Disclaimer:  Copyright 2006 Mistress V; permission to archive at Trek Tales, all other need only ask.  Nope, they belong to Paramount and to Paramount they will be returned, when I am done playing a little.  This is an NC-17 tale, though more for violence and language than sex.  If you ain't growed up (over 18) or are not into this, please hit the back button on your browser and proceed at once to the website of your choice.

In the Dark Side of My Heart

by Mistress V

 

She rolled over, seeking his warm presence, but came suddenly awake at the empty space beside her.  It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darkness, and she looked around in panic.

He stood by the door, hands clasped behind his back, staring at her without a trace of emotion on his face.  A bag was by his side.

"You are awake."  It was a statement of fact, nothing more.

"Spock?  What's wrong?"  Her heart began to pound as she tried to push into their link only to find it was closed off, as though it had never existed.

"Nothing is wrong, Doctor."  His voice chilled her like an ice storm.  "I have been called to Vulcan, to assist in the new Babel negotiations.  I am leaving on the shuttle in 30 minutes."

"Vulcan?  Spock, what is this?  When will you be back?"  She was choking on the words by now, terror grabbing at her like a horrifying, multi-tentacled octopus-thing.

"I shall not be returning."

"What?"  Her voice was incredulous.  "What did you say?"

"Doctor, I grew tired of having to repeat myself for you long ago, but I shall do so one last time.  I am not coming back.  I plan to remain on Vulcan and once again pursue the Kholinar, which I had been distracted from on my last attempt.  Starfleet has accepted my resignation."  His face belied nothing.

She leaped from the bed and ran to him, wanting to throw herself in his arms and find it was all some elaborate April Fool's Day joke.  His look told her to do no such thing.

"Doctor, you know it was illogical for you to expect anything more from me.  It was against our natures to even pursue this ... dalliance.  It is over.  And if anything, it has shown me that my true path lies within myself.  Please, do us both a favor and do not act illogically.  It is, as I have told you, over."

The door whooshed open to reveal the Captain and Leonard standing there.  "It's time, Spock," was all Kirk said, not looking at Christine.

"Y-you knew?  You knew all along and told me nothing?" she shouted, unable to believe that the two men who had been most close to them as a couple had now helped destroy that relationship.

Spock moved towards Kirk and they began to walk down the corridor, towards the turbolift.  Christine tried to run after them, but McCoy stopped her.  "Easy, Chris, there's a good girl.  This will help you..." and then she was swimming into blackness, crying his name as she did so.

She was swimming, swimming through the darkness, trying to breathe, trying to see where she was going.  Then a light flickered up ahead and she swam towards it.

Spock was lying on his bed, in the first throes of pon farr, when she came into their cabin.  She had suspected this was the case earlier, but he had not said anything.

"Spock, what is it?  Is it your time, beloved?  What do you want me to do?" she asked softly, touching her hand to his blazing forehead.

He sat bolt upright, eyes unfocused, rage crossing his usually implacable face.  "Away from me, you Terran whore!" he spat.  "Do not touch me lest your filth soil my katra!"

"Spock?  It's me, beloved, please, let me help you," she tried again, reaching for her scanner.  This is the pon farr talking, she told herself.

"Away from me!  Leave my presence.  I would have Dr. M'Benga see to me until we reach Vulcan."

"Vulcan?  Why are we bound for Vulcan?"  She was confused.  They had been married already in a shipboard ceremony and the bonding on Vulcan was not planned for a few more months.  Perhaps he felt that the need to take care of the matter immediately, in light of things.  She shrugged.

"We are en route for Vulcan that I may be bound to T'Pring.  Stonn, her mate, is dead, and she is now free to choose another.  We have thus decided it to be logical for us to bond.  She was once mine, and I shall now finally claim her."  His eyes were still blazing, but his voice might have been coming off the steppes of Polaris.

