Spock wakes. He is in a room, half lit by the sunshine coming from filtered blinds. He is in bed.
And he is not alone.
He takes a deep breath. He does not remember the night before. Indeed, he is not even sure if he is on Earth or some other similar planet. He can tell he is not on Vulcan-the air is too robust to be his home planet. Also, the woman-what he can see of her, anyway, with her dark hair pushed over her face-does not appear to be Vulcan.
He moves, and she moans. It is not a happy sound, and he eases back enough so he can roll her over, brush the hair off her face, and see that it is Commander Chapel he has made his bed partner.
She is bruised. She is naked. And other than the moan, she does not seem to be awake.
His first thought is the Pon Farr. But he does not remember the warning signs that lead up to the burning. He does not feel the disorientation that days of sex can bring. And he is not, when he assesses it, sore in any place that would be overused during sex.
He does not think he caused her bruises, and for this, he is thankful.
"Commander." He nudges her, then shakes her a little harder. "Commander Chapel?"
She moans again and seems to move away from his hand a little.
He reaches out, fingers hovering over the bruises on her cheekbone, then settling down on the meld points as he opens himself to her and finds nothing familiar.
Suddenly he is shoved nearly off the bed, and Christine kicks her way out from under the covers. "Who the hell are you?" she yells at him, and her eyes are wild as she takes in the room.
"I am Spock. Who are you?" He makes no move toward her. Not only because she is clearly frightened but also because she has grabbed a knife he did not notice and is holding it up. She may not have her memories, but she is holding the knife correctly if skewering someone is the goal.
"Who are you?" he asks again. "What is your name?"
"You were in bed with me. You don't know my name?" She moves back, seems to realize she is naked, and reaches for the sheet but then appears to think better of it, as if he is too close.
He pulls the sheet off the bed and tosses it to her.
"You are welcome." Then he remembers that he too is naked and grabs the other sheet, wrapping it around himself. "Your name is Christine. We are friends." That is, of course, an exaggeration, but she will not know it.
She leans against the wall, touching the bruises on her arm and then turning to stare at him accusingly. "Yeah, real good friends."
"I did not do that to you."
"Then who did?" She looks him over. "You don't have any injuries."
"No." He sits carefully on the bed, trying not to spook her. "I do not feel as if we have had sex. Do you?"
"How the hell would I know? My body hurts everywhere." She frowns. "Well, actually, it might not hurt, you know, there."
"You are a doctor. You can refer to it in medical terms."
"I'm a doctor?"
"Not currently practicing, but yes."
"Do I like being a doctor?"
He is not sure how this is relevant, but she has lowered the knife, so he nods.
"What is your name again?"
"I am Spock."
"And we're…friends?" She looks down. "Naked friends?"
"We have not been…naked friends in the past."
"And yet." She takes a deep breath and slides down the wall till she is sitting on the floor. The bruises on her legs stand out in stark contrast to the off white carpet. "I'm in a lot of pain."
"I am sorry."
She nods and sets the knife on the ground. Close enough, he thinks, where she can reach for it again if he moves too fast.
"I would like to search the room for medicine. Is that all right with you?"
"This isn't your room?"
"I am unsure where we are. The last thing I remember is reporting for a briefing at Starfleet Command."
"I work for them." She frowns. "I mean...I think I do."
"You do. You are in Emergency Operations."
"Do I like that?"
Again he questions the efficacy of the question as compared to any others she could ask, but settles for nodding.
"It sounds hectic. Am I good at that?"
"You have been there for some time so I would assume you are."
"But you don't know?"
He shakes his head.
She moves her hand closer to the knife. "You said we were friends. If we're so close, why don't you know if I'm good at what I do?"
It is an extremely logical question. Her memory may be gone, but her brainpower seems as sharp as ever. "I may have exaggerated."
The knife is in her hand and she's on her feet, amazingly fast. "Are we even friends?"
