First and foremost, this is for my very best friend in the world, Bella. She made a comment one day that she wanted a Star Trek AU of Chuck and Blair, and what could I do but oblige, since she is a genius. This is very specialized, so I would understand if it isn't in everyone's taste. The only reason I'm posing it here is because it's so very long - sorry about that. So to Bella - I hope you have a very merry Christmas and hope this is to your satisfaction.
"Where is he?"
The contraction hit with another pang and her question was accentuated with another cry.
She felt the world tumbling down around her, but all she knew was that she was alone when she needed her husband the most.
And no one was answering her.
The shuttle was reverberating around them. All she needed was an answer.
"Where is he?"
"Just keep pushing."
"We can't leave! We can't—"
For the first time, she was quiet. His voice was dark and commanding over the intercom.
Another contraction hit.
"Blair, listen to me—"
"Where are you?"
"Are you on the shuttle?"
"We can't leave. We can't take off without you."
"Are you safe?"
She recognized that tone and she knew with an ache in her heart that his mind was made up.
"It's coming," she said, tears in her eyes. "The baby's coming."
"I love you so much."
"No," she said, attempting to wrestle herself from the midwives' hands. "This shuttle is not taking off without you."
"They're going to take care of you."
"Chuck Bass, don't you dare—"
"I love you, Blair—"
The intercom cut off.
"Neither human nor Vulcan."
"Look at her. Human eyes."
"Is she sad?"
Blair could hear their voices through the door. It didn't mean they were spoken out loud. It was just what she heard that was told volumes by the Vulcan eyes that followed her endlessly.
Quickly and efficiently, she wrapped the white bandage around her porcelain skin.
She still heard it.
It was a weakness being alone. Just like emotions were a weakness. More eyes looking at her, more attempts to illicit an emotional response.
Blair watched as green oozed through the bandage wrapped around her wrist.
She didn't have to suppress her anger. She was just as logical as the rest and her mask was better than anyone's.
But the one voice she heard the loudest was her mother's.
"What did you do?"
Blair whirled around, her straight black hair covering her ears. She saw the distaste in her mother's eyes. Without her daughter's ears showing, she almost looked human.
"I'll be out in a moment," Blair answered.
Eleanor wasn't looking at her face anymore. Her eyes locked on her daughter's wound.
"It causes attention."
"Those feuds you have with those girls."
"As if they don't already know that Blair Waldorf is a dirty hybrid."
"You shouldn't let the talk get to you."
"I don't," Blair said honestly. It was an inevitability that she would be targeted for her paternity. She had accepted that long ago. Her mother thought she was angry. But that wasn't where she got her strength.
Blair garnered her power through the knowledge that despite the natural way she made everyone around her uncomfortable, she was still the smartest, still the shrewdest and still the hardest working.
Blair Waldorf may have been part human, but she was most certainly better than all the rest—even when her mother didn't seem to agree.
"It wasn't an accident." Her mother never had to ask. She always knew. "Those girls cut you on purpose."
"What led you to that conclusion?"
"They wanted to see if you have Vulcan blood."
"They've come to the conclusion that I do."
"I was referring to the literal color," Eleanor reiterated. "Being part human is rare. There are no absolutes."
"I suppose their hypothesis has been disproven."
"You cannot exhibit this weakness," Eleanor said. "Especially due to your human lineage. You need to display strength in the face of adversity."
"Do not concern yourself, Mother," Blair said. "And I will reciprocate in kind."
"Blair," Eleanor said. "We do not need this negative attention on us."
"The humiliation of marrying Daddy and him subsequently leaving isn't any fault of mine."
Her mother's eyes darkened—but only for a moment.
It was a rare thing to see.
"He left us."
"He didn't leave us. He left you."
Sometimes she pitied her mother. Eleanor had to tell herself things to keep her head high.
But then Blair remembered that was a human emotion and she stopped.
"I didn't foresee your father's departure," Eleanor said. "It wasn't logical."
"Was marrying him?"
"At the time," Eleanor said. "Just like controlling your feelings would be for you."
"I have no issue with that."
"You desire to dominate those girls."
"Like you say, Mother," Blair said. "It's just logical. I am the best choice to be in charge of them. I'm the best of the best."
"Yes," Eleanor said. "That's better."
"Charles Bartholomew Bass."
"The streetwalkers like to call me Chuck, but thanks."
"You usually brag about being in the company of streetwalkers?"
