I do not own Star Trek. It's a shame, really, as I do love the series. It's not often that you find something that has so infiltrated the culture as this show has done. I think a two hundred years from now, they'll still be rebooting it and people will still be watching the original episodes from the 1960s.

Anyway, back to the disclaimers. Star Trek is not mine. I don't have any human beta. I am my own, so you CAN blame my proofreader for any errors that you find. Well, I suppose you could blame MSWord and the F7 key.

Finally, this is a 'prelude' to Busman's Holiday over in the Star Trek 2009 movie section and has many of the characteristics of a PWP with a purpose. What is notable about Busman's Holiday is that MSWord titled the fic. Two things I have learned in the last 25 years are that neither word processors nor new fathers are very good entities to allow the privilege of naming things. Yes, I did let Word name my story –it is my beta- and, yes, after my C-section, my husband named our son.

You will want to read Busman's Holiday first. This sort of stands alone, though it has many references that are resolved in Busman's Holiday. There is also a Busman's Holiday Interlude 1 posted in ST: 2009. Additionally, an actual sequel is in process, though it is not yet up as of the posting date of this story and an 'outtake' of sorts from prior to the prelude.

-o0o-

"and four weeks on the Guardian planet . . . need an MD . . . deep space experience."

Christine Chapel tilted her head slightly and closed her eyes, as she unsuccessfully tried to listen in on the conversation two tables away in the 'fleet HQ cafeteria. She heard just enough, though, to catch her interest. She quickly finished her meal, gulping down the vegetables and bulgur wheat she'd ordered. She always ate vegetarian when he was home and a couple of weeks before so as not to offend his sense of smell with the essence of meat emanating from her skin.

Chris bussed her table before she left, more out of habit than anything else. She neatly wiped the crumbs onto her plate with a napkin and picked up a random carrot cube that had escaped her. Living with a man who craved order and organization like others craved air and water made the behaviors compulsive for her. She took the short walk from the table-stuffed cafeteria to her office.

The half-heard conversation gnawed at her as she neatly stacked the PADDs that covered her antique wooden desk into her 'in process' box for her admin to tidy later. Finished with that task, she sat down to read her messages. She gave up after the second reminder of a tedious meeting led by an annoying sycophant of her boss's boss. Within just a few minutes, she had all the information she needed about the rumored trip to the Guardian world. Best of all, it was listed as a scientific excursion, not some secretive and classified military operation.

A six-week trip, she read, not including transportation time, to the Guardian planet for medically oriented historical research. They wanted an MD with deep space and medical archaeology experience. Her time with the legendary and long dead Roger Korby and years on the Enterprise would make her uniquely qualified.

Chris considered the possibilities. She had the vacation built up, more than enough for the trip. She had the qualifications. Janice Rand would watch her cats for her. Her most pressing obligation coming up was that stupid and tedious meeting. But, and this 'but' over-rode any other consideration, he was home. They didn't know for how long he'd be home this time and no matter how wonderful the journey would be, she'd be damned if she was going to give up any of the time they could steal to be together any more than he would.

It was her own, stop swearing, Chris, blessed fault she'd picked a lover with responsibilities, one on whom Starfleet and the Federation both depended. She didn't like dull and boring men and there was surely nothing dull or boring about her man.

Still, she saved the information. You never knew what might happen.

-o0o-

When she got home, her lover was in the shower and a flat box from her favorite designer shop lay neatly on the bed. He'd picked the fanciest gift box they offered, stark, bright white embossed with flourishes of iridescent Mediterranean blue, sea green and soft reddish gold, the gold color echoed in the large bow decorating the box and ribbon that held it closed.

Chris resisted the briefest of temptations to touch the gift, perhaps shake it slightly to determine its contents. She'd wait for the giver to share her pleasure at opening it. It was a sign, one that Christine Chapel knew all too well. The trip to the Guardian world was beginning to sound like a really good idea.

She could hear the water still running in the shower. One of the first things they'd had done after they bought the townhouse was replace the sonics only shower with a tiled spa tub and add the essential water options. The sonics were fine when you were in a hurry, when you just wanted to go to bed, or when you were showering alone, but not when they were both home.

