Disclaimer: Usual stuff: Nope, I don't own any of the copyrights and am just going to borrow the characters for awhile. Copyright 2006 Mistress V. Permission to archive at TrekTales; all others need only ask. This story is rated PG.
Who's The Doctor Here?
"But I feel FINE!"
"Let us be the judge of that, Christine," McCoy said as he ran the scanner over her. "Right, doctor?"
M'Benga, who was busy helping himself to a glass of the fresh pineapple/coconut/mango/guava juice provided by Pauulu and the rest of the experimental horticulture team, agreed noncommittally. "Listen to the doctor, Christine."
"But I am a doctor!" she sighed, exasperated. "And I think I am ready to leave sickbay!"
"Christine," McCoy said kindly, "I know you may not remember much, but you were one hell of a sick woman just a few days ago. Your body is still recuperating, no matter how great you feel. Remember how you keeled over the day before yesterday?"
She flushed. She had been determined to get to her office and fetch some reports to read, but had only gone three steps before a wave of dizziness had washed over her and she'd crumpled to the floor. M'Benga had helped her back into bed, cautioning her against such exertion. She had made him promise on his Hippocratic Oath not to tell Spock, fearful he would worry. The doctor had agreed, but a scarce moment later, a familiar voice spoke to her.
*Mr. Scott will be happy to detail some security officers to ensure you listen to your physicians, T'hyla. Or perhaps I should do so myself?*
*Touche, beloved,* she replied.
*I shall see you when I am off duty,* and she felt the warmth of his embrace.
"Look, Chris, I'll make you a deal. I'll let Nyota take you out this afternoon for a few hours. If you come back feeling okay, I'll release you tomorrow. Deal?"
Knowing she was over the proverbial barrel, Christine could only nod.
* * *
A few hours later, Nyota entered sickbay. Christine brightened visibly when she saw what her friend was carrying.
"Thank goodness!" she exclaimed as she took the pile of clothing. "I've been working my way through all my flannel pj's and am beginning to forget what real clothes feel like. And these jammies are not exactly what you'd expect a Starfleet medical officer to be wearing. Spock really looked twice at my tap dancing frog number."
Nyota laughed. "He still probably thought you were ravishing, Chris." Her eyes widened as she took in all the culinary offerings and floral arrangements taking up every available space in the room. "What's all this?"
Christine shrugged. "I guess everyone thought that if they fed me, I'd get well faster."
"Well I'm not complaining," Ny replied. She opened a container and sniffed. "Fresh guacamole! Who sent that?" She grabbed a chip and swiped some up, then bit into it with a satisfying crunch.
"Pauulu, who else? He and the horticulture team have brought over a lot of great stuff, bless their hearts. Not that I've gotten to eat much of it," Christine grumbled.
"Why ever not?"
"Because all the visitors and medical staff have been stuffing themselves on it all week." She grinned at Nyota. "That's ok, help yourself, I already od'd on it earlier. Trouble is, everyone thinks the bounty is a great thing and should happen more often. They forget why it got here in the first place."
"Mmmm," Nyota replied, swallowing with a happy smile. "Because someone got sick."
"Exactly! Even Spock," she paused to make sure no one else was listening, "said that it was most illogical not to enjoy such culinary delights more often. I could have strangled the man!"
"Well, what did you do? You're not that to let him get away with that!"
Christine paused for effect. "I threw a piece of fudge at him."
Nyota looked at her friend in horror. "Not Sulu's homemade fudge, from his cacao stash? What did he do?"
"What do you think? With his quick reflexes, he caught the thing and ate it before I even knew what had happened. That effectively ended the conversation." She did not add that the conversation had actually ended when Spock had decided to silence her with, well, a kiss. Actually, it was a little bit more than a kiss, just a little, but left no doubt in both their minds that things were well on their way to normal.
"C'mon, Doc, I've got your hall pass right here," Nyota said. "Let's get going before McCoy changes his mind."
"Where are you taking me, oh hallowed one who releases me from my jail cell?"
Nyota grinned. "Where else? The spa!"
* * *
"Doctor!" Kala exclaimed warmly. "How are you?"