If Chuck could form any emotion without making his face hurt more than it already did, he probably would have sneered.
But holding an icepack to the side of his head and to his three cracked ribs, he couldn't help but finding the stupidity of asking someone in a bar if they solicited. He thought the answer was pretty clear.
"I can't say your father would be pleased."
That time Chuck did ignore the pain enough to sneer. "Star Fleet."
"You think he would be proud of you getting into bar fights?"
"Bart was never proud of me a day in his life. In fact, I should be relieved he didn't have me aborted from his whore."
"You think your father's accident gives you a right to talk like that?"
"I never had a mother," Chuck responded. "He made sure of that."
"Well, you're not stupid."
"That wasn't a compliment," the commander said. "Just an observation. You ace all of your tests you take. Why haven't you enlisted?"
"And end up just like my father?"
"What's wrong with that?"
"You don't have to con me," Chuck answered. "Bart may have been well established, but he was a bastard. You and I both know his so called accident wasn't an accident at all."
"If you're so aware of his exploits, why do you keep coming into this bar and trying to kill yourself?"
"What do you know about it?"
"Just what the bartender tells me. Oh yeah, and the streetwalkers. Your father died a month ago."
"So I should just get over it?"
"You seem to be well educated on the abuse your father committed."
"You know something about twenty years of abuse? It makes you dominated."
"If there is one thing I would never hear about Chuck Bass, it's that he lets himself be dominated."
"Again I ask," Chuck said, "what the hell do you know about it?"
"That you'd be a hell of a captain."
"Excuse me?" Chuck asked doubtfully.
"You could have ship in eight years—"
"Why would I give a damn about that?"
"Because the Basses don't have to be a legacy of abusive emotionally stunted bastards."
"What makes you think that I'm any different?"
"Because you're punishing yourself. And you can be a man in a way that your father never was."
"My father was part of the Federation wasn't he?" Chuck asked. "Part of a peace-keeping, humanitarian—"
"We both know that wasn't what he was in it for. New recruits report tomorrow."
The commander got up from the table.
After a moment, he paused.
"Your father was brutal and more unfeeling than Vulcans. It wouldn't take much to beat that. We'll see if you can even do that."
Chuck watched the commander – who's name he couldn't even remember due to his head situation – go.
If there was one weakness he had, it was being dared.
"I'll do it in five years."
"Charles Bartholomew Bass, you have been brought before this tribunal for violating the ethical code—"
Before the court, Chuck was slumped in his seat. To be honest, he wasn't completely surprised by this turn of events. The fact that he had violated some small rule was something he had expected.
The fact that someone had reported it was a surprise, however.
This outburst was his first transgression before the court that day. Everyone stared at him. Ignoring their gazes, Chuck sauntered down the steps to the podium.
"Maybe I should have been more succinct," Chuck said. "May I ask what ethical codes I have violated?"
"If you may cooperate, Captain—"
"I have the right to face my accuser directly."
There was no question in his voice. He watched the court exchange glances before nodding begrudgingly.
For the first time that he could remember, Chuck was surprised.
The girl's black hair was cut to the middle of her back and from that instant, Chuck knew he hated the inhuman bitch. Whoever this Waldorf was, her unfeeling eyes made him understand that she was an enemy.
Chuck couldn't even get a word in. She refused to look at him besides that first cutting look and instead addressed the court.
"Captain Bass assumes that his hypothetical pedigree gives him leeway to do as he pleases without any adherence to the rules that have been set in place."
It was the second time he had interjected without leave, but he supposed that they had given up on attempting to leash him.
"Your father," the girl answered, blinking blankly at him. "Although he was a decorated officer, that in no way gives his offspring any sort of special treatment. Nepotism isn't something we support."
"We?" Chuck snorted. "I didn't realize you were a collectively ship."
"I am a commander on the ship you have recently taken control of."
"It sounds like you're trying to insinuate something."
"Your status as captain does not equate to your ownership of any ship," Blair said. "The USS Empire belongs to the Federation—"
"What exactly is it that you're accusing me of?"
The half human finally locked eyes with his.
"Captain Bass," the court addressed him. "Commander Waldorf is of course referring to the incident with the Klingons—"
"Incident?" Chuck sneered. "Oh, you mean the incident where I saved an entire ship full of refugees—"
"Captain Bass," the girl interrupted. "Your alleged rescue attempt damaged Federation property, as well—"
"What does this even have to do with you?" Chuck snapped.
