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. This one takes place after the Christmas party and before This Side of Paradise. Somewhere in between I'd imagine. Hope you like it, T'Kuht

Interludes: The Very Thought of You


Christine Chapel glanced at the chronometer. She had five minutes before her shift ended, and she was so glad of it. The last two weeks she'd spent going through the motions of her job and duties. The love and passion that she had for science was slowly returning, but it was a daily struggle. It did not help that she was having trouble sleeping. Her dreams were filled with dread and more than once she'd waken up screaming for Roger. He'd been gone for good now for over two months. Why was she having such a hard time getting past it all?

"Hey, you're supposed to be gone by now," Leonard McCoy noted, poking at the imaginary watch on his wrist.

She smiled wanly. "I know, just daydreaming at the last minute."

"Well, I want you to do some night dreaming. Now, don't give me that surprised look. I can tell a case of sleepless nights a mile off. I'm not head shrink on this ship for nothin'," he reminded with a grin, but his face turned more serious. "Would it help if I gave you something?"

"No, I think it would just make things worse. I'll get over this stupid fixation I have eventually. Thanks, anyway. If I can't get any sleep tonight, I'll make sure to get something."

"A little bourbon can help too, just a touch..."

"No, I'd be up sick then. Goodnight, Leonard."

The tall, blonde nurse logged off the computer and headed out into the corridor, trying to stretch the tension out of her neck at the same time. With a low moan, she sighed and rounded the corner, nearly running headlong into Commander Spock as she did so. She colored brightly and smiled, "Mr. Spock."

"Miss Chapel," he acknowledged and kept on his path. Christine began walking to her room again.

Inside the standard ship's junior crew stateroom, she turned the lights on half power. She was tired, but it was that tired that didn't let you sleep, just kept you exhausted for the duration. She wasn't hungry, decided to shower and just cuddle up with a book for a while. She did stop long enough to check her messages. None, that was good. Stepping over to the small set of votive candles and holders that she had, she lit them and hummed a little. It had been a long time since she had basically sat in the dark and listened to music so she requested a set of her favorite softer melodies. They chimed up as she stripped off her uniform and boots. The shower felt good, the hot water relaxed the muscles that she wished she could have massaged. Maybe it wasn't such a silly notion to have Sulu give her a good once over. He had a way with the ladies and massages was one of his specialties. Of course, she might have to do other things with him to get it, but that wouldn't hurt her either. With a laugh, she leaned her head against the shower stall wall and tried picturing herself and the young helmsman. While he definitely had a very nice physique, he was not her type. He was a little too physical and rambunctious for her.

She'd heard about those gymnastic nights he preferred. With the day's tension beginning to flow away into the drain, she turned the water off before she used up the allotment and began drying off. Spritzing herself with the calming cologne that she purchased on Vulcan, she breathed deeply of the light woody scent. It reminded her of the smell of pine in the depth of a clear winter evening: cool, crisp, and definitely soothing. Her choice of pajamas was standard issue Enterprise work out shorts and a sleeveless shirt. If there was an emergency, she was at least more decently covered in it than in a pair of shorties or a nightgown.

With the lights still at half power, she considered reading, decided that the water had worked its magic well enough that she'd just be able to drift off. The music was nice though and she left it on. Snuggling down into the covers she pulled the hand pieced quilt up around her shoulders, noted lazily that Nat King Cole was singing as she followed the river to sleep.

"When I fall in love, it will be forever ... or I'll never fall in love...."

She drifted into sleep. Her dream began to coalesce in her mind. She was in a large courtyard with a flowing fountain. Birds were singing happily in a large atrium, fish swam lazily through the fountain's massive bowl. She was at peace here. Running a hand through the water, she sighed deeply and saw her reflection. She was dressed in a courtier's costume with a high waist and plenty of cleavage. Her hair was laced with flowers, ribbons flowed down through the blonde strands. She remained there, sitting across the lip of the fountain and running a hand through the cool water causing the fish to dart back and forth. A gloved hand found her shoulder, caressed her neck. Kisses peppered her along the ear, jawline, she found herself being turned to face a masked lover. She was entranced by his lips, melted when they met with hers or any other part of her body. She closed her eyes, allowed the sensation to wash over her.

The scene shifted. She was in a large canopied bed, candles provided the only illumination. She was not alone. His lips were teasing her, tempting her. Her own mouth responded to his. He was so hot against her. He had removed the cloak that he had worn and was down to a long flowy white peasant's tunic. It was sensuous as it brushed against her bare skin. She was no longer clothed. She no longer cared. He was hard, ready to take her if he wished. With a cry of tumult, she threw her head back as he entered her thrusting. The mask was still in place, hiding his identity. The eyes were all she had, they were mahogany, mysterious, dark. She watched him please her, tease her, making her want to call his name, but she didn't know what it was. She had to see his face. Had to know who her lover was. As they spiraled deeper and deeper into the passion, she seized her opportunity and pulled the mask off as he came within her causing them both to howl in glory. Even before she saw the face, she knew who it was and was startled. The pointed ear was all she needed to see. His eyes met hers, tried to calm the fears and questions that were in hers. He moved up to meet her gaze, caressed the cheek, caused her to shudder in delight. Tenderly his lips brushed hers, he whispered, "Yes Christine."

