‘Spock, you look like a drowned rat!’
The eyebrow that Spock raised was more cat than rat. Christine knew from long experience that Spock disliked rain. If she had not been worried about insulting him she would have gone as far as to say he hated it. Spock definitely disliked rain, especially cold rain, especially cold, wind-blown rain, especially rain that turned the ground into mud and plastered hair to the head and stuck clothes to the skin. Yes, Spock was a cat.
‘Nurse, I fail to see how insulting me will help at this juncture,’ Spock said in a tone that Christine would definitely characterise as nettled. Despite her concern, she had succeeded in insulting the Vulcan anyway.
‘Mr Spock, I was just showing concern at your – um – your current physical state,’ Christine told him in a conciliatory tone. ‘It’s just an Earth idiom, that’s all.’
‘Very often Earth idioms are insulting in nature,’ Spock pointed out.
Christine was struck by the urge to raise her hand and wipe away some of the water streaming down the Vulcan’s fringe and into his eyes, but she resisted. It wouldn’t do much good anyway, because the rain was coming down so quickly it would be replaced within seconds. Last night they had been warm and content in Spock’s quarters and she had brushed his fringe from his forehead and kissed him. Spock didn’t appreciate such gestures in public, though, even if it was almost certain there was no one to see.
‘I promise you, next time I’ll check the met reports more carefully and make sure we beam down with the proper gear,’ Christine said with a sheepish smile. ‘I just didn’t anticipate that cold front turning into – ’
Spock’s raised eyebrow made her tail off. She knew there was no way Spock could feel better over this disastrous mission. She knew he was already feeling internalised guilt at allowing Christine to beam down on a mission that did not strictly requite the presence of a medical officer. She had badgered him though, between laying kisses on his face and chest, in his quarters last night. She had wanted to spend Valentine’s Day with him, and this seemed to be the only way, and her scientific credentials did stretch to cover the radiation research they were carrying out, even if she was not the precise person Spock would have chosen otherwise. She had done all the preliminary checks for him and the weather had promised to be fine – but she should have known better than to trust meteorological data, considering how easily weather could change.
Now they were stuck on the planet due to a failure of the transporters that Scotty was apparently stumped over, they were woefully badly equipped, and Spock was soaked to the skin. Christine was soaked to the skin too, but that wasn’t concerning her so much. No matter how she made light of the situation, Spock simply wasn’t built for such dank, cold conditions.
‘Look, Spock, we should find somewhere to shelter,’ she suggested. ‘There are plenty of empty houses in this area.’
‘You mean – break in?’ Spock asked, raising a soaked eyebrow again.
Christine shrugged and gave him a hopeful smile. ‘Well, it’s not breaking in entirely. This sector has been abandoned for months since the radiation scare. There’s no one here.’
‘The houses are still owned by Federation citizens,’ Spock pointed out.
‘But what Federation citizen wouldn’t extend hospitality to a couple of drowned rats on a night like this?’ Christine asked brightly.
Spock opened his mouth to reply. There were vast numbers of Federation citizens who would not welcome the presence of Starfleet officers in their home. Many human colony planets expressed resentment towards the interference of the Federation and Starfleet in their lives, and some had gone as far as to raise arms against them. The citizens on this very planet had been highly resentful at the order to evacuate while the planet passed through a period of intense solar radiation since they realised, quite rightly, that the evacuation could turn out to be permanent if the system’s sun was shown to be dangerously unstable. That was why Spock and the nurse and a number of scientific survey teams were here on the surface in the first place, investigating the effects on the planet after the radiation had waned away.
‘Well, at any rate the radiation levels are acceptable here,’ Christine said in an off-hand way, before Spock could voice his views on the unrest of Federation citizens.
Spock glanced down at his tricorder, wiped water off the screen, failed to decipher the readings through the blobs of water that were left, and looked up again.
‘They are acceptable,’ he nodded. ‘However, I find the problems of the Enterprise disquieting. The suggestion is that the radiation is severely affecting the ship’s functions, even if it is failing to penetrate the planet’s atmosphere.’