The sheet falls away from her. She appears not to care. She is moving the knife back and forth from hand to hand, as he has seen some knife fighters do.
"Christine, when did you learn to fight?"
"I was trained by Carahvidh."
She frowns. "By Carahvidh. My teacher. He is…he is famous."
"Famous where?" Spock has never heard of a warrior or sensei with this name.
She is breathing fast, grimacing as she stares down, her eyes scanning the carpet as if they hold her memories. "I don't know." She flips the knife in her hand, fingers curling around the blade just right. She throws it, and it skims past his ear, lodges in the wall just behind him.
"I meant to." Turning in a fluid movement, she grabs the sheet and wraps it back around her. She stalks the room like a caged cat, seems to be looking for the door.
Why has he not thought to do this?
It is an irrelevant question as quick inspection reveals there is no door. She goes to the window and rips the shutters aside.
"What the hell?" She backs up, nearly colliding with him as he comes up behind her.
There is no window there, only a lightscreen masquerading as the outdoors.
"Is this room even real? You may not be real," she says, but she makes no move to get away from him, is in fact, be pushing against him slightly.
"You have none of Christine Chapel's memories. You are more likely to be unreal."
"Oh, I'm real. I hurt like hell. Tell me that's not real."
He can feel the pulse of her under his fingers, the feeling no computer program has ever been able to replicate, even in the most advanced holograms. To a human, perhaps, the replicants feel real, but never to a touch telepath.
This is Christine. But perhaps it is not his Christine. Of course, it is equally likely he is not her Spock.
"May I meld with you, Christine?"
"You want to have sex at a time like this?"
"I mean a mind meld. I can, perhaps, retrieve your memories. And find out who planted your memories of training as a warrior." Not just memories, though. Actual skill. He does not remember Christine ever having been so adept with a blade before.
"And who hurt me." She narrows her eyes, staring at the bruises on her arms. "Or…wait." She turns, spins suddenly, her forearm poised to strike him. He reacts automatically, lifts his arm to block hers. She stops before they make contact. The bruises match where she would have struck him. "I've been fighting."
"So it would seem."
She touches his arm, runs her finger down it. "Do you bruise?"
"Then you haven't been fighting." There is disdain in her voice.
"I am, perhaps, a better fighter."
She kicks his legs out from under him, has him on the ground before he can raise an eyebrow. "I don't think so."
She holds out a hand to help him up, and he yanks her down, taking advantage of her surprise to use the neck pinch. As she crumples into his arms, he mutters, "I believe you are wrong."
He eases her down, finding the meld points again. He is inside her mind quickly, finding memories that seem old but are not. Memories of fellow warriors. Of campaigns. Of training and fighting until she could barely walk.
None of it real. Until…
He is thrown off her, his mind snapping painfully back to the here and now. She should not be awake, but she is.
And she is far from happy with him.
They both run for the knife. She beats him to it, but he reaches out, pinches her neck again-or tries to. She slips back enough that his fingers slip down her front.
A roundhouse kick sends him into the wall behind him. Then she is on top of him, the knife in her hand, its blade at his throat.
"Give me one reason I shouldn't kill you?" Her hand is shaking as she holds the knife against his skin. Her eyes dilate as she looks at him.
"Because you love me," he says softly, hoping it is still true. It has been years since they have spent time together.
She pushes the blade in a bit, and he knows she has drawn blood. She does not seem taken aback by the fact that his is green.
He does not move. "You love me, Christine."
"Do you love me?"
He thinks to save his life he should say yes. But he shakes his head.
She stares down at him, as if she cannot believe he would say this to her. But then her expression changes and she begins to move, grinding gently at first, then not so easily.
He moans. This should not feel good. This should not be arousing.
It is-his body, unfortunately, cannot lie.
"You may not love me, Spock. But you most definitely want me."
He does not argue, just waits to see if she will kill him or not. She pushes the knife a little harder and he meets her eyes.
