Shanghaied by Djinn

The forest stretched on clear to the horizon--a horizon that wasn't very far away since it was such a tiny moon. Chapel glanced at Spock, wondering what he was thinking as he looked out over the vista.

"Nice place for a vacation," she murmured.

"We are not on a vacation, Doctor."

"No kidding?" She looked back at the place where the raiders had dumped them. Alone. Together. On a deserted moon with no shuttle and no equipment. Dependent on each other for survival.

A week ago, it would have been one of her fantasies.

Now, after a week with Spock on Risa working out his Pon Farr issues, it was a nightmare. Why had she said, "If you ever need me"? And why had he taken her up on that offer? She was, frankly, pretty darned sick of his company. Pon Farr was great, if you wanted a quick dose of intense aerobic activity, or liked to live dangerously playing damsel in a savage, Vulcan he-man story. But for the one not overcome with blood fever, it pretty much stank as experiences went. There was no romance. There was no conversation. There was nothing but sex. Over and over. And not particularly good sex, either.

They'd spent five days screwing and a day recovering--and generally avoiding each other. Now, it would be God only knew how long before anyone found them. This little piece of real estate was a nature preserve--much to the annoyance of settlers who wanted a nice, green world to settle on instead of a dusty, terraformed planet.

"We have no water," she said. Fortunately, since it was a green world, there had to be water somewhere, although they might have to dig for it.

"I am aware of that."

"Or food." Prepared, anyway. She could hear the song of some kind of creature, probably a bird since it sounded high up. And the vegetation might be edible, not that they had tricorders to check. Maybe she could feed the stuff to Spock and, if he didn't keel over, she'd try some.

"I am aware of that, too."

"Or--"

"I do not believe an inventory of what we lack is helpful at this time, Doctor."

He'd called her Christine in the throes of the blood fever, but as soon as it had subsided, he'd gone back to using titles. Naked and sweaty and half on top of her, he'd been calling her "doctor." It had been annoying. And it had hurt.

"Just making conversation," she said.

"Quiet would be preferable."

She held up her hands. "Sorry." She waited as he stared out some more at the horizon. "Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why is quiet preferable? Are you solving Keranion's Unknown while you wait for divine inspiration? Or whatever it is you're doing just standing there staring out into space?"

"Keranion's Unknown has no solution. If it did, it would not be--"

"Unknown. Yeah, I get it." She sighed. "Shouldn't we find shelter or something?" And why was she having to be action girl? He was the ranking officer. And the goddamned genius.

He turned, but she thought it was more to get the hell away from her than it was to actually do anything useful. He started down the path that would take them lower into the trees.

She didn't follow. "You know, I think I'll stay right here."

She saw him stop; he even clenched his fists. The blood fever was barely over. It might not be safe to push him. Then again, he'd made it clear as soon as he was done having sex with her, that he didn't want to touch her--or even look at her--if possible. So what was he going to do? Stalk over and haul her up and make her come with him? Right.

He stalked over, hauled her up, and dragged her after him. His face betrayed no emotion, but his grip on her was a little tighter than was strictly necessary.

"Ow."

He ignored her.

She jerked back, trying to unlock Vulcan fingers that had apparently turned to durasteel. "Owwwwww."

He finally looked at her, and for a second she thought she saw something in his eyes--something...hurt. Then he let go of her. "We will stay together."

"Fine, Spock, we'll stay together. Lord knows I haven't spent enough time with you, lately."

"Yes, you made that clear on Risa."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Were my words not simple enough for you?"

"I guess not, or I wouldn't have asked."

He didn't reply, just walked on.

"You were the one who couldn't wait to be rid of me," she said.

"Yes, that is why I stayed in bed with you."

"You didn't stay in bed with me. You fell asleep in the bed that I was in. You didn't care that I was in it."

"You do not know what I cared about."

She laughed, and she could hear how bitter it was. "Maybe not, but I know what you didn't care about. And that's me." She looked down. Why had she said that? Did she need to make herself any more pathetic than she already was?

"And you are the definition of caring, Christine?"

She was about to reply when she realized what he'd called her. He looked over at her, his mouth set in what, for him, was an angry line.

"What did I do?" She stopped walking, stared at him. "I saved your life, mister. Put my body--and my heart, not that you cared--on the line. How is that not caring?"

He made a sound she wouldn't have thought he could make. A small sniff, scornful, and the kind of angry that only goes with hurt. But she had to be reading into that, had to be trying to humanize Spock. Trying to make him into some kind of normal guy.

He'd never be normal. And she was too normal. Or something.

