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 PG.
Come to My Window
Kirk eyed his senior staff as he read from the computer screen before him. No one was going to want to hear this, but it had to be done.
"And the landing party to Hy-Ox 12 will consist of myself, Mr. Spock, Dr. M'Benga, the supply crew, plus two security officers. We will depart for the planet at 0500 hours. It will not be a pleasant day, gentlemen and ladies, or a short one, but the supplies need to be delivered and meetings must take place. Drs. McCoy and Chapel will endeavor to prepare us for the trip, and will see to any after effects, while Dr. M'Benga will look after us on the planet. Are there any questions?"
Leonard McCoy spoke. "How come you get to have all the fun?" he asked, before making arrangements to meet with the landing party prior to their departure.
Hy-Ox 12 was a very aptly-named planet. It had an extremely high concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere. This meant it constantly was under fog, mist or just cold rain, and its inhabitants were equally waterlogged bores. But that was not the most annoying thing. The high amounts of oxygen made a person feel like they were walking in slow motion, combined with a sensation of being on-your-ass-drunk. And the return from the planet, back to the ship's normal atmosphere, caused a blinding headache and extreme fatigue if it was a good day, or bends-like symptoms if it was not.
No one liked to go to Hy-Ox, which made Fuega look like the Disneyplanet in comparison. But it was a new Federation outpost and a trading partner, so the Enterprise was duty bound to visit. Christine Chapel was secretly pleased she was not named to the landing party, though she was extremely concerned for Spock. His anatomy was more adapted to thin, less-oxygenated atmospheres, and she wondered how he would be affected. With humans, it was fairly straightforward -- hourly injections of a mixed antidote. But for Vulcans?
She and Dr. M'Benga had consulted the Starfleet medical library and had come up with a suitable preventative for Spock. As she prepared the hypospray for his impending visit, she hoped he would not be his usual obstreperous self when it came time to be a patient. This was one aspect of his old incarnation that had stubbornly refused to change.
The object of her musings suddenly entered her office through the sliding doors. "Commander Spock, reporting as ordered," he said, all business as usual. She motioned him to lie down on the diagnostic bed and prepared to take readings of his vitals.
"This is unnecessary," he began as she moved the scanner over his heart and lungs. "I shall be fine. You do not need to give me any preventative medication."
"You do not know you shall be fine, Commander," Christine said in her best physician's voice. "Hy-Ox is a new outpost, and you have never visited it before. Other Vulcans have reported debilitating symptoms from its atmospheric conditions, and it would only be logical to attempt to prevent this so your duties on the planet will not be interrupted."
He looked up at her as he extended his arm for the hypoinjection, but his eyes said nothing. Neither did their link. He was being Macho Vulcan again, she knew it. Oh brother, this was going to be an interminable night ahead of them. He had not yet admitted to himself that stubbornness was usually based on emotion.
She injected him and then suddenly switched to the Vulcan familiar as she tapped into their link.
*Must thee think only of thyself, beloved? I would have thee return from the planet safely to the ship ... and to me. Please, let us not quarrel, lest I decide it logical to sleep in my own quarters this night, so thee can be well-rested for thy early departure.*
Spock wrapped both arms around her and pulled her down to him. *Forgive me, T'hyla,* he began, as his hands caressed her hips. But their attempt at ardor was extremely short-lived.
"Spock?" came M'Benga's voice through the intercom, "let me do a once over on you too. Just so I know what to expect tomorrow."
"Duty calls, Commander," she sighed as she went back to her computer terminal. "Best not to keep it waiting."
And so the landing party beamed down to Hy-Ox early the next morning, and no, she had not slept apart from Spock. Christine had the unenviable duty that day of the monthly gynecological clinic, which Len had been more than happy to deposit in her capable hands, as he'd said. She had spent most of the day advising crew members about contraception and safe sex, giving contraceptive injections, taking samples for VD-screens and listening to everyone's problems in the romance department. It was enough to give her a headache, so she made plans with Ny for yoga that evening. "Spock will be out of it after he gets back," she said to her friend, "and I'll give him some down time to recuperate." In her heart, she worried that he might be more than out of it, but so far, the reports from the planet had been positive.
The intercom buzzed her back to reality. "Medical team to the transporter room, on the double!" came Lt. Kyle's worried voice.
Breathless, she hurried over to where McCoy stood gathering supplies. "What is it?" he barked at the squawk box.
"Apparently someone's collapsed," Kyle replied. "They're beaming up in 5 minutes. That's all I know."
They raced to the turbolift, Christine's stomach tying itself into more knots than a yoga posture. The doors whooshed closed. McCoy looked at her and touched her arm. "It's just a precaution, Chris," he said gently. "Please, don't worry yet. These things happen all the time when anyone visits the planet."
