This story is based on a DeviantArt "100 themes" challenge, adopted for fanfic. Rated Mature for theme and language. Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek or anything to do with it. This is not for profit or gain.

#43: Broken Pieces

I've just awakened from another of the nightmares when I hear his voice.

"Doctor McCoy?"

I close my eyes as pain washes over me. My body still hurts, but those aches are
nothing compared to the fresh hell of my thoughts.

"Doctor McCoy!" his voice is louder, insistent. It won't be long now.

Hurried footsteps. "Spock..." Leonard hesitates.

"Doctor, explain why I am in sickbay and restrained," Spock says. His voice
seems calm, but I've known him too long not to hear the edge in it. "How long
have I been here?"

My body chooses this moment to inform me I need to go to the toilet. I don't
want to go, don't want to leave the warmth of my bed. Especially since I'll
have to walk past the door and he'll see me. I don't want him to see me. I
don't want to see him.

"Take it easy, Spock," Leonard says, using his best bedside manner tone. But
Spock has never been one to be soothed so fast.

"Doctor, please answer my questions."

"Spock, you really need to rest--"

"Doctor, I do not wish to rest. I wish to know--"

"Before we all talk about this--"

"Why do I have no memory of the past two days?" There it is. Fear. He'd deny it
with his dying breath, but it's there. Loss of memory, loss of control...
upsetting for a Human, terrifying for a Vulcan.

"Spock, please."

I realize I can't wait any longer. I could ask for a bedpan: I could get one
myself. But that would mean I'm too weak, too scared to go to the bathroom.
I'm not going to let that happen. Not going to let it win. So I rise and start
slowly across the room. As much as he's arguing with Leonard, he probably won't
even notice me. He never notices me.

I've gone seven steps when I realize I made a mistake. His head whips around
like a yo-yo on a string, his eyes seeking mine. I don't want to look, can't
bear to look, but I can't help it. They draw me in. God help me, even now they
draw me in.

"Miss Chapel?"

I feel a wave of dizziness, struggle to stand steady. I close my eyes for a

"Christine!" Leonard says. I can hear the fear is his voice a lot easier than I
can Spock's. But Leonard is Human, very Human. Just like me. "You should be in

"I... need the bathroom," I whisper.

I open my eyes as he hurries over to me, casting a glance over his shoulder at
Spock. "Let me help you," he says gently.

"Miss Chapel? Are you injured?"

I look at him, at the traces of curiosity and concern etched on his face. He's
still looking at me, like he's seeing me for the first time and is confused by
what he finds. Of course he is. Love is not a language on Vulcan. It's a
heresy. What would Spock know about being a heretic? He's Vulcan all the way
from his pointed ears to his misplaced heart. Except for the eyes...

"She's fine, Spock," Leonard says, but he gives himself away with the
nervousness. Gives me away.

Those beautiful eyes burn into mine. "I do not believe so," he says. A light
dawns in his gaze: a sickening, painfully insightful light. "Am I somehow
responsible for whatever is wrong?"

I start to tremble. I can't help it, can't stop it.

"Spock, that's enough!" Leonard snaps.

But nothing short of the end of the universe will stop him now. "Am I?" he

My eyes burn with tears. I must not cry. I must not cry...

Seeing that Leonard will give him no answers, he turns the full force of his
attention back to me. "Miss Chapel?" he asks. I can't move, can't speak. I'm
paralyzed by the weight of my pain, his pain.

"Spock! Shut up and rest or so help me--" Leonard warns.

And then he does it. I've never seen him beg, never seen him plead for anything.
But I see it now. And he pulls the card, he plays the dirty trick: the thing
that always, always makes me want to say anything, do anything for him. The one
that causes pleasure and pain in equal measure.


At the sound of my name from his lips, the thread breaks. Tears run in rivers
down my face and I begin to cry.

Through the haze, I see him. He looks... terrified, for a Vulcan. And now
there will be no doubt in his mind that his condition--my condition--are tied
together. He doesn't remember being the originator, but he has proof he is the

Leonard turns to bring a blazing blue gaze on Spock, and even through my tears I
can tell he is about to become the sound and the fury.

