Disclaimer:  Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom.  This story is the property of Mistress V and is copyright (c) 2006 by Mistress V.  Rated PG13.

 

Vulcan Valentine

Mistress V

 

Christine Chapel eyed her morning reflection in the sickbay mirror.  No doubt about it, as Ny would say, quoting from one of those romantic holonovels they both read sometimes, she had "that glow".  She and Spock had, for want of a better phrase, been "doing the dirty" for just over a month, and even she had to admit she looked positively radiant.  They were still adjusting to the newness of the situation, and she had still been reluctant to commit to bonding, but they were getting there.  Carving out time together had been much easier than anticipated.  She practically lived in Spock's quarters off-duty.  But outside of their time together, they had been the image of decorum.

Yawning, she smoothed down her uniform and tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear.  She smiled as she recalled what had happened a little earlier.  At 0400, she crept from bed and had a shower, then dressed rapidly as she was due in sickbay for an early call.

The Falosian delegation, who would be transported on to Starbase 14, were joining the ship at 0630, and one of their party was a female about to give birth.  Christine, who had done part of her residency on Falos, was familiar with the complex, protracted labor of its natives, so her presence was required.

She had adjusted the blanket around Spock before leaving, then leaned in to kiss his brow.  He responded by locking his arms around her and pulling her back down on top of him.  His hands started undoing the clasps to her uniform trousers, while his lips burned a hole in her neck.  Damn, that man could reduce her to a pool of her own lubrication in a nanosecond.  But not this morning, she said to herself.

"No, my beloved, I must get to Sickbay," she whispered as she tried, unsuccessfully, to extricate herself from his biceps.  For an answer, he merely pulled her up his body and sat her now aching center down firmly on his mouth.  And proceeded to blast her past Sigma Omicron 15.

After she had returned from orbit and finished dressing again, she asked, through their link, *Why now?*

And he had replied, *You woke up aroused, T'hyla.  Do you not recall your most erotic dream about us?  It seemed only logical to pleasure you to release.  It took but 7.6 moments -- you will not be late.*  And as she turned once more to leave, he added, wickedly, *Besides, you taste so delicious I would have done it regardless -- dream or no dream!*

Spock's human side, which was slowly getting exercised for the first time in years, she admitted, would still take some getting used to.  Spock the tightassed Vulcan -- orally fixated?  She shook her head in disbelief.  He was more human than anyone would have imagined.

The sickbay doors whooshed open and Leonard McCoy appeared, clearly as unhappy as she was about the earliness of the hour.  But for different reasons.  He just enjoyed a lazy lie-in most mornings, with coffee and the latest news bulletins, he'd once admitted.  He eyed his assistant medical officer.  She looked -- hell, she looked like a woman who'd just been screwed past Sigma Omicron 15 or thereabouts.  Spock was a lucky man, he admitted.  "Let's go," he said, indicating the door, "Can't keep the delegation waiting."

As they waited for the turbolift, Christine blessed the fact that Leonard, despite knowing, did not tease her or Spock.  She'd imagined him saying something rich like, "That horny Vulcan let you out of his bed this early?  What'd you do, tranquilize him?" but no -- he never said anything like that.  The turbolift arrived and they got in.

But he wasn't the first one to know.  Smiling, Christine remembered that person's response.

Jim Kirk eyed the two officers who stood before him.  Spock and Dr. Chapel had just announced that they had intended to "move beyond" their friendship and work relationship.  Kirk kept from smiling too much, but waved away their assurances that this would in no way detract from their duties or professionalism.  "You're not kids," he'd said good-naturedly, "and I trust your judgment.  Good luck to you! And," he added as an afterthought, "let me know if you need my services..." obviously referring to his ability to perform marriages onboard.  On the way out, they both heard him mutter to himself, "What the hell took you so long?"