"Spock!"  She grabbed his arms and shook him.  "Spock, I am your wife!  There is no need for this.  Your time may be sated with me!  Why are you saying these things?"

He slapped her, hard, then stared at her with now-unforgiving eyes.  "You are not my wife.  Vulcans do not allow themselves the illogical luxury of love and marriage.  I desire a Vulcan mate and Vulcan offspring, and that is what I shall have.  LEAVE ME!"  He advanced on her with such a venomous look on his face that she turned and ran out the door, sobbing.  Leonard was waiting there with M'Benga.

"You knew?" she screamed at him.  "You knew, and still you let him do this to me?  How could you?"

"Take it easy, Chris...there's a good girl..." and she was swimming into the welcoming blackness once more.

She was so tired.  So very tired.  The blackness soothed her, but she was hot.  So very hot.  And suddenly there was a bright light that hurt her eyes, even as she stepped into it.

"Thee are pregnant?" T'Pau asked sternly.

She could only nod.  Spock stood on the other side of the room from her, eyes calm, face a mask of his usual emotionless self.  T'Pau now addressed him.

"And thee, what does thee desire, Spock?"

Spock's words turned her heart to ice.  "I do not desire the child.  It is a mutant halfbreed, and the house of Sarek cannot afford such a scandal.  It was difficult enough to deal with the shame of my own parentage.  We cannot have such an occurrence again."

T'Pau looked at him thoughtfully.  "Thee are certain?"

"I am certain" Spock replied, "and I beg forgiveness from the High Council for allowing my Terran side to interfere with logic.  I should never have entered into the union."

T'Pau considered her next words for some moments.  At last she looked at Christine, then at the Vulcan physician who stood next to her.

"Thee has spoken, Spock.  Take the child," she said at last.

"No, NO!" Christine was screaming.  "Don't take my baby, please!  I'll go, I promise I will never return to Vulcan again, but please, I beg of you, let me keep the child."

"It is not thy decision, Terran woman," T'Pau said softly.

The physician moved forward with a hypospray, and she was swimming into blackness again.  "Spock, Spock!" she screamed as she lost consciousness once more.

* * *

 

"She's under again," Leonard McCoy said softly.  He turned to the man who had been at his side for the past four hours.  "Spock, I don't know what else to do.  We know so little about the Betan lizard snake's venom that all I can do is sedate her until the fever passes.  And according to medical records, that can last up until 36 hours."

Spock regarded the woman he loved, who lay motionless in the bed below him.  He looked absently at her face.  It appeared -- dirty?  Then, with a start, he realized that beneath the light suntan she'd gotten on their last leave, she was as pale as a glacier.

"I understand, Doctor.  Is there nothing I can do?  Perhaps a meld can bring her out of the fever?"

McCoy shook his head.  "Spock, she can't hear anyone, even you.  The venom affects the brain, closes down receptors.  And the worst part of it is that the victim has horrible nightmares.  It's been written that the nightmares almost always stem from the patient's greatest fears, even if the fears have been addressed and resolved years before."  He touched the First Officer's arm. "Spock, people ... they ... can die from this."

Spock's normally stoic veneer remained in place, but his shoulders visibly sagged.  "Nothing?" he asked again.

"Maybe ... maybe ... something familiar.  I remember old coma patients on Earth being played music they liked.  Being stimulated by things that were familiar.  Yes, that's it."  He motioned at the door.  "Go get some of her music holos, stuff she listens to with you.  Anything you think she might recognize, even though she can't see it.  Go on.  She's stable for now."

* * *

 

It was supposed to be a routine planet visit.  A few hours, some scientific readings, meetings with the local Federation representative, and that was that. Spock had not even thought twice about her going, buried as he was in the quarterly reports he had to submit to Starfleet.  She would be back before he missed her, she'd said as she left early that morning.  He had drowsily regarded her for a moment, then drifted off for another hour, exhausted form the late nights he had been pulling to calibrate data.  With a heavy heart, he realized that the deluge of extra work had put a damper on their usually active romantic life.  He had not even kissed her goodbye that morning, and there had been a time -- was it only weeks ago? -- when he would have not let her out of bed without much, much more than a kiss.