"Captain," he was chastised. He begrudgingly fell silent, glaring at the dark eyed girl.
"I do hope your hearing is not as impaired as your judgment," she said. "You violated rule seven dash six—"
"The rules," Chuck seethed.
"As well as endangering the lives—"
"While my methods may be unorthodox to someone obsessed with conventionalism," Chuck said, "without my assistance, we would have lost half as much equipment, and may I add, lives—"
"I hardly think logic supported with the probability of damage and lives lost is cause for you using the word conventionalism in such a derogatory tone. Is it my lineage or biological inclination towards being female that threatens you?"
"I am not threatened—"
"Captain, I will not have you turn this court into a joke," he was chastised. "You are hereby grounded until further notice."
Chuck ground his teeth, restraining himself from throwing abuse at the arrogant girl. With even more fury, he watched as the half Vulcan she actually exhibited emotion.
The tiniest of smirks crossed her face as she turned from her podium.
Chuck stalked back as the court rose, seeing his second in command and his sympathetic face.
"Who was that pointy eared bitch?" Chuck muttered.
"You really don't know?" Archibald asked. Chuck studied his friend in uncertainty. "You know she works on the ship."
"I've never seen her."
"That's probably how she got ahead of you," Nate said.
"Are you suggesting this was a strategic maneuver to unseat me?" Chuck asked doubtfully.
"Never underestimate a Vulcan, man," Nate answered.
"Half Vulcan," Chuck corrected.
"How do you know?"
"Blair Cornelia Waldorf."
He watched in satisfaction as she stopped short. When she finally turned to face him, her face was void of emotion. Chuck suspected as much. But even so, he knew that he had caught her off guard.
He was the captain.
"Bass," she said delicately.
If there was anyone that could expose emotion, it was Chuck. Even if she did have a species up in him, he had decided that his sole mission would be to get underneath her skin.
But of course, she probably already knew that.
If she knew anything about him, she probably already deduced that. It was only logical.
"Captain," he corrected.
"Last time I checked your status had been revoked," Blair stated.
"You did go to a lot of trouble to make that happen," Chuck said. "But you should have already known. I'm Chuck Bass."
"I would consider that a handicap more than what you appear to consider it."
"That is your name, isn't it?"
She paused. "Commander Blair—"
"-Cornelia Waldorf," Chuck said. "Like I… deduced."
"Blackmail and coercion isn't encompassed in the definition of deduction."
"Just as you might have deduced your stunt to take over as captain failed spectacularly," Chuck said. "If you knew anything about it, you'd know that Archibald is acting captain—"
"It is your knowledge that appears to be lacking, Captain."
If he hadn't known any better, he was certain that were sarcasm in her voice.
"I have no desire to mutiny you."
"You call that mutiny?" Chuck asked. "I call that a scheme."
"Any and all decisions and I actions I take out are completely sound."
"Then what the hell was the point of all that?"
"You assume that I have nefarious intentions, Bass," Blair said. "I was only ensuring the safety and security of this ship."
"Why?" Chuck asked. "It's not like you care about anything."
"I am in control of my emotions," Blair said. "That does not insinuate that I do not possess any. And if your hypothesis was indeed correct, then I could not very well desire to take your seat for I would not care about anything."
"Then by your hypothesis," Chuck said, "you care about this ship."
"Then welcome aboard on my ship," Chuck said. "Cross me again, and I won't hesitate in ostracizing you."
"Like you could."
"What the hell is this?"
As much as Chuck spoke beneath his breath to Nate, Chuck knew the half Vulcan had heard him.
Nate leaned closer to Chuck's chair.
"You're going to remember her now," he muttered. "She's been assigned to your probation."
"Probation," Chuck sneered. "I'm Captain. It's a formality."
"Then she is assigned to your formality and making sure you don't mess up."
"Pointy eared bitch."
Chuck was sure that Vulcans didn't smile.
"As terms of your probation—"
"I did not have criminal negligence! And I'm pretty sure you're not going to drag me to prison as a probation officer—"
"They have ensured the safety of this ship's passengers to me—"
"I'm in charge of everything on this ship—"
"Please, Bass, you demonstrate your masculine vitality through your title enough that I understand your point of view—"
"I don't know if you can comprehend this in your Vulcan mind, but you hovering over my shoulder expecting me to make–-what you consider-–a mistake—"
"It is not only my consideration, Bass, but the ethical and moral guidelines—"
Chuck was aware that his entire crew was staring at this. This had been a common occurrence throughout the months of the Vulcan contaminating his ship.