Spock had further surprised Christine in the turbolift later by suggesting a most unorthodox type of midday meal break -- and touching her posterior while doing so.  *WHAT?* she fairly shouted through their link.  He merely gave her one of his Vulcan half-smiles as he replied, "The captain has pointed out that we have much lost time to make up for.  Is it not logical that we do so at the earliest opportunity?"

Leonard, on the other hand, was a different matter.  Christine had insisted on telling him herself -- by herself.

McCoy had been incredulous.  "You?" he had sputtered as he poured them both a bourbon, "and that Vulcan iceberg?  Finally?  Are you sure?  He'll give you frostbite, Chris!"  She had assured her friend that this was exactly what the both of them wanted.  "After all, Leonard, Spock and I are both adults, you know."  He regarded her with a skeptical eye, then sighed and touched his glass to hers.  "I guess there's nothing new under the Rigellian suns," he said, "and if you're both sure of it, well, you have my blessing.  But..." and he had pointed an accusing finger upwards, in the general direction the bridge, "if he hurts you, Chris, I'll break his sorry Vulcan neck!"  She had then asked, rather shyly, if he could refrain from making this relationship the butt-end of too many jokes.  Leonard had straightened up, obviously insulted, and stated, "A Southern gentleman will never do what a lady has asked him not to!"  And with those words, he surrendered his two friends to each other.

Ny knew from the beginning -- how could she not have guessed?  The other officers took it in their stride, and, apart from a few strange looks from crew members when she and Spock were seen together off-duty, it was business as usual.

Christine's memories were interrupted by the turbolift stopping to allow another passenger's entry.  Spock regarded them both implacably.  "Good morning, doctors," he said agreeably, "I trust you are headed to meet the Falosian delegation as well?"  He and Christine then began to talk about the samples of Geq'sho compound, which the delegation was bring samples of.  If this proved to be a rich vein, it might be used to successfully treat the Isowal grain plague that had been causing this sector so much grief of late.  McCoy eyed them both carefully.  "You'd never know they were at it like rabbits off-duty," he thought to himself as the doors opened onto the shuttle deck.

Christine found their link opening up.  *T'hyla, I must speak to you soon.  A matter has come up which requires my immediate departure, albeit briefly.*

*I'll contact you later,* she replied as she moved forward to take charge of her patient, who was in the first stages of labor.

* * *

 

The head of the Falosian delegation, Sulma, was an angry widower who took his position much too seriously.  (Surely, thought Christine, he must be related to that constipated Undersecretary of Agriculture from the Sherman's Planet/tribble debacle...)  It turned out that his daughter -- his unmarried, only child -- was the woman about to give birth.  The child's father, a "mere" Antarean (a respected young science officer, "from a fine and noble family" nonetheless), had come to their planet as part of a team looking for an antidote to the Isowal plague.  He and Sulma's daughter had, naturally, fallen in love and wished to marry.  Sulma had forbidden such a union.  The inevitable happened.  Gathen, the Antarean, was banished back to his home planet toute de suite, and Sulma had decided that sending his errant daughter to a distant relation on the other side of the galaxy was the best solution to the scandal.  He now took every opportunity to lecture and chastise his daughter, who he felt had betrayed him.

Christine knew all of this because Salana, the mother-to-be, had told her.  As she endured the first agonizing 6 hour phase of her difficult labor, Salana had wept her story to the sympathetic doctor.  Christine had sighed.  Phyramus and Thisbe had a great deal to answer for.

Her patient was now sleeping, before the next phase of labor began (altogether, there would be four) and Christine took the opportunity to steal up to her cabin for a shower and then get something to eat.  She was just toweling off when the intercom buzzed.  "Christine?" came Spock's quiet voice.  She grabbed a robe and pulled it around herself, not wanting him to think ... wait a minute, he knew what she was thinking.

He crossed her quarters in two easy strides and held her close for a moment.  "I felt your struggles with the patient," he murmured into her hair.  "It has not been easy for either of you."  

She nodded.  "Christine to the rescue again -- only Christine can do this, Christine, can you help me?" she told him with a sad little smile.  "But you wanted to tell me something?"

