A/N---Sooo...this is my first venture into Star Trek fanfic and I'm pretty excited about it. I've been reading it bascially since the new movie came out and it's freaking hard to find that many Kirk/Chapel (or even decent Kirk/OC) stories so I decided it was about time I wrote one. I have a pretty good outline for where I want this to go but I'm always open to suggestions so feel free to PM me if there's something in particular you want to see.

As I'm sure you've already guessed, this is going to be Kirk/Chapel-centric, with some Spock/Uhura sprinkled in there every once in awhile. I'm going to try to keep everyone as in character as I possibly can but don't be afraid to point any OOCness out to me. Also, I'm not very familiar with the whole Star Trek universe. All I really know is what I saw in the movie. So...don't get too upset with me if something isn't exactly accurate.

Anyways, I hope you like this and want to see more since I'm pretty pumped to get this going.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Seriously...haha.


STARLIGHT

Far away
This ship is taking me far away
Far away from the memories
Of the people who care if I live or die
"Starlight" by Muse

Starlight
I will be chasing the starlight
Until the end of my life
I don't know if it's worth it anymore

Hold you in my arms
I just wanted to hold
You in my arms

My life
You electrify my life
Let's conspire to ignite
All the souls that would die just to feel alive

But I'll never let you go
If you promise not to fade away
Never fade away

Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations
Our hopes and expectations
Black holes and revelations

Hold you in my arms
I just wanted to hold
You in my arms

"Starlight" by Muse

Chapter One

As the USS Enterprise loomed closer and closer in the transport window, Nurse Christine Chapel still couldn't decide whether to be excited or apprehensive. The ship itself was overwhelming; with its smooth and vast contours, twice the size of any other ship in the fleet, it had definitely earned its place as Starfleet's flagship. The crew was renowned, or infamous, depending on who you were talking to, and stories (and/or rumors) were always being thrown around about all the seemingly impossible missions the Enterprise's crew had completed during its inaugural year.

But all the accolades, the fame, and the notoriety were not the reasons Christine was transferring to the Enterprise. To be completely honest, none of that really mattered to her.

The Farragut had become a hell-hole for her.

A person can only take so much.

After two months of cruel and unusual punishment, she just decided to take the coward's way out: she asked for a transfer to any ship that would have her as soon as possible. The Enterprise needed a Head Nurse and Christine needed a transfer. It was a match made in heaven. Or hell. She still hadn't decided.

So as soon as her transfer was approved by all the necessary parties, she had put all her time and energy into focusing on being away from the Farragut and everything and everyone on it. Having a mental countdown going of her time left on that piece of shit was such a relief. Needless to say, the finality of being away from everything had kept her from really thinking about her new assignment and the people she'd be working with.

That was where the nervousness and uneasiness she was currently feeling came into play.

First, there was the issue of Captain James T. Kirk.

While it was no secret that the Captain of the Enterprise enjoyed his women and lacked in humility, just the knowledge of being under the command of a man like that made Christine agitated and a little annoyed. His arrogance and bull-headed methods of leadership were notorious throughout all of Starfleet and the way he seemed to just plunge into everything headfirst made a lot of people uneasy. In fact, there were always constant grumblings onboard the Farragut about some risk Kirk had taken or some way he had defied orders. But he had saved them all from the Romulans a year ago, she reasoned, so there had to be something about him that made him capable of running his own ship, even if everything she knew about him made him seem less than qualified.

His reputation was enough to make her nervous about this transfer but…

Anything was better than where she was before. If given the choice between the horny and stubborn Captain and the torture she'd previously endured …she'd take horny and stubborn any day of the week.

Besides that little (or was it?) problem, she'd also heard a thing or two about the man she'd be directly working with: Head of Medical Sciences, Dr. Leonard McCoy. Word was that he was grouchy more often than not, he frequently yelled at those working beneath him and that he was good friends with the Captain. Those three really didn't seem to fit. Which made her even more uneasy.

But as her transport docked with the Enterprise, she remembered Nyota and relief rippled through her anxiety. Even though they'd lost contact over the past year, she had a feeling it wouldn't take them long to reconnect. And even if things didn't exactly go back to the way they used to be, at least there was one person aboard the Enterprise she knew she'd feel comfortable with. Not to mention she was dying to ask Nyota whether all the rumors she'd heard about her relationship with a certain Vulcan Commander were true or not.

This was good…definitely a good sign that she was starting to feel more excited now at the prospect of seeing her old friend. She'd have that at least. Besides, things on the Enterprise couldn't possibly be any worse than they were on the Farragut.

At least that was what she had to keep telling herself.

Before she knew it, she was out of her seat and the doors were opening.

Deep breath, she told herself, big deep breath. You're transferring not freaking dying here.