"Damn it, Spock! One more word out of you and I swear by all that's holy I will
sedate you until spring! Christine needs rest, and you need rest, and nothing
that happened is going to be discussed until both of you are able! So I am

Spock shrinks a little on the bed. Fear makes him look younger, vulnerable. He
swallows hard, looks from Leonard to me, but he is silent. My tears dry and my
sobs fade.

Leonard nods in satisfaction, but takes no joy from Spock's obedience. "Come
on, Christine," he says gently, pulling me carefully along.

I follow numbly, painfully aware of Spock's entreating gaze. I know what he'll
do when he finds out. And he will: it can't be kept from him. And his memories
will probably return soon. He'll feel ashamed, guilty. He'll feel it's his duty
to put things right. Will I feel that I should let him? I don't know. I didn't
ask for it any more than he did. But that doesn't change anything.

Part of me wishes I could help him. Part of me knows I can't. Too much is
broken right now: my body, his body, his mind, my heart. Maybe later we can put
the pieces back where they belong: make them fit together. Some way.

#9: Memory

I am finally back in my quarters. Doctor McCoy released me three point seven
hours ago, warning me as I left to stay away from... I do not even know what I
should call her now. Can I call her "Miss Chapel" after what I have done? Yet
how can I call her "Christine" in light of it? I could simply call her "nurse."
But that would be an insult to her. She does not deserve to be insulted. Or
anything else, by my hand.

After Dr. McCoy took her away, I attempted to meditate: to try and remember what
I had forgotten. However, my mind was in disarray and I was too... unsettled to
be successful. I watched silently as he took her back: my eyes asking what my
voice had been forbidden to. She looked at me, then looked away. But not
before I saw the look on her face. It was the look of a wounded animal. A look
that is burned into my mind even now. A look I can never forget.

It did not take long for my memories to return. My mind is, of course, highly
evolved. Yet for one of the few times in my life, I had cause to wish it was
not. Because then it was, as Humans say, all too clear. So sharp that, had it
been tangible, I would have bled. I think I am bleeding regardless.

Because I saw it all, then. As I lay in sickbay, restrained and agitated, the
memories came back: first in a whisper, then a roar so loud I felt deafened.
And no amount of Vulcan discipline could stop them.

I saw myself in my quarters, frantic, half-mad from the fever I had been hiding
for the past few days. Remembered how I had realized something had to be done.
The fear. We were nowhere near Vulcan: nowhere near another ship. It should
not have been my time! But after... the other, perhaps no one could say when my
time should have been. I only knew that it had returned, and I had to prepare
myself for death. It was the only honorable thing to do.

But the instincts of my ancestors, the ancient drives, did not intend to allow
me to make that choice. And the voice, the savage voice that refused to let me
rest: the voice that whispered: "there is no logic in losing your life. Not
when there is someone willing to save you, someone you can trust."

I tried: Surak help me, I tried to ignore that voice. It would have been
unethical. Manipulative. Unfair. And as I argued with myself, desire battling
reason, my body acted of its own accord. Even now I do not remember pressing the
button: asking her to come to my quarters. But I did. I did.

Because I remember what happened afterwards all too well. Pulling her hard
against me, pinning her against the wall with my body, my mouth on hers full of
frustration and heat. She could have screamed and fought me, for all the good
it would have done her. It was too late at that point for me to stop myself.
With her cinnamon lips and spun copper hair, and those eyes the color of a
summer Earth sky... I was lost. There was nothing in me that could resist. But
she did not fight. She welcomed me with her body and mind as she has always
welcomed me with her heart.

I do not know for certain how much she knew. However, I believe she knew...
enough. And in that moment, I did not care. I took her like an animal in heat,
with no gentleness, no tenderness. It is little wonder she looks wounded.

I cannot fault her for her response. There is no way she would have allowed me
to die if she could prevent it. And I knew that. In my madness, that thought
was clear. And I took advantage of that knowledge, even though I was not in
control of myself at the time.

It is a delicate argument. A "slippery slope," to use another Human phrase. I
believe I am still experiencing residual effects. Including heightened
emotions. Why else would I be thinking in Human phrases?

I am ashamed. And guilt presses heavy in my mind. I have a responsibility to
make sure she suffered no permanent damage. And I must talk to her. I must
explain to her what it means, what we have done. I do not know how she will
react. I do not know what her thoughts will be. I do not even yet understand
my own.