"Fine, Spock. I'm the bad guy here." She pushed past him, hurrying down the hill.

"You will slip if you go too quickly."

"Will not."

"I will not carry you if you injure yourself."

She turned so she was walking backwards, which was stupid, but she was angry enough to pull it off. "You wouldn't carry me even if you injured me."

"Did I?"

"Did you what?" The tiny rocks on the path slid, and she nearly lost her footing. She stopped walking.

"Did I injure you during the Pon Farr?" He looked sincerely concerned.

"No."

"Ah. I just bored you."

"Bored?"

He nodded, this time pushing past her so he was in the lead again.

"You care that you bored me?"

"I was correct, then? I did bore you?"

"Put yourself in my position, Spock. It wasn't much fun."

He walked faster.

"I thought we were staying together?"

"I would not want to impose my company on you, Doctor."

"Back to titles are we?"

"We should never have abandoned them."

"I second that." But she felt a lump in her throat, and had the urge to cry. She'd had that urge since Spock had pulled her down into his arms, eyes full of lust. She'd lifted her face to him, waited for his kiss--a kiss that never came. Five days of screwing and not one damned kiss. And she knew Vulcans kissed. Or he did, anyway. She'd seen him with Leila Kalomi on that spore-ridden planet. She'd heard about Zarabeth when McCoy had gotten really drunk one night and told her about his wacky adventures with Spock in the ice age.

Spock kissed. He just didn't want to kiss her.

They walked in silence for a long time. Then she noticed he seemed to be slowing, until she drew even with him on the trail. He did not look at her, did not even seem to be paying attention to where he was putting her feet.

But when she slipped a little, and slid on the loose rocks again, he reached out, his hand moving like a flash, steadying her. Then he let go of her just as fast.

"Thanks."

He nodded.

"Because you wouldn't want to have to carry me."

"I said I would not carry you." He didn't sound bitchy, anymore. He sounded a little morose.

"Right. I remember." She sighed and walked on, trying not to slip so he wouldn't feel compelled to help her.

Then he slipped, and her hand was out before she even knew she wanted to reach for him. At his murmured, "Thank you," she let go of him.

"No big deal."

"And you could not carry me," he said softly.

"Whether I wanted to or not?"

He didn't answer. But a moment later, he said, "There is a water source ahead." He sounded as if he was giving her the stream--or whatever he heard with his pretty Vulcan ears--as a gift.

"Great."

"You are not thirsty?"

"I am." She sighed.

"Then it is good news."

"Great news. Yippee."

He stalked away.

She rushed after him, grabbing his arm, trying to turn him to face her. He didn't budge.

She let go of him and watched him move steadily away from her. "Damn it, Spock. What do you want from me?"

He did not answer, did his best "Woman? What woman? I see no woman" routine.

"Damn you," she said under her breath. He could probably still hear her, not that he'd let on.

She sat down for a minute on the path, not willing to follow him one more step. Crossing her arms and closing her eyes, she tried to imagine she was anywhere but here, with anyone but him. She tried to invoke soothing images, and happy places.

"Christine?"

She opened her eyes.

He was standing at the bottom of the path, looking up at her. "It will be dark soon. We must stay together."

"Logic dictates that?"

"Logic. Yes."

She got up, brushing off her pants. "Fine. For logic's sake."

He waited for her, then walked at her side. "I believe they will look for us tomorrow."

"So we can get off this rock?"

"Yes."

"Good."

"I thought you would find that agreeable." Then he held his hand out, opening his fingers to show her some berries.

"For me?"

"Yes."

"They're poisonous, aren't they?"

"No."

"Did you try them?" She made herself sound hopeful.

"They are Radissian berries. They are safe for both of us."

She took one, popped it into her mouth. Safe and tasty. "Thanks."

"There are more up ahead. Also some greens we can eat." At her look, he said, "This is hardly unexplored space, Christine. I have an excellent memory for what was taught in survival class."

"I suppose you do." She took another berry. "Why are you calling me Christine?"

"It is your name."

"It wasn't a few days ago. When you were done with me." She gave him a sour look. Wanted to convey anger, not hurt.

"It seemed easier. And you did not appear to want me."

"Again, I'm the bad guy." She saw a stream up ahead, plopped down next to it. "No toxic substances, Mister Survivalist?"

"No. It is safe to drink." He took a deep breath before settling down next to her.

She moved away, putting some space between them.

He took another deep breath.

She leaned down, cupping the water and bringing it to her lips. It was cold, tasted clean and pure. "You're not thirsty?"

"No."