"Great now that I've been here for the last hour, Kala," she replied as she hugged the ebullient Klingon aesthetician. "Please, make me beautiful again!"
"You are beautiful," Kala admonished as they prepared for her manicure. "But we were all so worried about you. I am so glad you recovered so quickly."
Christine turned to Uhura. "Was it written up in the ships' daily record, for goddess' sake?"
"Just about," her friend admitted. "Face it, Chris, everyone loves you!"
"Hrrmph," Christine said. But she was happy inside.
"So, what news do you and your betrothed hear of Worf and his family?" asked Kala. She had met the young Klingon scientist during his brief time on the Enterprise.
"He is fine and sends his best wishes to all. His work keeps him occupied, but his wife is near time for the birth of their second child. He is, as you might guess, a bit nervous about this. And his son is doing well. Apparently, Worf introduced the youth to pizza and now he has gotten quite addicted to the dish. Worf said that his son plans to open a cafe called KPK, Klingon Pizza Kitchen, someday."
Kala laughed. "That would be interesting."
"How so?" Christine asked.
"Well," the manicurist said, "I was introduced to it by accident when a young Klingon cadet took me out to dinner some years ago when I was living on Celeba Colony. Pizza was listed on the menu, and I had heard of this dish, so I decided to try it. The cadet scorned my choice. He said a Klingon warrior would not be able to survive on so insubstantial a meal."
"And?" Christine could just see what was coming. Worf had made no secret of his love affair with the Terran specialty when they'd had dinner with him.
"When my pizza arrived, he thought it would be only right that he try it first, to make sure it was not some Federation plan to poison the Klingons in this colony. He ate the entire pie. I couldn't even get a crust for myself!" Kala laughed at the memory. "And then he ordered two more! I ended up eating a salad. Needless to say, I never went out with him again."
Nyota and Christine were laughing helplessly with her. Men were the same all over the galaxy, it seemed.
"Now, should Worf's son open this cafe," Kala continued, "he would be wise to have an operations strategy. The children and women would eat there during the day, the youths would go in the evening, but the men would need to enter by a secret door after hours. He'd make a fortune from these late night customers, trust me. Of course, not one of them would ever admit to having eaten there."
"Of course," Christine agreed, wondering about how snowboarding was being introduced on Vulcan. She could see similarities, all right.
* * *
"That was fun, Ny," Christine said as they made their way back to sickbay. "Thanks."
Nyota out an arm around her shoulders and squeezed. "I'm just so glad you're well, honey," she told her friend. "You have no idea how scared I was. You were so sick, baby."
"I know," Christine bit her lip to keep it from trembling. "I don't remember much, but I had some awful dreams. Len said that's normal, trouble is, they were all about Spock and me."
"You know that was the fever, honey," Nyota told her gently. "That man is so much in love with you I can only wish someone would love me one tenth as much someday. He may be a Vulcan, but where you're concerned, you can see it in his eyes. Have you told him about the dreams?"
"Yeah," Chris replied with a sigh. "But it wasn't easy."
* * *
She had awoken in the night, not knowing where she was, and feeling like she had run a marathon on Fuega in midsummer. Her head throbbed, her eyes ached and her throat felt like a desert ravine. She moaned softly.
"You are awake, my love?" He spoke, not wanting to use their link in her weakened state.
"Where am I?"
His arms tightened ever so gently around her. "You are in sickbay, T'hyla. You were very ill, but the fever has passed. I am here, do not be afraid."
"What happened?" she asked, trying to piece together the events of the past 24 hours and coming up blank. "The last thing I remember is taking some readings at the pond. Then something ... something bit me?"
And then pieces of the dreams she'd had came flooding back, taking her breath away with their savageness She closed her eyes and wept silently into the pillow. Spock held her close, smoothing the hair off her forehead and kissing her face. "You are safe, my love, just know that. Now you must rest. I will not leave you."
He stayed with her the next day as well, until McCoy pronounced her well enough not to need, as he said, "a personal caregiver" 24 hours a day. Spock had hrrmphed as he usually did, but both men were extremely pleased this was so. It meant she was on the mend.