Suddenly, she rolls off him, coming up into a warrior's crouch, the knife tip gleaming a liquid green. "What did you find in my head?"
"You were used. Someone gave you these memories. Of being a fighter. Your injuries, the bruises-they were obtained in battle, in an arena."
"I'm not cut."
"It was hand to hand." He meets her eyes, waits for her to understand. "There were no weapons. But it was to the death."
She holds her hands out, squeezes the one that isn't holding the knife. As if she is strangling someone. She meets his eyes. "It is easy to kill this way. If your opponent has a fragile neck."
"Did I kill someone?"
"Yes." Ten someones, to be precise, over the last several days. But he does not think it will be useful to elaborate.
"An arena?" She slumps onto the floor. "Why can't I remember fighting?"
"I do not know. Nor do I know why I have not been made to fight."
"Well, you're not very good at it."
"I am stronger than you are. Usually much more skilled."
She gives him a look that says she clearly does not believe him.
"You should sleep. Regain your strength." For what is to come.
"I'll sleep when I'm dead." She laughs, a darkly rich sound. "And judging by the amount of bruises on me, that may be sooner than I'd like." She frowns. "Why can't I remember the fight?"
"Perhaps because I was not here? This may be a way of resetting the game, as it were."
She nods. "I don't like them. Whoever they are. I'm going to go out on a limb and say they're not nice people."
"That much is certain."
They sit, she on her side of the room, he on his, and wait.
Guards come for them the next day. After food has been beamed into their room. After they have slept some and eaten more and hydrated because she says it is important and he knows she is right.
They are given clothes and taken to an arena, and a man with cold eyes and greyish-brown skin tells them they must fight. Christine follows the guards to the middle of the sand, but Spock stands and stares at the man who seems to be in charge.
"You consider yourself our superior without even knowing anything about us, don't you, Spock?" The man smiles. "Oh, yes. I know who you are. You were brought specially, after all." He looks over at Christine. "For her. To make her fight better." He smiles, a deadly expression. "And she is so very skilled already."
"I will not fight."
"Oh, you will. Eventually. There is always something to fight for." The man leans in. "We just have to find what that is for you. I already know what it is for her. I've just taken everything away so she can rediscover you. Love is an excellent motivator, and unless I miss my guess, you've already told her she loves you-to keep her from killing you. Vicious creature when she gets going, isn't she?"
Spock does not answer.
The man only smiles. "Hard to believe she was ever a healer." He nods to the guards who drag Spock out of the arena and up the stairs, to an unadorned chair next to the one the man sits in. "I am the Chancellor, Spock. Most inconsiderate of you not to have ascertained that. Disrespectful, even."
Spock does not answer.
"She will pay for it." He stands. "Christine."
She looks up at him.
"You like knives so much. See how well you fare today with them."
The guards throw daggers into the arena. Christine takes one, and a gate at the far end of the space opens and a man steps out. Christine backs up, leaving room for him to claim his weapon.
Then they fight. She is astonishingly brutal. Her opponent seems as surprised as Spock is.
The Chancellor leans in. "Those who abhor the fight make the best warriors. I have seen it before. The healer becomes the assassin. The lamb becomes the lion."
Spock meets the man's eyes. "I will not fight."
"So you say. So you say." He stands up and claps as Christine finishes off her opponent. "Well done. Do it again." The gate opens; another man steps out.
He meets the same fate as the first.
"Enough for now, I think." The Chancellor beams at Spock. "I wanted you to understand. And her to get a taste of first blood all over again. I, of course remember her previous fights, but she does not. Ahhh…exhilarating."
The guards drag Spock down to Christine, who is cut worse than he could see from the stands.
She meets his eyes. In hers is a wary sort of guilt-but also a determination. She will fight; she will win.
He does not know this woman. He would not have thought her capable of this.
They are taken back to the room, beamed in-there truly is no door. She cleans up and then eats the food they have been left as if she has not just killed two men. She catches him watching her, asks, "Would you have rather I let them kill me?"