"Yes.  I have been summoned to an emergency meeting on Starbase 14.  It transpires that the ore samples are most rich in the antifungal substance so desperately needed.  I must attend to present my findings.  It is imperative that we move quickly to stem the plague and take appropriate action."  He cupped her face with his hands.  "I leave at 1600 hours on the shuttle.  I shall rejoin the ship when it docks at the base in 4 day's time, T'hyla, and I know I shall miss your presence."

Christine smiled up at him.  "That's wonderful news Spock!  I am pleased that your work has been recognized -- and that perhaps it can help eradicate that awful plague."

Spock traced a line down her face with one hand, while his other hand slid slowly up her thigh to massage her center.  He continued to speak.  "I am concerned, though, about our absence from each other.  These are still early days for us.  The mind behaves illogically at times such as these."

"If you think I'll be mooning around and messing up our bond, don't worry," she began, but he stopped her, even as his hand continued its erotic ministrations.

"It is not you I worry about, T'hyla," he whispered, "it is I.  I fear I shall be too..."  He paused and whispered the unfamiliar term into Christine's ear.  "And I hear there are treatments that can be administered?"

She looked up at him, physician to patient, despite the fact that she was, er, lubricating his fingers quite well at the moment.  "Spock," she said, "if you're asking for a dose of saltpeter, that went out with subspace travel.  There's a patch I can give you which takes about two hours to start working.  It remains active for the time it's on your skin, but will be out of your system again about an hour after you remove it."

"Most agreeable," Spock purred.  His hands moved to untie her robe.  "But shall we attend to the matter at present for now?"

"Mmmmm," she whispered, "at least you won't be chasing any Orion showgirls while you're there.."  This was a reference to Starbase 14's rather wild west trading city location.  It was commonly referred to as Ripley's Pleasure Planet West, though it wasn't all that decadent.  Well, mostly not.

"I do not care about any Orion showgirls," Spock responded as he slid to his knees before her, "or any other woman, for that mat--"

The intercom buzzed them back to reality.  "Chris, M'Benga here.  Your patient woke up early and is back in labor.  Must be the genetic hodgepodge -- there are some complications.  Get here as soon as you can!"

Christine acknowledged the message and literally jumped into her uniform, inhaling a nutrition bar along the way.  Spock stood up, plainly upset at the sudden turn of events.  She shrugged her shoulders helplessly as she rummaged in her medi kit, then quickly applied an adhesive patch to his lower abdomen.  A quick anti-erection hypospray had him back to normal almost immediately.  "There," she said as she prepared to leave, "you will be free from all illogical thoughts of a sexual nature until you remove the patch."

Spock caught her in a quick embrace.  *See to your patient, beloved.  I must leave as well.  I shall endeavor to return as quickly as possible.*

* * *

 

M'Benga was right.  Salana's labor had taken a bad turn and her vital signs were all askew.  Surgery was not an option, as this race did not survive a C-section well, and Starbase 14, with its well-equipped hospital, was still days away.  McCoy got the chief of staff there on video conference.  Fortunately, he, too, had dealt with Falosian births before.  The four physicians worked with the patient through the next difficult phase of labor, and, thankfully, averted any further crisis.  Salana slipped back into sleep many hours later.

Christine was eating some Thracian chocolate mousse afterwards (heck, she needed her strength -- Falosians were very active during labor) when she felt a caress through their link.  It was so real she thought for a moment the others saw it.  She glanced over at her companions, who were engrossed in the opening ceremonies of the InterGalactic Winter Sportfest, broadcast live from Polaris.  No reaction.  She pushed into the connection.

*I am safely on my journey, T'hyla.  I hope you and your patient are are well also.  Take care of yourself, for your patient needs you.*

She smiled.  Logical Spock.  The next thought surprised her.

