Continuing story to: "Would've Could've Should've
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Shore leave: Earth
While Nyota is dealing with her inner conflict between love and loss, Spock is also dealing with his own. Captain Kirk was home in Iowa, Dr. McCoy was in Georgia, and Spock had nowhere to go but the Enterprise. He stayed to perform maintenance updates on the ship; 85% of the crew was on leave.
Spock sat quietly in the mess hall after completing data updates to his science station and the main computer bank. His mind raced as he calculated how long the repairs would take. With his attention turned internally, he did not notice a figure approach his table.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Spock. Am I bothering you?"
Spock came out of his near-trance of calculations to acknowledge the female. He glanced up at the blue eyes of Nurse Chapel, who was holding a coffee cup. He sat up straighter and gripped his teacup firmly. Spock inclined his head to indicate permission for her to sit. He did not know how to take Nurse Chapel. She had a deep knowledge of medical science and great compassion for her patients. He was aware of her attraction toward him, but he never could understand it. He wondered if she would make a compatible mate. He wondered what her intentions were in approaching him in this way; perhaps she was trying to get to know him better on a personal level.
Christine couldn't believe he'd said yes; she sat with her coffee opposite Spock. He'd been avoiding her for so long, since the Henoch* incident, during which they shared consciousness. It had been humiliating enough to have her personal thoughts revealed, but on top of that, they had been forced to kiss by the Platonians. "It's taken me this long to get up the courage to look him in the eye without feeling embarrassed!"
"It's so nice and quiet on the ship since the majority of the crew is on shore leave," Christine said.
Spock raised a brow: "Ms. Chapel, 85% of the ship's personnel are on leave; it is quite natural and expected that the lack of crew members would produce a lack of sound."
Christine gave Spock a sharp look and spat: "I was just trying to make conversation, Mr. Spock!"
Spock heard the frustration in her tone and realized that she thought he was being condescending. He could never understand why humans wanted to indulge in "small talk"; he had difficulty participating in this activity, which most humans found to be effortless and enjoyable.
"Indeed, perhaps a topic will inspire a conversation of interest to you."
Christine has been waiting for a long time to talk to this man; now was the time. Spock was a handsome man, even compared to other Vulcans that she had met. Spock was the sexiest and the most social and intelligent. He was unaware of his magnetism, the effect he had on her; when he spoke to her, it made her go weak at the knees. Her heart was set on this man; she had never felt more compassion for any man than him. She had always hoped that one day he would see and understand her intentions and view her not as desperate, but as a woman who would love him forever."Please-please take an interest in me!"
"Um, could you tell me about courtship on Vulcan?"
Christine's eyes were fixed on her finger, which she was running around the rim of her cup. The question was a bold move on her part, but she needed some leverage.
Spock was taken aback by the request. Clearly, it was not one of his favorite topics, but he had asked her for a topic. He knew she was inquiring how he had come to be married to T'Pring and then quickly divorced. It was a delicate subject for him. But if Christine understood his culture,"Perhaps she could be a logical choice for a mate-to have someone close to me is alien to me."
"Vulcan and Terran courtship are quite different. Vulcans marry for life, once a person is selected. Terrans have the tendency to have multiple... choices; on Vulcan, our families make the choice."
"Centuries ago, Earth had such customs in which people had arranged marriages for various reasons," Christine said, trying to make a connection between the two cultures.
"Vulcan marriage is considered... more of a biological imperative."
"I think I understand, Mr. Spock."
"Our marriage ceremonies are not as elaborate as those dictated by Earth customs."
"In the past, Earth people have immersed themselves in each other cultures and styles of living. Often one spouse will adopt another person's way of life to show their commitment to the other."
"I agree; my mother is Terran and she has adapted to the Vulcan lifestyle. She did share with me that it was difficult for her to adjust to our customs. But, as you say, she committed to the Vulcan way."
"I find it interesting that Mrs. Sarek is so compatible with your father."
"Yes, their courtship is most unusual from a Vulcan standpoint; my father mentioned that marrying my mother was a logical choice."
"I see. May I ask what your current marital status is?"
"I-currently am not married."
Spock felt uneasy saying that; he had not yet really experienced a relationship with a woman. But his feelings ran deep, more-so than any human's, despite the fact that he was Vulcan. Lately, while in meditation, he would often hear a distorted voice calling to him. He would come out of his trance seeking the source of the sound. The fact that he could not make a connection to the voice was a mystery or alien to him
But his answer brought an inward smile to Christine, who was delighted to know that he was officially available. Would he too consider dating outside his race? The possibility was there, but would he find interest in her?
"So what happens next?"
"I am expected to find a suitable spouse sometime in the future; I have not yet made any overtures to potential mates."
"Will you continue to search within your culture?"
"I have not yet considered how to go about it."
Christine started to shift in her seat; she wanted to openly ask the man out but wondered if she would be perceived as too forward. She didn't know how he would feel about that, but she did know that other women on the ship found Spock appealing as well. She was not alone in pursuing the handsome Vulcan. Christine allowed herself to wonder what a relationship with Spock would look like. Then she wondered if he would even date anyone on the ship; he might be concerned about a conflict of interest. Spock was the type of man who would not let his personal life interfere with his duty.
"I see that Vulcan women are very beautiful; are they strong as well?"