But he's not just anyone, she thought to herself. He's half Vulcan...an excellent Starfleet officer ... and the love of my life.
*You flatter me, T'hyla,* came a tired but amused voice.
*I am fine, beloved, though I cannot say the same for Ensign McFarlane. However, Dr. M'Benga has stabilized him. Now I must go, we are about to transport.*
The team had just materialized on the pads as they arrived in the transporter room. McCoy and the orderly quickly placed McFarlane's supine form on the gurney and they got to work. Christine's stomach gradually unknotted itself as she looked over at Spock, who was rubbing his neck and looking a little worse for wear.
"I think he'll be okay," M’Benga said. "He just overdid it, thought he was Captain Federation or something."
McCoy looked at his monitor. "You're right," he agreed, "but I'll keep him in sickbay overnight anyway. Get him up there. I'll follow."
He moved over to Spock. "Well?" he asked, cocking his eye at the Commander.
"Well, what, Doctor?" Spock replied.
"Well, how are you feeling? Are there any symptoms you're experiencing? Are you about to pass out as well? I'd appreciate some input so I can address the matter!" Although he was speaking an an angry tone, they all knew McCoy was as concerned for his friend as Christine was. But he'd never let it show. And Spock still didn't acknowledge the concern. It was a comfortable old routine they obviously enjoyed playing.
"I am -- rather fatigued and must admit to a pain in my head, but am otherwise well," Spock said in his usual cool voice. He glanced past McCoy to where Christine stood. "Perhaps I shall stop at sickbay so you may monitor my vitals and advise me on what to do for the pain?" He stooped to pick up the sample container he had been carrying.
"What?" Mc Coy asked, disbelievingly.
Spock sighed. "Doctor, why must you always cause me to repeat myself? I fear this most annoying malady is beginning to manifest itself among the crew. I sincerely hope not. As I just stated, I am accompanying you and Dr. Chapel to sickbay for a, how do you say it, 'check-up.' Shall we proceed?"
They entered the turbolift, McCoy engrossed in studying the scanner readings and muttering to himself. Spock put his free arm around Christine and leaned into her.
*You ARE tired!* she said.
*Indeed,* he agreed.
"OK. I'm releasing you to the care of your personal physician here," McCoy indicated Christine, "but you need to take it easy. I've given you an injection that will help the pain. It will work best if you don’t go to sleep right away. Maybe meditate or just relax a little. You should be fine by morning."
"Thank you, Doctor," Spock said as McCoy headed back to his office. He brushed an errant hair out of Christine's eyes and then locked his arms around her waist. They stood together for a moment, just relaxing in each other's company.
"So, what are your plans for the evening, beloved?" he asked softly. "I fear I shall be indisposed for some time."
She smiled reassuringly. "Ny and I are headed to yoga, and then Lt. Singh has asked us to come over for some of her homemade Indian vegetable curry. I won't be late, but I'll try to be quiet when I get back."
He continued to look down at her, emotions playing across his face, something she was becoming increasingly more privileged to see when they were alone together.
*I came back to thee safely, T'hyla,* he said gently.
She kissed him.
* * *
Spock entered his quarters and placed the specimen container on his desk. His fingers undid the latch and he looked inside. Still in perfect condition, he thought as he studied the exquisite blue orchid-like flowers he had gathered on the planet below. There were other samples safely in the biotech lab, but these blooms were for Christine. He searched for a container in which to place them, then saw the Vulcan clay pot next to the portrait of her that stood on his desk. Perfect. He moved to fill it with water, then arranged the flowers carefully.
The doctor had said not to sleep, but he was too fatigued to meditate. He thought for a moment. A hot shower would relax him, he decided.
When he came out of the shower, he noticed that one of the flowers had fallen out of the vase, so he moved to retrieve it. His gaze returned to the photo on his desktop. He picked it up and carried it over to his bed, where he lay down and contemplated the image.
It was a picture taken just before he had proposed to her, in the Terran way. They had been hiking on the desert-like planet, and had ascended a lengthy precipice to see a quite spectacular view of the canyons below. Christine was looking at the camera, smiling as the woman in love that she was, the trine lavender moons rising behind her in silhouette. Her face was unadorned, her hair loosely held back in a ponytail. She was exquisite. And she was his.
Spock's fingers carefully undid the back of the frame and he pulled out another photo which rested behind Christine's portrait. It was of her as well, but a vastly different scene. She was perched on a stool, a microphone in front of her, and a twelve string guitar across her lap. The raw, incredibly sad emotion in her face made his heart hurt for a moment, then he pushed the somewhat illogical thought away and started to remember...
* * *
"Haven't you heard?" Kirk had asked him one evening as they played chess. "Christine's returning to the Enterprise this week. As the Assistant Chief Medical Officer. Bones is ecstatic."
