DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of T'Eros and is copyright (c) 2005 by T'Eros. Rated NC17.



Lay Down My Heart

T'Eros



"Your face is wet," he had said and then he touched her with a gentleness and caring that nearly stopped her heart. It was only for a second, the time it took to wipe away a tear, but she had been flooded with emotions that were not hers, that overwhelmed her. His - turmoil, confusion, intense need, and a sexual desire that burned her like flame.

And then he had withdrawn his touch and she was left with only the memory seared into her brain. She struggled to remember why she had come.

"I ... came to tell you that we're bound for Vulcan," she smiled tremulously. "We'll be there in just a few days."

Despair seemed to blanket him. He dropped his gaze and whispered, "Vulcan." He looked to be turning away from her and she attempted escape.

"Miss Chapel."

His soft, hoarse voice stopped her cold and she felt her heart thud once more. "My name is Christine," she blurted before she could think.

"Yes, I know, Christine." His voice, speaking her name, nearly undid her. There was a warmth and intimacy there that bespoke dropped pretensions and fallen walls. She felt her blood rise into her cheeks, burning there as she waited breathlessly. Anything he asked of her ... Anything...

Finally he spoke. "Would you make me some of that plomeek soup?"

It was such a simple request, so charmingly innocent, that she could not suppress a laugh of delight, even as tears brimmed once more. "Oh, I'll be very glad to do that, Mr. Spock." She hurried out before they spilled past her dark lashes.

It was shift change and she'd been working on her daily report. Hurrying back to sick bay, she found her relief already on duty. Thankfully, McCoy wasn't there. M'Benga had already taken up his work. Christine rushed to her desk, where her computer screen still sat as she had left it. Quickly finishing her report, she shoved the chip into the other nurse-supervisor's hands and left at a near run.

The soup took only moments to reheat and place on a tray with some Vulcan kreyla wafers she pulled from the replicator slot. Then Christine forced herself to stop and take several deep breaths, making herself relax. Professional, she reminded herself. Calm, collected, professional. Before leaving her cabin, she checked her appearance in the mirror, patted some stray hair back into place, took one more deep breath and picked up the tray.

This time, she made sure the corridor outside Spock's quarters was deserted before she approached his door and gingerly pressed the buzzer. Once more, the door slid aside and she entered the heat and darkness of the First Officer's cabin.

He was not there to meet her, but she spotted him right away. He was sitting on the side of his bed, bent over, his face buried in his hands.

Alarmed, Christine set the tray on his desk and hurried toward him. "Spock! Are you all right?"

He lifted his head to look at her and she faltered. The naked pain on his face made her catch her breath. "Oh, Spock! What's wrong? Are you ill? Do I need to call--"

"No!" His voice was a rasp as he vaulted to his feet and his hand shot out to seize her wrist in a vice-like grip. "No," he repeated in a softer voice. "Call no one."

"But Dr. McCoy needs to know--"

"He knows," Spock murmured, his eyes locked onto hers, feverishly bright. "He can do nothing. I will not tolerate more of his prying."

He still held her wrist and his grasp tightened. She plucked futilely at his fingers. "Spock ... please ... you're hurting me."

He released her abruptly. "I'm sorry..." He turned back to his bedchamber, hanging his head.

He was trembling, Christine realized, and she instinctively stepped closer, slipping her hand across the tight muscles of his back. "Let me help, then," she offered. "Why not come and eat some soup? It's getting cold."

At her nearness, he closed his eyes and made a small sound that was almost like a sob. "I'm sorry, Christine," he repeated in a voice barely audible. "I'm sorry for all the pain I have caused you. You did not deserve the way I have treated you."

She came around to face him, looking up into the tortured features. "There's no need to apologize to me, Spock," she whispered and reached up to caress his cheek. As she did so, he brought his hand up to cover hers, pressing her fingers into his fever-hot flesh and she felt it again -- all the longing, all the pain, all the yearning that possessed him.

He drew his breath and squeezed his eyes shut once more, pulling her hand away as if burned. For a moment she couldn't speak, then she whispered, "You need more than soup, don't you, Spock?"

"I need..." He stopped as his voice faded, dry, and he swayed slightly, his brows bunching together before terrible things could be wrenched from him. Instead, he shook his head and looked away.

"I've seen the readings," she said quietly. Suddenly it all made sense. All the abnormal medical data. All the heated conferences between the Captain and McCoy. Kirk's agitated words: "I can't let Spock die now, can I, Bones?"

Christine slowly closed the distance between herself and the First Officer, reaching to take his hands in hers once more. "You won't make it, Spock. We're four days from Vulcan. I don't know why you have to go home, but you're sick and you need help with whatever this is. Your testosterone level is nearly off the chart. Isn't there some medication that would help lower it? Some treatment?"

"No." Again Spock shook his head, refusing to look at her.

But she could feel it through their touch. She knew what he needed ... and what he would never ask.