*As do I.*

* * *

 

Spock allowed the pleasant feeling of the desert atmosphere to wash over him.  This was quite like Vulcan, and he looked forward to taking some hikes in the hilly terrain which ringed the area.  Oblivious to the sensory overload surrounding him, he started walking towards his hotel.  He checked on Christine mentally and found her to be asleep, in the bed next to her patient.  He kissed her forehead through their link.

The next day passed quickly.  Christine spent it all with her patient, who entered yet another stage of labor.  There were no complications this time, thank goodness.  Her shift over, and her patient under M'Benga's watchful eye, she went to her quarters to change for her yoga class.

Her PADD beeped with an incoming vidgram from Starbase 14.  She touched the keypad and Spock's image appeared, surrounded by experiments in various stages of conclusion.  Clearly, he, too had been busy.

He looked somewhat surprised at her attire.  The leotard showed off her well-cut yogini's arms to perfection, while it supported her breasts just enough to show some cleavage.  "Ny and I are headed to yoga, then we're going to watch some of the Winter SportsFest," she said as she tied a t-shirt wrap over herself.  She sensed his approval at this gesture. 

*Mine,* he said playfully, but she knew he had yet to admit he had a jealous side.

They spoke of their respective days.  Spock said the meetings were going well and that true progress was being made.  He said he looked forward to their reunion when the ship docked there in two days.

Christine changed the subject.  "Who's this Vulcan hotshot that's supposed to win the half-pipe competition?  How did he learn to snowboard on Vulcan?"

Spock regarded her with an amused smile.  "Your line of reasoning is most logical, though your terms are rather prosaic.  Vulcan has no snow, that is true.  But Stark, the youth you mention, was born on Earth.  His mother had been posted to Starfleet Security Sector many years before she wed his father, and he has grown up with his parents quite near Lake Tahoe, which has an abundance of snow and snowboard facilities.  Thus, his favored position at Polaris is quite logical."

Christine pondered the thought of a wild, emotional Vulcan teenager shooting the pipe.  It just did not fit the picture.

*His father is Deltan Sub-Ambassador to Starfleet,* Spock told her. *And you know what they say about Deltans!*

*AND Vulcans,* she shot back.  They had tried watching the infamous vid just last week, but kept getting distracted.  By each other.  Pon Farr my ass, she had thought at the time.  Spock had responded by slapping that exact piece of her anatomy.

The intercom buzzed, and Christine moved to end the transmission.  "Ny's here, I have to run.  Be well," she told his image.  As it faded, she couldn't help touching her fingers to the screen.  *I hold you in my dreams, T'hyla,* Spock whispered to her.

Salana gave birth late the next morning to a handsome son.  Both mother and baby were doing fine.  So, apparently, was grandpa.  Sulma had appeared during the night, as Salana had slept before the final phase of labor.  Christine had awakened to see him asking the nurse on duty for news of his daughter, and his pale, drawn face and concerned expression spoke volumes.  Word of the pregnancy's complications had obviously reached him.

She had made a pot of Vulcan tea and sat talking with him for several hours while his daughter slumbered on.  He was clearly upset over the way he had misjudged both her and her young man, and it was obvious he wanted to make amends.  By the time he had joined his daughter in sickbay that morning, and was proudly seen holding his new grandson, Christine was certain a change of heart was on its way.  This was confirmed by Nyota, who called down later and told her that a positive subspace communication had gone out from Sulma himself to the young man and his family.

Chris got up to go join her friend for lunch, absently glancing at the calendar.  Oh NO.  Valentine's Day was tomorrow.  How she wished ... but no, not even the newly-rediscovered human side of Spock would approve of such a frivolous holiday.  It celebrated love, which, as Vulcans said, was an illogical emotion.  But the holiday had always held a special part in Christine's life, and she wasn't happy at the reaction being separated from Spock on that day was giving her.

"So what are you giving Spock for Valentine's Day?" Ny asked as they ate.  "It's tomorrow, you know?"

