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. This is a follow-up to Bonnie Guyan's "A Vulcan's Monologue." (See the 1001 Trek Tales "Memory Alpha" page for more information.) Rated PG-13.
He woke. For a time all he saw was metal grey. Then a movement to his left made his eyes shift to see what it was. His head was held in a force field. "Dr. McCoy, he's coming around," an unfamiliar voice said.
Leonard McCoy's craggy features appeared above him. "Well, sleeping beauty wakes. You've been out a long time, Spock."
"If this is the afterlife, then I have been dead all these years," Spock managed through the dry throat.
"You never could tell true beauty when you saw it. You're in a frostbite field. You were pretty nearly gone by the time we got to you. The next time you go out scouting make sure you have plenty of supplies and clothes. How you survived out on that rock as long as you did is beyond me, but I never could figure your green blood out. You'll be immersed another two hours and then we'll bring you out," McCoy informed.
Spock remained still. His limbs were tingling from the regeneration of the tissues that had been nearly frozen off. His mind was alert, thinking, processing all that had occurred. His body was tired though, and he let it rest. His log ... his log? "Dr. McCoy," he coughed.
McCoy appeared with a glass of water and a straw. " Here, this will help. You've been out for three days, Spock."
"No, that is not what I wished to know," Spock said after he'd taken a long draught from the water. He was beginning to feel better. "My logs? I had recorded logs while I was there."
"Oh, yes. Jim has those. He wanted to wait till you were awake before he listened to them. I've notified him by the way, he should be here."
"Spock?" the voice of Jim Kirk came to his ears. Kirk's face appeared over him as McCoy's did. He was beaming from ear to ear. He'd worried more than he'd let on about his best friend.
"Captain ... Jim. I did not expect to see you again."
"Well, the cavalry was a little late, but we got here. Sorry it took longer than we expected," he apologized sincerely.
"There were problems?" Spock asked as if he could help from his position in the immersion liquid.
"No, just a detour," Kirk said still happy to have his first officer aboard and alive.
"We had to drop Christine off," McCoy said. At Spock's knitted eyebrows he continued, "She put in for that position on Delta for when the ship gets done with this tour of duty. It came through early. So, we scuttled over there and dropped her off."
Spock's mind raced. It was not possible, yet he had not seen her. She was always there. He could not recall a time since she'd served on the Enterprise that she had not been beside him while was a patient. Yet, she was not here now. His eyes clouded slightly. McCoy noticed it. "Spock, you're still tired. Rest as much as you need."
"Spock, you're off duty for the rest of the week," Kirk commanded expecting Spock to insist on being back to work as soon as he could get dressed.
"Yes, sir," Spock answered with a resigned tone. If anything worried either McCoy or Kirk it was that statement. Spock had never accepted an order to stay away from his duties for such a long time.
Kirk's distress was covered with a head nod. "Well, you get better."
He could hear them walk away and closed his eyes. She was gone. She was gone. A great weight that was completely unassociated with the injuries he sustained lay on his chest. If she'd been there, he would have felt it when she'd held his hand in concern. She always held his hand. She was a good nurse. The two hours passed. Orderly Bartoli helped him dress. Spock thanked the orderly and went to his quarters.
The heat began to take the chill from his bones, but he thought it would take much more than a temperature change to make him warm again. Trying to regain some cohesion, he slipped into the meditation robe and started toward his firepot. A diskette on his desk grabbed his attention first. He never left data tapes just lying out. Picking it up, he looked for the information title. There was none. That was also not his mode of operation. Curiosity won out and he slipped it into the reader.
Christine Chapel's face appeared. "Mr. Spock, I know this is a little unusual, but you are not aboard and by the time you do get back, I will be gone. I wanted to thank you for these last four and a half years. You're someone I admire greatly and have the utmost confidence and respect for. You've always been willing to back me up with my research, and you've supported some of my rather wild ideas that just happened to turn out right. I don't think I would have had the courage to apply for this position if you hadn't been there to encourage me even if it was by simply telling me I was the only one capable enough to do the job. You don't know how much that means to me. When I came aboard I was not ... well, you remember when I came aboard. I hope I've grown and learned a lot since then. I feel as if I have. Well, I have to leave now, my things are packed and Uhura has this surprise party for me. I'm not supposed to know, but it's hard to keep a secret around this place. I wish you the best in your career with Star Fleet. You know you'd make a great captain if you'd just try not to second-guess yourself all the time. Don't let Leonard bully you either. He really has a great fondness for you. All that bluster just covers up his true feelings. Like I said, I have to go. Just ... thank you, and I hope to see you around in the future."