Raising her voice a little, she said, "Computer."

"Working."

"Seal entry to Commander Spock's cabin. Medical Authorization Alpha One."

"Acknowledged."

He snapped his gaze up to hers, startled, as she resolutely released his hands and sat down on the edge of his bed, pulling off her boots. Frozen, he watched her, eyes wide, pupils dilated in a pale face. She rose to her feet once more and reached under the back of her short uniform, unsealing the underpants and letting them fall to the floor. Then she peeled down her dark tights and panties and stepped out of them.

Spock was sweating. She had never seen him sweat before. She didn't think Vulcans were capable of it, but a fine sheen covered his forehead and upper lip -- lips that were dry and parted as his rapid breath attested to his arousal.

She stepped back toward the bed and gently drew him with her. He didn't resist, no longer able to protest. As she lay back across the bed, her heart pounding with excitement and terror, she reached down between her thighs to quickly rub herself, to generate some lubrication, even as he was frantically fumbling at the opening of his pants with hands that shook almost uncontrollably.

Then he was positioning himself above her, pushing her legs open and back, and she grasped his rigid erection to guide him into her.

It was quick and hard the first time. He could not control himself, once released. He ejaculated almost at once, then began to thrust again, his semen easing his penetration, enabling him to push deeper until his body was slapping against hers with every plunge. Christine closed her eyes and enfolded him with arms and legs, holding him close, allowing him to spend himself in her embrace.

She felt him freeze and shudder a second time, then begin yet again. It was slower this time, less frenetic, although she could still feel his tension. When he came a third time, he collapsed atop her with an exhausted sigh. Still, she held him and pressed his face into her neck, stroking his wet hair and rocking him tenderly.

After a few moments, she pushed at him gently and he obligingly rolled off her onto his back, still lying crossways on the bed, his legs dangling off. Christine got up and, taking his legs, pulled him around until he was lengthwise. He didn't resist, too tired now to do anything, seemingly unaware that his trousers still gaped open and that he was exposed.

Christine went into the bathroom and retrieved a cloth, holding it under running hot water until it was thoroughly warmed, then she returned to the bedchamber and cleaned him. He didn't move throughout it, but simply lay with his eyes closed. She couldn't tell if he were asleep or had lost consciousness. His easy breathing seemed to suggest the former, for his face had smoothed out and lost some of the pain that had been etched there.

As she patted his genitals dry with a soft towel, she noted that his penis had begun to harden again and he groaned softly. Making a decision, she dropped the towel and reached to remove his boots and stockings, then grasped the top of his pants and tugged. He was rousing and lifted his hips a bit, so that she could get both trousers and undershorts off. He had opened his eyes now and was watching her with a still fever-bright stare.

"Take the rest of your clothes off," she told him in a soft but commanding voice. "And get under the covers. I'll be back in just a moment."

She exited to the bathroom once more and there quickly stripped off her uniform tunic and bra, then did a hurried cleansing. When she opened the door a few minutes later, she found him waiting in bed, bare. She slipped beneath the coverlet and into his arms.

"You should not be doing this," he whispered. "You are not mine..."

She knew what he meant. She knew Vulcan culture and that he was referring to the marriage bond, but she didn't care. Lifting her face to his, she murmured back, "Shhh... I've been yours since the day we met. Now kiss me ... and make love me as long as you need to. Tonight we practice shan hal lak. I am your Engulfment, Spock. Your blood burns within me..."

Her nearness and warmth undid him and he pulled her willing body against his, bringing his mouth down to capture hers.

* * *

She awoke at her usual time, 0600, and for a moment was disoriented, knowing that she was not in her own cabin or her own bed. And she was immediately aware that Spock was not beside her. Then she relaxed. It had been this way for three days now. Each evening she would come to him. They would immediately make love to sate his pent-up tension, then eat together at his desk, and return to bed for impassioned sessions of intimacy. Between times, they talked or slept.

At least she slept. She was drained, for she was still pulling her usual shift during the day. McCoy suspected what was going on, because Spock's hormone levels were lower and the Vulcan was less volatile, so the doctor did not chastise his head nurse. He simply suggested a healing cream for her abrasions and chapping and told her to call him if she needed to.

But Spock was taking tender care of her physical needs. After the first time, he attempted to shield her from his worst demands and was almost visibly holding himself back from using her body more than necessary. Often, he would simply hold her close, eyes shut, until he could no longer control himself, and then he would move atop her to once more be lost to the fires that possessed him.

But this morning was different. Today they would arrive at Vulcan and he had risen from their shared bed at midnight to meditate while she fell into exhausted sleep. She could hear him now in the bathroom, the sonic shower humming. She still didn't know what urgent business awaited him on his home planet, for he would not talk about that, but she was satisfied that he was able to accomplish his purpose there now. She had saved him, and they had grown closer as a result. Though still reserved and ever formal toward her, she thought he had relaxed his mental guard and accepted her love for him as a real and tangible thing. And she felt that he loved her in return, for he was gentle and soft with her as he never had been before.