Chris put on her best Vulcan face.  "He's at Starbase 14, remember?  He won't be back on board till the next day.  Besides, he'd pull that love is illogical crap on me, and I don't need another discourse on that particular topic."

Nyota surged ahead, undeterred.  "So, you celebrate when he gets back, why not get some of that cocoa powder Sulu grew from pods, the one he hoards?  Make him a mudcake.  You know he loves chocolate! Or..."  She paused for effect, "some...brownies?"

Chris choked on her taco salad.  "NY!  You said you'd never mention that!"

Uhura feigned innocence.  "Did I?" she asked of no one in particular.  "I distinctly remember your telling me Spock was so oral that he--"

Fortunately, the conversation stopped as Sulu and Kevin Riley joined them.

"Ladies," Riley said grandly, "Sulu and I have come to ask if you delightful creatures would care to join us tomorrow evening for a surprise?"

The two women eyed each other.  Riley was currently running a brisk business in Cupidgrams -- delivered by costumed attendants.  Surely he wasn't thinking...

"What kind of surprise?  Chris and I were planning to watch the Ta-Shew sled races from Polaris tomorrow night."  Nyota's face bore no emotion whatsoever.

Riley leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially.  "I got us the holodeck for ... our favorite pastime!"

Christine and Nyota lit up like supernovas.  "You don't mean?" Christine began.

"He does!" Sulu finished triumphantly.  "See you at 1900 -- don't be late!"

"Who needs a Valentine?" Uhura sighed happily.

* * *

 

Christine returned to find sickbay abuzz.  Gathen, Salana's beloved, was due to arrive with his family onboard this afternoon.  A wedding would be performed tomorrow morning, with the captain and officials from Antarea and Falusia in attendance.  Salana, after she had regained her sense of speech, begged Christine to attend her.

"I'm going to be a betrothal maiden," she told Nyota.  "It's their word for bridesmaid.  Look, the ceremony's tomorrow at 10:00.  Can you make it?"

"Just try to keep an old romantic like me away!  Hey, the spa's having a special on.  Manicure, Pedicure, Caballan body peel, Triskellian rock massage.  All for 23 credits.  Why don't we do that after yoga -- before we watch the snowboarding?  A treat for ourselves."

Yes, why not, Christine thought as she told her friend to make the appointment.  She sighed and thought about the next day.  No, none of that, she chided herself.

Just as her duty shift was about to end, Christine witnessed a scene that made her heart warm as well as chilling it.  Gathen, Salana's beloved, was on board and had made his way to sickbay while she and McCoy had attended to yet another sprained shoulder, due to that blasted snowboard holodeck program.  Everyone wanted to be Stark, it seemed.  She'd gone in to see her patient and found the couple speaking quietly together, watching their newborn son in wonder.

"I love you, Salana," the young man had said earnestly.  "To Gol with protocol.  You are to be my wife and I don't care who knows it.  We are soulmates, and..."  He paused over the word."...Valentines, and will love you with my entire being for the rest of our days."

Tears stung Christine's eyes.  Valentine's Day had made it to this part of the galaxy, why couldn't it touch a Vulcan's heart as well?  True, she told herself, she had not even mentioned it to Spock for fear it might lower his opinion of her.  She was terrified that this was all a dream, and that was the reason she had shied away from discussing bonding.  She was afraid he'd wake up one morning and say he had made a most illogical error.  After all, he had yet to say he loved her, even though she felt it in their bond.

A break.  She needed to talk with herself, she decided, and right now.  PADD in hand (in case she ran into someone), she made her way to Spock's quarters, used her physician's override, and entered.  It was dark, save for the ever-present flamepot.  She made her way over to the bed their shared and sat down.  Her hands closed around his pillow and she brought it to her face, inhaling his scent.  And then she wept inconsolably.

At that moment, Spock was taking a walk through the city's outskirts and enjoying the hot fresh air.  The meeting was due to wind up tomorrow morning and he planned to spend time until the Enterprise docked writing up his findings for a science journal.

