DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of T'Kuht and is copyright (c) 2001 by T'Kuht. Rated G.

Interludes: I'm Sorry...


Commander Spock walked into the dimly lit sickbay. He needed an addendum to the tape he was going to send to Starfleet regarding the vampire cloud creature encountered on Argus X. he knew no one was scheduled to be manning the reception room at this late hour, but as usual, Head Nurse Christine Chapel sat working at her station. He resisted the urge to ask her if she ever left sickbay or wore something other than her uniform. In the back of his mind, he tried to recall the times he'd seen her in something else and could come up with none. She wore either regulation duty togs or the ship's off duty issue. She did not indulge in the caftans Lt. Uhura favored or the more revealing items that other people seemed to prefer. He cleared his throat slightly, not wishing to startle her.

She looked up at him but not with the customary smile that graced her lips. She was not happy and it was evident in the pale features. Even in the dim night light of the office he could tell she'd been weeping. "Mr. Spock, is there something I can do for you?"

Spock hesitated a moment. His addendum could wait and she was upset. He did not wish to intrude. Still, she did not seem embarrassed at his appearance so he assumed it had nothing to do with him. "I wished to borrow one of the medical log tapes that McCoy had referred to in his report on the cloud creature."

Rotating out of her chair, she rose swiftly and walked past him to the next room. Spock glanced at her reader while she was gone. She was apparently in the middle of composing a letter to Ensign Rizzo's family. She was not on notification duty, so why was she assuming the task? He must have studied it a little too long because she realized he'd seen it when she returned. "This is the tape you'll need, Mr. Spock."

Handing it to him then feeling as if she needed to explain the letter she began, "I knew Ensign Rizzo before he came aboard." Spock's eyebrow didn't go up, but it wanted to. Rizzo was at least 10 years her junior. She continued so he could dispel any questions. "Chuck was from my hometown. I used to sit for him."

Spock was confused. "Sit?"

"You know, babysit. His mother and father worked and I would come home after school and watch him and during the summer vacations. I guess I just wanted to say how sorry I was. It's hard enough watching people die, but when you've known them since you changed their diapers..." The sadness was evident in her tone. She'd had no romantic feelings toward him, but he was someone familiar to her in a world, just a little strange. They had often sat for hours talking about what was going on in their hometown. "The Captain said it would be all right."

Spock did not answer. He simply nodded. "I will return this when I finish. Thank you, Miss Chapel."

"Mr. Spock," she replied and moved to sit down again.

He went to leave but turned just at the door. "I am certain his family will be comforted by your actions."

"It's all I can do, and it's not good enough," she answered softly and waited for the door to close behind him before the tears slid down her cheeks.