I do not find fault with her. Granted, she is quite emotional: but she is human.
She is a scientist, a biological researcher as well as a nurse. She is highly
intelligent, resourceful and thrives on learning. In this, we are in full
accord. Surely there is a way to resolve this. And there is, of course, the
matter of her love for me. Can that love, once perceived by me as a liability
to her, now become an asset?

Enough! There are too many unknown factors now. I am giving her some time, for
her sake. Then I will go to her, regardless of Dr. McCoy's threat. I know he
spoke in anger and likely has no intentions of carrying it out. Even if he
would, it is a risk I must take.

I kneel and focus on my meditation flame. But it is not meditation that fills
my mind. It is the past, the present and the future. The uncertainty. And the

#12: Silence

In my quarters, there is silence.

Nothing and no one to bother me. No whispers of concern from Leonard, no
hesitant questions from the captain. No words of comfort from Nyota, no muffled
laughter from crew members who saw me being helped out of Spock's cabin looking
like death warmed over in a toaster oven. There is the hum of the ship, interspersed with my sighs and sobs. It should have been blissful, soothing.

But even silence will be heard.

I still remember Leonard's words, the conversation after. "You could press
charges, you know."

No. "It was my choice."

"You didn't know what you were getting into. He didn't just... he attacked
you." There was anger is his voice, anger and fear. I knew he was torn between
his friendship with Spock and his friendship with me. He didn't really want me
to press charges... but neither did he want to let Spock off the hook.

"Doctor McCoy is right, Miss Chapel," the captain added quietly. "You have
stated this was consensual, so it isn't a question of sexual assault. But he did
commit battery.... and whatever else you might not be telling us."

His tone was kind, sympathetic... and afraid. Just like Leonard's. I held
Spock's future in my hands, didn't I? If I were to file a formal complaint, that
would be it. Spock would offer no defense. And his career--his life as it
was--would be over.

I had all the power in the world in that moment. I could have done all kinds of
things. I could have struck out at Spock, hurt him just as I'd been hurt over
him. I could have made demands: money, promotion.... they would've done
anything within their power to protect him, wouldn't they? Did the captain
really care what Spock had done to me? Or did he just care about what I could do
to Spock?


He startled me by using my name. He'd done that even less than Spock had.

"Mister Spock is my friend. But don't think for a minute that I condone what
happened. You were violated and hurt, and you have every right to be angry. If
you want to file a grievance, I assure you, both Dr. McCoy and I will
understand. And there will be no anger towards you."


"No buts. Spock is my friend. But I am the captain."

He meant it, too. I could see it in his eyes. Funny, I'd never noticed before
how expressive they were. Right now they were bright with the depth of his
feelings. But I'd never spent much time looking at James Kirk, had I? Another
pair of eyes held me. Now and always.

In the end, I said what I knew deep down I would say all along. I wasn't going
to take advantage of the situation. I didn't want revenge. I just wanted to be

"I don't want to press any charges, captain. But I would like a few days off
to... rest."

"Of course, Chris," Leonard said soothingly. "I was gonna do that regardless.
But... are you sure about this?"

"I'm sure. Now, if you'll please excuse me..."

And I slipped out the door. Down the hall. Into my cabin. Into silence.

But now I hear other things. I hear Spock's hoarse cries, my moans, the harsh
hissing of his breath as he thrust into me over and over. My sounds of pain
from being grabbed too hard, held too tightly, touched and bitten too roughly.
And near the end, before he passed out from exhaustion, as I struggled to get to
the intercom to call Leonard; the sound of his voice, a tender whisper,
peaceful, reverent. Almost a sound of love.


Tears burn my eyes again.

Silence will be heard.

#5: Seeking Solace

It has come to this.

After all the thought, all the meditation. Meditation did me no good. Logic
does me no good. Not this time. I went to Jim, afraid that he might not want
to see me: might not ever want to see me again. But once again I underestimated
a Human. He is still my friend.

He is, of course, upset over what happened. As am I, though it is easier to let
him say it and nod in agreement than for me to say the words. He informed me
that Miss Chapel--Christine--does not intend to press any charges. He was
relieved. I am relieved. But I am also even more ashamed and guilty than
before. I hurt her badly. And I am unsure of how to repair the damage.