He has no answer for that.
There is only the one bed, so they both lie on it. She turns, studies him, and finally says, "Am I so abhorrent to you?"
He looks away, stares at the ceiling.
"Would the person I was, the Christine you know, would she have fought?"
He is not sure. She might have fought. But she would certainly not have won.
Christine gives up and turns away from him. "Just before I went to the sands, the guards told me something."
"If I don't perform to the best of my ability, they will kill you."
"Then choose not to kill and let me die."
"But…you said I love you." She turns back to him. "How can I let you die if I love you?" She reaches out, sees him flinch and pulls back. "I…I feel something for you."
"You have just killed and fed. The last thing left to do with the primitive part of your brain that you are using is copulate. That is all you feel."
"Oh." She looks hurt.
He turns on his side, shutting her out, and strives to find some measure of peace in an easy Vulcan meditation.
Their life turns into routine. She fights; he watches. The Chancellor gives him the opportunity to fight; he declines.
And after every fight, they are sent back to their room.
And after every fight, it gets easier to forget what he has seen her do.
One day, she is hurt worse than usual, and he can tell she is in a great deal of pain. The Chancellor gives them food and water but no regenerators. No medicine.
He melds with her, to ease her pain, to help her heal.
He feels her confusion as their minds join. She is not relishing the battles as it appears. She is fighting for him, not for herself. As he pushes her consciousness to the back of her mind, as he gives her peace and a dreamless sleep, he holds her close and lets his lips rest on her cheek.
In the morning, when she wakes, she cuddles into him for a moment. He lets his arms slip around her even though he knows they are playing into the Chancellor's hands.
"I'm sorry, Spock," she whispers, and her voice is broken. "I know you disapprove of me."
"It is wrong to kill, Christine."
"I know. But it would be more wrong to let you die."
"I am not sure that is true."
She slides across him, agile and strong, and she kisses him once she is straddling him. She eases down and down and then he is inside her. They sleep naked now-they have no clothes other than the ones they wear during the day so there is no logic in hiding their bodies.
She looks down at him, some darkly sad emotion shining from her eyes. "Is this all right?"
He nods and moves inside her, harder than he might if he weren't so disappointed in her-and in himself.
They come loudly. He imagines the Chancellor is enjoying the show.
They are wrapped around each other. Christine is hurt worse than before, but she wanted to make love and he indulged her.
"They will make me fight," he says, and she holds him close. "I ask myself what Jim would have done."
He has told her of their captain. Of his bravery and his love and his death. Of what he meant to Spock. Of how little Spock cared about anything after he was gone.
She listens, and her eyes shine with the compassion he remembers from sickbay. She likes to hear the stories of James T. Kirk, even if she has no memory of him.
"He would not give up." She has absorbed the stories well. "He didn't believe in the no-win scenario."
He nods. "He was also not a killer."
"He was, though. He would fight. He would kill. Just not…every day. When it mattered, though. You've told me of times when he did."
And he probably has told her. In some desperate attempt to make what is happening-what the woman he has fallen in love with is doing-all right. Or at least tolerable.
It should never be tolerable to kill.
She pulls him on top of her, and he realizes she is crying. He has not seen her cry here. Not even when truly hurt.
"Christine?" He stops moving.
"I can stop this. I can do something about this, Spock." She touches his face, then moves under him, making him moan and thrust into her harder. "Tell me it's too much and I'll not fight well."
At his look, she shakes her head. "No, Spock, I can do that for you. I can let them kill me. And then you'd be free. You won't ever have to watch me kill and then have to live with it."
He stops moving, touches her cheek, memorizing the contours. "I am in love with you."
"I do not want you to die." He kisses her deeply, knowing he has made a choice he does not fully understand.
"I love you, Spock," she says as he moves inside her again, as he finishes them both off. "And I'm sorry."