She moved away from him a bit more, and they sat quietly, watching the forest turn dark around them. The temperature, which hadn't been that warm, began to drop.

He gathered up moss and leaves, making a nest. A nest big enough for two.

"I'm not cold," she said.

He looked over at her, and she could not read his expression in the faltering light. "I am," he said so softly she could barely hear him.

"Too bad."

"Christine." His voice held something she wasn't sure how to identify. But it touched her, more than she wanted it to.

"Fine." She crawled over to his nest, letting him burrow under the leaves before joining him, her back to him. She knew this was sound--logic would dictate sharing body heat this way. But she didn't want to lie next to him. She didn't ever want to lie next to him again.

He reached over, his hand resting on her hip, as if reassuring himself she was there. But it was ludicrous to think that was his motive. He didn't care where she was. She sniffed back tears, wanting to bolt out from under the leaves, to get far away from him. He moved his hand, began to pull her closer to him.

"Don't."

He let go of her immediately.

"Isn't it over. I thought it was over." A tear ran down her face. It had to be over. She couldn't take any more sex with him. Sex that meant nothing. Sex that held no love, no tenderness.

"Do you want it to be over?"

"God, yes."

"Then it is over."

"And good riddance, right?" When he did not answer, she laughed, but the laugh turned into a sob. "Sayonara, sweetheart. Oh, wait. I'm not that to you."

"Would being that to me please you?"

"No. No, it wouldn't. I'd rather die than be that." She pushed up, ready to run. Not caring that she couldn't see, or that there was nowhere to go. She pushed at the leaves, couldn't get out.

Then she realized he was holding her with a grip that made his earlier one seem gentle.

"Let go of me."

When he didn't, she turned, hitting at him. He didn't try to stop her. Just held onto her arm. She knew she was crying, didn't even try to stop the tears.

"Would it have killed you to kiss me? Even just once?" She felt her fist connect with his flesh, heard him grunt, but he didn't let go.

She stopped fighting, just lay, only half covered with leaves now, his hand tightening on her, as if he expected her to try something. But she didn't try anything, just stayed still, catching her breath as sobs took her, her tears drying as she made herself calm down.

He didn't say anything, and his hand didn't let up. Then he began to draw her toward him.

"Don't," she said again.

This time he didn't stop. He pulled her until she was lying close to him, her chest to his, her groin to his. They fit--that was the sad thing, the thing she'd noticed during those five days. They fit so well together. Only she didn't know if their lips did. The only time he'd ever kissed her had been on Platonius. A forced kiss. Nothing sweet in it. Just quiet desperation. The need to protect her, she thought. Why had he wanted to protect her from them and not from himself? She took a deep, ragged breath.

He finally let go of her, and when he took a breath, it wasn't even sounding, either.

"I thought I was over you," she said. "When you went away to Gol and left us all behind." Her voice sounded distant, even to herself, as if it was on some other planet.

"You seemed...happy to see me when I returned to the ship."

"Pavlovian reaction." She buried her face in his chest, breathing deeply. His smell. It was burned into her. She'd recognize his spicy musk for the rest of her life, be able to find him in the dark, and if she couldn't, her body would. Her body was already relaxing against him, as if her groin and breasts were working without her.

He pushed against her, as if his groin was on its own, too. She head him moan softly.

"In that bag that you never gave me a chance to unpack, I had pretty nightgowns. You didn't care."

"No. In that state, with you there, I did not care about your pretty nightgowns."

"They're not mine, anymore. Some raider's woman will be wearing them tonight."

"I should have checked the cargo hold before we departed. Had I checked, we would have found the raiders before we took off." He sighed, the sound scarily human--normal. "I was...distracted."

"By what?"

When he didn't answer, she said, "They still might have taken us. Even if you'd found them." Then she laughed, the sound low and so bitter it scared her. "Or maybe they would have taken me hostage. Then you wouldn't have had to even think." She laughed, the sound less bitter, more hysterical. "Please. Take her. I'll pay you to."

"I would not have said that."

"You never know. You might have."

He grabbed her, his hand on the back of her head, pulling her close, until her mouth was next to his. She could feel his lips moving against hers as he said, "I was distracted by you."

"No, you weren't." She tried to pull away; it was like trying to escape a tractor beam.

"I was distracted by the knowledge that I had not pleased you. At all."

"You didn't want to please me. That was never about pleasing me. At all." She spit his words back at him. Then, because her mouth seemed to be following her groin's led, she asked, "Who were you thinking of when you were inside me? Who did you pretend I was?" Her mouth moved against his like a harsh kiss.