He was still of the opinion that she was trying to take control of his captaincy.
But they had often caused such a scene that Nate had taken to collapsing in his captain's chair and Chuck couldn't even find it in himself to care.
"Uh… Captain?" Nate cleared his throat. "Are we planning on continuing this exploration or…"
Chuck whirled to face Nate and the rest of his crew. He found Blair had done the same thing.
"Set thrusters on full," Chuck said sharply, sitting back in his chair as Nate vacated. The tension collapsed from the room as Blair walked back to her usual spot at the back.
The only sound was of the ship going to warp.
Chuck's heartbeat was loud in his ears and felt his breath coming hard from his chest. He had never felt this angry before and the more he watched the emotionless fiend the angrier he got.
Nothing touched her. She was cold and hard and he was certain her purpose for being put on this planet and subsequent space was to get under his skin.
Oh that awful irony.
The longer she stared, the more he chafed and he found the effect that she had was that even his second in command was starting to doubt him.
Sentences like is this the best course of action and what about the statistical ramifications weren't just coming from Blair. He himself found himself responding with I'm the captain, goddammit.
He hated himself the more he said it. It had always been his sole goal in life not to do that. He wasn't supposed to end up like his father. That wasn't his path.
He hated how she was making it that way.
"Are you at your best mental capacity?"
It had been the first time he had heard that one. For the first time in awhile, his authority wasn't being challenged, and his second in command didn't doubt him.
It was still her voice. Though he had to admit, for the first time, it didn't seem as though she was judging him.
She almost sounded… caring.
But that was impossible.
He wondered if she would have rolled her eyes at him if she were human.
"I'm concerned about the probability of you being emotionally compromised."
He supposed he should be relieved that she wasn't challenging him in front of his crew. For the first time since he found out her name, they were alone.
"Why?" Chuck sneered. "Because of you?"
"What would lead you to that conclusion?"
"I was about to ask you the same question."
"I have no intention of emotionally compromising you, Bass," Blair said. "And I'm a little uncertain of how I would develop the skills to do so."
"Why do you call me that?"
"To what are you referring?"
"You always call me Bass."
"That's your name, is it not?"
"Usually it's prefaced by Captain."
"We are both aware of my opinion on that subject."
"Yeah," Chuck said. "I'm aware. You're still not getting my ship."
"I'm not emotionally compromised," Chuck said. "Never have been, never will be."
"That's a generalization and a statistical impossibility."
"But even if I was," Chuck said, "it would be necessary. Emotion is necessary. You say controlling your emotions is the only way to be logical, but without emotion, we couldn't even make the most simple of decisions."
"I do possess emotion," Blair said. "I just possess more control over them."
"Maybe that's what you call it," Chuck said. "But pushing them down is the same as not having them at all."
"Another generalization," Blair said. "You exhibit recklessness. Traits a captain who is responsible for his crew should not have. But at the same time, I have observed that you can also be quite apathetic in certain situations."
"Is that what you call emotionally compromised?"
"That is what I call paradoxically dangerous."
Chuck smirk. "I never said I wasn't dangerous."
"You take pleasure in it."
Chuck shrugged. "I'm an anomaly."
"I'm Chuck Bass."
"You say that often."
"I already know your views on nepotism."
"I suppose in that way you are an anomaly," Blair said. "There's only one Chuck Bass."
"Captain," he said smugly.
He rose from his chair.
"This has been…illuminating," Chuck said. "But I have an appointment."
He walked out of the control room, for the first time unaware of how her eyes bore into his back.
Blair had seen that girl before.
For a moment, Blair chastised herself for not being quite educated in the provinces of Earth's countries.
And then something else settled in. It was a feeling Blair was quite unfamiliar.
That's when it hit her.
In the corner of one of the corridors, Blair watched. She didn't know what she was doing there. She didn't know how she had followed the captain or if it was on purpose. She would like very much to think that this was pure kismet.
She watched with a strange fascination at this foreign girl and the person that she was sure she had analyzed to her satisfaction.
But this girl was backed into a corner and Charles Bartholomew Bass was doing something Blair was sure was some sort of human mating ritual. She knew that she was quite well informed of all intercourse, but this was something different. This girl looked simultaneously frightened and… aroused.