"Indeed. She was a most capable head nurse, so it is logical that she will be an even more capable physician. " Spock's voice was calm and flat, but inside, his heart had done one of those newly-emotional flipflops.
He had come back from Gol realizing that his destiny lay beyond the Kholinar discipline. At last, he had come to the realization that he must allow his human side to assimilate into the Vulcan, lest the constant battle of wills be his ultimate undoing. He had returned to the Enterprise and slowly had been trying to experiment with this concept. So far, it had been going well, though McCoy had been eying him curiously now and then.
Well until just now. Spock felt as he had felt at the age of 6, when he had been given the sehlat as a pet. He was – pleased -- that she was returning as well. Happy. Apprehensive. Scared? It was puzzling, and after the chess match ended, he had retreated to his quarters to meditate on the matter further.
He concluded that, despite all the terrible instances that had passed between them, he still felt highly for her. She was cheerful, capable, helpful and the rest of the crew had enjoyed her company. He was ashamed of how he had treated her those few times that she had dared to show her feelings for him, preferring to push her away and remain stolidly, unyieldingly Vulcan. Sadly, he now realized that perhaps this stubbornness had been one of the reasons she had ultimately left the Enterprise. Indeed, during the last weeks before her departure, she had not even looked at him, let alone spoken, even during the course of her duties. He had thought that to be quite odd, but could not voice any concern for fear his emotion might show. A strange emotion. Affection.
He decided to take the le-matya on face to face. When she returned to the ship, he would see if any of those old feelings remained -- on both their parts -- though he had no real idea how to do this. Then, if it was logical to proceed, he would do so. The concept had thrilled and terrified him at the same time.
A few days later, he had entered sickbay, totally engrossed in an inventory docket that McCoy had to sign.
"Hello, Mr. Spock," a familiar voice said.
He looked up, dazzled by those eyes, even more blue than he remembered. Her hair -- it was now a beautiful shade of mink brown and suited her features. He wondered if this was her true color and part of him wanted to reach out and touch it -- along with the rest of her face. She looked thinner, taller, more mature, more confident. His heart did another of those annoyingly endearing flipflops. This was illogical, his Vulcan side said. I no longer care if it is, or if it is not. It simply is, his human side replied.
"Dr. Chapel. Welcome back aboard the Enterprise, and may I congratulate you on your graduation from medical school. I am certain you shall be a most proficient physician here."
"Thank you," she replied. "Is that for Len to sign? I can do that, he's with a patient." She took the docket and scribbled her signature at the bottom. "Is there anything else I can do for you?" she asked.
Spock felt the tips of his ears flush. Yes, he decided, there was a great deal more she could do for him...and he for her. If she let him. But his voice remained pleasantly professional as he replied, "No, Doctor, and now I must return to the bridge."
And he left.
He tried to be as unobvious as possible, but he watched Christine from a safe distance anytime he saw her after that, with a view to establishing some kind of work friendship. One step at a time seemed the logical progression. He noted that she and Uhura had almost instantly re-formed their close bond, and the other officers who had known her before were quick to re-establish a connection as well. She also had several new male admirers, it seemed, including Lt. Riley and Lt. Dillon.
Spock knew this because he had seen the interaction. Oh, he was not quite ready yet to attend the new "karaoke evening" Lt. Riley held in the rec room each week, but he had watched the event on his monitor in his quarters once he had learned Christine had been persuaded by her friends to perform.
Her choices of songs were of the old-fashioned Terran country and western variety, and he had been taken with her performance, even on the screen. Her stage presence was exceptionally professional, her voice strong and sure. But her offerings had been decidedly ... strange, lyrics-wise. One song had told of the main character soaking herself in kerosene, which seemed odd, since kerosene was not only flammable, it was an irritant. The other was equally as illogical. It celebrated the Terran day of independence by telling the story of how a woman had killed her inebriated mate by setting their home on fire, while the daughter had enjoyed a day at a local festival. Most illogical. But somehow, when she had sung them, he did not even mind the inanity of the words. He planned to attend the next event, but wondered how he could do so unobtrusively.
As it turned out, the matter was taken care of quite easily. Cmdr. Uhura had approached him in the rec room the next day. "There you are, Mr. Spock," she said pleasantly. "I have a favor to ask of you. There's going to be an acoustic coffeehouse in the rec room next week -- all the songs have to be acoustically accompanied, no karaoke. Kind of nice. Anyway, I would like to sing 'Beyond Antares' and I wondered if you still had your Vulcan harp ... and might do me the honor of accompanying me?"
And he had unhesitatingly replied, " Of course, Commander, it is I who am honored."
Word had gotten around, naturally. "So you're going to grace us with a performance this Friday, huh? I'll be sure to be there," Jim had said over their usual chess game.
Spock had looked at his friend, prepared to give a logical reply. "I am merely accompanying Cmdr. Uhura, so I am not truly performing," he began, then suddenly decided to change gears. Goodness knows he needed the practice. "But it will be enjoyable to play once more."