‘Yes,’ Christine said pensively, brushing her wet hair back from her face. ‘Yes, it is.’
She looked up at Spock again. The Vulcan was trying to look as dignified as he could with rain constantly running down his face. It was catching in his eyelashes and making him blink. His trousers were splashed with mud to the knees. If the weather had treated them equally, Spock’s boots would be soaked inside just as Christine’s were. As she looked at the Vulcan, Spock suppressed a shiver.
‘This is crazy, Spock,’ Christine told him. ‘We have to find shelter, regardless of the morals of breaking in to someone’s house. If you stay out in this weather it’s going to become a medical emergency and the decision will be out of your hands anyway. I’m not going to let you die of pneumonia when there are houses left right and centre.’
This time Spock did not protest. Perhaps he had crossed some kind of threshold in the last few minutes. The sun was moving down towards the horizon behind its thick blanket of clouds and it was perceptibly colder. They were relatively near the tropic, although here that was only a definition of latitude, not an indication of a pleasant climate. When the sun went down it would do so rapidly, and they would be left floundering about for a place to shelter in utter darkness.
‘There,’ Christine said, pointing at an edifice that rose up beyond the trees a few hundred yards away. ‘That’s closest. It’ll do – and I’ll make that a medical order if necessary.’
Spock regarded her with something of a martyred expression, but he did not argue.
‘We can shelter overnight and hope that conditions are better in the morning,’ she continued. ‘You said this latest solar flare should subside in the next fifteen hours, didn’t you?’
‘Fifteen point seven three five hours, approximately,’ Spock corrected her.
‘Spock, how can you be approximate to three decimal places?’ Christine asked him in amusement.
‘One can be approximate to any number of decimal places,’ Spock told her smoothly. ‘I don’t guarantee that the event will occur at that exact moment.’
Chapel huffed away water that was dripping from the end of her nose, and set out resolutely towards that distant building.
The place was nothing less than a mansion, built on mock Gothic standards, harking back to the late nineteenth century in Earth’s western hemisphere. The inhabitants must surely have missed Earth to recreate such a perfect example of antique architecture here. The flora and fauna were vastly different to Europe, but they had made up for that in every faced block of limestone, in every crenellation and carved mullion, even down to the artfully sculpted pineapples that topped the gateposts, which harked back to an era when the first pineapples had been introduced to Great Britain. It must have been a fascinating time to live, Christine thought, although the mixture of eras in the architecture did make for a rather jumbled building.
‘Do you think this will suit us for the night, Spock?’ Christine asked playfully as they approached the high wooden door.’
‘It will provide shelter at least,’ Spock said. The water had got inside his tricorder screen now and misted it up from the inside, and he was not happy.
‘Come on, my lovely cat,’ Christine grinned. ‘I’ll have you drying out in front of a log fire in no time. Did you see the chimneys on this place? They must have traditional fires.’
‘I am forced to agree,’ Spock said, not quibbling Christine’s appellation of cat. It was certainly better than rat.
Spock used his phaser to force the door efficiently and discreetly. As soon as they were inside, out of the rain and away from the unlikely chance of any prying eyes, Christine reached up to brush the water from Spock’s forehead, and kissed him lightly.
Spock returned the kiss with more vigour than Christine had expected, putting his hands against her back and spending a long, languorous time engaged in the most illogical of actions. Then he sneezed.
‘No, come on, you need to get dry,’ Christine said. She could feel Spock’s shoulders shivering under her hands. He felt freezing. She turned in a circle, looking about at the various doors that led off the wide hall. ‘There must be a room with a fireplace down here.’
Spock looked about too. There was a decent amount of light coming in through the windows either side of the front door, but the light was slowly going. Christine could see the Vulcan mentally pulling up an image in his head. He was probably comparing the visual of the outside of the house with the inside. Then he nodded towards a door on the left and said, ‘I would try that one.’
