Everything Old is New Again
Chapel glanced at the viewport as she walked into sickbay, expecting to still see the blue of V'ger, but it was gone and had been for several days. She sensed rather than heard someone coming up behind her. Could guess who it was.
"Doctor Chapel." Spock's expression was set, firm, just this side of unfriendly.
She sighed. She knew what was coming. Had known it was coming ever since she'd squeaked hello to him on the bridge.
"In here," she said, leading him to her office. As the door opened, she noticed her chair was turned, its back to the door. She thought she saw it moving slightly, then it was still. "Perhaps another office."
"This will do. I have ascertained by the tone of your greeting to me that you wish to continue your attempts to woo me."
"Actually, that was more just surprise."
She thought she heard a muffled sound, like laughter being bit back.
Spock didn't appear to notice it, but then he seemed pretty intent on his "Shut Chapel Down" mission. "Nevertheless, I feel it prudent to inform you that I continue to be uninterested in pursuing a relationship with you."
"Good to know."
"You have in the past, ignored such warnings and I --"
The chair spun around and Jim stood up. "Jesus God, Spock. She got it the first time."
Spock actually turned pale.
"Now, could you get the hell out so someone who is interested in her can spend some time with her?"
She tried not to let any surprise show on her face.
"Jim, I am sorry. I did not realize. Doctor...my apologies." Spock was practically falling over himself trying to get out of the office.
"Not a problem." As soon as Spock was gone, she turned to Jim. "Interested in me?"
"Well, he really ticked me off. Jesus, you were just surprised to see him. Weren't you?"
"More or less. There may have been a tiny bit of residual interest buried in the shock."
"Yeah, well I get that. That's why I'm here, in fact." He leaned, somewhat gingerly she thought, against her desk. "Note to self: Do not engage in angry break-up sex with ex-wife unless shots are up to date."
"I told you she was a slut."
"And you were right." He motioned with his head toward the door. "Please. Hurry?"
She hurried, got the hypo she needed and brought it back, slamming it a little harder than necessary against his neck. "You should feel relief immediately. Wait six hours before engaging in angry break-up sex--or any other kind."
"Ow. You mad at me or at Spock?"
"Maybe I'm mad at Lori."
"Well, who's not?" He rubbed at his neck. "You two never did get on."
And they'd had plenty of times to try. Jim had invited her to a lot of parties once Chapel started dating his friend Jay. Jay, who was also a friend of Lori's. Jay who'd ended up giving Chapel the same infection Jim had.
"How is Admiral Slutface?"
"She's just going by Lori these days." He grinned, then it faded. "Oh, you know, she's her normal self. It's not that I want to get back with her. It's more the idea of failing at this that sticks in my craw."
"Well, having failed at it continually, I can certainly commiserate."
"Yeah, that was a stellar moment just now with Spock. V'ger may have made him more emotional, but he's still lacking in the sensitivity department."
"Oh, I don't know. He did do this in private, not in the middle of sickbay."
"True." He smiled gently at her. "I'm sorry I was here for that."
"I'm not. At least he left." She patted him on the shoulder, then sat down.
"You doing anything tonight?"
"Well, you want to do at least one of those things with me?"
She looked up, met his eyes, saw amusement, compassion, and some glint of delightful mischief. "You really want to make him think that we're together."
He shrugged. "Maybe I could just use the company."
"For eating or for sleeping?" She knew she was blushing when she asked.
She took a long breath. "I think dinner's the safer option."
"Dinner it is." He got up and walked to the door, then turned back. "Wear something sexy."
"I don't own anything sexy."
"Yeah, you do. Did you bring that red blouse? The one with the plunging neckline?"
"You know my wardrobe?"
"Sweetheart, I know much more than that after having watched you bend over in that blouse." He laughed. "I was so jealous of Jay that night."
"So, you're a boob man."
"Or just a boob. Depends on who you ask." He grinned. "I'll see you later."
She wore the red blouse, got more than a few interested looks from people they passed in the corridor.
Jim was grinning as they walked to the mess. "This is the life. Having my ship back. Going to dinner with a sexy woman."
"Or me, anyway." She laughed, to show him she was kidding--sort of. She had always been so long and lanky, felt awkward in her body. Roger hadn't helped--his normal type had been short and curvaceous, and those women had always caught his eye when they were out, even after they were engaged. It had hurt; she'd never told him, though. What would the point have been?
Jay...Jay had just been for fun. She thought now that Jay had liked having someone to take to Jim's parties--probably so he could ditch her and steal away with Lori.
But Chapel hadn't really cared or noticed. She'd been enjoying Jim too much to worry that his much less interesting friend was off helping the hostess start the grill again.
Not that she'd thought of it in those terms, probably. She'd just had fun with Jim. They laughed a lot together.