So instead of sitting back down like she wanted to, she gathered up her luggage and started down towards the platform. Much to her surprise, she felt a pair of warm arms wrap around her before she could even register who was hugging her.

"Christine!" Nyota said breathlessly. "You're here!"

Nyota loosened her hold a little so Christine could have some breathing room. When the shock wore off, she couldn't stop the feelings of happiness that rushed through her even if she'd wanted to. It almost felt like home.

She had forgotten how much she'd liked Nyota and after only three seconds of being on the Enterprise, she was already being reminded why Nyota had been such a great friend.

"I couldn't believe it when McCoy told me…I made him triple-check the post just to make sure he was right…Christine, you have no idea how much I flipped when I found out you were being transferred here!" Nyota sang excitedly, her beautiful dark features lit up with a wide smile.

Christine couldn't help but return the happy smile and found herself hugging Nyota right back.

"I missed you so much, Ny,…God, we have a lot to catch up on, don't we?" Christine replied with a light sigh. "It's been waaayyy too long since I've seen you."

Nyota waved a hand in dismissal as she bent down to grab one of Christine's bags. "Don't worry about it. We have plenty of time for that, now don't we? Besides, I can't wait to hear all about the action you must've seen on the Farragut…"

Christine just shook her head with a laugh. "Oh yeah…you mean besides basically being a cargo ship? Right…tons of action. What I really want to hear about is…"

She was cut off by the sound of rushed footsteps headed straight for them. Nyota sighed exasperatedly and simply shook her head.

"I told him not to be late," she muttered under her breath. "But, apparently, nobody listens to me around here whenever Kirk and Spock are off-ship."

Christine's brow furrowed at this new information. "Captain Kirk and Commander Spock are off-ship?"

Nyota nodded as the owner of the footsteps came into view.

"Yeah…" she answered distractedly, glaring at the footsteps' owner.

"They took a team to a class M planet in this sector….it's about time you showed up McCoy!" She yelled angrily to the man who was hurrying up to them.

"Sorry, sorry," he replied breathlessly, clutching his sides a little. "Lost track of time…"

His gaze moved to Christine and he quickly shot out a hand, which she took, albeit a little apprehensively.

"Dr. Leonard McCoy," he said with a slight nod. "Just call me McCoy though."

She nodded with a forced smile as they shook hands. "Christine Chapel."

McCoy nodded again, his hands returning to his sides. "So, Uhura tells me you used to be classmates at the Academy…"

"And study partners." Nyota added with a warm smile directed at Christine.

"Well, isn't that nice," McCoy shot back with an eye roll. "Anyways, I remember you from a few bioscience courses…you were a good student."

Christine smiled awkwardly at the compliment. "Well, I'm happy to be here and ready to get started as soon as you want me to."

McCoy shrugged. "Good, we're going to need you, especially with this crew. It's going to be nice to have someone else around the sickbay who actually knows what they're doing."

"Anyways…" Nyota cut in. "I was just telling Christine that Kirk and Spock are off-ship with a team right now so…we should probably get her to her room so she's all settled before they get back."

McCoy rolled his eyes at Nyota's not-so-subtle hint. "Right, right…got it. Let's go, ladies."


"God, I thought he'd never leave." Nyota huffed slightly as she shut the door to Christine's new quarters.

"He's not so bad." Christine mused as she took a long look around the room. Surprisingly, it was actually a little bigger than her old quarters on the Farragut. Nice bathroom, decent sized closet. She would have no problem getting used to this.

"Besides, you have to take me to the sickbay in a little while anyways."

"I know," Nyota sighed. "He just doesn't know when to butt out."

Christine rose an eyebrow at that but just shook her head. Like Nyota had said earlier, they would have plenty of time to catch up on everything. Still, she had a feeling she'd need Nyota's knowledge about all the crewmembers sooner rather than later.

"So…anyways, how do you like it here? What do I have to know to survive on this ship?"

Nyota laughed and fell onto the bed next to Christine. "Well, first of all, what have you heard?"

Christine shrugged as she stretched out the after-effects of spending the majority of her day sitting on a transport. "The usual I guess. Your Captain is an arrogant womanizer. I've heard Spock is a hard ass, but I'm sure you wouldn't know anything about that."

A knowing look passed between them as Nyota quickly changed the subject.

"Okay, anything else?"

"Um…just that you guys always get assigned the really dangerous missions, the Captain always jumps into them headfirst, and then you just barely escape at the last minute. You know, that kind of thing."

Nyota rolled her eyes a little. "Oh God. Well, to be honest, that's actually not too far off. A little exaggerated maybe, but that's what you have to look forward to, for the most part. Hey…why did you transfer anyways? From what McCoy told me, it sounded like it happened pretty fast."