Christine walked over to open the door, noticing as she did that she had left a trail of mud and water across the parquet floor.
‘I think you’re right, Spock,’ she said, opening the door further to reveal a well-appointed sitting room with a wide stone fireplace at one side. ‘And look, they even have wood stacked ready to use.’
‘The evacuation occurred during the coldest season,’ Spock said conversationally.
He came into the room himself and looked about, before pressing his palm to a panel by the door. Lights came on. The room was primarily lit by a high chandelier that hung glittering from the ceiling. The room seemed to have been divested of very few possessions, perhaps what could be packed quickly during the emergency of the evacuation. It still held all of its furniture and a good deal of decorative items.
‘There must still be power supplied here,’ Spock said. ‘Perhaps there is also powered heating. It will be more efficient than this – ’ He gestured at the fireplace, apparently unable to put his thoughts about the primitive heating system into words.
‘Perhaps there is,’ Christine said with a grin, going over to the fire. ‘But, you know, there’s something about an open log fire, Spock.’
‘Yes. There are sparks and smoke and draughts,’ Spock said.
Christine frowned at him. ‘Spock, where is your sense of romance?’
‘Perhaps it is somewhere above the rain clouds, Christine,’ Spock told her.
Christine sighed. ‘Well, Spock, I’m going to have an explore around the house. And I expect that fire to be burning merrily by the time I get back, mister,’ she added with a smile. ‘I don’t care whether you use your phaser or rub two sticks together. I want fire, and I want to share it with you.’
Christine strode out of the room, leaving Spock behind.
Spock stood before the fireplace, considering the most logical arrangement of wood to create the most heat. Fire building for warmth was not a skill often required on Vulcan. Lighting a flame for meditation was one thing, but 40 Eridani provided quite enough heat for the average person. Even during the cold desert nights heat had usually been stored enough during the day for a slow release in the evening.
He settled on a pattern and began to arrange the logs. The wood was unfamiliar to him, undoubtedly cut from native trees nearby, but it looked dry and not too dense, a promising fuel. Lighting it was another matter. There were implements by the fire that looked as if they might be fire lighting tools, but he settled on using his phaser to heat the whole pile until it spontaneously burst into flame. That was far more efficient than lighting one piece and waiting for the rest to catch.
The heat was instantaneous, and despite himself Spock relaxed. Water began to steam from his uniform tunic, and he stripped it off and looked about for somewhere to hang it. There was a kind of folding metal screen leant against the wall by the fire, so he unfolded that and used it as an impromptu clothes horse. Since his top was drying so quickly and the wet clothing was deeply unpleasant against his skin, he quickly stripped the rest of his clothing off and hung that up to dry too. He set his boots upturned on the hearth. A small trickle of water ran from each one.
Now that his feet were bare he noticed that the rug on which he stood was made of some kind of thickly-furred animal skin. He had assumed it was synthetic, but the tactile sensations were unmistakable. The idea of killing and skinning an animal in order to tread its pelt underfoot was deeply unpleasant to him, but on the other hand the sensation was definitely pleasant. Perhaps the animal had died a natural death and its pelt had been put to logical use?
He sat down on the rug so as to stay as close to the heat of the fire as possible. He was damp all over and his hair was still downright wet. The sensation of the fur against his naked thighs and buttocks really was pleasant. There was something comforting in it, like being held by one’s mother as a child. Spock closed his eyes and allowed himself to experience the sensation of dampness steaming off every inch of his skin.
Christine came back into the room clutching an armful of clothes, but she was arrested by the sight that met her eyes. Eyes closed, Spock was sitting in something approaching the lotus position in front of the fire, his back to the flames, his head tilted backwards slightly to angle his damp hair towards the heat. His arms rested loosely on his thighs. Entirely naked, his skin was bronzed by the ever-changing light of the flames.
‘Dear god,’ Christine said.
Spock’s eyes opened. A slight smile touched his lips and mischief sparkled in his eyes. Christine had almost dropped the clothing she carried at the sight of him in the firelight.
