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) 2002 by T'Kuht. Rated NC17.

Technical Manuals


"Chris, you are going to miss the best time," Uhura lamented as she tried to convince her friend to go ahead and accept McCoy's offer of shore leave. The Assistant Chief Medical Officer shook her head. She was glad to have the chance to just sit back and relax while everyone else traipsed off.

"Believe me, I'm going to have a wonderful time right here," she insisted and pointed to the pile of books she had on the side of her desk.

"Books! Girl, you are so... Instead of reading about it, why don't you go get some?" Janice asked from her perch on the bed.

Christine Chapel met her friend's eyes in exasperation. "Because I do have some standards. I can't just go find some guy off the street and have a fling."

"We don't want you to do that, but you know we'll be here longer than a day. You could have a very nice weekend," Nyota tried. It didn't work.

Chapel shook her head. "Nope, believe me, when you two come dragging in and I am fresh as a daisy after three rest filled days, you'll be wishing you'd spent your leave with a book too."

The other two women were highly dubious of their friend's assessment of their leave, but they didn't press. "Well, you have a relaxing read, and we'll have a good time doing what we're going to do. We'll have to go if we're gonna make the landing party."

"Have a good time, I'll see you when you get back in one capacity or the other," Christine said and waved as they headed out of her cabin.

* * *

A day went by and Christine's pile of books was two smaller. She'd devoured the romance novels easily even with a few calls to sickbay for minor injuries. She slapped the second book closed with a satisfactory smack and stretched in the chaise that she snuggled in. Her stomach was starting to grumble a little and it was suppertime, so she made herself presentable by running a hand through the unfettered hair and straightening the casual regulation wear before heading out the door. The ship was unusually quiet. Her cabin was normally in a very busy section of the ship, but tonight it was deadly dull. She kind of liked not having to jostle around with anyone to get to the recreation room. Fully expecting to be the only person in for the evening meal, she was a bit surprised to see Commander Spock sitting eating his meal. He acknowledged her. "Dr. Chapel, would you care to sit here?"

"Sure, let me get my supper. What did you get?" she asked not really knowing what she wanted. One look let her know she didn't want what Spock had. "I think I'll just get a salad."

Retrieving the food, she returned and joined him at the table. "How is the work coming?"

"It is finished," Spock announced.

Chapel was astonished. "Goodness, you're a day early, aren't you? What are you going to do with your time off, more refits?"

"I have not decided yet. While the main computer needs to be overhauled, I do not have the equipment to adequately repair it here. To attempt to do so could cause irreparable damage," Spock explained as he ate another spoonful of the dark purplish soup. The new servo computers had finally been programmed to make plomeek the way Christine could. Chapel wrinkled her nose at the smell a bit. It reeked of cabbage and beets to her.

"You are offended by the soup?" Spock surmised.

"No, the smell always gets me, but I'm fine. I just don't like cabbage that well," Chapel said with a shrug.

"It is not cabbage," Spock said a little confused.

"It smells like cabbage. It tastes like it too," she provided. Spock looked at her choice of dinner for a second. There was cabbage in the salad.

"You are eating cabbage."

"So I am. I don't like it cooked. How did we get stuck on cabbage?" she laughed and shoved around another bite of food.

"I do not know. And you, what have you been doing to occupy your on call time?"

"I'm holed up in my cabin shamelessly reading romance novels. I haven't been able to do that in a long time," Chapel answered a little embarrassed to admit it to Spock, but she couldn't lie, it was against her nature.

"Reading or the romance?" he asked after analyzing the statements a moment.

Chapel choked on her water. Managed to swallow and catch her breath before answering. "Uh, well, neither to be completely honest."

The subject was dropped. Spock turned to the latest of Chapel's entries to the Star Fleet Medical Journal. "Your proposal for a new treatment for people exposed to Ionic radiation was enlightening."

"I wasn't too pleased with it myself. I wanted my results to prove one thing, but they didn't so I had to just report what occurred," Christine admitted. She had never held with manipulating data just to achieve the results a scientist wanted. It was far too easy to disprove them. She knew her honesty was a problem sometimes, but Spock did not seem to think so.

"Why would you think it somehow wrong to report the truth?"