He kissed the girl and something strange happened to Blair.
She didn't know what this feeling was.
Blair spun on her heel and headed down the opposite way of the hallway. She wasn't quite sure what she was doing or where she was going. The door slid shut behind her and she had the strangest sensation that she wanted to slam it hard.
Blair looked in the mirror and could finally identify the feeling.
Fear. She looked at herself and could not recognize the person staring back.
They had been right all along. She had human eyes. Her human eyes were dark and scared—but there was something else.
That first thing that she felt when she saw Chuck entertaining that strange girl who probably didn't even have clearance to be that close to the control room.
She was angry.
She was so angry that she started to hyperventilate and gasp for breath.
"Are you alright?"
Blair spun around to come face to face with Commander Archibald.
She looked around, wondering how he had entered without her notice.
"I was under the impression I was alone."
Nate just smiled. For a moment, she wanted to return the gesture. Nathaniel was such a kind and genuine soul. She couldn't understand why the captain of the ship couldn't be more like that.
"You know I'm an expert on more than seven hundred cultures in the universe."
"That wouldn't have been my hypothesis."
Nate laughed. "Yeah. I have to work harder than a lot of people around here. But Chuck knows I'm good at what I do. He's a good friend."
"Friendship is of no consequences when lives are entrusted in his rash care."
"That's not what I'm talking about," Nate replied. "I've been to Vulcan many times."
"So have I," Blair answered. "I applied to the science academy there."
"And you were the only one who turned it down in favor of Star Fleet."
"Vulcans can be—"
"Difficult," Nate said. "You're half human."
"I've been made aware of that."
"There are a lot of misconceptions that come with your species," Nate said. "On your mother's side. People think you don't feel anything."
Blair didn't answer. She was so very tired of these sorts of conversations.
"But that isn't true," Nate said, "is it? You just find it more natural to think about things without the distractions of emotion."
"Do you know anything about it?"
"I know dealing with all emotions of the day is difficult," Nate said. "But that doesn't mean you don't feel anything."
"I am… very conflicted right now," Blair said.
"I can see that," Nate smiled. He waited patiently. She supposed he was waiting for her to confide in him. In any other situation, she would find quite a lot of disadvantages to that course of action.
She was very conflicted.
"I may have become…" Blair struggled for the first time in her life, "emotionally compromised."
For the first time, Blair really couldn't control herself and let her eyes stray to the door. Nate followed her gaze, walking towards it and looking through the window. It only took him a moment to find what he was looking for.
Nate looked back at her. She couldn't read his expression. Maybe she truly was cold. But then he smiled. And he laughed.
"I see Chuck's becoming acquainted with—"
"A status holder of quite a low station." Blair couldn't help herself.
Nate shook his head.
"You know Chuck's obsessed with you."
"I am unaware of that."
"It isn't emotionally compromised," Nate said. "It's love."
"My mother would disapprove of that greatly."
"Because she knows what it's like."
"I do not believe that's correct."
"If she didn't, do you really think you'd be here?"
"My mother makes decisions based on their advantageous merits."
"Maybe," Nate said. "But loving isn't so bad either."
"I have heard different accounts."
"Is this really a choice for you?" Nate asked. "Pushing down feelings? It seemed more cultural to me."
"No," Blair said. "I didn't choose this. This is why I finding this quite a struggle at the moment."
"He doesn't like her," Nate said. "He's done this since the academy. Chuck doesn't do things because of his—"
"Emotions," Blair finished. "The irony is quite uncomfortable."
"Sometimes that's the best far."
"I'm going to resign."
"Why?" Nate asked, almost sounding distraught.
"I stated before," Blair said. "I have become emotionally compromised."
"Only the captain has to resign if that happens," Nate corrected her.
"I do not find it likely that he has become emotionally compromised," Blair said. "You stated as much. Captain Bass acts impulsively. His emotions are not accounted for."
Nate watched her walk swiftly through the door.
"I can't believe you."
He hated those big eyes that looked so human, but all that really looked back at him was nothing. She blinked at him, nothing reflecting back at him.
"You'll have to specify the context," Blair answered.
"Nate—Commander Archibald just said you put in your notice," Chuck said furiously.
"Does this affect you in some manner?"
"You really don't feel anything at all," Chuck studied her, "do you?"
Blair tilted her head towards him. She had that infuriating way of making him feel like some sort of science experiment.