"This time, you will fight." The Chancellor looks at Spock and his eyes are implacable. He has the look of those who have no honor. Spock has spent too much time with the Klingons, and with this new Christine, to not see how cunning and wrong this man is.
"I will not. I have told you."
"And because your mate wins you think she will always win? Don't you realize we let her quit before she can lose? Don't you realize we stack the deck in her favor?" The man laughs and it is not a pleasant sound. "Swords this time, guard."
The guard throws swords onto the sand. Christine hurries to pick one up and backs away as her opponent grabs his.
"She is tired from yesterday, Spock. How long can she keep on before she drops her guard?"
"You are the ones who gave her the memories of being a warrior, who imbued her with these killing skills. Surely you know her limits."
"We don't. That's what makes it interesting, Spock. We never know. We take the ones we find and give them what they need to make them fight. And then we see. We watch."
"And you enjoy it."
"Well, of course. What would be the point if we didn't?" He turns to the arena. "Fight!"
Christine and her opponent come together, swords clanging, dust rising from their footwork as they hack at each other.
"Very little grace in this. Brute strength, really. She is quite remarkable, don't you agree, Spock?"
"She is an excellent fighter."
"Oh, and you have no envy for her ability to fight with no shame? Her ability to lose herself in the battle-in the bloodlust? You would never be like that, would you? Even if you did fight."
"I would never be like that. I would never give in to you."
"Well, then I'll have to enjoy watching her."
Christine finishes off her opponent. Two more take his place. She kills them both, but more slowly and with more effort.
She is breathing hard when the next three come in. She looks up at Spock, and there is panic in her eyes for a moment. Panic and exhaustion. Then she turns back to the sand and the dust and the heavy steel of her blade.
They die eventually. She is hurt, though. Bleeding and limping.
Four more come in and she seems to hesitate, then goes to meet them. They do not die easily.
"She is truly breathtaking, Spock. I can only imagine, if we can turn a human into such a killing machine, what a Vulcan would be."
Spock sits silently, watching her as she takes the water finally offered to her by a guard, as she glances up at him as if afraid he is no longer watching.
Does she think he could look away?
"Your ideals are strong, Spock. It is a shame they will end up killing her."
The gate opens one more time and five fresh warriors stride into the arena.
Christine looks over at him. Smiles, a game smile, the human smile that Jim taught him means "I understand" or "it's okay." She lifts her sword and her arm trembles, but she straightens her shoulders and takes a step toward the five.
"What are you doing, Spock?" His father's voice. Why does this man suddenly sound so much like Sarek?
Christine turns as if she can feel his movement across the sands. "Spock, I've got this." Her voice is thick and he imagines the Christine he knew, striding across sickbay the way this one walks the arena to meet her death.
He takes a step, then another. Down the stairs, to the guard at the gate. The man asks, "Are you sure?" He sounds like Jim. The eyes staring out at him aren't hazel, though. They are a flat gray.
"I have to. I am sure." Spock takes a sword from the man and strides onto the sand.
Christine turns and waits for him. The five warriors stop as if giving him the courtesy of joining his teammate.
His crewmate, once.
His mate, now.
"We're going to die," she says to him with a smile that belies the words.
"Then we will die together."
"Okay, then." She takes a deep breath and raises her sword.
He does the same and-
Spock wakes. He is in a room, half lit by the sunshine coming from filtered blinds. He is in bed, monitors blinking and pinging softly. Christine lies on the bed next to him, a bracelet on her wrist blinking in time with one on his.
She opens her eyes. "I guess we didn't die." She smiles and touches his cheek for a moment; her touch feels sweet to him. "Can you move?"
He tries, finds it difficult but manages. He can tell she is sore, too. How long have they been in this bed? And what is this? Another game?
"You're back, Spock. Relax." She takes off the bracelet on her wrist and some of the pinging stops-and a resonance he didn't realize was between them fades-then she undoes his as well, and he once again feels right in his mind. He moans before he can stop himself. In relief. And in-
"What do you remember?"