"I don't guess I do. I just wanted the results to be different that's all. I guess the only way to do that is to do more experiments," she reasoned and immediately an idea popped into her head that she'd overlooked in the research she'd conducted. She'd neglected to check every variable. Her eyes narrowed at Spock, and he could almost see the neural paths glowing with electricity.

"You have thought of something?" he surmised.

"Yes, but I'll have to set the whole thing up again, and it took days to run. But, well, I don't have anything better to do than to sit and read romance books. I can get everything set up and have it percolating while I read some more. If you'll excuse me," she said leaving half the salad untouched. Spock stopped her with a tap on the table.

"You should finish your meal. The experiment can wait. If you do not care, I would like to assist?" he asked hopeful that once again they could work together. Although there had been many awkward moments between them years ago, they'd had some brilliant ones as well.

Christine grinned broadly, relaxed against the seat back. "I wouldn't have it any other way. I'll finish my salad and then we'll get going. I only have one problem though."


"How to ask the Star Fleet Medical Journal to print two papers on the same topic if the results change," she giggled. "I suppose I could print a retraction."

"No, simply say that as a good scientist you did not stop with your initial findings and kept going on ... gut feeling."

Chapel smiled, this new Spock was slowly warming up. If he wanted to be around people for a change, she wouldn't dissuade him. She'd noticed that he'd been quite solitary the five months after V'Ger. Probably just trying to adjust.

* * *

The coils and readouts were bubbling happily two hours later. It was at a stage now where Chapel and Spock could leave it for a while. The computer constantly monitored the experiment. So if anything went wrong, it would be recorded and analyzed while Chapel was being summoned. She'd considered putting a video recorder as well on a close-up of the vials, but thought that might be a little too much. Leaning against the table, she faced Spock happily. "Well, we're off. I'll see you back here in four hours. I'll be in my cabin if you need me."

"Of course," he answered and watched as she left.

* * *

An hour later, Christine was once again snuggled in with a book and a carrot stick. She'd gotten the munchies after starting the experiment, but McCoy had her on a veggie diet for snacks. So she had to make do with carrots and extra sweet honey mustard for a dip. Leonard hadn't said anything about dips. She was so engrossed in the steamy passage that the door buzzer made her jump. "Come in."

Spock stepped in. "Dr. Chapel?"

"Here, something wrong?" she asked hoping it wasn't the experiment.

"No, there is nothing wrong. I was simply curious, about your pastime," he began. It was a rather clumsy sentence.

Chapel was confused, she shook her head. "I don't get it. You want to watch me read a book?"

He shuffled back and forth a second, straightened. "No, I..."

She waited for him to finish the sentence. He never did. How did he tell her what he wanted? It seemed quite illogical. He tried a different tact. "My training on Gol was to eliminate all emotional responses to outside stimuli."

"I know that. I mean, I know what the computer knows about Gol," she replied. As far as she knew, this was the first time he'd spoken to anyone about Gol. She'd let him ramble on if he needed.

"I am finding it difficult to deal with those stimuli now that I am no longer Kohlinahru. While my control is stronger than when I first served aboard this vessel, I also seem to have lost my ability to connect with the other crewmembers. I had assumed that it would be a simple matter of interaction, but so far that does not seem to have worked," he explained.

Chapel pointed to her desk chair. "Sit down."

The Vulcan looked at it curiously. He indicated the end of the chaise. "I would prefer to sit there."

"Oh, sure..." she answered and curled her legs up to let him sit down. He did so gingerly, as if it would break under his weight.

"So," she began. "You are having problems gelling with us again? That's to be expected. You went through a life-changing event and you aren't the same person you were when you left. None of us are."

"But I have never struggled in this manner before," he mused with a snort. It was frustrating. Jim was still Jim but he was not Jim at the same time. McCoy was a stranger as well. The camaraderie that they'd had was essentially diminished. There were moments that he thought that they were one unit again, and then, it was gone. "The Captain and Dr. McCoy are strangers to me," he said.

Chapel smiled. "Oh, I see. Well, you were apart for almost three years. You got used to being together and knowing everything that occurred to each of you for five years. It's just like when brothers and sisters grow up and move out of the house. You are still together but you're apart. You'll never be able to get those three years back, Spock. Don't you think that McCoy is just as lost around you? He is. He's told me many times that he isn't sure what to do with you anymore. He wants to kid you and tease you the way he did, but you're so distant and changed. I am assuming that Kirk feels the same way. Out of all of us I think he's changed the most. He's not the happy go lucky Captain he was before. Now he's hardened and a little more cynical."