And now she might never return to him again.

He had known even before Kirk called the ship.  One minute he had been on the bridge, checking his findings, and the next a searing pain had enveloped his entire body.  His right arm felt as though it was being burned by a blowtorch.  He immediately pushed into his link with her but there was only blackness. *CHRISTINE!* he shouted.

The sound of Kirk's worried voice washed over him.  "Spock, you'd better meet us in the transporter room right away.  M'Benga is on his way already.  It's--"

But Spock was already in the turbolift.  He knew who Kirk was speaking of.

She had been taking some bioscans of the plant and algae life in a small pond when it had happened.  The creature struck in a horrifying instant, then disappeared beneath the surface of the dark green waters once more.  Christine had collapsed immediately.

It was all Spock could do to keep his composure when he saw M'Benga materialize on the transporter platform with his T'hyla's unconscious form in his arms.  He had accompanied them to sickbay, where he had remained at her side until just now.  Kirk, who stopped in for a briefing, had told him he was officially "off duty"and for once, Spock did not argue with his friend.

* * *

 

He had not been in Christine's quarters for several weeks.  As their relationship had progressed, she had more or less moved into his, while maintaining her own space until something could be worked out regarding a larger living space.  It looked empty, sterile, even though he knew she was in it at least once a day for one reason or another.

Spock moved to her desk and glanced at a pile of music holos.  His hand touched the sweatshirt that hung across the back of chair, read its inscription, "MoonDoggie's Beach Club, Pismo Beach California" and remembered her telling him how beautiful the coast of California was, how she would show it to him next time they were on Terra.  He sat in her chair and picked up the sweatshirt, inhaling her scent, and begged his ancestors to grant her the strength to return to him.

After a few moments, he returned to the task at hand.  There were several holos that might work -- he just needed to find them.  One read, "Borodin -- Steppes of Central Asia/Copeland -- Appalachian Spring/Bernstein -- Camille" and he knew this music would be soothing yet familiar to her.  She often had listened to it in the evenings when she read.  He glanced at the title that read "21st Century C/W greats" and selected it as well.  "Skating Music" joined the small pile.  Then he chanced on a dust-covered one, half hidden under a copy of a medical journal.

"Karaoke: Acoustic Coffee House---????" and a note attached to the cover stated, "This is the one."  It was dated a few days before she had performed.

He remembered the number she had sung, but it was not listed on the holo.  In fact, only one song was listed.  "The Look Of Love -- Madonna".  He knew she liked this artist -- she had often laughingly compared herself to the cocky, outrageous singer because, as she put it, they both came into their own well past thirty.

Perhaps it would be good for her to hear regardless.  But why had she not sung it?  After all, that was the night they had both finally realized there was more than professional relationship possible.  Curious, he put the holo into the player.

Haunting synthesized music filled the room and he started to listen.  There must be some mistake, he thought immediately.  This was not a song meant to announce her intent.  This was a ... a ... goodbye, filled with resignation and hopelessness.

"Should have left you standing, right where you stood...

Should have let you go, should have had the sense to know

Like a train you'd come, and I'd lose my place

Now I'm on this trip, I took a fall from grace...

 

"Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, from the look of love, from the eyes of pride

Nowhere to go, nowhere to run, from the look of love, now I've come undone...

 

"I've had a map laid out from the day I was born

But the roads are blocked and the paper is worn

And all the books I've read, and the things I know

Never taught me to laugh, never taught to let go..."

 

Spock swallowed hard.  This could have been written about him.  The words continued, and he felt the pain she had imagined would happen if she had pursued the relationship...the pain she would feel when he ultimately rejected the illogic of such a partnering.