The last image stayed unwavering as Spock touched the pause button. She was smiling but there was sadness in it. There were words that were only spoken with her eyes. They said, "I love you." Spock stared at the image, forced himself to breathe deeply and calmly. With a nod, he said to the moment frozen in time, "I love you as well, Christine."
* * *
"Jim, have you noticed that Spock is unusually quiet lately?" McCoy mused as they strolled down the corridor.
Kirk nodded. "Yes, I have. He is unresponsive on the bridge. I haven't had to ask twice for anything, but he is not as communicative as he used to be. He used to not mind the general chatter that ran on the bridge to keep everyone busy. The other day he actually ordered them to remain silent. Uhura said she's never heard that tone in his voice."
"Well, I sure hope it isn't that time again. I don't know if I can handle another wedding ceremony," Bones grimaced.
"I don't think it's that," Kirk said softly. Coming to a juncture, they waited for a group of crewmen to go by.
McCoy turned to Kirk in curiosity. "What do you mean?"
"Come on, let's get a drink," Kirk said and they waited till they were in Kirk's quarters before he divulged his information.
"That log of Spock's," he began while he poured the brandy. Bones took a long sip before prompting him, "Yes?"
"I told Spock that I wouldn't say anything about it, but he's behaving so oddly. There were some pretty revealing statements in them," Kirk said.
"What, like he's got feelings and is madly in love?" McCoy laughed into his glass.
Kirk's face was serious. "In a nutshell, yes."
"What!?!" Bones said nearly spitting the brandy out across Kirk's cabin.
"The last entry before he passed out contained some rather revealing statements. He made some comments to you, me, and ... Christine Chapel."
"Holy shit," the doctor whispered and made it to the edge of Kirk's desk before he sat down. "No wonder. He actually said he loves her?"
"I quote -- 'Christine, I did love. I do love.' Unquote. Does that sound like him?"
"No. I mean it might be true, but for him to admit it on a recording. He must have been so out of sorts from the frostbite that he was muttering."
"I don't think so. Look at him now. Is this the Spock that left the ship two months ago to study that asteroid? I think he was deadly serious when he said that to her. The thing was he didn't think he was going to be alive when the log was played."
A thoughtful silence fell over the room. The two men drank trying to figure out their own thoughts as well as the ones of their absent friend.
McCoy shook his head, completely mystified over the Vulcan's behavior. "That son of a bitch."
"What? He's finally doing what you wanted him to do all along and now you're cussing him out," Kirk replied.
"That's not it. Every time I think I have that green-blooded smart ass figured out he goes and one-ups me. All these years Chris has been mooning over him, and I've been trying to get her to see the light of day or to get Spock to give a little. I always knew he had at least a soft spot for her, but a soft spot is not what I would consider love."
"Maybe it is to a Vulcan. Spock isn't like us after all. What we consider a passing fancy is probably hot blooded full-blown passion to them. So, now we have a lovesick Vulcan on our hands for the duration. What do you suggest we do?"
The doctor was quiet for a moment. Swirling the brandy in the glass around, he pursed his lips in consternation. "What did you tell him when you talked about it?"
Kirk shrugged. "I just asked if it was a true account of the events. He said yes and asked for the tape back. I gave it to him. I didn't really say much about what he recorded in there about Chapel. I guessed if he wanted to ask my advice he would."
"Well, I know that if he told Christine what he recorded in that log that she'd have no trouble finding a solution to their problem."
"But is that wise?" Kirk mused.
"Huh?" McCoy asked confused.
"Do you really think that Chapel could be happy the way she thinks she can with Spock? How do we know it's not just infatuation with either of them? After all, he was going to die. Or he thought he was."
"Oh, I see," McCoy said softly. "You think that they really don't love each other the way it takes to stick it out. You'd rather see Spock not go through that type of hell than give him half a chance at possible love."