Chapel's words made more sense than all his meditations. Spock looked at her in relief. "Then it is not entirely in my mind?"

"No. We didn't remain static while you went off. If we had you still couldn't have reacted the same way you had before. Tell me, why did you go to Gol, if that's not a taboo question?"

It was the question everyone on the ship, Star Fleet, and the general universe had wanted to ask but hadn't had either the guts or the opportunity. Spock wrangled with the answer. It was a taboo question to ask at Gol. But, he was no longer there. He could say what he wished. "I found that my association with humans had led me... that is not true," he stopped. The truth was always a little clouded. "I could no longer separate the Human Spock from the Vulcan one. My control and my logic had been compromised to the point that I no longer seemed to have any. I went to become centered again. I assumed that I had to destroy my emotions in order to do that. I was wrong."

"That's why you were so unnerved by your meld with V'Ger?" Chapel asked remembering that odd conversation with Kirk in sickbay before they'd found how to get rid of the machine that wanted to delete all humans from Earth.

"Yes. Mechanical perfection, no distractions from logic or the black and white of reality, and it was still dissatisfied."

Christine looked at Spock with slightly upturned brows. "I wouldn't want to live in a black and white world, Spock. It's not very pretty in there. Didn't you miss the colors?"

"By colors do you mean diversity and challenge? I find that I did. Strict adherence to logic does have a habit of meaning lack of change. I do not know if I could have remained in that study for long even if I had succeeded," he admitted quietly. Taking a deep breath and hanging his head a little with the weight of what he had just said, he stared at his right knee for a time.

Chapel sensed he was struggling with something. Leaning forward, she placed a hand on his. "You said that this, this simple touch was more than V'Ger could ever understand, but now it does. Do you?"

That simple touch, it was more than he could comprehend at times. After a few moments, Christine started to move the hand away. He grasped it quickly, surprising both of them. Her hands were cool and soothing, soft, silken and enticing. Taking the hand gently and turning it over palm up, he traced a line on her palm. It tickled, and she tried hard not to laugh. He was so intent on her hand. Spock kept looking at it, did not change position but peered up through his eyebrows at her. She was totally open to him. Her thoughts were calm, patient, kind.

Almost instinctively he kept tracing a path on her palm, the motion creating waves of sensation through both of them. Chapel's eyes widened, her breathing quickened. She was becoming lost in his eyes. With a weak, barely audible voice, she managed, "Yes."

It was the signal he required or waited for. He had not come to her cabin to sexually arouse her, but now he could not turn back if he wished. His fingers kept creating waves of pleasure through her, which in turn filtered back to him. Deftly, he kept caressing and leaned forward to gently capture her mouth. She moaned softly against his lips. She was already heady with sensation and he'd not even removed a single item of clothing. There was nothing in the novels she'd been reading that even compared to this. As if reading her almost unconscious thoughts, Spock used his other hand to find the opening to her tunic. The new uniforms were much more conducive to spontaneous lovemaking. With one deft movement, he had the tunic completely open exposing the physician's under shirt. She'd been going around in a light T-shirt and no brassiere all day under the heavier regulation tunic. He could feel as well as see the nipples grow taut and erect on her breasts. The link he had with her was different than any other he'd ever experienced. It was so vibrant and visual. He could feel every goose bump on her skin as well as his, and he did have goose bumps.

Chapel managed to say something else. "Let me." She sat back and took the tunic the rest of the way off. Spock pulled the undershirt over her head, folded it neatly, and placed it across the chaise. For a moment they seemed stymied, then Chapel began unfastening Spock's shirt. He allowed her to do so, watched as her hands undid the seam. She'd seem him more times than she could count with his shirt off, but not in such an aroused state. It seemed like every hair on his chest was at attention. The green around his nipples had gotten deeper. It pleased her to see it. She smiled slightly and laughed. Spock sat back. "What?" The tone of his voice was one of hurt.

"Oh, I'm not laughing at you. I'd never laugh at you," she assured sincerely and to prove it kissed him soundly and passionately. Her lips were sweet from the honey mustard dip. It enticed him further. His hands found her breasts, began kneading so that they would remain taut. She caught her breath. "Have I hurt you?" Spock asked concerned.