And it had been. He and Uhura were the second act of the evening, so it was easy to sit back down with Kirk and Scott afterwards to watch the other performances. Spock bided his time, waiting. He knew she would be on stage soon.
"And now," Lt. Riley said, "here's our own Doc Chris on the guitar. Knock em' dead, baby!"
Spock decided he did not like the familiarity Kevin Riley showed Christine. He was even more incensed when Lt. Dillon spoke up from the table behind them. He had obviously been talking to his companions, but Spock heard the innuendo clearly.
"Tonight's the night, boys," he said.
"You sure, Tex?" one voice asked. "After all -- she's hardly even noticed you exist."
"I'm sure. The Doc and I are gonna have a little physical examination..."
But the conversation had stopped as Christine sat down on the stage. She smiled at the audience.
"OK, here's something a little different to my usual offerings, but I think you'll like it just the same."
Her voice was soulful, emotional, even raw, as she began to sing ... and Spock's heart opened to the experience.
"I would dial the numbers just to listen to your breath ... and I would stand inside my hell and hold the hand of death..."
He sat, stunned. This was no country ballad. This was a song about unrequited love. Was she singing about Roger Korby? Someone she had met during their time apart? Surely not Lt. Dillon -- or Kevin Riley? His hands began to sweat. Vulcans didn't sweat. What was going on here?
He forced himself back to the present moment and continued to listen. The words were haunting, sad ... and beautiful.
"Nothing fills the blackness that has seeped into my chest ... I need you in my blood, I have forsaken all the rest ... just to reach you, just to reach you..."
Spock realized in a heartbeat that she had looked him right in the eye before she continued. This time, his entire face turned green with warmth, and a long-forgotten sensation had started a bit further south.
"Come to my window ... crawl inside, wait by the light of the moon ... come to my window ... I'll be home soon..."
The song ended and everyone applauded. Christine had stopped the show
Spock realized he had better do something, and quickly, or else he might lose the chance to win her back that he had so desperately wanted. Desperate, he frantically tried to think of something to do. Anything.
At that moment, the lights had fizzled, then popped and a loud bang was heard. A strong electrical smell quickly permeated the rec room. Lt. Riley's voice could be heard, swearing lustily, as the audience rapidly left the facility. Thankfully, there was no fire, but there were enough problems as it was.
Scotty had grabbed him. "C'mon, Spock, we've got work to do. I told the lad not to overload the circuits like that! We'll be here nigh all night, by the looks of things."
Spock had moved forward to assist, then had been rather smugly pleased to hear Scotty bark, "Dillon! Riley! To the circuit room, on the double. If we have to work all night, you can bet you'll be working with us ... and tomorrow too. Get going then!"
As he hurried towards the stage, Spock noticed Christine standing with McCoy and Uhura. She was packing away her guitar, a bemused expression on her face. He stopped and greeted the three of them, then turned to Christine.
"You certainly brought the house down, Doctor," he had said, almost before he realized it. "A truly noteworthy performance. I hope to hear you sing again someday in the near future." And then he moved on.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Lt. Dillon headed out the door with Riley, en route to a long night of re-wiring. In his mind, Spock's hand held an imaginary gauntlet. Which he proceeded to throw down smartly.
* * *
Christine let herself into their quarters as quietly as she could. It had been a pleasant evening, of yoga and girl talk, but she was still tired from the day's events. The room was dark except for the ever-present flame pot.
No reply. He was probably out for the count.
She made her way over to the living quarters and switched on the lamp so she could see enough to put away the delicious leftovers Lt. Singh had packed up for her. "Your betrothed should enjoy these," she had said with a knowing smile, "for they are hot and spicy, as the dishes are on Vulcan, from what I have heard."
Christine had a quick shower and changed into her flannel pajamas, the ones with pink cats and martinis on them. Spock had never mentioned them, but he always held her a little more closely when she wore these -- he must like the warmth of the flannel, she decided.
As she came out of the bathroom, her eyes finally saw the vase of flowers. They were exquisitely beautiful, and their subtle, sensual fragrance seemed to fill the room. She recognized them immediately for what they were -- the Moon Lily, native to Hy-Ox 12. Spock must have brought them up from the planet in that sample box he'd had.
She thought a moment. Moons? Could he have remembered that crazy night, all those months ago? Had he noticed she had looked directly at him during the song she sang, during a particularly meaningful verse? Could he have picked up that subtle of a hint?
No, she decided. He did not even know I existed back then.
She stifled a yawn then climbed into their bed and draped herself around his sleeping form.
*Yes I did, T'hyla,* she could have sworn she heard him say as she was drifting into sleep.
And the karaoke songs are "Kerosene" and "Independence Day." I'm a c/w fan, I fear.