"Spock." She was awake. Her room was still lit in candle light, the music was still playing, by the clock, she'd only been asleep for an hour. She didn't want to go back to sleep. It wasn't that the dream wasn't satisfying, but she had dreamt of Spock. She had dreamt of Spock. How could she dream of Spock? He was...Vulcan. He was so alien to her. But was he? Her dream had him completely one with her. She'd never dreamt of anyone other than Roger making love to her for so long. In fact the night before...

Christine swung her legs and got out of bed. Heading for the bathroom, she splashed water on her face and stared in the basin. Her voice sounded odd in her ears. "Spock... How the hell could I have dreamt of Spock?"

But, somewhere in her mind, another voice said, "Why not? He's a man, he's a living breathing being. You told him you loved him once."

"But that was ... that wasn't me," she insisted as she looked into the mirror. She didn't have to worry about her bathroom mate needing the facilities, she was on duty. "Why wasn't it you, Christine?" the voice asked again.

"Because Spock is unattainable, unreachable. Why would I want what I can't have?" she asked herself.

"Because he needs you. You knew that then, you know that now," the voice replied convincingly.

"No, he is too different. He's not my type."

"But the sex felt good, didn't it? Do you think that you would dream of a man who could not fulfill you? You've seen him look at you. He cares. He goes out of his way to inquire about you," the voice cooed.

"No, not Spock ... anyone but Spock," she determined and wondered how the hell she was gonna go back to sleep. Seeing the little red pills that McCoy normally handed out for sleeplessness on the tray, she picked them up, swallowed them and a glass of water. She'd get some sleep and she wouldn't remember it either.

* * *

Christine arrived in sickbay bright and early. She smiled, "Good morning Leonard."

"Good morning Christine," he replied noting that she seemed rested.

"What's on the slate today?" she asked before getting to her station.

"Vampyra, get out your kit," McCoy replied, and she groaned.

"Blood drive again today? How many of these things do you go through a year?" she complained. She'd been aboard almost a year and a half and had to do more than one a month.

"You gotta give it to get it back," McCoy reminded and waved at her as she headed into the phlebotomy lab. She had patients to drain. Looking over her datapadd, she noted the first name, "Oh no..."

"Is there a problem nurse?" the familiar baritone asked.

She colored immediately and couldn't meet his eyes. "No, just talking to myself. How are you today, Mr. Spock?"

"Well, and yourself?"

"Fine, just fine. On the table please," she requested and went to fetch the special cuff to pump and separate Spock's Vulcan blood into plasma and platelets. It took every ounce of calm she had not to drop it before placing it over his arm. Programming it for one pint, she tried to go about her other duties without paying attention to him. She was painfully aware of his form stretched on the lab table. Normally he meditated lightly while he donated blood, but today he was chatty. "Have you had time to go over the latest chemistry lab results on your experiment?"

"No, I haven't. They weren't completed by the time I went off duty yesterday. Are there any surprises in them?"

"I too have not been able to see them. Perhaps when I am finished here you could accompany me to check them," he offered.

Christine tried not to cringe as she heard his proposal. Something in her was whispering, "He likes you."

"I am afraid I will be tied up here all day with the blood drive. Perhaps later. I will make certain I get the results and check them before I go off duty," she replied biting her lower lip uncertainly. She had massive butterflies in her stomach. His face was turned to watch her work when she turned around. Those eyes of her masked lover held hers. They were the most gorgeous mahogany brown she'd ever seen. If she was not careful, she'd fall right into them. She realized that she was staring, cleared her throat. "If you'll excuse me, I need to go check something. I'll be back before you are done."

He watched her leave. She seemed different today. But, she was human and humans were always a mystery to him. She was back, barely, before the cuff beeped, and he was free to leave. "You know the routine, take it easy for a few hours. No strenuous exercise. Wouldn't want you passing out," she said nonchalantly.

"I can assure you that Vulcans can handle blood loss more easily than humans, your warnings are not necessary. I shall contact you regarding the chemistry lab reports," he added before walking out the door. Christine sat down before she fell down. Her knees were so weak and she thought she was going to hyperventilate. Spock was one of her department heads, she couldn't feel this way every time he came near her, it would mean constant disaster. She'd have to cut back on her duties as his chem lab assistant. She didn't want to. She and Spock had a rapport that she hadn't had with others aboard ship. Now, because of her stupid dreams, she'd be too embarrassed to work with him. But, oh, if he made love like he did in her dream.... Her groan brought McCoy, "You okay?"

"Yes, just a little sick at the sight of blood," she laughed and hurried into the adjoining lab as Leonard McCoy shook his head in wonderment.