"No, it's just so..." she searched for a word while her head was spinning.

"Colorful?" Spock supplied.

"Mm-hmm," she said again and leaned her head back to expose her neck. Spock took the opportunity to trail his lips along her neckline. Her moaning increased. He found it amusing and managed a low chuckle that sounded more like a rumble to her ears. "What?" she asked.

"You are a very audible lover," Spock replied.

A blue eye managed to open to look at him, that eyebrow quirked up," Really ... well, if you'd go a little further you'd find out just how audible I can be."

He took the challenge, stood up, and held out his hand to her. They stood almost shoulder-to-shoulder. Her breasts pressed against his torso stimulating him further. He was now quite ready to take her as far as she wanted to go. By the look in her eyes, it was the whole distance. Christine unhooked the pants, pulled them down, and stepped out of them to stand completely nude. With a sidelong glance, she stepped over to her bed, began removing the large amount of throw pillows, and stretched out lazily pulling the coverlet over her fully extended breasts. Spock stood at the foot of her bed, still in his trousers. As if deciding whether he was supposed to remove them or crawl in after her clothed, he waited. Finally, he sat on the edge of the bed, began tugging the boots off to land, thunk, on the floor. Almost modestly, he unfastened the pants, pulled them off as well and folded them neatly to place on the chaise beside his tunic. There was nothing between them now, except the coverlet. He pulled on it. She held fast to it. A devilish gleam in her eyes told him that she was teasing him. Spock pulled the coverlet up from the edge of the bed and ran a hand up the length of her legs. "You have very, very long legs," he observed.

"And you have very, very nice hands," she answered. Taking one leg and wrapping it around so that a neatly pedicured toe caressed his back, she pressed it against him gently to let him know to come closer to her. He took the hint. Spock's Vulcan heat was enough to keep her warm on a cold day, but her cabin was not cold and she was beginning to get quite warm. Throwing the cover off to lie completely exposed beneath him, she grasped his chin with her hand making him lock eyes with her. Dutifully he pulled himself up to her on the bed and pressed her tight to him. Christine was nearly a perfect fit for his physique. She filled spaces that other women had never been able to. With rekindled passion, he took her mouth with his, used his hands to begin more necessary foreplay. She was hot and already worked up for him, but he wanted more. He wanted to make certain she was thoroughly prepared for him. Vulcan males were more endowed than most Humans when they were fully erect. Some Vulcan females had difficulty accommodating them, let alone Human females. His thumb began rubbing her nub as the index and middle fingers darted in and out. Her hands pressed against him trying to get him to both stop and keep going at the same time. "Wait," she breathed.

"You do not wish to continue?" he asked. He would not rape her, no matter how far gone he was, he would not do that to her.

"Yes, but I want to please you as well. If you want me to?" she asked trying to swallow with her heart in her throat.

"Yes, I definitely wish you to please me. But there is time, is there not?" he countered. She nodded against the pillow. In the dimmed light, her now dark hair glistened with the golden highlights. Spock continued his own ministrations, wanting to take her to the very edge of sanity itself. He explained as he worked, "I feel everything that you do as well as what I sense. You are pleasing me just as I am pleasing you now."

Her hips relaxed, allowed her legs to fall farther apart than they had before and gave him better access to her clitoris. "Will you allow this?" he asked. Her answer was a vigorous head bobbing but no words. Positioning himself so that he could easily orally stimulate her, he began. At first she was controlled, not really responding, but after a few moments she was bracing herself against the pillows. Spock's tongue teased and tempted, tickled, tormented her into spasms. No one had done this to her. She'd been stimulated in this fashion before, but not in such a manner that she was nearly delirious. Her hands found his shoulders, the nails dug in until there were marks in the green skin. She was about to draw blood when he stopped and changed position. She was now ready for him. "If you wish to stop...?" he began asking.

"You stop now and I'll kill you," Chapel threatened. He was not certain it was a threat. Watching him as he maneuvered on the bed until he was over her, Chapel finally saw him fully aroused. She was a little shocked. He was huge. But if he didn't complete what he'd started, she'd not be able to stand it anyway. Spock's hand trailed along her sternum, down her stomach and finally as he was positioned over her, took his penis to begin entry. Wanting to be gentle, he did not go deep at first. He wanted to make certain she was able to handle him. But, his control was threatening to break down on him and before he lost it completely, he plunged into her.

