Chapter 3

Nose to nose, she could tell he was smiling at her. Soft brown eyes peered inquisitively, as she slowly stroked his body, attempting to calm him - settle his need to run

"Who would have thought", she whispered close to his ears "I had no idea you could be this cute". Giggling to herself she lowered the small mammal into the pocket of her lab coat. "Mystery of the missing mouse solved"

Attempting to escape the drone of minor ailments leaking into the sickbay, she had requested to end her shift early. McCoy had only been too happy to have her go - both had been trying each others nerves as the current mission continued into its excruciatingly dull final weeks. She had drifted towards the conservatory; with only a few people present it had provided a gentle respite to the frustrations of the day.

She had at first noticed his twitching nose amongst the roses, subsequently setting about his capture. It hadn't taken her long to coax the small creature out of its corner, apprehending the animal had caused the difficult part. How it had managed to find its way so many levels from the lab was a mystery.

xxxxx

Spock could hear yelling from the time he exited the turbo lift, Christine not so attuned, and perhaps too focused on her small furry companion, missed the heightened voices until walking into the argument.

"You don't know what you are talking about!"

"Right and you do"

"Yeah, yeah I think I do " the last comment was emphasized by a prod to the chest, friction on tinders the scene exploded. The raised fist moved quickly - aimed squarely at the male opposite.

"Lieutenant! Cease now", Spock's voice, Christine's ill approach from the side, the distraction in her pocket, his fist already in flight. Christine did not feel the connection with her chin, though the crunch to her head of the opposing wall rippled through her body.

"Security to level six immediately" turning sharply to the officers Spock snapped his next commands "neither are you are to leave - you are both officially on report"

His move towards Christine was blurry at best in her eyes, attempting to stand, her balance compromised - she fell back hitting her head a second time.

"Nurse Chapel, can you hear me? Sickbay to level six - medical emergency Nurse Chapel has been injured - attend immediately"

"Mr. Spock, I'm ok - just a little dizzy"

"You have been injured, remain seated until medical assistance arrives".

"I've lost your mouse"

Spock's brow raised, then made further contact with Sickbay - "Dr McCoy I believe she may be delirious"

"No Sir, your lab rat - I found it, but..." feeling deep into her pocket, it was with some relief that she pulled out an empty hand. "He must of run away before I fell"

Spock nodded, but remained silent. He was disturbed, unsure how to respond. The actions of the officers were objectionable, and both would be placed on report. Another of the crew was injured for whom he had called for medical assistance, there were actions and logical consequences which he followed meticulously - so why did he feel ... angry, and inadequate.

"Spock", her speech slightly slurred, "my jaw really hurts"

He lifted her chin tentatively, running his thumb along the deep red mark" I believe it maybe broken, I have contacted Dr McCoy - he will be here soon"

A small tear began to form in the corner of her eye.

"I am unsure as to how to assist you" his voice had lowered, kneeling closer to her to assess her condition.

An attempted smile resulted in more tears.

"You fell awkwardly"

"It was unexpected", she looked at him confused, grimacing

"Self defensive training is a requirement of Starfleet commission, from my observation I do not believe you have undertaken this, the situation will require rectification"

"You are kidding me", her lip had started to swell, slightly muffling her words.

"Obviously I am not medical personnel, however I believe your condition will be remedied in approximately four days at which time I will expect you in the gymnasium to undertake defensive training"

Christine wanted to speak, Christine wanted to yell. She sat in pain, in tears and all he could talk about was Starfleet requirements. As the medical team approached she shut her eyes, too angry to look at his face.