"Oh, look. There's Spock." Jim moved a little closer to her and as they passed Spock, he put his hand on the small of her back. "Did he notice?"
"Do you think I have eyes in the back of my head?"
He pointed to a panel on the ship's wall, a panel that offered a reflection of everything behind them. "Dipshit."
"Next time point out the strategically placed non-mirror before we pass him."
"Duly noted." He put his hand on the small of her back again; it felt good, very good. Then he let go of her and moved to a more normal distance. "You're wearing the hell out of that blouse. He gave you a once over, if that makes you feel better?"
"Yep. Old Spock's a boob man, too, from way back." He grinned at her, the look so infectious she knew she was grinning back like a fool. "Here we are," he led her into the mess.
She thought there were a lot of looks, for a moment. Then people went back to what they were doing.
She was Medical, after all. Not off limits to the captain if he wanted her. No wonder Spock believed him. Jim Kirk might be famous for his "Not in the Nest" policy, but he was also the master of the technical loophole.
She suddenly liked the idea of being a technical loophole.
Turning, she caught him staring at her. At her face, not just at her amply exposed chest. His look was gentle and his smile even more so.
"I'm glad you're here," she murmured, moving closer.
"So am I." He seemed to realize they were holding up the line, smiled at the crewman behind them and said, "Sorry."
The crewman didn't seem to mind. His attention was focused on her chest.
"Damned useful shirt, too," Kirk said under his breath as he pushed her ahead of him in line.
They walked around the ship after dinner, talking about the changes in design, the reasons why. She could tell he was surprised she knew as much as she did. Decker had gone on and on about the mods; it had been his passion--until a certain Deltan had shown up, anyway.
They ended up at her quarters. "You want to come in?" she asked, knowing he'd say no. Wanting him to say no. But also wanting him to know that if he wanted to say yes in the future, that would be okay, too.
"Better not." He moved closer, but didn't lean in to kiss her, just looked at her. "I really was jealous of Jay, because when I was with you, we had such fun, and I thought you two must be loving life. But you didn't have fun like that with him, did you?"
"I didn't have fun like that with Lori, either."
"You had bed-fun with her."
"I think everyone had bed-fun with her." He made a half-angry, half-amused face.
He laughed. "Good."
They stood like that for a long time, staring at each other, then he said, "If you added up the number of times we hung around each other, do you think you could get us to a first date?"
"You want to kiss me, don't you?"
"I do. And not out here."
"I think we might even get to a second date." She gave him a smile she was sure she'd never given Roger or Jay or Spock or anyone. Sexy. Confident. And comfortable. So damn comfortable.
Palming open the door, she took his hand and pulled him in. He had her up against the wall before the door closed, was kissing her gently but very, very thoroughly. She pressed against him, heard him moan and laughed softly.
"Bitch," he muttered as he pushed her toward the bed and eased her down, following her, kissing her again, running his hand down her side.
She moaned as he kissed her throat, then moved to her chest, following the line of her shirt.
He looked up at her, met her eyes. His eyes looked black, his pupils were so dilated. "How far can I go, Doctor?"
She slid the sides of her blouse slowly, widening the plunge just a bit.
He kissed everywhere she exposed. She stopped, and he looked up at her. She grinned, a mean grin, a wicked one.
He grinned back the same way, and eased the fabric slowly, given her time to stop him. She didn't, and he kept going, until her breasts were uncovered.
She was breathing hard, felt like a teenager again, in her boyfriend's parents' hover with her shirt pulled up and his mouth on her--
Oh, holy God. Her boyfriend had never touched her like this. She let her head fall back and gave herself over to Jim's lips and tongue.
Lori had cheated on this?
They lay together, kissing, their clothes still on, all but her top, which had one sleeve still connected to her wrist, the rest dangling inside out off the bed as she lay limply, her lips on his the only thing moving.
If he'd asked or pushed, she wouldn't have stopped him from taking this the rest of the way.
But he hadn't asked. Hadn't pushed. Even though she could feel how much he wanted her as he lay pressed against her hip. Even though he moaned every time she ran her hands down his body, occasionally letting them slide over the front of him.
Even though she was on fire, had pushed her hips up against him when he'd lain over her, the warm bulk of him holding her down.
"Jim," she'd moaned. "Jim, please."
He'd smiled, his wonderfully gentle smile, and said, "We have time, Chris."
And she'd settled right down. They had time. What a concept.
He pulled away, nestled in with his head on her shoulder, his arm sprawled over her belly, just under her breasts. "Is sleeping okay, after all? I know you said dinner was safer but...?"
"Mmmmm," was the most articulate answer she could give him.
He fell asleep quickly, and she thought she'd be nervous, the way sleeping with someone new always made her. But she fell asleep easily and woke to find him spooning her, his leg thrown over hers in a way that made her smile.
Roger had never been possessive. Jay, either. This man...this man made her feel completely and utterly his, and he hadn't even taken her yet.