Christine shifted uncomfortably at the inevitable question. Good thing she already had a stock answer all ready to go. But just as she opened her mouth, she suddenly felt a little guilty for lying to Nyota. If there was anyone on this ship she could trust, it was Nyota. So what would the harm be in finally letting everything out and telling a friend the real story?

"Well," she began shakily. "I told the Head of Sciences I wanted to be assigned somewhere I could get more experience but that's not the real reason."

She cast a wary glance at the digital clock on the nightstand and sighed. "Sorry, Nyota, I gotta get to the sickbay before McCoy comes looking for me. The last thing I need is to get in trouble with him before I even really start."

"Ugh…" Nyota grumbled. "Fine. But the second he's done showing you whatever he wants to show you, because, really the sickbay isn't all that interesting, we're coming right back here and you're telling me everything."

"Sounds good to me." Christine nodded with a smile.

As they headed to the turbo-lift, Nyota turned back to her with curious eyes. "So...I'm dying here. Can you at least give me something?"

Christine's reflexive hesitation wasn't lost on Nyota and she bit her lip in thought, the new tension in the air palpable.

"What happened, Christine? You know you can tell me, whatever it is."

Christine looked back up and was met with Nyota's concerned eyes. "I know…I know. It's a long story."

She seemed to accept that and another moment of slightly awkward silence passed between them before Christine turned back to her with a smirk playing on her lips.

"So…you and Spock, right?"

Nyota's head snapped to face Christine, her eyes wide with surprise. She opened her mouth to respond before quickly shutting it again and turning away from Christine, who was biting back laughter.

"It's a long story." Nyota managed to reply as the turbo-lift door opened.

Christine laughed with a wide smile. "I'm looking forward to hearing it."

Nyota just rolled her eyes and shook her head at Christine, who was already waving goodbye.


"So, over here you'll find all the main equipment you're going to need…hyposprays, body scanners, record pads, all the fun stuff." McCoy rattled off, moving from station to station as he pointed out everything she needed to know.

Christine just nodded as she pushed back the growing overwhelming feeling. There was so much to take in and here she thought this was actually going to be quick. As it turned out, there was a lot more to the sickbay than she and Nyota had anticipated. From what she had already seen, it was going to take her a little while to figure out where everything was.

"This is a lot bigger than the sickbay on the Farragut." Christine stated quietly.

McCoy shrugged and took a quick appraisal of the room. "Yeah, I imagine it is. You'll find a lot of things are bigger here than they probably were on the Farragut…like egos."

Christine laughed uneasily, mostly just because she knew McCoy would be expecting some kind of reaction from her. "It can't be that bad."

His eyebrows rose warily. "You've obviously never met Jim Kirk. He's someone you definitely have to see to believe."

Great, she thought spitefully. Add that to the list of things I have to look forward to.

"But I'm sure you'll see for yourself tomorrow anyways since Kirk and Spock should be back onboard in about twelve hours. By the way, I'm sorry the Captain wasn't here to meet you earlier. I know that's Starfleet protocol for new crewmembers but given that your transfer request was for immediate reassignment…"

"That's alright," she cut in quickly, wanting to avoid any discussion about why she was here. "I'm just grateful you were able to take me so soon. "

He nodded. "Right, well, the post said something about you wanting to get more field experience. That's something you'll find in annoying abundance here. Field experience coming out of our asses, that's for sure. "

This time, Christine genuinely laughed. Well, at least Dr. Leonard McCoy wasn't as bad as she'd thought he was going to be.

"Remind me what your studies were in again?"

"Bioresearch, medical archeology, and endocrinology."

McCoy's eyebrows flew into his forehead. "Right, well…you'll fit in perfectly here. Anyways, feel free to hang around here as long as you want to figure everything out…can't imagine why anyone would want to do that but you won't be officially on duty until the Captain's back on the ship so I say enjoy your free time while you have it."

She nodded, wondering if he always tended to rambled on like that. She had a sinking feeling that he did. Despite that tick, be it nervous or otherwise, she could already tell that he was definitely someone she could learn a lot from. And now she finally had something other than seeing Nyota to look forward to, which was an encouraging thought.

All in all, this day hadn't really been as overwhelming as she'd been expecting. She'd thought she'd be thrown into the mix right away, maybe with a little time to settle in but definitely not this. Here, she was actually given some time to breathe and take everything in which was a luxury she'd never had on the Farragut. Suddenly, her rushed decision now seemed like the best one of her entire career. So far, it seemed like all her worries and concerns were unfounded and with each minute that passed, she felt more and more relaxed. In fact, the huge weight of her time onboard the Farragut was quickly becoming a distant memory. And for the first time in over two months, Christine felt like she could breathe.

It's too bad that feeling didn't last.