But he was back at her bedside every night, and slowly, they spoke of the disturbing images that had haunted her during the fever. She admitted that she knew these came from old fears, but the issues they once again raised frightened her. Spock knew it was a matter of time till she healed and did his best to reassure her that no, he was not resigning to return to Vulcan.
The issue of pon farr had been more delicate. They discussed what he wanted to do when it happened, because it was only a matter of time before it reasserted itself. "We shall be bonded before then, so it will not be as before," he said thoughtfully. "And perhaps all of our ... romantic activities ... may lessen its effect. After all," he paused to kiss her hand, "my hormones are no longer 'in overdrive'." And she had laughed. But he had promised to see what the latest findings were from the Vulcan Science Academy. It had been rumored that new treatments, to reduce the destructive side effects of the time, were being studied. Ostensibly, this was due to the fact that more and more Vulcans were living off the planet, and the disruptions caused by the fever were, well, almost illogical, and might give others the wrong impression of the culture. Christine and Spock both suspected that Stark's recent antics at Polaris had been the catalyst for that new idea, although the youth had not been anywhere near his awakening time. Dr. M'Benga had agreed to meet with them to discuss the matter once she was feeling better.
Children was an even more difficult topic. They had not even considered the possibility of starting a family while they were both on the Enterprise, but the future prospect of having children together was something they both wanted, it turned out. Christine had relaxed in his arms at that revelation and he had felt the waves ripple out from her. Apparently, the dream of Vulcan she told him about, which had all but horrified him, had bothered her the most.
* * *
"Ok, you win," McCoy said that afternoon. "I am releasing you tomorrow morning. That gives you the weekend to do your final recuperating. I'll expect you back at work at 0800 on Monday. Spock, make sure she takes it easy, ok? I know her."
"Affirmative, doctor," Spock replied. "I shall endeavor to keep her, as they say in the holovids, under house arrest."
"Good," McCoy said, not quite knowing what to make of the comment he had just heard. He decided Spock was exhausted from the week's events. Why else would he say what sounded like a joke?
*Like hell!* she said to him playfully.
*I guarantee you, T'hyla, it will be quite the other end of the spectrum, if you get my meaning.*
*Meaning? Meaning what?*
*Stop "fishing". You shall find out soon enough. In the meantime, I shall return for you at 18:00 so we may take a walk through the arboretum, if you are amenable to that idea?*
*Just make certain the coconuts are secure!*
* * *
Kirk was having a chat with Christine and McCoy when Spock returned to sickbay. He was dressed off-duty style in jeans, a regulation Starfleet sweatshirt and trainers. His two friends had long since accepted that the Vulcan was not ill, possessed by alien entities, or going crazy, he simply had relaxed in many aspects of his life -- and they agreed that was a good thing. Though McCoy still could not get used to seeing him on the wintersports holodeck now and then. Snowboarding Vulcans? That was as alien a concept as ... well ... never mind, it was just strange.
"Doctor, I have come to escort Christine on a stroll in the arboretum and trust she has your medical approval for this activity?"
"Sure, Spock. Don't keep her out too late, I'll be waiting up with my shotgun," the physician replied with a deadpan face.
Christine smothered a laugh. Here it came, right on cue.
"Doctor, I assure you, I have no intention of putting the lady's honor into disrepute. I shall have her back here at a reasonable hour. Of course, we shall be stopping at the malt shop on the way back."
Christine dragged him out the door before she started going hysterical. *You ARE in fine form, beloved.*
*It's those positively horrible films you force me to view.*
*Force? Force!?! Who keeps saying they want to watch 'The Brain from Planet Arous' every other day?*
*It is a scientific study on the human brain, nothing more.*
*Don't make me hurt you!*
*Someone is feeling better!*
McCoy turned to Kirk. "The MALT shop? Has he been at the Antarian Fire Water?"
"Bones, c'mon. You know that means the guy is letting dad know they'll be a little bit late getting home. Speaking of drinks…?" he asked hopefully.
"You read my mind, Jim. Grab the guacamole and chips, will you? It's terrific, but that damned Vulcan has been inhaling the stuff, you'd think he never saw an avocado before. Let's have some before it disappears completely."
Kirk followed the physician to his office. It was good to see things back to normal again.