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.


Blood is Much Thicker Than Water...


Amanda Grayson was a contented woman. Her son lay in a bed to her left, her husband on the right. They were not arguing, and in fact had engaged in a game of chess earlier in the evening. Sarek's recovery from heart surgery was proceeding smoothly, and Spock would only be 'stuck' in sickbay overnight until he could return to duty. McCoy knew better than to try keeping him any longer than that. It would be worse than pulling teeth out of an adult warthog. Spock had not objected much. He was a little woozy and lightheaded and hadn't been able to meditate or chase the feeling away.

Now, they slept and she could watch them from her seat opposite them. Christine Chapel had arranged for her to have a comfortable lounge chair that laid back to become a bed while Sarek had been in the most danger. Now, she could probably go back to her cabin but wasn't quite ready. She wanted to watch them both breathe. She'd nearly lost her world earlier in the day and the illogical human wanted to memorize every line of their faces, every hair that was in place.

Her husband had become used to her staring at him over the years. But Spock ... she hadn't seen him for four years and he had changed. He was so handsome, not the gangly awkward son she'd seen off to Starfleet 18 years ago. His features had finally solidified and she knew that he'd remain in that state for decades to come.

She smiled to herself. He was gorgeous. She had always known he would be. Beside her, Captain James Kirk moaned a little in a fitful sleep. His injuries were troubling him a little, and deciding to stretch her legs, she went to find the duty nurse.

Christine Chapel flexed her fingers in an effort to keep them limber for data entry. She preferred typing things to the voice coder while there were patients in sickbay. In this way, they could not inadvertently overhear as McCoy had found out a couple times. It was also easier for her to gather her thoughts the first time so that she didn't have to backtrack later and change what she said. She could pause without being prompted by the computer for hesitation. It was also quieter when it was ship's night.

She was filling in the autopsy report on the Orion spy with the security report. She glanced at the chronometer. It was nearly midnight and she was ready for her shift to be over with. When there were surgical cases in sickbay, she usually put in 16 hour days and today she was full up. It had been hard to watch Spock's father in so much distress and his poor mother...

The woman whom she had just thought of appeared at the door,"Nurse Chapel, would it be possible to give the Captain something else for his pain?"

Christine frowned a little. He wasn't due for another shot until 0200. "I can check on his readings. I don't think Leonard will let me give him anything else."

Rising to check on the patients, she went in, followed by Amanda. Jim's reading were normal for a man recovering from a knife wound. He was in mild pain and had no fever. He was just restless. Christine said quietly, "The Captain is a lousy patient. We always have a little trouble with him. He doesn't sleep well away from his own bunk apparently."

Amanda nodded. Spock had been a restless sleeper as a child. She always attributed it to itchy feet. Now, he slept still and deep. She found her eyes staying on her little boy. He wasn't a little boy anymore. She longed to go and kiss him goodnight. She hadn't been able to do that since he was 6 and still able to waver between human and Vulcan cultures.

Christine checked the other two and motioned for her to follow her to the anteroom. "They're fine. Why don't you get some sleep? I know you're as tired as I am."

Amanda's blue eyes smiled brightly at her. "You stay here a lot, don't you, particularly when Spock is here."

Christine stammered in the low light of McCoy's office. She could barely meet Amanda's eyes. She knew. It would do no good to lie or try to deceive her. She nodded reluctantly. They laughed to chase the tension away. Amanda decided it was time to get out of sickbay for a while. "I think a cup of tea would be nice. Would you care to join me before heading to bed?"

The blonde nodded eagerly. She'd wanted to just sit and talk to Amanda since she'd learned she was aboard. Now was her chance to ask about Spock and his childhood. They headed for the small mess hall that was closest to sickbay and between Christine's cabin and work. There was no one else here at this late hour. Even though the ship was on perpetual crew rotation, at midnight, no one was either scheduled for breaks or meals. It gave the clean up crew a chance to work. The room was spotless. Ordering herbal tea to help them unwind, they sat in a corner booth. Christine preferred booths to tables. They were more intimate for cozy conversation. They sat in silence for a moment. Then Amanda asked, "So, how long have you served aboard the ship?"

"Hmm, 3 point ... oh, a little over 3 years. I came aboard before McCoy arrived."

Amanda digested that. "You work with Spock a great deal. At least you are working on an experiment with him now."

Christine nodded. "He considers me an auxiliary chem lab researchist. That is what my doctorate is in, bio-chemistry."

Spock's mother furrowed her brows together. "Then why are you here as a nurse?"

Christine sighed. She had explained so many time it was getting annoying. But, Amanda was curious, not nosy. So she began her tale. By the time she was finished, Amanda had taken her hand and squeezed it lightly. "I'm sorry."

Two women from vastly different backgrounds with one common interest sat silent in the night. They didn't need words or even actions to convey the meaning in their emotions. Amanda could understand Christine's pain even though she'd never been through it. The younger woman's eyes were so revealing. It was as if she could read everything that was there, the love for Spock, the loss of Roger Korby, the fact that she was at an impasse in her life. She decided to change the subject. "Tell me about Spock, what it's like to work with him, what he does..."

Christine smiled slowly. Oh, yes, the way her face brightened, that was the ticket... "Mr. Spock ... he's stubborn, sometimes downright pig headed."

Amanda interrupted. "He gets that from his father. I believe there is a new level of pig headed and that is Vulcan headed..."

The two laughed at that one. The mood was happy again. "He is kind, tender, very deep. He hurts. He tries very hard not to smile."

Amanda nodded at her description. So her son was not a good actor. It gave her pleasure to know that. "Good, he needs to smile. He has been trying to eradicate that part of me for 30 years now. If I know humans, he won't succeed."

They talked and talked until it was almost 0300. At Christine's yawn, they both knew they had better go to bed or there'd be hell to pay in the morning. Christine was scheduled to be back at 0800. Amanda could sleep as late as she wanted, she intended to be there when Spock was released. Amanda walked Christine to her quarters before heading to her own. It was comforting to know that Spock was loved the way Christine did. She wouldn't have to worry about her little boy as much now.