Re published.

Please note, in case missed T'Kel = Shervic

LOVES LABOURS LOST

"Rosa Barkarole"

"By another name would smell as sweet"

Keeping her head low over the blossom she held, her whispered words were barely heard.

"Indeed Nurse Chapel – Shakespeare I believe"

At this she turned to look up at the First Officer standing slightly over her.

"Yes Sir"

Her answer was polite but short, her tone distant, unusually so. Spock could recognise when he had interrupted a moment of thought, he quickly excused himself, making his way towards the exit.

As he walked, he turned back to briefly watch the nurse. She was sitting, very still, very quiet. She held the rose close to her face, abstractly running the petals across the line of her cheek. She appeared displaced, and it disturbed him.

Distracted by Nurse Chapel's presentation he failed to notice Doctor McCoy barrelling through the entrance, running straight into him.

"Humph! Oh sorry Spock wasn't looking where I was going"

"I noticed Doctor"

"I'm looking for Christine"

"Nurse Chapel is by the rose garden", Spock slightly turned his head to indicate direction. "Doctor?" he paused unsure as to how to proceed.

"Yes Spock?"

"Is Nurse Chapel well? she appears…" he could not think of the words, as he tried to articulate a feeling rather than an observation.

"I know what you mean Spock"

A raised eyebrow responded to McCoy

"She's not been herself…it's been since she returned from shore leave, distracted, it's just not like her"

"Could it be viral?"

"Taking up medicine Spock?" McCoy smiled "no, I don't think she's physically unwell – hell I don't even know if something is wrong", he sighed then continued, "over by the roses you say"

"Yes Doctor"

Spock continued to the door, pausing again to see McCoy approach the nurse. Though he could not place the disquiet he felt, he knew there was something wrong. She had turned and responded to him, with no real recognition in her eyes, other than that of a fellow officer. He was used to a warmer response.

McCoy came up behind Christine, crouching low his voice dropped to a concerned paternal tone.

"Chris?"

"Leonard – what can I can I do for you?"

"Just seeing what you are up to, you seem – I don't know you seem a bit …. Well not yourself since shore leave"

"Its funny you should say that, I do feel ….its like I've lost something but not sure what it is"

Christine rested her chin upon her hands, rubbing her eyes with the tips of her fingers. "I don't feel sad just out of sorts – weird"

McCoy carefully considered his next words

"Is it…is it Spock? Shore leave was on Vulcan, maybe you thought that something might happen, his home planet …and"

"Spock? First Officer Spock? What would he have to do with what's going on?"

McCoy, slightly taken aback by her reference to Spock by his formal title, continued though with a little more caution.

"Well its no secret that you and Spock, well at least you.."

Christine's eyes widened with horror "what are you saying?"

"Christine its ok, we can't help who we fall in love with…"

"Love! Doctor McCoy", her voice was now raised beyond polite interaction, several heads had turned towards the two "I do not know what you might think is going on, but I would NEVER! ..My God he is my commanding officer and …and it wouldn't be appropriate what could make you think that I would ever, that I could ever!"

"Christine I'm sorry, I just thought"

She was now standing, visibly shaking in anger

"If you will excuse me DOCTOR, I believe my shift is due to begin"

She spun around, storming towards the exit with a flourish of indignation. McCoy remained wide mouthed and confused, eyes about the room staring in blatant surprise.