Suddenly, a lightning-hot feeling hit him .  He sat down on a bench and gathered his thoughts.  It was Christine!  And she was most upset.  But she had not linked with him?  How, then, was he feeling her?  He pushed deeper and saw an image of her, sitting on his bed, weeping into his pillow.  The connection between him and the inanimate object was enough to make a bond, however slight.  Spock instinctively knew she was not aware of his presence and that he should not reach out to her.  So he only observed.

"Oh, Spock," Christine wept to herself.  "I miss you so much.  I never even knew how much I felt for you until you were gone.  I want to tell you, but..."  She hiccuped.  Spock felt it.  "I'm afraid you'll tell me to stop being so annoyingly emotional.  We have -- an agreement, I guess--"  

Spock was stunned.  An agreement?  Clearly, there was much ground he needed to cover upon their reunion.  She obviously believed that he was still the person he was all those years ago, and she was afraid.  He was not -- but had he shown her?

"And that's not enough.  I want to be your bondmate, but I want you to love me too.  And how can I ask you to do the impossible?  What do we have?  I was 22 when you were the one I wanted.  And now I have you, but I can't help asking, why do you want me?"

She sniffled.  "It's Valentine's Day tomorrow.  The whole galaxy celebrates it, but I'm afraid you'll think it's beneath your dignity to be with a woman who would want a Valentine.  Or someone who'd want to be seen with you in public ... as an adult couple, but a couple, not a sterile partnership!"

The link broke abruptly and Spock did not try to re-establish it.  She would not want him to know that he had been a party to her sorrow, but it disturbed him greatly.  Her words were logical.  How was he to know what love was?  He had spent most of his life thwarting his human side, and it was just now starting to show itself.  That he loved Christine, he was certain.  But it was Vulcan love.  Not human.  She was desirable, true, but she was also his intellectual equal and he admired her intelligence.  They were compatible in many ways.  This, then, was a logical basis for a union.

Valentine's Day.  Yes, he remembered giving his mother a handwritten card when he was a young child, remembered how she had smiled like he had not seen her smile since his father had left on a mission.  And later that day, when the vase of exotic blooms had arrived from his father, so far away, she had smiled even more.  His father had not had to send the flowers, Spock realized.  But he had.  And perhaps that was what love was.  Give and take.  Christine had endured his Vulcan side without complaint, yet still loved him.  She deserved equal treatment.  It was only logical.  Perhaps it was time he, what was the term this snowboarder Stark used?  "loosen up" a bit.

Spock realized he wanted to see Christine smile like his mother had.  His human side needed an airing, he decided.  He had shopping to do.

His senses were assaulted by every conceivable product for the holiday.  Clearly, it was a major celebration, to the delight, no doubt, of florists and restaurateurs everywhere.  Flowers, scent, risque undergarments, sweets.  Signs proclaimed that every shop had that "special something" for that "special someone".  Spock realized that Christine would not be expecting anything from him, so he endeavored to find the unusual.

An ensemble caught his eye and he looked more closely in the window.  Clearly, this establishment was a step or two above those he had already passed.  A gown of sheer Denuvian silk, with a matching robe, appealed to him.  The colors were swirling patterns of teal, lilac and blue.  Water lilies.  Yes, the print reminded him of that.  Monet.  Christine's favorite Terran artist.  She had shown him pictures from her journey to the artist's home at Giverney, where she had gone to pay homage to the work of his that she enjoyed the most.

He entered the shop.  "May I help you, sir?" the Orion assistant asked him pleasantly.

Spock pointed to the outfit he had noticed.  "Yes, madame," he said.  "I would like to purchase that ensemble for my fiancee."

"Certainly, sir, a most excellent choice.  And what size would the lady be?"  The shop assistant eyed him politely.

Spock checked his PADD and gave the appropriate data to the assistant, who procured the item immediately.  He held it in his hands.  It was exquisite, well-made and very unusual.  He imagined wrapping Christine in its sensual folds, then slowly removing it again.