"That's not what I meant. Sure, I am concerned about Spock's welfare. But, look at it from Chapel's point of view. Can you imagine her with Spock for an extended period of time? He can be awfully trying at times," Kirk pointed out trying to play devil's advocate.
"Jim, I know this. Chapel loves Spock. Spock has an interest in her that he says is love. If they try and it doesn't work, well, they tried. There are no guarantees in this world. His parents made a go of it and look at them," Bones countered.
"Yes, I thought of them. I tried to picture Spock and Christine in their roles. I don't know if I liked what I saw," James Kirk answered crossing his arms over his chest.
"I saw a couple that were devoted to each other, in a strange way I'll admit, but they were devoted. Spock is as loyal a creature as you will ever find. I say we tell him to go for it," McCoy decided.
"I'd like to dispute you, but I don't see how I can. Now, do we go to him or do we wait for him to ask us?"
"Now that I can answer easily. We'll have to go to him. You know he won't come to us. But, maybe we can do this in such a manner that he won't know what hit him," Bones said and with a clink of the glasses, they began devising their scheme.
* * *
Sickbay was quiet. Spock did not expect anyone to be admitted however. There had been a lull in the action for a month. It gave the crew a sense of relief and unease at the same time. There were only a few weeks left until the ship headed home for good. If she made it, it would be the first starship to get home with not only nearly the entire crew intact but the ship coming in under her own power as well. Spock briefly recalled when Pike had been in command she'd been towed in from the neutral zone for an agonizing three months. The Vulcan sought out McCoy; he was supposed to have the reports finished. Since Chapel left, McCoy's reports had become not only sporadic but also grammatically incorrect. Coming to the doctor's door, he waited patiently as the doctor read through a transmission. With a laugh and a shake of his head, he smiled at the first officer. "Spock ... come on in. Just reading a letter from Christine."
Spock's face remained neutral, but inside his attention was suddenly very rapt. "I came for the reports that you were to have finished?"
"Oh, yeah, those. I think I left them in my cabin. I'll go get them right now. You just wait here."
Spock did as the doctor requested and waited until McCoy was at least ten steps down the hall before stepping behind his desk. The letter was still being displayed. Chapel's face was more tanned than it had been on the ship. No doubt she'd taken full advantage of Delta's perpetually beautiful weather to remove some of the 'starship pallor' from her complexion. He thought she looked rested and happier than she had in a long time. Tempted to replay the tape so that he could hear her voice, he warred with himself. He was certain that McCoy would allow him to view the letter if he just asked, but he also knew that he would have to explain why if he did. He did not wish to explain why. No one but Jim Kirk knew about Spock's log entry. Jim had promised. His curiosity got the better of him and his thumb hit the replay button. Spock knew exactly how long it would take McCoy to walk from his cabin and back and played only that amount that would let the viewer return to the status where the doctor had left it.
Her voice was in mid sentence. "...so I know you were probably yelling at me when you ended up having to do the end reports, but that's what you get for always sticking me with them. Leonard, this place is so beautiful. The Deltans are lovely people and the planet... I never did get to spend much time on shore leave you know, but this place is like eternal leave. Oh, my new roommate Ilia says hello. She's Deltan and has the oddest sense of humor. I am trading her Standard language lessons for Deltan love potions. Isn't that a hoot? God, I think I got that word from you. I do miss you, you old goat, and you know I am so grateful for everything you've done for me. I'm sending a letter to Uhura as well so just say hi to Scotty and M'Benga for me. I'll put my new address on here so you can REPLY to me and not have an excuse that you didn't know where I lived. Please write soon. I know you'll be coming off patrol soon so try to stop by when you can. I'll whip something up for you with those potions. I'll be going now, Christine Chapel out."
She began to end the transmission and then stopped, added a post script, "Oh, and I know it's silly, but tell Mr. Spock that I said hello." She waved and the scene froze where it had on the address for Chapel's apartment. Precisely three seconds later Spock was standing by the entry when McCoy walked in with the report tape. "Here you go, Spock."
"Thank you, Doctor," Spock said and with a curt nod left immediately.
McCoy nodded, went over to the monitor and checked something before he sat down. Toggling the page switch, Kirk's voice answered him, "Bridge."
"He took it, hook, line, and sinker."
FIN (for now)