He would see her eyes in his dreams. He felt hot and angry and so full of frustration he couldn't think clearly.
"Maybe your complex is that you cannot fathom someone that is not yourself in any way," she finally said.
"I would accept that," he replied. "I really would. I would beg for it. But that excruciating matter of the fact is that we're not different. Not really."
"What would make you come to that conclusion?" Blair inquired. "You desire an excuse for your apathy. Would that be what you're referring to?"
"I may not care, but I still feel," Chuck said. Before Blair could react, her back was to the wall and she could fear his breath on her neck. "You have no idea how good it feels to just… feel. You wish you could feel as good as I do."
"If that were the truth you wouldn't be overexerting yourself to prove it to me."
"You're not just unfeeling," Chuck said. "You're cold. How frozen you must be. Tell me, can a Vulcan even indulge in the most carnal and natural of behaviors? I'd really like to know."
"That was a very heinous thing to say."
"Is that a fact?" Chuck asked.
"You're mocking me."
"Is that a new experience?"
"To my face."
It was Chuck's turn to cock his head to the side.
"Let me return a query," Blair said. "Does it comfort you to indulge in the most carnal and natural of behaviors when you cannot connect emotionally to another being?"
"You're one to talk about not connecting emotionally."
"You did state something to the fact that we are quite similar."
"I suppose we are," Chuck said. "Are you going to stop fighting it?"
"Do you wish me to?"
"Why would I?" Chuck asked. "I have no interest in thrusting into a cold hole."
"Your innuendos get more repulsive by the moment."
"Is that a fact?" Chuck asked again.
"No," Blair finally snapped.
Chuck would have been smug but he was too entranced by the fire in her eyes and her heaving chest.
"No?" Chuck asked. "What is that? Is that a feeling?"
"You are so closed minded to think that I have no feelings at all," she spat.
"I'm getting more entranced by the second."
"Yes?" Chuck asked. "You can get there."
"You are an arrogant—"
"Bastard?" Chuck smirked.
"I despise you."
"God, you're beautiful."
Her body moved on its own. That was the only explanation that she was sure of. There was no other logical conclusion for how Chuck's back ended up pressed against the wall—his hands in her hair, her fingers fisting in his shirt front to travel to the back of his neck.
"That wasn't very logical of you."
Blair broke away, staggering away, breathless.
"No, don't stop now," Chuck gasped. "We've really made some progress."
"This was your plan all along?"
"You think highly of yourself," Chuck said. "I'm only just starting to like you."
She bit his lip and she felt as though her body was on fire. Everything was firing and she didn't know where to put her hands or the fact that this was so very wrong.
Only when his mouth traveled down to her neck did she realize this mating ritual wasn't horrible at all. But she also recognized that this wasn't the way it was done. He was a human. He was smug, arrogant, and everything she despised.
Her fingers found their way to the back of his neck easily.
He dropped like a rock.
As Chuck held an ice pack to the side of his head in the medical bay, Blair was never more aware of how venomous human expressions could be.
It was strange how easily she was adapting to it. It was one of the moments she wondered if full-blooded Vulcans felt as conflicted as she did all the time.
"You knocked me out."
She was glad that they were the only ones in the room.
She had a feeling that this conversation was about to get very specific.
"At the time it seemed—"
Under any other circumstances, she would have deduced that he was mocking her.
Maybe it was the bruise on his skull that was throwing her off.
"Without your unconscious state things would have escalated to a detrimental degree," Blair shrugged.
"For once just say what you're really feeling."
"My feelings are of no consequence—"
"You're saying you would have had sex with me."
"I understand," Blair said, "that my culture confounds you in ways that you are unaccustomed to. I have feelings like anyone else. But I keep them to myself and that is how they will stay."
Blair stood to her feet.
"Why did you stay with me?"
It had been her intention to leave him to his own devices, but for the first time, she had heard earnestness paired with the arrogant captain.
He was very dangerous for her.
"I don't understand the question."
"You used a Vulcan nerve pinch on me," Chuck said. "And yes, I've heard of it. If my head wasn't swelling to twice it's size, I would be impressed. In fact, I'm—"
"You called me beautiful."
His dark eyes were wary.
"That was the first time I heard that in relation to me."
"It must be your winning personality," Chuck remarked.
"And yours," Blair parried.
If she didn't know any better, Blair was sure that he almost smiled.