She saved my life at the expense of her own well being. I know she is a strong
woman. But a woman in love. A woman whom I...

I do not know. I do not know *how* I ... feel about her. I respect her. I
appreciate her intelligence, her dedication. In some ways, we are very much the
same. My father, a full Vulcan, adapted to being with a Human woman. It is not
inconceivable that I could do the same. But is that what I want? Is it what
*she* would want?

I realize that I am currently more emotional than usual. I recognize that I am
indebted to her. I owe her my life. But is this something that should be done
simply in repayment? If I cannot make her happy, am I doing her any service to
make an offer of permanence? Yet how do I know that I could not make her happy
unless I try? Or myself, for that matter? Yes, she is Human. But she was Human
when I desired her in pon farr.

Those few who know of the pon farr that are not Vulcan run rampant with
assumptions and assertions. Yes, it is a drive to seek a mate and mate or die.
But it is not a simple case of "any port in the storm," as Dr. McCoy might say.
If a male is unbonded but has a rapport with a female, he will be drawn to her.
It is she that he will burn for before any other. He...


Have I had a rapport all this time with Christine? I knew she would not reject
me, knew she loves me. But is there more? Was I drawn to her not just because
of her love, but because of who she is? I have not been as... indifferent to her
as I would have had her think. But is it enough? Can it be more?

I must meditate again.

There! There is my answer. So simple. Why did I not see it before? Except
that, perhaps, I did not want to. Was afraid to. I still am afraid. It is a
tenuous thread that could break. Or it could become stronger. I do not know.
Christine is the only one who knows that.

What I do know is that no amount of firepots and mantras of logic will help her,
or me, right now. It is not logic that is needed. It is forgiveness. And
emotion. I must never let Dr. McCoy know that thought. I would not hear the
end of it.

I locate her quarters in the ships' roster and leave. As the door closes behind
me, I see Jim going to his cabin.

"Spock," he greets me. "Where are you off to?"

I almost smile. "To see Christine."

He blinks: whether at his statement or my use of her name I am uncertain.
Probably both.

"Spock... do you think that's a good idea?" Jim asks slowly.

I nod. "Yes, I do. I do not intend to hurt her further. Please trust me."

He studies me. "I do, Spock."

"Thank you."

I turn and head down the corridor. What I wanted to say, but could not, was
that I am going to try to make things right. To ask forgiveness. To seek
solace. I do not know if any of those things will be attainable. But I will
try. And... hope.

#49: Heal

The buzzer sounds like the tolling of a bell.

I don't want to answer it. Who would be here? Maybe Leonard, or Nyota: they
both have been checking on me. But I talked to both of them just an hour ago.
The captain? No... he's going to leave me in peace, I think. The only other
option left is...

The buzzer sounds again.

I don't want to face him. My ears can't stand to hear any Vulcan evasive
platitudes. My heart can't stand to feel them. I'll ignore it. Like he used to
ignore me. Then he'll go away and--

My door slides open.

He steps in. How can he seem hesitant and certain at the same time? But
somehow he pulls it off. He pulls a lot of things off. Except feeling emotion
without shame. He hasn't managed that one yet that I can tell. Or if he has...
I'll never see it.

His eyes widen a fraction as he studies me, eyes taking in my tangled hair,
tear-stained face, dark red robe gathered around me like the petals of a dying
rose. He orders the door to lock under First Officer's authorization, then takes
a few steps towards me.

"What the hell are you doing here?" I ask, anger filling my voice. Anger at
him, for coming here. Anger at myself that under the hurt I love him as much as

He looks down, like a child being scolded by a parent. "I needed to see you," he
says softly.

"And what about me? What if I didn't need to see you?"

"It was a risk I had to take," he says calmly.

My eyes narrow. "You selfish bastard."

He flinches. So. Maybe not as calm as he'd like to appear. But instead of
reprimanding me, or getting defensive, he only nods.

"I understand that you are... angry--" he begins.

"Do you? Do you really, Spock? I doubt it. But why don't you add a few other
emotions to that: hurt, sad, afraid... I bet you don't understand any of those.
So why don't you do both of us a favor and just get out?"

