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.
How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You...
Christine Chapel smoothed the skirt of the embarrassing uniform that she had to wear. Why Starfleet had gone from the workable pants and tunic they had issued when she first came aboard to these nuisances, she didn't know. Probably some Admiral with an eye for the ladies came up with it. They were supposed to be cooler and more comfortable, but the stockings were skin tight and itched and the skirt was hard to get off in "emergency" situations. Now, she was sweating from the mere idea of appearing before the ship's first officer. It was only two weeks since they had been through the Psi 2000 fiasco, and she knew she was still trying to get the color to drain from her face. Why, why did she have to pick him of all people to rub up against like a cat in heat? Never mind, she thought. If she didn't get a move on, she wouldn't have to worry about Psi 2000 because she'd be reprimanded for being late.
* * *
Lieutenant Commander Spock reveiwed his list of promotion candidates. The next one gave him pause. The incident between them two weeks ago was unfortunate but not completely disastrous. He had been chased before. However, he had been able to leave them where they stood. Now he was stuck on the same ship. He could consider transferring her, but her records indicated that she was an excellent, dedicated researcher and the Enterprise needed more like her.
At precisely 1130 his door chimed and as it whisked open, she stepped forward. Allowing a moment to regard her features, he noted they were cool, professional, completely business like. Nodding toward the chair that sat opposite his desk, he stated, "Sit, please."
Christine breathed deeply and did as he asked hoping he wouldn't see the way she was sweating. The room temperature had been lowered to the ship's norm of 70, and she was thankful. Sitting stiffly in the chair, she waited for the Vulcan to look up at her from his review file. He started with a question she had not expected, "How are you?"
"Uh, fine, just fine. And you?" she answered automatically.
"I am in perfect health. According to your records, you hold a doctorate in bioresearch and biochemistry. Why are you on board as a nurse?" he asked and his eyes seemed to bore through her like an auger.
Christine cleared her throat quietly. Apparently the captain hadn't told him her plight nor had he heard it through scuttlebutt. She began, "I am on board as a nurse because I wanted to get into deep space. At the time, this was the only position open. I am qualified as a nurse, Mr. Spock."
He shook his head, "I am not questioning your qualifications. However, you are ... wasted in sickbay in the capacity that you now hold. Do you not wish a more satisfying position?"
Christine smiled a little. At least he wasn't asking about Psi 2000. "I like where I am quite fine. I really don't plan on being aboard that long. Well, I didn't plan on making it a career here."
Spock gave her his best nonplused why-do-I-ask look and leaned forward to emphasize his question, "Then why are you here?"
"I really..." She didn't want to explain but knew she'd have to in order to get out of the cabin. "My fiance disappeared four years ago. I have been trying to find him ever since. It finally came to the point that I had to come out personally. The only ship going my direction was the Enterprise. The only posting I was qualified for was as nurse so I took the required courses, volunteered for duty, and well ... my sister pulled a few strings so that I could come aboard."
Spock did not ask her who her sister was. Instead, "Your fiance means that much to you?" It was a silly question.
Barely controlled tears brimmed her lashes. "He's more important than anything else in my world. I am certain you have heard of him, Dr. Roger Korby."
Spock raised an eyebrow. Yes indeed, he was a most infamous man. He had been a candidate for the Nobel prize the same year as S'tak of Vulcan. This woman became more and more impressive. Then a thought came to him. "But two weeks ago..."
Christine bristled and stopped him. "Please, Mr. Spock, I regret whatever occurred. It was not me. Actually, I think it was that you just happened to walk in the door at the wrong time. I'm sorry."
Spock was at a loss for a moment. This was a first for him. All the other dealings with women had been so emotional and abhorrent. Now she was apologizing for her lack of scruples when it was not her fault. "You were not able to control your state of mind anymore than I was. The incident is forgotten."
She smiled with relief. "Thank you."
"However, while you do not seem interested in a position outside your duties in sickbay, I must concur with Dr. McCoy. He has recommended that you be promoted to head nurse and chief surgical nurse. Is this acceptable to you?"
Christine nodded. It was indeed an honor to be promoted to such a position when she'd only been aboard six months. Even though she hadn't wanted advancement, it was nice. "That is acceptable."
"These positions will free your time from the mundane tasks in sickbay. You will be allotted more research time. In this way perhaps you can continue with your work," he explained secretly wanting to appoint her as chief assistant in the chemistry labs. Her work, when he had reviewed it, was far better than he could have imagined. No wonder a brilliant mind like Korby had chosen her.
"If there are no questions, you are free to leave."
The tall blonde shook her head, "No, no questions. Thank you, Mr. Spock."
He did not answer her illogical statement with his usual tart reply. Instead he chose an Earth phrase. "Don't mention it."
She smiled broadly. "I won't."
With that she left and began to feel at one with the crew for the first time since she'd come aboard.