"Yes, this is perfect.  Please see that it is suitably wrapped for the holiday."

The assistant went about her business in a most professional manner.  Spock found it odd that his only encounter with an Orion woman here was so out of character, given the rumors he had heard on many a voyage.  He absently wondered how these rumors had started.

 

* * *

 

Back on the Enterprise, Christine shivered.  The Klingon manicurist held her hand steady, then continued her work, chatting amicably.  Nyota looked over at her friend.  "Chris? What's wrong?"

Christine shrugged.  "A goose walked over my grave, I guess."

Then she had to explain the phrase to everyone who was in earshot.

 

* * *

 

"Valentine card, good sir?" The ancient Ferangi asked.

Spock looked at the merchant's booth.  Hand lettered parchments, in many languages, were displayed prominently.  All bore phrases of love and affection.  It was clear the man enjoyed his work.

"Anything you want to say, sir, I can make it look pretty!"

Spock thought a moment.  Then he smiled.  "Yes, my good man..." he began.

 

* * *

 

Valentine's Day was a day like any other.  Due to Stark's victory at Polaris, they'd had six snowboard-related holodeck accidents that morning alone.  Kirk was contemplating closing down the program temporarily, while new safety features could be installed.  He had spoken with Spock about it earlier.  He had further relayed news that a Vulcan scandal was in the making, due to the gold medalist's romp in the athlete's village.  Apparently, according to the media, his sexy dance -- with a full blooded Vulcan female ice sailor, from a good family, no less, with no pon farr or Altarian Fire Water in evidence anywhere -- would soon knock "I was a Vulcan Love Slave" off its perch.  Suddenly, it was "Hot to be Vulcan" and the planet itself was in a state of polite shock as its youth collectively came alive.

"He is half Vulcan, Captain," Spock reminded Kirk.

"So are you," his friend replied.

 

* * *

 

The wedding ceremony was performed, and everyone joined the party for breakfast.  Sulam took the time to toast all those on the ship who had helped to make this day a happy one.  The newlyweds were lost in love for their new child, as was everyone else in attendance.

 

* * *

 

Spock, on board the shuttle, was lost in his PADD.  He was reading "Of Human Loving: A Guide to a Most Pleasant Minefield," by the breakout Klingon author, Kath.  Illogical, perhaps, but the two races were vastly different, so some ideas could be gleaned.  He paused in his reading to make certain the patch was indeed removed, then sent a brief holomessage to his mother, wishing her a pleasant Valentine's Day, and asking her to be available for a holovid the next morning.

 

* * *

 

Christine met Nyota at the holodeck.  She eyed her companion's attire.  "You look perfect," she told her.  Uhura took in her friend's leather trousers, tank top and matching jacket ... and her high heeled boots.  "I couldn't have said it better myself," she replied.

 

* * *

 

Spock left the shuttlecraft bay and headed up to the bridge briefly.  He checked in with Kirk and gave him a summary of the proceedings on Starbase 14.  Kirk did not ask his First Officer why he was back a day early, and Spock did not volunteer the information.

After he had unpacked and showered, Spock addressed the computer.

"Computer."

"Working."

"Location of Dr. Chapel?"

"5th level holodeck."

Holodeck?  Fascinating.  Spock had no idea Christine used the facility.

"Companions?"

"Uhura, Sulu, Riley."

"Activity?"

"Re-enactment of Terran entertainment show CSI."

CSI?  Ah yes.  The old television show set in a crime lab.  They had watched a few episodes.  Spock enjoyed the way the team of investigators came to such logical conclusions, and the special effects, crude as they were compared to the present, were impressive for the early 21st century.  It was set in -- Las Vegas?  The Ripley's Pleasure Planet of its time.

"Character Dr. Chapel is playing?"

"Catherine Willows."

The exotic dancer turned investigator.  Beautiful, stubborn, opinionated and hard nosed.  What a perfect match of characters.  Apart from the previous career.