She smiles. "Can you be more specific? This is groundbreaking therapy I just used on you. I'm going to need something for the report."
"You were a warrior. You fought in the arena and I would not. I-"
Memories flood him. Sand, covered in blood-red, green, the fuchsia of Klingons. He is standing, a blade drooping as the last man he fought dies in the sand in front of him.
There is no Christine. He is not fighting to save her. He is alone in the arena. Alone with the men he has killed.
"Steady." Her touch on his arm is the only thing holding him in the room. "They gave you drugs. They made you do it."
"Yes. You did." She pushes down gently, her touch on his skin grounding him. "It wasn't your fault."
"I…I could have-"
"You could have done nothing. I checked the levels in your blood when we found you. Even days later, you were still under the control of the chemicals they gave you. You had no choice." She leans in, her lips settling near his ear. "You went away. It was too much and your mind…you sent it away. When we found you in that place, there was nothing left of you. We didn't know what had happened. But then I saw the vids. I know what they made you do."
"But it was you who was made to fight…" Memories conflicting, hitting up against each other. Her in the arena-then him. Which of them was it? "I remember both. How…?"
"The bracelets. They're new-they linked us. Your father set up the meld and the bracelets made it endure." She moves closer, then frowns. "Is this all right?"
"We are lovers." He says it and then wonders if it is true. By her expression, he can see it is not. And the memories are overlapping, the real ones taking over.
"We are not." She kisses him, and he kisses her back and does not debate the illogic of the activity in the face of her statement. They are not lovers, but kissing her feels utterly natural. "I couldn't lose you," she murmurs. "It was selfish of me, I suppose. But with Jim gone, and Scotty. I couldn't lose you, too. Even if you were never mine."
He pulls her down to him, kisses her instead of telling her he wishes she'd let him go. But he thinks she can feel it in his touch and she pulls away.
"Your father is waiting, Spock."
"Has he seen the vids?"
"No. But he knows. The basics. I had to tell him something to get him to help."
"Of course." He swallows, sees her frown. "He will not approve."
"He will not care, Spock. Like me, he only wanted you back." She touches him, but not like a lover. Like a doctor. Like a fellow officer. Then she slips out of bed, and looks down on him with a fierceness he has never seen. For a moment, she is the warrior he thought he was saving.
His champion. Whether he wanted one or not.
He should thank her for saving him. He does not.
Spock sits outside Emergency Operations, waiting for Christine to get off shift. She is not expecting him. He has not seen her since she brought him back.
She was right when she said Sarek would not censure him. Spock wonders how it is this woman he barely knows except in a world that never existed seems to understand his father so much better than he does.
"We will speak no more of guilt, Spock," Sarek said. "You were not acting of your own will. Christine has explained it to me."
Christine. His father calls her Christine so easily.
"A fine woman of good character," Sarek said of her. His eyes gleamed with approval.
"Spock?" Christine's voice carries to him from the doorway. She sounds surprised. Also wary.
He looks up. She is in uniform. Her hair is regulation. She looks like the perfect officer, nothing like the woman who stood covered in blood in the arena sands.
He loved that woman. But did he love her as he once loved Zarabeth and Leila? In a way that only an altered state could make possible?
She walks over and sits next to him. "I didn't expect to see you."
"I owe you gratitude."
She smiles. "That's an interesting way to not say thank you." She leans back and sighs. "You don't owe me anything. I told you. What I did was selfish."
"I know it was only in my mind, but I have this vision of you, in the arena, looking back at me. As if whatever I chose was all right with you."
She looks down.
"You came to save me. But you would have let me go, wouldn't you?"
She nods. "You were hurting. I could feel that every time we made love. I didn't want to force you back if returning destroyed you." She turns to look at him. "I was already in love with you, but I didn't know you. I set out to save a man I barely knew. But the you that I got to know, in there-in your mind-it was more than I expected. Only…that wasn't real either, was it?"
"It was not."