He looks into my eyes. "I cannot," he says. "I must speak with you."

I turn away from him. "I'm not interested in anything you have to say."

"You cannot know that, as I have not spoken yet."

"I don't need for you to!" I snap, standing up. "I don't want to hear any of
your Vulcan bullshit, all right? I don't want any "I'm sorries" or "I ask
forgivenesses," that isn't going to work this time!"


"And neither is that!" I snarl. But for just an instant my heart leaps at
hearing my name from his lips again. I shake my head. No, no! I am done with
this foolishness, done with the pain loving him brings. I can't endure it any
more. I've spent years trying to move a mountain with my bare hands: the
mountain that is Spock. It can't be done. Not by me at least. Time to dust
off my hands and go on.

In five strides he is beside me, standing next to me beside the bed. I shrink
away from him. "Please go!"

He just looks at me. I can't stand this, being so close to him. Why is he
doing it? Doesn't he know how much he's hurting me? How much he already hurt

"How can you be so cruel?" I whisper, fighting back a sob.

His eyes close: he winces as though my words actually affect him. When he looks
at me again, he looks.... haunted, almost. And as for me... why am I not
calling security? Why am I not screaming and demanding he leave? Throwing
things at him? What a shame I have no bowl of soup... that would be poetic

With a quickness I remember from his cabin, he gently presses me down to the
bed, then lies beside me and pulls me into his arms. I lay immobile for a few
seconds, too stunned to move or even speak. Then my paralysis snaps and I try
to pull away. "Let me go!"

He doesn't budge, just keeps looking at me. I struggle harder, futilely, finally
falling back in exhaustion and pain. Then he gently moves me so I'm resting on
his chest, one hand moving up to stroke my matted hair away from my face.

And then I lose it. Everything I've been trying so hard to contain will no
longer be denied. It surges, pushes forward, breaks all the barriers and washes
over and over me as I shake and begin to cry. And it is not quiet, this crying.
It is the howl of a banshee, the keening wail of a lament for the death of the
part of me I lost when he pushed me against the wall in his cabin. I cry as
though my tears must fill an ocean with their salty sorrow. And all this time,
he holds me, strokes my hair, makes no attempt to get up, to escape the
maelstrom of my emotions even though the sheer force of them must be
overwhelming to him.

When my sobs finally subside, I look up at him through my tears. "Why?" is all
I can manage to speak.

He gently wipes my face of the tears. Déjà vu? Only that time I left, body and
mind intact, if not my heart. My heart has not been intact since I fell in love
with him. I tore it in half with my bare hands and offered part of it to him.
He's never accepted it, of course. And I have been standing, waiting, clutching
it, a hopeful fool ever since.


He is silent for a moment more. When he speaks, his tone is quiet, reflective.

"After what happened, I have spent much time thinking. Analyzing, if you will.
About how you must be feeling.... and how I feel."

He couldn't have stunned me more if he'd announced he was running away to join
the intergalactic circus. I start to speak, but he moves his fingers to my
lips, gently runs his thumb over them in a gesture for silence. I go from
stunned to dumbstruck. The feeling of him against me, touching me, is almost
overwhelming. Except it's different from the last time. I'm not afraid now.
Only curious and confused.

"Christine... when a Vulcan male is unbonded and enters his Time, it is... true
that the urge to mate outweighs everything else. But if there is a female he
is... drawn to, that he... feels an affinity with, she will be his first

I turn to face him. I don't breathe. I'm afraid too. Afraid if I do it
will burst some bubble I can't see. "Spock..."

He touches my lips again for silence, a glint of something in those dark eyes,
then continues. "It is true both logically and emotionally. During that mating
time, the bond between the male and female helps shield her mind from the
violence and allows the male to resolve the drive. The physical and mental
consummations are inherent parts of a Vulcan's life. It is our way."

I rise up slightly to look at him, remembering how while my body was ravished,
my mind had felt safe. Until it was over for him and all Hell had broken loose
in my head, that is. "It's a very... primal way," I say carefully, not wanting
to seem insulting but wanting him to understand how a Human experiences it. Or
this Human, anyway.