"Good morning," he murmured, pulling her closer, nuzzling her neck. "Sleep well?"
"Like a baby."
He laughed as he said, "Me, too," then he moved away enough to pull her to her back. He found her chest again, kissing, licking, sucking.
The noises she was making could not be called words.
He slipped his hand under the waistband to her pants, slid down and down and--
"Don't want you to forget this..." He kissed her as he touched her, his tongue mimicking the thrust of his fingers, then the slow swirl as he set her off, as he watched her ride the pleasure out and float back down.
She moaned and tried to push him to his back. His turn. She would make him feel good.
But he shook his head. "Tonight, Chris. Do this to me tonight, all right?"
His smile was indescribable. "I'm going to be thinking about this all day."
"Me, too." She realized he had not pulled his hand out, was, in fact, moving his fingers again, and she murmured, "Oh," as he kissed her, forcing her back, forcing her to go where he wanted to take her.
Fortunately, he wanted to take her to heaven.
Chapel found it hard to concentrate, and she knew she was unusually mellow, not rising to Len's bait as he teased her about something, earning herself a raised eyebrow and a muttered, "What's gotten into you?"
She decided not to tell him what had and hadn't gotten into her. By his look, though, her smile gave it away.
"Guess V'ger brought Christmas early, huh?"
He gave her another look, his eyes narrowing. "Not Spock?"
"Not Spock what?" She was grinning evilly, and she knew it, and she liked what the look did to him, how it made his eyes scrunch up and his mouth purse.
"Hmmm. Not Spock. Then who?" He leaned in. "I know it wasn't me. So that leaves...?"
"You know the crew complement as well as I do."
He smiled. "Who on this crew could get you this relaxed?" He started to grin. "Could it be our little Pavel?"
She rolled her eyes.
She thought he probably would be good in bed, even if she'd never had the inclination to pursue that thought. "Nope."
Jim walked in and the way he walked up, the lack of distance between them, had Len shaking his head. "From the fry pan to the fire, my darlin'."
Jim gave him a look and Len smiled.
"Did you need something, Captain?" She didn't mean for the question to come out sleazy. It did anyway.
Len rolled his eyes and walked away.
Jim looked like he wanted to behave, but his eyes held the same devilish merriment as when they'd seen Spock in the corridor the night before.
"Come on, let's see how your umm condition is doing," she said, picking up a scanner they didn't need and leading him into her office.
He hit the privacy lock, then grabbed her and kissed her as soon as the door closed. When he finally let her go, he said, "I feel like I'm on intoxicants." He pushed her against the wall, stroked back her hair. "You. The ship. My friends."
She scanned him just in case--God knew they'd had enough outside influences on their first voyage. But he was just...happy.
"You were miserable on Earth. You were miserable at the end with Lori. You missed Spock. You missed Len. You missed this ship and your crew and space." She kissed him gently. "And now you have it all back." Showing him the readings, she said, "See. That's just one hundred percent human happiness."
"Well, I could be a little happier." He grinned again, a grin heavily slanted toward the wicked side of the scale, and walked to her chair. Before he could do more, her chime sounded. "Crap, I thought I hit the privacy shield."
She glanced at her door. "I'm not sure what you hit but it wasn't that. Just hang tight, I'll see who this is."
He rotated the chair around, slid down a bit, and she opened the door, intent on pushing whoever it was out of viewing range.
It was Spock. He did his best impression of a mountain and would not be pushed. "Doctor, may I speak to you?"
He had her inside the office before she could say no.
"I regret my behavior yesterday. V'ger has left me emotional, and I did not stop to think that you might be involved with someone."
Jim coughed softly.
"Who is, of course, sitting in your chair. Again." Spock blushed this time instead of turning pale.
"We haven't played chess yet, Spock." Jim turned around slowly. "Soon, all right?"
She gave Spock her best "No offense taken" smile. Jim gave him an even better "God, I'm glad to see you even if you are getting in the way of me being orally pleasured by my very new girlfriend" smile. Spock managed to stay relatively expressionless. Then he turned and fled.
Jim got up. "Okay, prudence is getting the better of passion. Who knows who will interrupt us next?" He pulled her to him, kissed her heartily. "I hope you ate a big lunch. I'm not much in the mood for dinner."
"Well, I have some things to snack on in my quarters if you get hungry." He looked down, a frown growing. "I meant food actually, not him."
She laughed. "I promise not to devour you."
"Well..." Then he laughed, the open, happy sound of it making her feel light inside. He kissed her one more time and left.
She smiled like a giddy teenager through the rest of her shift.
"So where are these snacks you promised?" Chapel smiled as Jim gave her a once-over, and then another, and then another. "What? You don't remember this shirt?"
It was sheer black, cut low, fastened all the way down, and clung to her in all the right places. She'd bought it for Jay but never had the chance to wear it. She was glad of that now.