"Scott to the sickbay," a transmission came blasting through, the speaker's Scottish voice frantic. "McCoy, get down to the transport room with a med team!"

Everything in the sickbay seemed to come to a halt. McCoy made a mad dash to the communication pad, skidding to a stop as he grabbed for the link. Just the rapid movement alone sent Christine's heart racing into overdrive.

"What's happening, Scott?" McCoy yelled into the link.

"Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the team are being beamed back to the ship as we speak. There was some kind of trouble…the Captain's transmission to the ship was difficult to understand but I think ye'd better get down here as soon as ye can." Came the hurried response.

McCoy cast a quick glance over to Christine, who was gripping a nearby bed to get a handle on her breathing.

"Sorry, Chapel," he said gruffly as he tossed some supplies to her. "Looks like you're going to be starting sooner than we thought."

The time between gathering a medical team, supplies, heading to the turbo-lift and entering the transport room was a blur. McCoy was barking out orders left and right and Christine was desperately trying to keep up with everything going on. They didn't have very many details so it had been difficult to gather up the supplies they'd need, especially since they didn't exactly know what they were dealing with. It didn't really help that the pace of everything wasn't anything like what she was used to in the Farragut's sickbay.

When the doors to the transport room slid open, the medical team was immediately assaulted with the drama unfolding inside. The room was practically exploding with the sound of yelling, moaning, and screams of both terror and pain. McCoy barreled in first, making a beeline for the seven bodies writhing on the platform floor. Christine hurried in after him, racing towards the first person she saw and skidded to a halt when she realized with horror that all seven were completely covered with long porcupine-like needles.

"Bones!" A man in orange was yelling. "Get these things off of me!"

The doctor immediately pivoted over to the man in orange, whose limbs were flailing around in a frenzied attempt to throw the needles off. He took hold of the man's arms and held him still.

"Calm down, Jim." He said steadily. "Give me a second to figure this out."

Just as that was starting to register, her senses were hit with the overwhelming scent of poison.

"You smell that, Chapel?" McCoy called to her just as his gaze fell to a motionless pointy-eared man nearby.

She nodded immediately, her mind already going a mile a minute to try wrap her head around what they would need as an antidote. But they needed to figure out what kind of poison they were dealing with first. Her focused eyes flew to the pile of body scanners that had been thrown to the floor amidst the initial shock of seeing the team and desperately pushed back the rising panic when she realized the scanner they needed was among those they'd left behind in the sickbay.

"We have to get back to the sickbay, Doctor!" She yelled back to him. "The scanner we need isn't here!"

McCoy nodded, his eyes grim with understanding as he moved from the delirious man to the motionless one next to him.

"See to the Captain, Chapel," he barked out, pointing to the flailing man in orange as he knelt down to the pointy-eared man.

Christine immediately hurried over to the Captain, who was feverishly trying to pull the needles out to no avail. Her hands stopped him and she gently pushed his arms down. His head was lolling around on the floor, his eyes were squeezed shut in pain and as soon as he realized she was stopping him from pulling the needles out, he began fighting her.

"It's alright, Captain," she said as gently as possible while she struggled to keep his arms at his sides. "We have to scan the poison first…we can't pull them out until we know what kind of poison it is. Just hold on a little bit longer."

"Drugs," he whispered hoarsely, his eyes still tightly shut. "Get me some drugs."

She chuckled softly in spite of the chaos surrounding them and smiled even though she knew he couldn't see it. Taking a sedative out of her medical bag, she quickly thrust the hypospray into the side of his neck. He winced at the pressure but was soon still as the sedative quickly did its job. When his arms relaxed under her hands, she felt like she could finally take in a deep breath since they'd first gotten onto the platform.

He sucked in a deep breath and a moment later, his eyes blinked open. Even though he was squinting, even though he was covered in poison-tipped needles, even though he looked like he'd been hit by a truck, and even though he was staring up at her in a confused daze, he still had the most alarming eyes she'd ever seen.

The blue of his eyes was a color she'd only seen before on a clear day; they seemed to sparkle with something she couldn't quite place despite his current predicament and the fact that they drew attention away from the rest of his face was no easy feat. And now that she had a moment, she was finally able to really see the face of James T. Kirk.

His head shifted to the side so he could see her and when he obviously couldn't place the nurse aiding him, his brow creased in confusion.

"Who are you?" He pushed out roughly, squinting again to get a better look at her.

"Christine Chapel," she replied softly. "I'm the new Head Nurse."

As his sparking eyes seemed to refocus on her, his lips slid into a lop-sided grin that made her heart clench dangerously in her chest.

And even though she'd only been stationed on the USS Enterprise for less than four hours, she was already in serious trouble.


A/N---Any theories about what her big secret is?? Let me know what you think so far!!