Christine stretched and rose from the bed, retrieving her clothing and beginning to dress. As always, she would return to her own cabin to ready herself for the coming day.

She was humming happily as the bathroom door opened and Spock emerged, clad in a long blue robe. His face was still somewhat drawn but the underlying strain and fury was gone. Keeping his distance from her, he nodded a good morning. "Did you sleep well last night?" he asked in a rough, hushed voice. "I hope I did not disturb you."

"I'm fine, Spock. How are you doing this morning? We'll be coming up on Vulcan in a couple of hours, you know."

"Yes ... I know." His gaze turned inward and the persistent sadness returned to his eyes.

Christine sighed. "I wish you'd tell me what you're going home for. Maybe I could help."

Spock looked back into her warm blue eyes and his own softened to a deep chocolate brown as he reached to gently stroke her cheek with his fingertips. "It is of a personal nature, as I have told you," he answered softly. "There is nothing more I can say. But you have helped. I would not have reached here alive without you. I am grateful."

"Same time tonight then?" she asked hopefully.

For a long moment, however, he was silent. "I ... I think not," he answered finally. "I ... I do not know yet." He faltered then finished, "We will see tonight."

Stung, Christine mentally stepped back from him then said, "Okay, well, I'd better be going then. I hope things go okay today."

She started to brush by him but he caught her upper arm and halted her. As always, his emotions swirled through her like a brush fire and his dark, depthless eyes held her locked in their spell. "Christine..." he began, then could not finish what he seemed to want to say. "Thank you," he ended lamely and released her.

Unable to speak past the lump in her throat, she merely nodded and hurried through the doorway, leaving him standing in the darkness.

* * *

By the time they warped into orbit around Vulcan, the usual activities of the day were in full swing. Two engineers had come into sick bay with burned hands, the result of a panel shorting out, and six other crewmembers had lined up for sick call. There seemed to be an upper respiratory virus going around and that meant shipwide inoculation procedures to prevent its further spread. McCoy had shoved that duty off onto her shoulders as he, Kirk and Spock left for the bridge. Christine had dutifully programmed the airborne dosage of antiviral and ordered the computer to begin its discharge into the ventilation system.

Once that was started and things were quieter, she filed her report and downloaded it onto a padd for Dr. McCoy's signature. She decided to take it up to the bridge herself to have him sign it.

When the turbolift doors opened, Christine found herself stepping into a scene of rapt anticipation. The main screen was strangely blank, but everyone was watching it. Stepping next to McCoy, she handed him the report and asked quietly, "Doctor? What's going on?"

"Shhh..." he hushed her without turning his gaze from the screen.

Then it lit up with the visage of a stunning Vulcan woman, haughty and aristocratic. "Spock?" she said in a lyrical voice. "It is I ..."

The First Officer was standing rigidly beside Kirk, his eyes glued on the woman. "T'Pring," he said. "... parted from me and never parted ... never and always touching and touched ... we meet at the appointed place."

Ritually, the woman replied, "Spock ... parted from me and never parted ... never and always touching and touched ... I await you."

Uhura broke the silence of the group gathered around their colleague. "She's lovely, Mr. Spock. Who is she?"

"She is T'Pring..." Spock answered woodenly, his voice holding both excitement and woe. "...my wife."

As Christine whipped her startled gaze to stare at Spock, she saw McCoy and Kirk both glance her way and there was pity for her in both hazel and sky-blue eyes. She looked past them to Spock, who hadn't moved an inch. She knew his business here now and why he wouldn't tell her. Why his sexual drive was like a runaway warp reactor... Why his hormone level would have killed him if he hadn't damped it for the past three nights with her...

Suddenly his alien physiology and customs slammed her right in the face and words came back to her that he had spoken ... that she had misinterpreted... "It is illogical to protest against our natures, don't you think, Miss Chapel?" He was telling her ... warning her ... and she hadn't understood. Until now.

As gracefully as she could, she fled the bridge before she could make a bigger fool of herself than she already was.

Spock never even acknowledged her presence.



=========================================

"I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt

Turn down the lights, turn down the bed

Turn down these voices inside my head

Lay down with me, tell me no lies

Just hold me close, don't patronize -- don't patronize me

Chorus: 'cause I can't make you love me if you don't

You can't make your heart feel something it won't

Here in the dark, in these lonely hours

I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power

But you won't, no, you won't

'cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

I'll close my eyes, then I won't see

The love you don't feel when you're holding me

Morning will come and I'll do what's right

Just give me till then to give up this fight

And I will give up this fight

Chorus: 'cause I can't make you love me if you don't

You can't make your heart feel something it won't

Here in the dark, in these lonely hours

I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power

But you won't, no, you won't

'cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

1