"In response to your early confusion," Blair said, "I didn't just abandon you in the middle of the hallway—"
"Don't justify yourself to me," Chuck answer. "I understand that it wouldn't do well for your reputation, Iago."
"I don't understand that reference."
"You never read Shakespeare?" Chuck asked in surprise.
"You reference refers to the villain in William Shakespeare's tragedy 'Othello: The Moor of Venice', circa 1603 AD," Blair said. "But it was Cassio that was concerned for his reputation, not Iago."
Chuck laughed. It was a strange sound and could not speculate as the reason for it.
"You really are something."
"Do you have a fever?" Blair asked.
"No," Chuck answered, still smiling. "But you're right. You're not apathetic at all."
"I know," Blair answered.
"You're like me."
"Now you've lost me."
"You were so afraid of showing any emotion for me that you knocked me out."
Blair paused. "I had not considered that point of view."
"That must be unprecedented."
"If you'll excuse me, I have to meet my mother."
She didn't hear Chuck make any sound to indicate her abrupt departure.
She liked it better that way.
"I've been made aware of your decision to resign from Star Fleet."
Under her mother's Vulcan eyes, Blair felt like a child. She would always be resorted to that girl that never belonged in either world. She had been resorted to that teenager battling for dominance. And she knew that her mother would never understand her. And now, even more than ever, she was a disappointment.
"It's the best course of action."
Blair had been around humans so much, she felt as though she were about to roll her eyes.
"I will avoid the most embarrassment if I leave the USS Empire," Blair answered.
"This is the most prestigious ship you could have hoped for, Blair."
There was that passive aggression that she had remembered as a child.
"You turned down the Ministers," Eleanor said. "You rejected the academy when you had a promised position."
"This is the best—"
"You will avoid embarrassment if you stay where you are."
She felt her mother's cold eyes and Blair couldn't look up. She could feel it within her. She was swelling and rising. She hadn't cried in a very long time.
Her mother could see it in her eyes when she finally looked up.
"Blair," her mother said. "What has happened?"
Blair opened her mouth. Nothing but the truth could come out.
"I am consumed by emotions I cannot control. I—"
Her mother didn't sound disappointed at all. In fact, she seemed intrigued. She was studying her daughter.
Blair felt the wet track that fell down her cheek.
And she knew that it was over.
"So much," Blair said with a shaky breath. "It consumes me."
Blair wondered if Eleanor could look into her mind without even touching her—if she could see the captain that broke all the rules, the very person that shouldn't touch her daughter.
But for the first time in her life, Blair saw something in her mother's eyes. She saw compassion.
"You father was a very good man."
"I'm sure that was one of his many qualifications." Blair couldn't listen to her mother talk about duty and responsibility. She knew that she had disappointed her with her weakness. There wasn't anything that could be done about it.
"I married your father because I loved him."
Blair looked up at her mother in shock.
"No matter what the consequences that followed."
Blair was silent for a moment. "Why are you telling me this?"
And Eleanor smiled.
Blair was sure she had never seen such a sight.
"Emotions make you strong," Eleanor said. "The trick is knowing which ones to use."
Chuck never expected to see her again.
When he saw her turn her back on him, he was sure about that with almost a certainty.
He hated how it made him feel.
What he hated even more was walking into the control room, seeing her in her uniform and sitting at her place.
"What are you doing here?"
She arched a perfectly formed eyebrow and for the first time, he knew this woman. She wasn't a Vulcan. She wasn't an alien. This was a woman, and he knew her.
This was some sort of sick joke.
"I work here," she said smoothly.
He was reeling. The way she spoke to him was different. The cool way she regarded him wasn't cold and unfeeling like the Vulcan way. This was the Blair way. This was who she was.
This bitch was making him love her.
"Still such a display of arrogance," she said. "Not even you could deter me."
"How unfortunate," he spat.
"You're not very convincing."
Chuck had no retort for that. When the truth came out of this woman's mouth, there was nothing he could do but gape at her. She was striking and intimidating and they always seemed to be alone together.
Blair slowly got to her feet, walking towards him. His first instinct was to retract from her. But she was close for the first time since she manipulated the cluster of nerves at the back of his neck.
He forgot how breathless he was when she was this close.
She raised a hand to his face.
"What are you doing?"
She didn't stop. She spread her fingers over his face so his right eye was between her index and middle finger.
"Our minds," Blair breathed. "One and together."
Chuck had heard of this Vulcan technique before, but really before he could even dwell on the matter, he was smashed into a mosaic of color, light, and sound.