"My conscience is clear, I know right from wrong

That's a lie I know nothing except that you're gone

But there's more to learn from the look in your eyes

That trip round this world, the stars in the sky

 

Now all the books I've read and the things that I know

Never taught me to live, never taught me to let go

 

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

from the look of love, Lord knows I've tried

Nowhere to go, nowhere to run

From the look of love, now I've come undone...."

 

He continued to sit even after the song had finished.  His mind was racing.  She had not sung this offering, and there had been no more acoustic evenings since, not after the exploding circuit board had ended the last one.  He was confused.  The song she had sung was one about unrequited love, and asking that love into her life ... something he had then been more than happy to do.  This song ... this song talked about someone desperately in love but being unable to love because it was...

Illogical.

Realization dawned on him.  She had been considering rejecting the relationship even before it started, afraid it was doomed, no matter how much she wanted to believe otherwise.  The nightmares that she was suffering during this fever had to be based in this.  And as McCoy had said, it made no matter that they had worked the issues through thoroughly, were happily in love with each other and moving forward together.  No, the old fear would be taunting her in her fever, making her run, run far from him...

And maybe not return at all.

It was then that he glanced at the large picture frame on the bookshelf. Christine enjoyed framed photos, even though they were almost considered archaic these days.  He guessed that many of these had been gleaned from the ship's computer, but Christine always carried a holocamera with her whenever she could.  The frame was a montage of several smaller squares, and each held an individual photo.  He looked at them.

One showed a happy Christine and her best friend, Nyota Uhura, laughing as they rollerbladed in the arboretum.  Spock half-smiled when he remembered the coconut incident, and how the falling nuts had brought them closer together.

One was taken in moonlit silhouette on the wintersport holodeck's ice rink.  He realized that the couple looking at each other was them...the night he finally had taken her skating.  He could almost feel the coolness of the air contrast with the heat they had generated as they had skated together, lost in each other.

A picture of Christine on the back of a splendid horse, flanked by McCoy and Kirk, was next, every bit the image of a warrior-goddess.

The next picture made him flush.  It was of him.  Asleep.  In bed.  Naked.  He was wrapped around the pillow, the covers thrown off his upper body.  His back and buttocks were clearly visible.  The look on his face was...peaceful.  No.  What was the term his mother used?  Well-loved.  How had she managed to take this?

The final picture had been taken the day he had proposed, but after they had returned from the mountainside hike.  They were both facing the camera, and he was behind her, had his arms firmly around her waist.  And they were smiling. Both of them.  Hell, he was positively grinning.  At the time he had pretended disapproval, but they both knew he did not really mind.

Every picture was in direct contradiction to the unforgiving, stoic Vulcan he had tried to be just a few short years ago.  But the joy that surrounded the pictures shimmered like candlelight.  Everything represented was fine and good, and this is what he needed to communicate to his beloved, for he knew it also to be so in his own heart.

He bolted from the chair and gathered the holodiscs and frame.  Next, he went to his own cabin and did a frantic search for the t shirt he had been wearing last night.  To his relief, he found it -- under the bed of all places, where it had obviously fallen when he was getting ready for sleep.  He had been so exhausted he had not even bothered to pick it up.

As he made his way to the turbolift and sickbay, he knew what he had to do -- no matter what McCoy said.

* * *

 

Kirk and Uhura were sitting with McCoy in his office when he returned.

"M'Benga's watching her, Spock," the CMO told him.  "She's asleep, but the fever is still high.  We've got a long night ahead of us."

Spock looked at his friends.  For the first time, he began to understand the depth of affection they had for her ... and for him.  He struggled to find his voice.

Uhura jumped up and hugged him hard for a moment.  Then she pulled back and simply looked at him.  After she released him, Kirk did the same.

"Thank you ... for support," he finally managed to say.

"She's my best friend, and you're the love of her life.  It comes with territory, Spock," she said very softly, calling him by his given name only for the first time.  It just seemed the right thing to do.