He nods. "It is an evolutionary response to the normal emotional mastery, to
ensure the survival of the species."

"Well I certainly insured *your* survival," I say, and he looks at me painfully.
Despite everything, my heart squeezes. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean--"

He shakes his head slightly. "It is I who am sorry. It *is* very... primal. I
hurt you physically and emotionally as a result. You have every right to feel as
you do, and more. I know it could not have been easy for you, on any level."

Now it's my turn to shake my head. "No. It wasn't."

He strokes my face again. "Doubtless I have no right to ask you to forgive me,
to tell you how truly sorry I am. But I am going to tell you and ask you
regardless. I *am* sorry. More than any words I have can ever convey."

I nod. "I know, Spock." And I believe him. The virus, the soup, the kiss...
all of those times there has been a tenderness with him, a gentleness. I know
he would never have chosen to hurt me. It doesn't make it ok: doesn't make it
right. But it makes it better.

"Christine." I look at him again, and the expression on his face makes my
insides spin. "When I spoke of that affinity... as I thought, meditated, about
what happened, I realized that there was more to my contacting you than simply
knowing you would help me."

My eyes widen. No. He can't be. Is he saying...

"There was never any question of seeking another woman, despite my rational
mind's attempts to resist contacting you. You were the focus of my... desire. I
wanted you. I wanted no one else. When I finally lost control, I burned for
you. You were the flame. I did not see it before. Perhaps... I did not want
to, was afraid to. Did not want to admit my Vulcan desires were for a Human."

*Breathe, breathe, you have to breathe, Christine...*

"But they are. I know that now. Logically, it is true. And... emotionally, it
is true. I am both sides of that coin: it is not a question of one or the
other. And I realized I do not want a Vulcan mate." His eyes, which have been
studying mine as he spoke, seem to fill my whole universe. "I want you."

I draw a deep, shaky breath. Oh. Oh, by all that is pure and good have I wanted
to hear words like that from him, spoken to me. But... how can I be sure of

"Do you?"

He blinks.

"Spock... how can you be sure you don't think these things because of guilt? Or
that you feel obligated?" Or even worse... "Or pity. Because I don't want that
from you. Now or ever." My eyes have hardened, but I can't help it. It's too
good to be true, and I'm still hurting and afraid.

He sighs. "I should have expected this."

"Damn right you should! I'm no Great Logic Master, but you know as well as I do
it's a valid concern from my point of view!"

His eyes are lit with... what? Amusement? Just a tiny bit, but it's there. And
he's letting me see it? Not trying to control it? "Indeed," he agrees. "Your
reasoning is sound. You have just cause to question me."

I peer down at him. "Well?"

"Well, what?"

"I'm questioning you! What are you going to do to convince me?"

Now he looks even more amused than before. He looks like he wants to laugh! Who
is this guy, and what did he do with the real Spock?



"I am here. In your cabin. With you."

I frown. "I know that."

His gaze becomes more pointed. "In your *bed* with you."

I feel a blush spread over my face like a wildfire. "Yes. Yes, you are." My
frown deepens. "But you're feeling very guilty, Spock. You could be acting out
of guilt. It's a powerful motivator."

He sighs again. "Are you always so stubborn?"

"Yes," I answer solemnly.

"Then I can see I have my work cut out for me." He pulls me back down to him,
looks intently into my eyes. "What would you like me to do to convince you?"

I gulp. I wasn't expecting *that!* Good question! And pretty damn sneaky of
him to throw the ball in my court. Though it *is* logical, since I'm the
doubting one. I'm also the one in a state of shock. None of it seems real.
Yet I know I'm not dreaming... wait! That's it.

"I want to you to stay here tonight," I tell him. "In my cabin. With me. In
bed with me. And hold me."

He blinks. I can see he is surprised. "You would want that?"

"Is it something you're unable to give?" I ask.

He studies me. "No. If that is what you wish, I am willing to do it."


He looks at me like I'm crazy. "It's important," I tell him quietly.

"Because it is what you ask," he says simply. "Because I want to..."

"To what?"

"To make you happy," he finishes.

I close my eyes for a moment, nod and look at him again. "Do you know *why* I
want that from you, Spock?"

