Watching Spock Sleep

They were soulmates – destined to be together.

The first time she saw him, she thought it. She had come to believe it; and now, she knew. It didn't matter that he was… different. She has looked into his eyes and seen – behind that mask-like Vulcan face – vulnerability, uncertainty… pain.

Pain was something she knew all too well.

Oh, yes – God, yes - she knew pain.

And it didn't matter to her – not one little bit – that he was Vulcan. That he was Vulcan, and she was not. It didn't matter that people told her it wouldn't – couldn't - work.

She knew better.

She knew that there was a tender soul trapped in silence, deep inside that protective Vulcan shell.

Something about that was intriguing.

Something about that seemed heroic – Just as he was, she thought.

Now, entering Sickbay, she glanced around.

No one noticed her. No one saw.

Good.

This was just for them, this moment – for the two of them, alone.

Just as, she thought, that silent something in his eyes was for her alone; just as all the love that she has is kept in private, just for him – for the two of them, when the moment came, together.

She looked around again. Even Doctor McCoy had left – presumably to dine with the Captain, and the others leaving duty, still, on the Bridge.

That was good, too: She wouldn't have to see the look of disappointment in his eyes; the look of warning if she let her professional mask slip; the look of discomfort - distaste, even – if, following her gaze, his eyes went from her to Spock and back.

No, no need to avoid the eyes of those who might not approve.

Sickbay was deserted. No one would see as she went to his bedside to keep silent watch.

Lifting her chin, looking purposeful, she moved toward the curtains. (Anyone watching, surely, would think she had every right?)

Still, she could not resist one last look around (no one was watching) before slipping in and closing the curtains tight behind her.

The visitor's chair was pulled up close beside his bed, as though waiting for her – as though he had just been waiting for her to come.

She studied the silent still figure on the bed. (He looked peaceful. There was no sign of pain or distress. No guarded look, as he shut the world out…) Pulling the chair a little closer yet, she sank into it. She sank into it, studying Spock's face.

Every time she saw him, she was surprised by his beauty.

A glimpse here, a passing glance there – that was the normal course of the day (yet all the while aware of the so-much-more his eyes could hold). But, still – even after all this time – his beauty was surprising. Now, as he lay on a biobed - eyes shut, absolutely still - she could study him as much as she pleased: To her heart's content.

No need to make an excuse to stand beside him, for a moment, in the lab; to carefully head to lunch that they might accidently meet…

It was rare, even for her, to get to see him asleep.

Now, she could look her fill.

Yes, he looked peaceful. She supposed he was healing.

Eyes shut – face not deliberately composed into that mask-like public face - there was no sign of the pain she knew was never far away. There was no sign of the discomfort she had seen as he had spoken to her of loss. (That, probably, was the moment she had begun to know that they could – would – have future together. Now, of course, she knew of his pain – and that he, in all of his spectacular, strange, alien beauty, was the one man who could understand her. He had tried, in his stiff, formal, awkward way - he had tried to talk to her of loss. She had looked into his eyes and known that pain could be reflected, like a mirror – that it could be seen clearly, and shared.)

There was no hint of that awareness of her nearness that she had seen flare in his eyes - as, looking into them, she had moved just a little closer, and a little closer still. (He had turned his head, as she came up beside him; his eyes had widened – and she knew, then, so much more…)

Yes, they were destined to be together.

She wondered if he knew that.

Leaning forward, she gently slipped her hand under his unresponsive one, felt the heat from his skin - and the sudden unaccustomed weight as, lifting it, she held it in her own.

"Mr. Spock," she said, "Spock, I'm here."

After a moment, she covered that still, motionless, beautiful hand – full of a life now hidden – with her other one. She scooted forward, a little, in her chair, drawing a little closer still – drawing his hand a little closer to her heart…

"I don't know if you can hear me," she said, her voice low, "but I want you to know I'm here."

She leaned even closer, voice dropping to a whisper. "I'm here – for you."

Her eyes raked his face looking for – hoping for – yearning for, even – some response. But there was nothing.

There was no response.

Not a twitch of a brow. (Ah, those famous, iconic eyebrows! They moved – or not – in a face that so often seemed to give away nothing. She looked, and was able to make out individual hairs in what had always seemed like solid black slashes marking a resolute face. (It was strange to see them like this. She had to tear her eyes away.))

Not a flicker of an eyelid. (His skin, this close up, was pale, yes – but with a slight greenish very-much-alive glow beneath the paleness. She could see the delicate tracery of veins in those lids. Oh, there was a hint of color in his cheeks on an ordinary day - but she had never really thought about the source of that golden tint, as it passed beneath the cool blue-white lights of the corridors. (She shivered, just a little, in the over-warm confines of the bay. (But the shiver was oddly pleasurable.)))

Not a single movement of a lip. (His lips were beautiful. Even on an ordinary day they were palest pink, curving upward as though at any moment he might smile – but he never did. They, too, were guarded, and gave away nothing. Now, they were relaxed. She pulled her eyes away from those lips. She could see the faint shadow of whiskers beneath the surface of the pale, pale skin. She wondered whether – if she raised her hand to caress the line of his jaw – they would prickle. (Her hand tightened slightly, on his. No response.) Her eyes strayed back to those beautiful lips. There was none of that watchful tension they always seemed to have: They were relaxed. (Or as relaxed, she supposed, as they ever got…) She felt herself move forward a little in the chair, leaning still closer, and irresistibly closer still… She paused, then, suddenly aware of what she had been about to do. (No, she thought, he must come to her. He would come to her. (Sometime - sometime soon, she hoped – she would see those careful, disciplined lips curl in a smile, just for her… (And maybe she would catch a glimpse of his even, white teeth.))

And she sat back, her hands enclosing his.

Her eyes pored over him - while he lay still, both absent and there.

(There was no response.)

She raised his hand, so that the back of it barely brushed her cheek. It was hot. Closing her eyes, she could catch the scent of his skin - a spicy, hot, masculine scent – and she imagined... before she lowered his hand again to rest in her lap. Covering it, once more, with hers, she caressed it, and felt the fine hairs that sprinkled its back.

She sat for a long time (alone with him in the quiet of a deserted late late-evening Sickbay) watching him, her eyes wandering, exploring – speculating. At last, she lifted his hand again, and placed it gently on the bed beside him. She stood. She had to go.

But first, she leaned over him, once more, her hand still covering his where it rested on the bed. "Spock," she whispered, hopefully, "You can call me 'Christine.'"

There was no response.

(There was no response. (Yet.))