Chapel's cries weren't of pain. The ridges along the polished green head of his penis were in the perfect spots for her sex. As he thrust deep into her she kept calling out, laughing, and moaning. The moans created sensations of pleasure in Spock. He smiled slightly at her. He couldn't help it. He felt alive for the first time in a very long time. Nothing on Gol had compared to this. He was nearly blinded by the colors in it all. It would not be long now. He could feel the pressure building as a fountain or a volcano. With a groan himself, Spock came, pouring into Christine his seed and his passion. He kept rocking for a few moments, slowing until he had them both on more even ground. He was spent and slick with both of their juices. Removing himself, Spock was careful not to drip. As if sensing his dilemma, Christine laughed, "Go ahead. The sheets will wash."

With an exhausted sigh, Spock lay on the bed, propped his head on his elbow as he watched her. She had a thin film of perspiration over her whole body. Her eyes were closed to the slowly spinning vortex. It was getting slower every second. Finally she opened them and turned her head to look at him. "I think I understand your mother now."

"My mother?" Spock asked curiously.

"Why she would remain with your father all this time. You aren't as passionless as you would like us to know, are you? If anything Vulcans are more passionate than Humans which makes you more dangerous if you allow the emotions to rule your life," Chapel explained.

"If you say so," Spock replied.

"Call it a scientifically proven statement. Speaking of scientific ... the experiment," Christine remembered suddenly and sat up to look at her clock. There was still an hour before she needed to look in on it. Resting against the pillows, she ran a hand along Spock's jaw, coming up to trace his lips. "You are a remarkable man."

"Thank you," Spock said humbly.

"Not 'I am a Vulcan, I am not a man'?"

"I am a Vulcan, and I am a man," Spock corrected keeping his gaze on her face.

Christine nodded. "Yes, and you are a remarkable Vulcan as well."

Spock's eyes grew distant as if he were far away or in meditation. Chapel frowned. "So, was this to try to come to terms with your heritage or what?"

He seemed a bit taken aback. He'd assumed she'd enjoyed it so thoroughly that she would not ask why he'd made love to her. "I wished to have sexual relations with you. Do you now regret that?"

"No, I guess not. I liked it a great deal, but it will be difficult now to find someone else to compare with what I just had," she lamented.

"Do we have to find someone else to compare this with?" Spock asked seriously.

Chapel's eyes bore into him. "What?"

"Why must we seek out other lovers? I do not wish another."

That statement alone would have floored Chapel if she'd been standing up. As it was, she just collapsed against the pillows. This was giving her more to think about than she'd bargained for. "What are you proposing precisely?"

"A ... partnership, of sorts. We continue being lovers. It would be a profitable agreement for both of us."


"We would each get something we wanted. You would no longer have to rely on your romance novels for stimulation, and I would gain a link that I've never had before."

"So we are steady lovers, do we move in together or announce something?" Chapel asked suddenly needing to get up. Her robe was piled on the floor beside the bed, and she picked it up to put on. She could feel Spock's eyes follow her. Turning to face him, she was suddenly rather self-conscious and wrapped the robe around her tightly.

Spock answered her question. "If you wish."

"No, I mean well ... what do you want?" she posed and went to sit back on the chaise.

Spock sat up on the bed. The fact that he was completely nude didn't seem to phase him at all. "I wish a relationship with a woman."

"A woman, or me?" she rephrased.

"You are a woman."

"Thank you for noticing," Christine laughed sarcastically. "I'm not just 'a' woman. Or maybe I am."

"No, you are not just 'a' woman. You are not just a body to me. You never have been," Spock admitted, that made Christine smile softly. "

"Perhaps I should phrase it this way. I don't want to be just a woman. I don't know about Vulcan culture, but I was raised in an environment that prefers meaning to relationships. I can't just sleep with you and not feel something for you," she answered meeting his questioning gaze with a rather stern one.

"At one time you did feel something for me. Or you said that you did," Spock reminded.

Christine colored almost immediately. With a nervous laugh she smiled briefly. "That was a long time ago, Spock. It's not that I don't have feelings for you now, but they've changed."