He shakes his head. "No, I must confess I do not. I am pleased you are willing
to allow me to prove myself to you, but after what happened..." He looks down,
but not before I see the shame. "I would not think you would want... that. So
soon, at any rate..."

"I didn't say I wanted sex, mister: I said I wanted you to hold me," I retort
with a smile. I tip his head up and look into his eyes. "And that is *exactly*
why I want you to do it."

He shakes his head again. "I... do not understand."

Now I stroke *his* hair. "Spock... I have a memory of being in a bed all night
with you, and even though I saved your life it's not a good memory. I want to
replace that memory with one that *is* good: one of you and me together, with
you in your right mind, brought together emotionally and not physically. I
think... I need that. And *you* need that. So that we can..." I struggle to
find the right word.

He stares into my eyes. "So that we can what?"

"Heal," I say finally, softly. "So we can heal."

He gives me a faint smile. "I... would like that. To heal you."

"And be healed yourself," I add.

He doesn't dispute my statement: only nods. "I... do not have much experience
in these matters," he says hesitantly.

Now it's my turn to smile. "Well, for starters, you take off your boots and
socks, I take off my robe, we turn off the lights and get under the covers."

He nods again. I can see he is nervous, but sure of his desire to do it. He
removes his boots and socks while I take off my robe. I order the lights off and
slip under the cool sheet and soft blanket, feeling him do the same. His body
is so warm near mine: like a summer sun. I imagine I feel like a cool breeze to
him. He is relaxed but uncertain: I feel the same. I move closer to

He turns onto his back, and I move against him, putting an arm around his waist.
"See?" I say gently. "Just like earlier, when you held me."

"Indeed," he answers, slipping his own arms around me carefully, slowly, as
though I am a china doll he might break. He rests his face on the top of my
head. I make a sound that is part pleasure, part release, and hear him sigh in
response. But it is not a sound of suffering. It is a sound of peace. And one
of the most beautiful things I have ever heard.

We lie in silence for a while, the only sound the steady hum of the ship. I
feel nervous at first, the memories coming back to me unbidden. But gradually I
am able to feel joy at being in his arms and not fear. If he truly means what
he said... there will be no place I would rather be.

Spock breaks the silence as I snuggle closer to him, feel his arms tighten
around me slowly, gently. "Christine?"


"I am... pleased with this. This... healing."

I smile. "So am I, Spock. So am I."

#17, Happiness

Her hands are like a Vulcan spring storm.

They cool and soothe and incite, all at once. They fascinate and arouse. They
comfort and heal. Why did I never know before that a woman's hands, *her*
hands, could do these things?

I know the answer to that. I was afraid. I was too busy, too determined to be
a "perfect" Vulcan. Human, emotion, love... those are bad words on Vulcan. Or
so it would seem. Yet my father married a Human. Humans usually marry for love.
If my mother did not feel love, why would she have married Sarek? And if she
loves, and he loves, how can any Vulcan be "perfect" if that word means to not
experience emotion?

All this time... how ironic that it took a completely Vulcan occurrence to make
me see the other side. Would I have realized it otherwise? I do not know. But
it no longer matters. I have seen it now. It still disquiets me to an extent.
But I am learning to adjust. She is learning to adjust. Is that not the way
with *any* relationship?

It has been three months since that first night in her cabin. Three months of
patience, determination and support. We have shared the pain and gained
strength from the sharing; and a bond I had, until now, only read about,
witnessed... secretly dreamed of.

She awakens and smiles at me. "Can't you sleep?"

I shake my head. "I do not wish to sleep at the moment."

Her smile turns provocative. "Then what do you "wish" to do right now?"

I raise an eyebrow, give her a fleeting smile as I move to take her in my arms.
She kisses me, and I marvel how once again it feels just as good as it did the
first night she pressed her lips to mine.

"I wish to experience more of this," I reply after a moment, running my hands
down her cool, soft curves.

"My nightgown?" she teases.

I give her what she refers to as "the look." She giggles.

"No." I brush her hair away from her face, as I did so many nights ago. "You.

Her eyes shine and she kisses me again. It is a glow that is mirrored in my own.
That light, so long elusive, condemning me to darkness, now burns brighter than
any sun. And at last, within that flame, I know happiness.

The End