His lips returned the touch as he said, "I did not pretend you were anyone. I did, however, pretend you wanted me."

"You think I didn't?"

"Yes. I think that."

She put her hands on his chest, trying to push away, but he would not release her. His grip on her neck was starting to hurt, his breath on her lips seemed too hot, too intimate.

"I hate you."

He did not let go.

"I wanted you, you bastard. I wanted you and you didn't want me. You fucked me for five days and never once wanted me. I love you and--" Oh, God. Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God--why the hell had she said that?

His hold on her only got tighter, as he pulled her the miniscule distance it took to turn their almost kiss into a real one. She struggled, tried not to open her mouth to him, tried not to moan as his tongue met hers. Damn her tongue, damn her lips, damn her traitorous body that should have known better than to give in to him again.

But she was giving in. He was pulling her clothes off and she was tugging his off, too. And he was inside her, and she was wrapping her legs around him. And he never broke the kiss, even as he rolled to his back, pulling her with him so she was stretched out on top of him, his arms coming around her in a way they never had during those five empty days.

She tried to ride him, but he held her still on top of him, and his hand found her, rubbing her gently, then not so gently. Pleasing her. Pleasing her so much she began to writhe on top of him. As she came, his kiss became less frenzied, more tender. He finally let her pull away, and she heard him whisper, "Christine," as he rolled again so he was on top of her.

She held him, trying to pull him in deeper, and he groaned, then began to move. Her body didn't seem to be tired of him, didn't seem to mind at all the familiar beat of him taking possession of her. And just when she thought they were reliving the past, he found her lips again, his kiss hard and firm. She moaned, and he pulled away, his fingers on her cheeks, stroking gently.

"Christine," he said again, kissing her face, then moving down to her neck.

"I'm finally here."

"You were with me then, too."

"No. No I wasn't. You didn't let me be." And she started to cry, then felt him kissing her tears away. "You didn't want me to be."

He started to thrust hard. "You...clearly...have no idea...what I wanted." He finished, holding her close, his lips on hers just barely. "I wanted you."

"Then why...?" He was kissing her again, and it was hard to talk. "Why didn't you kiss me?"

"When I came to you on the ship to tell you I needed you, you acted as though you were under an obligation to help me. You did not act as if you wanted to be with me."

"I did want that. But you were so cold when you asked."

"I--I did not know what your reaction would be. I did not know if you were involved with anyone on the ship."

She laughed, the sound not quite as harsh as before. "When am I ever?"

He didn't answer, was, perhaps, too busy kissing her neck. Then he whispered, "And when we arrived on Risa, you seemed so tense." His breath on her ear made her shiver.

"I was nervous. I've wanted you for how many years, and we were finally going to do it."

"And it was not good."

"It wasn't." She pulled him down to her, kissed him hard.

He didn't try to get away, just kissed her back even harder. They kissed for a long time, as if they could burn away all the coldness that had been between them.

"You are shaking," he said softly, and she realized she was trembling.

Tired, she was so damned tired. She burrowed against him, felt him tighten his hold on her.

"Sleep. I will not let anything hurt you."

"Not even you?"

"Not even that." He kissed her gently. "Sleep."

"You sleep, too. You're more tired than you know, Spock. I took a reading before we got on the shuttle."

"You took a reading?" He sounded pleased.

"Yes. I'm a doctor. I was worried."

"Ah." He kissed her again. "You were concerned for me?"

"Yes."

"When you were asleep, I took a reading of you. To make sure I had not hurt you." He stroked her hair.

"You had hurt me, only a tricorder couldn't have told you that."

"It was never my intention to hurt you. I wanted to talk to you before the fever started, but the Pon Farr took me so quickly. I was afraid that if I did not restrain myself on the shuttle to Risa, I would take you right there." He sighed. "I wanted to make things right between us before we began. But all I could sense was a great chasm growing."

"I wanted you to kiss me."

"I did not realize. And the part of me that was slave to the Pon Farr did not care. It only wanted to own you." He shifted, and she followed him, getting comfortable as he brushed more leaves over her. "Next time it will not be that way. Next time we will know what the other likes. And wants." He kissed her. "And needs."

"Next time?"

He exhaled softly. She supposed it was his version of a laugh.

"You think we'll be together in seven years?"

He reached down, his hand rubbing gently, causing her to moan. He did it again, and again. Until her moan turned into a cry of pleasure.

"You had a question, Doctor?" he asked softly.

"I did?"

Again the soft exhalation.

"Never mind," she said, and fell asleep with her lips on his.

FIN