Spock shook his head in confusion. After all this and he still had no grasp on what he was doing. "You no longer love me?"

"Love is an unusual word. If by love you mean passionately, enamored and unable to live without you, no. If you mean greatly admire and respect you, then yes, I love you. I love who you are even though you think you have a great many faults to be of any use to anyone. I love that mind of yours. I think I've just fallen in love with that body of yours, again, but a body doesn't make a strong relationship. I love the fact that you are an honest man, you try to do good and be a model of your culture."

Spock snorted. "Yes, such a model that I fail the ultimate test and go back to living among Humans again."

"I'll take that as a Gee-I'm-sure-glad-to-be-back-home statement. Spock, you have some strange notion that if you aren't the perfect version of a Vulcan that you are not worthy of friends or love. Don't tell me it's nonsense because I know better. I've watched you far too long. Why are you settling for second best?" Chapel asked suddenly. Spock was completely mystified.

"I do not understand."

Christine stood up, started to pace. "Me. If I said yes to your proposal, then you'd be content with that relationship because you would think that's what you deserved."

Spock objected to the statement. "I do not consider you second best in the least. Why do you consider yourself unworthy of my attentions?"

She'd let herself get trapped. "Oh, damn. Did it again. McCoy is so much better at this psychological mumbo jumbo than I am." Running a hand across her face, she leaned against the desk, looked straight ahead and breathed deeply. "Spock, I'm not the most confident person in the universe. I've improved mind you, but I have a long way to go. Just as you have a long way to go to settle who you are in your mind. But, why can't you be contented with how you are now?"

Spock had pulled his trousers on while she'd spoken. "To remain as I am now would be torture. I cannot exist in this half state."

"Half-state," Chapel muttered. Spock stood in her archway, leaned against the frame a bit downtrodden. Or that's how it looked to Christine. She felt compelled to go to him. Pulling him close, she held him tightly. Letting go, she gave him one of her best smiles. "See, I can even love you in this half-state," she said sweetly.

Spock's forehead leaned against hers, rested there a time. "Thank you for that."

"So, lover, are you still in the mood to be pleased?" Chapel asked the twinkle back in her eye.

"We do not have adequate time. The experiment..." Spock reminded.

"Oh yeah, well, let me get a shower and put some regulation clothing on and we can go tend to the experiment. Then I can give you the same treatment you gave me," she promised with a smile. Spock nodded and let her go. After she'd disappeared into the bath, he put the rest of his clothes on, sat on the chaise waiting. The book that Chapel had been reading when he arrived sat on the floor. Spock picked it up out of curiosity. His left eyebrow kept rising as he read. This was what was expected out of humans. By the time Chapel came out of the bath, he had read enough to realize what he was doing wrong. If he was to have a relationship with a Human female, she needed to be romanced, not reasoned with.

* * *

"Well, am I presentable enough to walk down the corridor to the lab?" she asked as she fluffed the water out of her hair. She really didn't intend to dry it.

"You look ... lovely," Spock tried.

It drew a questioning glance. "Okay, whatever. Let's get going before the experiment goes bad on us."

Once in the hallway, they reverted to the more formal stance of commander and ship's physician. "Well, if the results don't come out this time, I'll just give up on the whole thing. I can't think of anything else I can test for," Chapel was saying as they entered the turbo-lift.

Spock was silent as they rode up to the lab level. Just as the lift stopped, he locked the door so she couldn't leave. "Wait."

"Huh, what? We have to hurry," Christine reminded impatiently.

"There is still three point two minutes. In that time..." Spock said and trailed off as he pulled her close to kiss her. They remained that way for two point eight minutes. He finally released her. "Now we can go check on the experiment."

"Good grief. What was that about?" she asked as they hurried toward the door.

"Your book indicated spontaneity for a fulfilling relationship," he stated honestly.

"My book? Oh, that romance trash I was reading," then she realized what Spock was saying. "Well, if you'd like to sort of get the idea for more ways to fulfill relationships, I can lend you the two I've already read. You can think of them as technical journals."

"That would be satisfactory," Spock agreed and was all business as they prepared the experiment for the next step that would need checked again in five hours. Putting the vials in the chamber to be pressurized for the entire time, Spock set the timer.