He checked the scenario of the episode, left his quarters and stepped into the turbolift.  "Holodeck" he said.

 

* * *

 

"Catherine!"  Sara/Uhura turned to her companion.  "Over here! The fire may have started right in this area."

Catherine/Christine joined her.  They looked at the burn mark and puzzled over the round darker spot near the edge.

"An accelerant?  Maybe furniture polish?  Or spray paint?" she asked.

SOMEONE HAS ENTERED THE GAME!

The participants looked at each other.  Scotty, as Brass, was injured in hospital for this episode so not participating, and Grissom, usually played by Chekov, was at an etymologist's conference with his cockroaches.

Christine stared as a tall figure made its way towards them.  Dark jeans, dark jacket, glasses, baseball cap askew.  No beard though.  It couldn't be.

"Catherine!  It's Gil."

Uhura looked over at her friend.  "Let's play along," she suggested.

"Yeah, Gris, what is it?" she replied, not looking up from her work.

"Hey, Gris," Sara/Uhura asked pleasantly, "how are your cockroaches?"

Grissom/Spock looked at her pragmatically.  "They got stage fright," he said matter-of-factly, "as usual."  He turned to Catherine.

"The experiment we did on the DNA samples from the roulette wheel?" he began.

"The spit case?" Riley interjected.

Grissom/Spock hrrumphed, whether entirely in character or not, but it worked .  "Yes, the spit case.  Catherine," he looked at his companion, "Brass needs the results replicated.  He's meeting with the commissioner tomorrow morning and he'd like to do a comparison.  The Bellagio is claiming they're not liable, but we know otherwise..."

The others were openly staring by now.

So," he finished, batting his eyes facetiously, just as Grissom would have done, "will you help me?"

"If it isn't one thing, it's another," Catherine grumbled as she stripped off her gloves.  "I guess you'll have to finish up without me."

As they left the area, Sara/Uhura called after them.  "Have fun, you two!"

 

* * *

 

They entered the turbolift just as Chekov was stepping off.  He threw them an odd glance, but said nothing more than hello.  Two more crew members got on.

Spock put his arm around Christine.

*Nice pants.*

*WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE????*

*I came back 13 hours early to be with you.  It is Valentine's Day.  Are you not pleased to see me? I am hurt!*

*Hurt?  A Vulcan?  HA HA!*

*It is apparently Hot to be Vulcan at present.  You ARE glad to see me then?*

*I wish I could show you just how glad!*

*I have a present for you, T'hyla.  A Valentine's present.*

*Is THAT the Vulcan term for it?*

*No, honestly.  In my cabin.*

The lift stopped to discharge its passengers.  Alone at last.  Spock immediately pulled Christine into a breathtakingly passionate kiss.

The lift stopped and opened its doors yet again.  Kirk and McCoy looked at the amorous couple inside.  Hell, it was Valentine's Day, why not?

The lovers broke apart.  Realization dawned.

"Good evening, gentlemen," Spock addressed his friends implacably.  His arm remained firmly around Christine, who managed a strangled "Hello!"

Kirk and McCoy continued to stare.

"Is something wrong?" Spock asked them.  They shook their heads.

"Well, if nothing is amiss, I will take this opportunity to wish you both a pleasant Valentine's evening.  Good night."

As the couple moved into the corridor towards Spock's quarters, they both saw the First Officer reach out and grab the Assistant Chief Medical Officer's shapely, leather clad posterior in a most un-Vulcan way.

The doors closed and the turbolift descended one floor.  Neither occupant dared to say a word.  The doors opened one more time to allow Cupid, complete with bow, arrow and wings, to enter.

"Evening, sirs.  I'm delivering Cupid Grams.  20 credits apiece.  Know anyone who needs one?"

Kirk and McCoy could no longer stand it.  They started laughing.

"Bar" said Kirk between giggles.  "Non-stop, please."

FIN