Christine stepped into the little changing room where a pair of freestanding Italian marble sinks lived. She pulled off her clothes and dropped them in the bin for the 'fresher and grabbed a royal blue towel from the linen closet to hang next to his in the bathing room. His would be the midnight blue he always favored.

His back was to her when she pulled open the door of the glass tub enclosure. He started to turn to greet her, but stopped as she touched his shoulder and back, the reached around him to get his bottle of transparent blue bath gel.

"When are they shipping you off?" she asked as she spread the warm, fragrant soap across his back. She squatted slightly as her hands moved ever lower with rounded gentle strokes leaving trails of foam to vanish in the pelting water. "For how long? And do I need to be worried about where?"

The hot water streaming out at them from three sides felt almost as good as he did. He turned as her touches became more intimate.

"'Where' is classified, Christine," Spock said. "I've not yet received the exact location, just a general idea. The mission itself will take 3 to 3 1/2 months. They fail to be precise." He returned her intimate touches, stroking first the sides of her face to send the sizzling mental signals, then down her neck and chest to where he thumbed her fat, turgid nipples.

She sucked in a quick breath and could feel herself melting against his skillful hands. Damnable Vulcan knew all of her weaknesses.

Damnable Vulcan? queried the other voice in her head. I thought you were going to stop swearing.

"Damnable Vulcan," she said aloud as she pulled one of his heads down to kiss him and softly ran her nails over the other.

"Don't divert me, Spock," she said. "When? When do you leave?"

"I am diverting you?" Spock collected her bath gel from its resting place. He placed a generous dollop of soft pink on his hand, ran it through her hair and down her body, catching every crevice.

"Always." She shuddered as he reached her nether region and probed with a slick, soapy finger.

"Nice and clean," he murmured. He pulled on of the lower hand-held shower heads and gentle rinsed the soap from her nethers and his hands before replacing his fingers. She bucked hard against his palm and caressed any part of his body she could reach. She felt her face glazing over with the heat he caused her body to produce.

She breathed heavily, gaining some minor control of her soul from him. "When, Spock, when do have to leave?" Even though she knew she was lying, and she knew he knew, she still thought at him - No answers, no nookie.

She could see his mental eyebrow rising, but he answered her question.

"Five days until the transport arrives and four more to outfit it. Three of those last four days, I will spend in briefings."

"Then, we have six days then to get you ready" She gasped her words. His hands had not stopped while he spoke.

"I am ready now," he said. "I've answered your question. I want my 'nookie.'" Lifting her up to his waist, he helped her slide her hot center onto his even hotter pole. She wrapped her legs around him and shifted herself against him, rubbing her hard nub against the dark coarse hair that covered his pubes.

"Oh god that feels good," she breathed into his gorgeous pointed ear. The pale yellow ceramic tiles in the shower rubbed wet and cold against her back, but she didn't care. He rubbed warm and slick and hard against the only parts of her that mattered. She screamed briefly with her first release and he eased her down to the floor. She continued downward and returned the favor.

-o0o-

"Only nine days, Spock. That's not much time," Christine said, her voice sad. Her staffers would have been shocked to see their hard-assed boss make a little girl sniff and frowned ever so slightly as she held the lovely box he'd given her. "You've only been home a little over three weeks. Surely the galaxy can be safe if you are home for more than a month at time."

"Based on the behaviors of Starfleet Command and the Federation Diplomatic Corp, apparently it is impossible for the galaxy to be safe without my immediate and constant personal intervention," he replied, setting down on the bed next to her. "Open your gift," he urged. "The sales assistant indicated that it was something you had admired on previous visits to their establishment." She shifted the box a little and looked expectantly at the nearly naked Vulcan holding an insanely purring longhaired gray cat.

"Moreover, I will have been home for more than a month. It has been Twenty-three days, seventeen hours, and twenty-eight minutes from the first time I entered the front door since my return. If you include the time since my transport landed on Earth, you may add another nineteen hours and sixteen minutes as I was required to attend an extended debriefing session." Spock sat down on the bed beside her. "Now open the gift," he repeated with some insistence "so that you might put it on and allow me the opportunity of removing it from you."