"Yes, due to the heavier gravity on Vulcan, they have higher bone density and stronger muscles. They must also be strong to survive the child-bearing process. The female hip structure is slightly slimmer compared to that of human females."
"I find it interesting that you speak so casually about this topic, Mr. Spock. Is there anything you would like to know about me?"
Spock thought for a brief moment, his mind reviewing Chapel's file. He knew where she was born and raised, as well as her academic achievements. Her commission to Starfleet and her assignment to the Enterprise-he already knew. Then at that moment, the distorted voice returned like a whisper: "Spock." It was clearly a woman's voice, calling to him from a distance. He tilted his head slightly, trying to locate the source of the sound, but then it was silent. He set his mind to recalibrating his senses.
"I am aware of your duties on the ship, and Dr. McCoy has described your performance as exemplary."
Christine was aware that Spock was blind to human social cues. He was a man of facts and figures. But she loved him anyway; she just needed to get him on the same page as her. Spock's physical features were extremely attractive-those arched eyebrows, giving him the appearance of a predator-she often got caught staring at them too long. They distracted her every time she saw him. Or those shaped ears that led to a point; others might have found them strange, but Christine found them sexy. Plus she admired how his tall frame towered over her. She wondered what his experiences with women were-did he have any women friends? Christine needed to find the answers to her questions; she took a deep breath:
"Mr. Spock, may I be so bold? I am interested in you; I find you quite attractive, and I would like to establish some form of friendship with you!"
Spock had nothing to say to her direct statement; he was not surprised by it. He had known for some time that Nurse Chapel was attracted to him. He had become aware of her emotions when they shared thoughts during the incident with Henoch*. Although Spock had purposely blocked her thoughts from mingling with his, her strong attraction for him had been top of mind when their minds came together. Any form of telepathic contact invited unwarranted thought patterns, which he could not afford. It had taken weeks of regular meditation to filter her thoughts from his mind. Now he was calculating the possibility that she was seeking a relationship with him. Did he desire to have a human female as his life-long companion? Mostly, he wondered if she would be compatible with him. But then there was that unfamiliar voice that permeated his thoughts and meditations; it did not seem to emanate from Nurse Chapel. The pitch and tone were different; he could not quite identify it. "It is alien to me."
"Fascinating," he thought, musing about the voice. "I have to configure the ramification of such an involvment of someone as myself in such a position as a senior officer."
"I know it's kind of sudden, but think about it: We have known each other for over four years. The missions that we've been involved in and the way we work together should give you an idea of how compatible we could be. I hope you find that my work is MORE than exemplary."
Christine gave him a smile; she wanted to reach out and touch his hand, but she didn't dare, knowing that his hands were erogenous zones. But she watched his face closely, hoping he would say yes. "Please, Spock. Make my dreams come true!"
As Spock sat there contemplating her request, a conscious thought passed through his mind: "T'nas-veh." It was a distorted whisper. He touched his psi point again to find the source of the distorted voice. He looked into Nurse Chapel's blue eyes, trying to find the connection. It was his heart's desire to find someone to bond with, to share his life with. He had been rejected before, but now he wondered if he could he have a relationship with this woman. But then the voice reminded him-of what? He did not know, but it was as if it is calling to him for a purpose; who could it be? "This is so alien to me, I have no connection to compare it, yet it continues to draw me to someone."
"Please, call me Christine."
Spock paused for a few seconds to answer her-the question made him feel uncomfortable. But if he tried this friendship, what would it lead to, he wondered? Spock folded his hands on the table and looked at the woman. But yet his mind wanders to the distorted voice in his thoughts, even now it's becoming a distraction.
"Christine-I will consider your invitation to a-friendship. At the moment, my thoughts are elsewhere and I need clarity before I make a hasty decision."
Christine gave a deep sigh. "It's a step, but there's no guarantee he will say yes." Her heart fluttered for just a moment as she thought about one day touching him, holding him, and even kissing him-this man she desperately admired, no loved.
"I think I understand Spock; how much time do you need?"
"Unknown at this moment-Christine, but I would like for us to continue our relationship as it was until I come to a decision."
"I hope I don't have to wait long; I mean we do get busy on this ship."
Christine started to rub her hands on her thighs, trying to calm herself. She looked attentively into Spock's eyes, searching for some form of confirmation.
"Until then, we will continue as before; enjoy your day, Nurse-Christine."
"You as well, Spock."
They both gathered and disposed of their trash and left to perform their duties.
When the crew returned to active duty, and the Enterprise was set for its next course, Spock was completing his rounds in the Science Division and heading for the bridge. Suddenly, the shipwide speaker came on to summon him:
"Mr. Spock, report to the bridge."
Spock lost his balance and stumbled against the wall, catching himself with one arm. His mind vibrated.
"M-rrr. SSSppp-ooocc-kkk, SSSppp-ooocc-kkk."
He grabbed his head with both hands to steady himself; this was the voice from his dreams, his meditations, and his thoughts. He had found her-she was here! He gasped, trying to catch his breath. He looked up toward the ceiling as a revelation hit him. Then he clutched his side, where his heart hammered; it was starting to ache: "Nyota!" he whispered with wonder.
next and final: Revelation
A/N: TOS: *Return to Tomorrow