied the carpet for many moments as he gathered his thoughts and his tenuous control.


"Leila, " Spock began, "I want to be with you, but I cannot. It has nothing to do with you," he rushed to add as Leila turned her face to the wall. "It has everything to do with me. I am engaged to be married." Spock heard a sob come from Leila. "I tried, but I cannot break the marriage contract. If I were free to choose, I would choose you." He ran a hand over her thistle-soft hair. "That's why I couldn't touch you six years ago, even though I wanted to hold you and not let go." Spock reluctantly pulled his hand back. "That is why I cannot touch you now."


Leila crushed her pillow to her chest and cried herself to sleep. Spock watched over her for an hour, then left.


* * *


The colonists were all off-loaded at Starbase 12 for reassigning. McCoy marked the occasion by doing a cabin-call on the first officer.


"Come," Spock replied as his door signal sounded.


McCoy came in sheepish, not wanted to overstep, but anxious to help his friend.


Spock looked up to see the doctor shifting from foot to foot.


"Is something wrong, Doctor?" Spock asked.


"I've been thinking of what you said the other day on the bridge," the doctor replied.


"Since that statement is so vague, I have no idea to what you are referring," the Vulcan countered.


"'I was happy,' you said," McCoy replied. "You said, 'For the first time in my life, I was happy.'"


Spock just stared at the doctor. He did not know which way McCoy would take this statement, and he thought it best to just remain silent, be patient, and wait. They had all been under the influence of the spores--except the captain, of course. Surely McCoy wasn't going to...


Suddenly, McCoy thrusts a preserved spore lily encased in transparent aluminum at Spock.


"Here," McCoy said abruptly. Spock took the clear bubble in his hands and examined the lily inside.


"I thought these had all been collected and destroyed, Doctor," he said at last.


McCoy fidgeted. "It would have been a shame to waste something with such promise," he said. "I'm sure the plant is just loaded with phytochemicals with hundreds of medical applications. I have several plants stored in safety lockers. I hope to do a thorough analysis of them to test my theories."


Spock held up the lily in his hand.


"And is this an invitation from you to join in your research?" he asked, hoping to divert the doctor from what he suspected was McCoy's real intent.


"You're always welcome to join me in the labs, Spock," McCoy said. "You know that." He pointed to the flower in Spock's hands. "I thought you'd might like a souvenir."


Spock raised a brow. Did the doctor know?


"You know, a remembrance," McCoy blustered, "for the first time you were ever happy."


Spock raised his brow again. Were humans really that dense? Had McCoy never heard of Vulcan mastery of emotions?


McCoy suddenly lunged for the lily. "Oh, forget it," he fumed. "God forbid I should ever try to get you to admit to emotions."


Spock pulled back and kept the flower away from McCoy.


"No, please, Doctor," Spock requested. "I would like to keep this specimen."


McCoy harrumphed. "A specimen!" he repeated. "Here I wanted you to have a memento, and you just want it for research purposes. Someday, Spock, you will see that logic isn't everything. Someday love will get through that thick Vulcan hide of yours, and you'll remember that first time you were happy."


Spock was still staring at the bubble-encased flower when McCoy stormed out. "I was happy," The Vulcan repeated.


Spock knew exactly what he would do with the lily.



End story 9

Next: Dear Valentine