She eased the red-gold ribbon from the elegant packaging and laid it on the floor next to her feet. If he wanted her to put the gift on so that he could remove it, neither the ribbon nor the box would stay on the bed for long anyway. The box lid quickly followed the ribbon and Christine pulled out the sapphire blue peignoir she'd admired so often at her favorite apparel shop. She'd loved the cut of the softly fitted body-skimming bodice and waistline and way it flared along her hips to a full-length wide skirt. The lace trims and inserts of the robed echoed the ones of the gown. She felt the fabric, stroking it gently as she did her lover.

"Oh!" she almost whispered the words. "It's so gorgeous, Spock." And expensive, she thought.

Christine. The thought was a mild warning.

I wouldn't have spent so much on myself, you know.

But I am not you.

Thank goodness for that!

Since it is 'expensive,' put it on so that we may both get my money's worth out of it and enjoy the garment.

She pulled the gown out and over her long shapely body in almost a single motion. Spock pulled her towards him into a very human kiss as he undid the ribboned catch on the front of her gown and eased her breasts free.

They didn't think about his new assignment for a very long time while the cat occupied the box top and shredded the golden ribbon.

-o0o-

The next morning, at breakfast, Christine set down a small pile of pages in front of Spock when she passed him the dried fruit and agave for his oatmeal.

"I'm thinking about doing this while you are on assignment," she said simply, now passing him the shaker bottle filled with powdered cardamom, nutmeg, and mace. He sprinkled and stirred while he read.

"It's an interesting project, Christine," he said finally. "If I were not heading out on an assignment, I would be tempted to request a berth on the ship." He paused. "Or a cabin with a double bed," he added.

Christine smiled and rolled her eyes. "Incorrigible Vulcan. But what do you think?"

"I believe that it is an outstanding opportunity for scientific research that would benefit from someone with your skills and background. I also believe the deadline for applying is in just a few days and that, while you are my partner in life, you do not require my permission."

Spock handed her back her papers and the small communications PADD, he'd brought to the table with him. "Get your application in, aduna, so that I might eat first meal in the appropriate silence. I am very hungry."

"I'm not surprised, my love," she said. Her blue eyes twinkled and a smirk crept onto her lips. "You were quite enthusiastic last night. Especially for an 'emotionally repressed' being." She sat the PADD and papers down to add air quotes.

Leaning over, she kissed him smartly on the nose, admiring the smile that he almost repressed. She could see him pull in his control. Looking at his food instead, he stirred in a second, indulgent and generous, spoonful of the chopped raisins, figs, cranberries and apricots mixture to his bowl, then began to eat.

They finished the meal in silence as is proper in any proper Vulcan household as he ate and she filled out her application for the excursion and the sabbatical requests for the time off.

Christine waited for the moment that he sat his spoon back in his empty bowl and drank the last sip of his tea.

"I hate it when we're not together," she said, always with passion. They'd had this same conversation every time one of them left on assignment. "I don't need to spend every minute with you, but just knowing that when I come home that I'll sleep in the same bed as you is very important to me."

Spock soothed and validated her feelings, as always, "You do not need to explain your choices, aduna. It is the same for to me when you are gone and I am here alone. "

"Not quite. You never did explain what that was I found on the kitchen floor after Jim and Leonard came over while I was at that conference last year," she reminded him of her two weeks away while his best friends were both in town.

"Jim says some things are best left unexplained." was all he would say.

Christine shrugged. There was no beating Jim, or his student, at the 'man game,' so she let it slide for now. She kept forgetting to ask McCoy, who would undoubtedly tell her, especially if she plied him with a little bit of that old southern comfort. "I'm going to ask Janice if she will watch the cats," she said, abruptly changing topics, "And the house. She's having some renovations done on her condo, so I think that she'd appreciate the guest room for a while."

"Do not let her redecorate our home while we are gone."

"Never."

-o0o-

She was a good three hours late getting to work that morning, making the day nearly a total loss, as she'd not planned on staying past one in the afternoon, not with Spock leaving on such short notice.