She nods and looks down. "I miss you anyway. Even if it wasn't real."
He does not look at her as he says, "I miss you, too."
They sit quietly, and she leans back and closes her eyes and seems to be trying to breathe more deeply, to calm herself down.
"I will never be free of what I did."
"No, Spock. You never will. But you do know you didn't choose it, right?"
"I do know that. My father…my father was quite helpful."
"He's a hell of a man." She smiles gently. "Just give it time. The memories…they'll fade. It wasn't you. Not the real you."
"No, not the real me." He sits thinking, then as he hears her start to get up, he murmurs, "Making love to you was not real."
She settles back down. "I know."
"Despite that, I find I miss it." He turns to watch her expression change, to grow to the slow, sensual look that has not changed from warrior to officer. "Do you, perhaps, miss it as well?"
"I do." She is smiling a little now and cocks her head to study him as she waits.
"Would you like to explore this idea more fully?"
"Are you seducing me?" She pitches her voice low, only for him.
"With little skill, no doubt. But yes."
She meets his eyes and hers are intense, but then they lighten and she grins. "Don't sell yourself short, mister. And yes, I'd love to explore this more fully." She stands. "Your place or mine?"
"The walls in the VOQ are very thin."
"My place, then." She waits for him to stand then says, "Little human male trick. Always go to the woman's place. That way you can flee in the morning."
"Ah. Logical." He gestures for her to lead the way. "And if I do not wish to flee?"
"That works, too, then." She is walking quite fast and his mouth ticks up just a little. She sees his almost-smile and laughs, the sound light and happy. He is not sure she has ever laughed this way with him before.
She does not live far and he follows her up the stairwell to the second floor and down the hall. She palms the door open and lets him go in first, then locks it behind them.
They stand, awkwardly, in the hall and look at each other.
"So. You're the diplomat, Spock. Now what?"
He moves toward her, aware that he has never held her in reality the way he held her in his mind, but letting that memory guide him. She flows to him, wrapping her arms around his neck as if they have been intimate for years.
"You were that woman, that Christine."
She nods. "But I'm not that woman, Spock. Not now. I'm just me."
"That is acceptable." He kisses her, and she opens her mouth to him the same way she did when she was his warrior. She grinds against him in a similar, if less ferocious, fashion. He pushes her against the wall, struggles with her uniform, until she finally says, "Let me," and pushes off her pants and then his. He hikes her up and she is on him, riding him, and he groans at the feeling.
So familiar and utterly new.
He can feel how aroused she is and moves faster, until she is coming and he can ride the explosion as they kiss, as she cries out. He follows her, his body tensing and then releasing in a glorious spasm that leaves him crushing her against the wall.
She laughs softly as she kisses his neck and murmurs, "I have really, really missed that."
He pulls away, gives her a true smile-albeit still a Vulcan one-and says, "I could not put this from my mind."
"Well, no. It's goddamned wonderful, Spock." She kisses him again and says, "Put me down. I can't breathe." Once he lets her down, she strips off the rest of his clothes and leads him into the bedroom.
Then she stops and glances back at him, her look full of gentle mischief. "Unless you want to flee?"
"I think not, Christine." His voice is the very model of Vulcan indignity, and she laughs and pulls him after her until they fall on the bed and touch again, trying everything for real that they did in his mind.
They get very little sleep. In the morning, he wakes to find her nestled against him, her back to his chest. He is holding her tightly and she moans softly in her sleep.
He kisses her awake and she pulls him to her, into her. It feels right. Even if it is new, it feels completely natural to be with her.
He tells her that as she makes them breakfast. She is cutting grapefruit and smiles in a strange way when he says that she will always be his warrior.
"There may be some things you don't know about me. I've picked up a few new skills since I came to Ops."
Her knife slices the air just beside his ear, goes into the wall behind him, and vibrates from the force of the throw.
He can feel his eyebrow rising. "You missed."
She smiles, a mischievously sensual expression. "I meant to."