"Now, about those journals, just how much of that book did you read?" Christine asked.

"Enough to begin experimentation immediately."

The small grin spread across her face. "Hmm, well, in the chapter I was reading there was a little scene that I'd like to reenact. If that's okay with you?"

"The one where Rosamund takes Oliver by force?" Spock recalled.

"My, you do read fast. Yes, do you know it well enough to go along?" Chapel asked slyly.

"Rosamund, my heart beats passionately for you," he quoted.

"Oh, Oliver ... come on the sheets while the sheets are still wet."

"My cabin is closer," Spock pointed out.

"It's also hotter. I don't know if I'm ready to handle nearly 100 degree heat lovemaking."

"Then perhaps we should not continue. After all, my ambient temperature is over 100 degrees."

"You just keep me warm. Come on ... we're wasting experimental time," she urged and led him down the corridor. Normally it would have been filled with crewmen. Now it was empty and quiet as a tomb. The turbo ride was twice as long as it had been going to the lab. Once safely in her cabin again, Christine made certain to lock the door. Spock was beginning to undress. She shook her head. "No, no. You didn't read the rest of the chapter, did you? You have to keep your clothes on and let me undress you."

Chapel began divesting herself of the clothes, letting the last of the uniform fall to the floor. In the book Rosamund had kept Oliver prisoner in her bedroom. But, Chapel's bedroom was by no means the same as the one in the book. Looking around for something to attach him to, she gave up. "Oh, well, life can't really imitate art."

Her supple hands ran up the length of the strong arms, came to the earlobes. Spock's head jerked involuntarily. "What's wrong, lover?"

"The earlobes are extremely sensitive, especially during sexual arousal."

"Oh, is that what I'm doing, sexual arousal? I thought I was just running a hand up your arm."

"No, you are bringing me to a very heightened awareness."

She could feel that from the way he pressed against her. His arousal was practically bulging out of his pants. "Oh, well, I'll stop if you want me to?"

"You stop now and I'll kill you," he repeated from earlier.

Christine laughed loudly. "Oh, now aren't we the demanding one? But, how can I resist, I love you."

She unzipped the pants, pulled the tunic over his head as they fell to the floor. If anything, he was even larger now than he had been earlier. Her cool hands fondled him. He was like finely spun silk in her hands. The ridges of his penis twitched when she stroked him. Taking him by the hand, she pulled him toward the bed. "Stand there, just like that," she instructed and he did as she requested. Feet firmly planted shoulder width apart, he locked his knees against the onslaught of sensation. Chapel sat on the bed, her legs tucked under his so that she could sit right against his thighs. With gentle hands, she began stimulating him with her tongue. She could feel his legs tighten even harder. Grasping his buttocks with her hands, Christine took him fully into her mouth. Sucking, licking, and allowing her teeth to rake across the head of his penis lightly, she could feel the tension in his body begin to waver. If she weren't careful, he'd end up in a heap on the floor. Sitting back to admire the view, she licked her lips. "Delicious."

Spock's head craned forward to look at her. If anything, she'd wiped the neutral expression off his face. It was vibrant, alive, full of purpose again. Leaning down to kiss her fully, he could taste himself on her lips. It was an unusual feeling, almost cannibalistic. He liked it. Pushing her down on the bed with his momentum, he perched over her like a bully over his prey. "I want you."

"You have me completely at your disposal," she answered honestly a twinkle of humor in her eyes.

"No, I want you, no one else will do. Do you understand me?" Spock asked hoarsely. His voice was so loud in her ears almost deafening in its intensity.

She stopped breathing. "I think I do."

He nodded, could no longer focus to talk, his actions would have to speak for him. Strong hands pulled her up on the bed so that she would have more support under her. The gentle teasing that he had done to her earlier was not there. This was pure power and passion. He did not force her. He did not abuse her. But he was strong enough to leave marks where he gripped her upper arms. As he pounded into her he grunted with the effort. Christine's breathing was short and rough. "Spock ... Spock ... yes, yes ... god yes."

Then as a bolt of lightning, it was done. He was spent and nearly collapsed on top of her in his exhaustion. Christine was so dazed from the sheer magnitude of the moment that she lay listless and unmoving. Spock managed to extract himself from her to slide onto the bed. His strong grip now loosened he pulled her close to him. He would not let her go now. Beside him, Christine moaned a little. "Spock."

