Long, Dark Road

by Satin Ragdoll

Christine curled around Spock Prime as he worked at the computer. He absently reached up and played with her hair. She liked that.

She still couldn't believe she was here with him, and that he was so loving! He didn't use to be that way, but the years, plus the loss of his home-world, had changed him dramatically.

There had been an accident, and Chapel had been sure she was dead! She had felt her insides being...blown-out. That was beyond horrible. It hadn't even been an attack in Ops, it had been in her lab! Then there was peace, except for the persistant whispering. The whispering, and the dreams. When she had woken up in Spock's bed (!) she had a vague notion what had gone on. He had told her the rest, how she had been a "present" from Q.

She fondly kissed the top of Spock's head. He didn't mind those things, anymore. "Are you nervous?"

Spock glanced up at her and nodded, "I admit to being a trifle...uneasy. I do not know these men. That they were my friends before doesn't seem to matter much. They do not know me, and I feel that even my younger self doesn't trust me that much. Kirk seems to accept my experience, probably because of the meld. This information will be vital to them. I just hope it is not seen as...arrogance."

Christine snorted, "The moment it saves their skin, they'll see the value of it!"

He nodded again, "I am sure you are right." Spock regarded her seriously, "Are you still sure you want to go with me? I know what you are planning, and I'm not sure that it's a good idea."

Her lips thinned, and she crossed her arms, "I'm going, all right! I've got to do this. I've got to do this for her, if for anyone! You, of all people, should understand."

Spock sighed, "I do understand. I just don't know if it will make any difference."

oOo

They arrived at Starbase 13, and Spock went off for his arranged meeting with Kirk, McCoy, and his younger self.

Christine was left alone to deal with her own business, but before she could find her own younger self, she came face to face with a determined Uhura bearing down on her like a freight-train.

Uhura hissed, "We need to talk!" Christine came right back at her, "You bet we do!"

Finding a private little corner, Christine started before Uhura could, "Seeing me with him, even at his age, you must think me one bloody little sneak-thief, don't you?"

Uhura was startled, "Umm, yeah! What gives, Christine?! Don't you know how much I love him!"

Christine laughed, a supremely bitter sound, "Oh, yeah! Trust me, that I certainly know. What you don't know is that my time-line's Spock and Uhura were never together like you two. They were just friends!"

Uhura eyed her, "Swear?"

Christine held up her hand, "Swear!"

Uhura was looking at her closely, "Oh my God! You were gone on him, weren't you? It was even worse for you than it is for me, I can see it!"

Christine's smile faded, "Uhura, if you loved him and he did not love you, would you pine? If you couldn't convince your stupid heart to give it up, how long do you think you would go on loving him?"

Uhura's brows drew down. She was starting to understand, "One year?" Christine said nothing. "Five?" Still nothing. "Ten?" Still nothing. Uhura's mouth gaped, "God, Christine. Twenty years? Over twenty? You loved him that long, and nothing? How could you bear it?"

Christine smiled gently, "Last time pays for all, Uhura. Now is the only time that matters."

Uhura nodded. Christine grabbed her wrist, "Help me, Uhura." Uhura wet her lips, "Anything." Christine met her eyes, "Don't let her fall for him! Set her up! Anyone but Spock! I don't want her anywhere near him! I don't want her going down that long, dark road to Hell!"

Uhura nodded, "Darn straight! He's mine! I'll do my best, Christine, but listen: don't go looking for your younger self. I've met her. She is one stubborn little lady, as you should know. If you tell her to stay away from Spock, she will pursue him like her own personal honey-bee! Trust me, I'll keep her away. I know a few good candidates, even now."

Christine sighed, "Thank you, Uhura. You've taken a load off my mind."

The other woman nodded, "Anytime."

oOo

They met back at the shuttlecraft. Spock Prime looked tired. Christine rubbed his shoulders, "How did it go?"

His lips ticked up a touch, "I shall never forget the look on Dr. McCoy's face. I believe he made reference to one too many hobgoblins requiring a better quality of brandy."

Chapel laughed. Spock inquired, "And you? Did you find...closure?"

Chapel thought hard, "Not closure, just assurance. Assurance in the form of one Nyota Uhura! You two make a fine couple, by the way."

Spock's eyebrow almost went through the roof, "Indeed!"

Fin.