"Come in. You and your shirt that I will soon be ripping off you." He stepped aside, let her in and then locked the door. "Doctor."
"Captain." She met his eyes, then let her gaze slowly ramble down his body, stopping at one particular point.
He actually moaned.
"You've been waiting for something, I think."
"I have." He moved farther into his quarters, smiled when she pushed him against his desk. "Hmm, what do you have in mind?"
She slowly began to undo his pants.
"I'm beginning to get the idea."
Parts of him were definitely ahead of him in that department.
She pushed him up onto his desk, was happy to find the chair the perfect height for what she had in mind. She looked up at him, smiled as he stroked her hair. "I really, really like you."
His smile was beautiful. "I really, really like you, too."
She waited to see if he'd push her down--she hated that.
He didn't. He waited, too. Smiling, eyes half closed. She leaned down and kissed his thigh, then moved to parts more interesting.
He was very loud. She hoped his quarters were soundproofed. As soon as she was done and he'd caught his breath, he grabbed her shoulders, pulled her out of the chair, and kissed her. "I more than like you, Chris."
"I just went down on you, Jim. You have to wait at least half an hour after an orgasm before you can tell me something like that. It's a girl law." She laughed and nuzzled his ear. "I more than like you, too."
"Well since I haven't had a chance to have my way with you yet, I'm going to take that as gospel." He pushed her to the bed, and took his time getting her shirt off, then her pants. Then he reached over and set his chrono.
"What are you doing?"
"In half an hour I'm going to say it again. I'm just afraid I'll get distracted and miss my window." He winked at her and then headed for parts south.
Once again, she prayed for soundproofing. He didn't give her time to come down, was inside her, moving hard and fast and kissing her the same way. He had her coming again before he finally let go.
They lay together, breathing hard, touching still, little strokes, then more, then he moved to kiss her again.
He had to reset the chrono four times before he could finally murmur, "You're wonderful, Chris. I've had a crush on your for months. But this...this isn't just a crush."
"No." She kissed him gently, feeling spent and totally at home in his arms. "It's not just a crush."
They overslept the next day; she woke with a start to find him snoring gently beside her, arms wrapped tightly, chrono blissfully still.
"Jim. Jim, wake up."
He moaned, then looked at the chrono. "Shit." He got up, pulled her out of bed after him. "Damn thirty-minute rule," he said as he followed her into the shower, keeping it all business as they washed up.
"I formally rescind that rule. We'll only use the chrono for wake-up calls from here on out." She smiled--it didn't feel wrong to say that. It didn't feel wrong to make plans or be happy.
He smiled, too. "Sounds good."
He kissed her before they left his quarters, murmured, "I'll see you tonight," as he hurried to the lift and she went to her quarters to finish getting ready.
She managed to get to sickbay only a few minutes late.
"Nice of you to join us, Christine." Len winked at her.
"Sorry." But her smile probably said she was anything but.
"Monthly report needs your additions. It's in your queue."
"Right." She worked on it quickly, got up to get a padd, checked some facts on it.
A cough sounded at the door. She turned, saw Spock. He almost smiled at her as he walked over to her chair and turned it around.
"No, but I had to check. You understand, of course."
She nodded and found herself grinning like an idiot at him.
"You are happy."
"So is he. I wanted to say...I wanted to say that I am glad."
She walked back to her chair, stopping to touch his arm, not surprised that for once he didn't flinch away. "I'm glad you're glad."
"Jim has been lonely. As I know you have been. It is good that you are together."
"I'm happy you approve." She went back to her report.
He watched her for a moment, then he got up. "I will leave you to your work."
She looked up at him. "He wasn't kidding about the chess, you know. He's missed you."
"As I have missed him." He took a deep breath. "I imagine he will be somewhat engaged for a time."
"He will be very engaged for a time, buster." She grinned, wondered how he'd take the teasing.
His expression lightened. "Of course. I stand corrected." He leaned in, touched her cheek softly. "I was not unmoved by you."
"Now you tell me?"
"There is a small part of me that is jealous."
"You are welcome." He left her, back straight.
Len walked in. "Revolving door today, Christine." He glanced at the report on her screen. "You ever going to get that done?"
"Yes. If I didn't have to correct your grammar, I'd be done already."
He clutched at his heart as if shot. "Oh, low blow, little lady. That means our Scrabble game is back on." He winked. "When you can tear yourself away from Jim, that is."
"Oh, I imagine I'll have time for you eventually." She reached out, grabbed his hand as he turned to go. "I missed you. So did Jim."
He looked touched, then he smiled, the old half-mocking smile of old. "Everybody and their dog missed me, darlin'. Who in their right mind wouldn't miss me?" He winked at her again, then left. A moment later, he popped his head in the door. "Oh and Christine?"
"I missed you, too."