Her admin, an efficient, energetic, and highly organized young woman recommended by Janice Rand, kept the wolves at bay until Chris arrived. She followed Chris into the inner office, coffee in hand, briefing her boss on the morning's events.

". . . and you have a couple of messages that you are going to want to see first." Jenny Masters, her blonde pageboy bouncing softly as she moved, tapped the computer screen, bringing up the messages that Chris hadn't really expected to get so soon. The girl was the very image and spirit of her Aunt Janice at the same age.

The first message was delighted by her interest in their expedition, would be delighted to have her join them and felt that the whole thing would highly enhanced by such a well-connected and important personage as herself. Yeah, sure, she thought. Read Starfleet Emergency Ops and daughter-in-law of a very important Federation ambassador. She got her 'yes' because of who she knew, not what she could offer. Chris hoped they understood she'd be a working scientist on the trip, and a damned – stop swearing, Christine – good one, not PR candy.

The second message, the one from her boss containing the approval for her sabbatical in record time, was not quite as pleasant, but did explain the comm Spock made while she put the breakfast dishes into wash. Maybe it was good to have the right connections after all.

-o0o-

"I will miss you more than you can imagine, Spock."

"Then it is good that you have your research sabbatical arranged. It will keep you occupied while I am gone and you will have the opportunity to increase your knowledge," Spock replied in his deep, penetrating baritone. They stood close enough that she could feel the frisson of electricity that crackled between them. Even after so many years together, his mere presence excited and energized her beyond her belief. "I expect that you will be occupied for much of the time afterwards working with your new information and preparing it for publication."

"Undoubtedly, Vulcan, and I plan on major notice when I do publish. But I'll still miss you," she said petulantly and ran her finger over the pointed pinna of his left ear.

He grabbed her wrist. "Don't do that, Christine," he said quickly, a sudden roughness and lust in his voice. "I have to leave and I will miss my shuttle if you keep doing that."

"Well, think about it often until you get back. I plan on running my fingers over more than just those wonderful pointed ears of yours."

"Take your gift with you. When you wear it, think of me doing the same thing to you."

She met his hands in the ozh'esta, they'd shared the human kiss earlier in private.

"Take care my love," she said. "I will see you in about four months. "

-o0o-

The actual trip took less time than she'd anticipated. She remembered the excitement and fear the first time the Enterprise rode the ripples in time emanating from the Guardian planet. She knew their history had changed for the brief time that Leonard, Jim, and Spock had spent on 1930s Earth and that Spock had ceased existence the second time when researchers opened the Guardian to view a time in Spock's past.

The memories dug at her and she wanted to see her past again on the Enterprise. Christine woke up in the middle of the night, restless, missing Spock. She pulled her old robe over her blue peignoir, slid her feet into her equally ancient house slippers. The rest of the scientific staff still slept. The military guards maintained their watch, but not so that it would interfere with the scientists. After the two weeks she'd been there, she'd become a familiar sight with her late night walks, so no one paid her any attention until everything exploded.

-o0o-

Four months and two days after they said good-bye, a message waited for him when he returned. His position, not just in Starfleet, but in the Federation and on Vulcan as well as that of his friends, makes sure that they can be there when he arrives to tell him in person. Kirk, McCoy, Rand and Uhura greet him to tell him that his wife is lost forever, dead in an explosion on the expedition to the Guardian planet.

It is unnecessary, though, because he is Vulcan and already knows that she has fallen through the time vortex. He doesn't believe them when they tell him again that she is dead because the bond was not ripped out of his mind. He's sure he still senses her there, faint and distant.

Over time, the connection fades and he thinks of her as just an echo in his past. He tries again, once the total failure of man unable to see past what he thinks he wants. The second, longer term, gentle, but they are more friends than lovers, intent on passing on his family's heritage to another generation, than making a loving life together.

As the years go by, Spock learns it's better if he doesn't think about her too often. And he doesn't until days after he passes through hell into an unknown past to feel the warm draw of her mind and soul. He pauses, remembering a sparkling laugh, a gentle smile and endless passion only for him. He's much older now and thinks it just the rising memory of one too old and too lost until he turns a corner in a New Vulcan medical facility and finds his home again.