"Do not speak," he whispered into her ear. His nose nuzzled her chin, and he buried his head into her neck. Was this what his parents had? Was this what he had been searching for all this time? Was this love? After the blood stopped rushing in his ears, he said, "I have never known such as this."

Chapel didn't speak, just let him ramble on. It would help her focus on what he was trying to say. As if it were the most important thing in the world, he propped himself up to look straight into her eyes. His own burned with the fire that he held inside. "I want no other. Will you want me?"

"You have to ask?" she said with a smile. Reaching up to press the bangs back in place, she studied his face. He was almost 43 years old and yet he was a little boy. "Spock, you can believe me when I tell you that I want you very much."

She turned in his arms to face him with a contented look on her face. She ran a finger through the hairs on his chest. She hadn't felt this way for years. She'd had sexual affairs, but this feeling of being someone else's lover and companion had been forgotten long ago. The last time had been with Roger when he'd asked her to marry him. That thought surprised her. With a look of near awe, she asked, "Are you asking me to marry you?"

Spock's right eyebrow went up. "I believe that is what I have said. If you do not wish such a commitment..."

"It's not that, but we barely know each other really. I mean we've worked together for many years, but we've spent little time together off duty. You might not like my kind of music," Christine said suddenly very afraid of his proposal. She wanted to love him, but loving a Vulcan and putting up with one was something she didn't know if she was prepared to do.

"Then shall we spend time getting to know one another?" Spock suggested. This was not the normal Vulcan custom. On Vulcan you were chosen and there was no questions. You simply adapted or conformed to the other. Each person knew their duty and their meaning in the marriage. But, he was willing to adapt to her life in order to be one with her.

Christine sighed and leaned her head farther back into the pillow. "Yes is the only logical answer I can give you."

"Then shall we let logic decide the course of our actions?" Spock suggested with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Christine laughed, kissed him soundly.

Spock took this as a sign that she wished more sexual release. "I do need more time than this," he said seriously.

"Oh, you do. Well, I can be content in your arms. Besides, I don't know if I can handle much more right now. You're a pretty powerful lover," Christine recalled.

"I shall take that as a compliment," Spock replied.

"You'd better."

They seemed to run out of words, but they were not ready to make love again. Soon, they slept entwined in both heart and body.

* * *

The crew filtered back aboard after three raucous days on leave. Chapel knew she'd have her hands full in sickbay. McCoy would be back, but he'd be useless for at least a day in the condition he normally came back in. Spock had resumed his duties on the bridge so that the captain could be given ample opportunity to recover. It wouldn't be until breakfast the following day that they would be able to see each other again.

Nyota Uhura dug into the eggs with more gusto than she normally did. "I never thought I would be glad to eat reconstituted eggs!"

Beside her Janice Rand was equally as eager to eat her breakfast. "They had the worst food I have ever tried to eat. I would have settled for the greasiest burger on Earth over what they had."

"That bad huh?" Chapel said absently. Across the room, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy had walked in to retrieve their own breakfasts. Apparently by the look of the Humans' heaped plates, the girls' opinion of the food was not simply picky eaters. Kirk saw the three sitting in the large booth and steered the group over. Christine's face lit up even though she tried hard not to let it show. Spock's eyes met hers and she could see as well as feel that he was just as pleased to see her.

Sliding over to accommodate the newcomers, her smile caught Uhura's attention. The communications officer thought nothing of it until she looked at Spock. He was different, changed. "So, what did you two do while we were gone?" she asked slyly.

It startled Chapel into stuttering. "Uh ... what did we do? Well, that experiment, we worked on an experiment together."

"Uh-huh ... and?" Jan prodded suddenly seeing what Uhura had.

Spock added, "We studied technical manuals."

That statement made Chapel choke on her coffee. Her face turned as red as the ketchup on McCoy's breakfast steak. Kirk and McCoy looked from Spock to Chapel, from Chapel to Spock. They didn't need any explanations or any more questions. McCoy shrugged, "Well, it's about time some of us started studyin'."

"Yes it is, Doctor. For once we seem to completely agree," Spock stated and allowed them to see the slight smile he had let Chapel see for the last two days. It was the most important education he'd ever received.