He knew that he wasn't in any danger. He couldn't remember any time he had felt this at peace and safe.
He knew he was with her.
Words he had never heard flashed across his mind.
Feelings he thought he could name multiplied tenfold.
And he saw himself. He saw himself as she saw him and he felt her feel things that he thought only he was capable of.
It consumes me.
It could have been seconds. It could have been an eternity.
Chuck's head was thrust backward as she let him go.
He had lost all knowledge of speech.
All he knew was how she was looking at him and that he would never be apart from him again.
"My apologies," Blair said. "Emotional transference can be a bit—"
"Emotional," Chuck repeated.
Blair sighed and he was sure that he could read her mind by the way it was flashing across her face. She was disappointed.
She was sad.
"You feel for me."
Blair's eyes flashed to his. "It would seem that way."
She could hate him and he wouldn't know the difference. He couldn't possibly understand every unique thought in her head.
But he did. He understood her in a way that he couldn't even understand himself. She wasn't angry. She looked at him and he knew that she was feeling the exact same thing he was.
Something he couldn't describe.
She raised a hand to his face again. She wasn't forcing herself on him. Instead, she wiped away the moisture from his eyes he hadn't even realized was there.
"I'm sorry." And he knew that she was telling the truth.
He took a shaky breath. "I'm not."
"I'm really not," he said. "I'm…"
He couldn't believe how much she was smiling at him.
"No," she said.
"That isn't fair," Chuck said. "Knowing my mind better than I do."
"You don't have to mind meld with me to know me better," she said.
"You're horrible," he smiled.
"I love you."
Blair cradled her son in her arms.
He had his father's eyes. Human eyes.
They're going to take care of you.
Blair still couldn't close her eyes, no matter how many tears streamed down her face. She couldn't look away from her son who looked so much like his father.
I love you so much.
If emotion was pain, then she didn't care. She would feel and display it for the world to see for the rest of her waking days. Her son needed a loving mother. Her son could never doubt anything that she would give him.
Not when already born to the world, her son had so little. A half human mother and a dead father.
He would know love and he would know her.
She could hear it still, in her head. His voice reverberated throughout her. She still heard the static of the disconnection and the acknowledgement that he knew he would never see his son or his wife again.
This was torture and she wouldn't give it up for anything.
"Sir, you can't go in there."
Blair curled her arms tighter around the boy in her arms. Never again would she let any harm to come to the one she loved most in the world.
"I don't need to show you my clearance."
That couldn't be his voice.
She was delirious and she was depressed and she loved too hard. That dam was broken and all she could do was feel.
It was illogical.
Her husband's ship crashed.
No one could have survived that.
If this was delirium, she never wanted to be sane.
She couldn't let go of her son. Twin pairs of identical eyes stared back at her and she began to cry again.
"I hate you."
He still sat at her bedside. She would have hit him if she hadn't expended all her strength in a thirty-six hour labor to birth his son or the fact that she was holding said son.
"I'm sorry, Blair," Chuck said. He didn't reach forward to touch the boy, but Blair knew that had more to do with her than anything else. "I should have—"
"Not given me a heart attack?"
"You were under enough stress—"
"Stress?" Blair asked. "I was giving birth to your son while I thought you were dead."
"I nearly was," he answered. "Escape pods are beautiful things."
"I hate you."
"I love you."
Blair wiped the hateful tears from her face. This was his fault. This wasn't supposed to happen. She could have let him go in an instant. It was in her blood to find the best course of action that had the most probability.
This bastard never quit.
"What's his name?"
"You think I would have done that without you?" Blair asked.
"You might have had to," Chuck said. "Probability said that I wouldn't have—"
"I don't want to hear it."
She hated the smug grin of his.
"What's his name?"
"I was thinking Henry," Blair said stiffly.
"It's a beautiful name."
"I suppose you can have a say if you really want it."
That smile of his. "Thank you."
Blair shook her head. "Insolent bastard."
"Not in front of Henry."
That smirk of his.
"You knew you would make it out."
"I had a hypothesis." She knew he was being good-natured but it made her want to cry all over again. "But there was a probability that it wouldn't have turned out that way."
"Stop talking like that," Blair said. "Talk like you."
"I love you."
She let him touch her; let him touch their son.
It was a small price to pay for her pride.
He smiled at his little clone and Blair knew emotion was a small price to pay as well.