"C'mon, Spock, get in there to your lady.  She needs you," Kirk instructed him.

He found M'Benga monitoring her vitals.  "Doctor -- has there been any change?" he asked, worried.

The physician sighed.  "No, Mr. Spock.  She's still in the fever but the sedation has been helping.  But I don't honestly know how she is."

Spock set his items down on the bedside table.  He addressed the physician, who he knew to be aware of Vulcan medical issues.  "I must do a meld," he said simply.

"She's not strong enough, we don't know enough about this illness.  It could kill her," M'Benga said slowly.  "Are you certain?"

Spock nodded.  "I am certain.  I must reach her, because only I can help her through the fears that are making her burn.  I must at least try."

"Then it is your choice, and I honor that.  I'll be in the next room if you need me."

"Thank you, Doctor, for your faith.  Oh -- and Doctor?" Spock asked as M'Benga was preparing to leave.

"Yes?"

"When this is done, and she is well ... for I know she will recover ... I ... would ... speak to you of something."

"I am at your service, Mr. Spock," M'Benga said graciously.

He put loaded the holodiscs into the computer and started the music, then lifted up Christine's head for a moment, placing his t shirt under it on the pillow.  Then he settled her back and prepared to enter her thoughts.

Murky water was swirling in front of him.  It was dark, muddy, filled with water creatures.  The cold air rolled off it in waves.  Spock did not even hesitate as he dived in headfirst.

"Christine! Where are you?" but silence greeted him.  He instinctively swam further down, knowing she was there.  The water was so dark he could not see more than 5 meters in front of him, and the dense forests of kelp made his journey tediously slow.

"Christine!  Christine?  Are you here?"  But the water was as empty as the pit of his stomach.

And then, when he thought he could go no further, he heard her.  It was barely a whimper, but he felt her energy.  "I'm here! Say something! I will find you!"

"Spock!  I'm so cold.  Help me."

He plunged further, trying to see.  The water was dark black by now, thick with mud.  He was at the bottom, there was nowhere else to go.  And suddenly, he felt her hand reach for his.  He wrapped himself around her and began moving back upward.  "Hang on, beloved, hang on," he kept saying.  She was with him -- just barely, but she was there and was not letting go.

Light was beginning to appear before him.  Just a few more meters, yet the distance to cover seemed further than he had ever traversed in his life.  "Spock, I'm so cold..." she pleaded.  "I don't want to go on."

He turned and stared at her face.  "Christine, my love.  Please believe me.  I love you and I will not leave you.  Please, beloved.  Do not leave me.  Please have faith in the love we share.  I will not hurt you, my love.  Come with me.  It is safe."

And suddenly the surface of the water came into view.  Light bathed them.  Spock made a last effort and broke through the water.  He stumbled onto the shore, holding Christine safely in his arms, and collapsed.

* * *

 

"How is she, Bones?" Kirk asked.

McCoy shrugged.  "I don't know how that Vulcan computer did it, but he got her out of the fever.  I've asked him to write a report for me when they've both recovered, because he might have some good insight on how to treat it.  And you know what?"

"What, Bones?"

"He said he'd be delighted to do so!" McCoy snorted as he pulled out his bottle of Saurian brandy and two glasses.  "I think we both need this," he said. "Doctor's orders."

"I never disobey my physician.  Where's Spock?"

McCoy jerked his head towards the next room.  "They're asleep."

Kirk walked over and glanced at the CMO.  She was breathing much easier and her color had returned to normal, so it looked like she had turned a corner.  But what truly amazed him was the sight of his First Officer wrapped around her sleeping form, holding her securely against him, protecting her, as it were, from the universe.

"I never knew he had it in him," Kirk said as he clinked his glass with McCoy.

"Oh I knew, all right, but I never thought he'd admit it to the world at large, Jim.  What next?  Will he be singing at the next karaoke night?"

"You never know, Bones ... you never know..."

FIN