‘Well, I thought we could get changed, but – ’ Christine began.
‘I didn’t expect there to be clothing left behind,’ Spock said easily. ‘And I thought it better to dry myself thoroughly – medically, that is.’
‘Well – yes,’ Christine said, still slightly flabbergasted. ‘Yes, much better. Much...’
Spock straightened his back a little more and stretched out his arms lightly, as if he had grown stiff.
‘Would you care to join me, Christine? It is most pleasant.’
‘I – Well – Yes, I would love to join you,’ Christine said quickly.
Her clothes proved annoyingly resistant to being removed. They clung wetly to her skin and she almost ripped her dress in the attempt to peel it from her torso.
‘Oh my, this is good,’ she said when she was naked at last and the heat of the fire was washing over her skin. She turned herself in front of the heat, feeling the wonderful sensation of water evaporating and her skin drying.
Spock lay down on the fur rug facing the fire, and after a moment Christine joined him. She lay like that against Spock’s side for a long time, until she felt herself becoming perilously sleepy.
‘Do you know, we’re probably the only humans for a thousand miles in all directions,’ she murmured drowsily.
‘You are the only human, Christine,’ Spock corrected her.
‘Yes, of course, I’m sorry,’ she smiled lazily. She stroked her hand lightly across the down on Spock’s chest. ‘I’m the only human. You’re the only half human, half cat.’
She could almost feel Spock’s eyebrow rise.
‘I assure you, any genetic connection I have to the genus felis is contained entirely in my human ancestry,’ Spock said.
Christine laughed quietly. Spock turned over on his side, just as lazily as Christine was feeling, and leant his head against his lover’s chest. Christine began to murmur;
‘Viens, mon beau chat, sur mon coeur amoureux;
‘Retiens les griffes de ta patte,
‘Et laisse-moi plonger dans tes beaux yeux,
‘Mêlés de métal et d'agate.’
She felt Spock’s momentary pause as much through her mind as through her body. Touching like this, their link was all the stronger.
‘Well, your accent leaves something to be desired,’ Spock began, and Christine swatted at him.
‘Spock, you have all the romance of a bulldozer. Do you have any appreciation for – ’
‘Charles Baudelaire, 1821 to 1867, a resident of Paris, France, Old Earth,’ Spock cut across her smoothly. ‘I have read his poems both in original and translation.’
‘Let me try it another way, and maybe my accent won’t interfere,’ Christine said, brushing her fingers through Spock’s now drying hair. The water had left something of a wave in it, which was very appealing.
‘Come, my fine cat, against my loving heart;
‘Sheathe your sharp claws, and settle.
‘And let my eyes into your pupils dart
‘Where agate sparks with metal.’
Christine stopped, and Spock stirred against her. The fire crackled. ‘That is not the all of it,’ Spock said.
‘No, I was getting to the rest,’ Christine murmured. ‘I was giving myself a moment to think about your eyes. But I’ll have to change the gender. You may be a cat but you’re not a female one.’ She cleared her throat and continued, rather more self-consciously this time.
‘Now while my fingertips caress at leisure
‘Your head and wiry curves,’ she continued, her fingertips tracing lightly down Spock’s flank to his naked hip,
‘And that my hand’s elated with the pleasure
‘Of your electric nerves,
‘I think about my Vulcan – how his glances
‘Like yours, dear beast, deep-down
‘And cold, can cut and wound one as with lances;
‘Then, too, he has that vagrant
‘And subtle air of danger that makes fragrant
‘His body, lithe and brown.’
There was silence. Spock appeared to be considering this music-less serenade in his deep and ponderous Vulcan way.
‘Do my glances cut and wound one as with lances?’ he asked finally.
‘My darling Vulcan cat,’ Christine said, smiling, her fingers still toying about Spock’s hip. ‘I think there will always be moments in a Vulcan-human relationship where Vulcan emotional control can cut, but I know – believe me I know – all about the fire underneath.’
Spock seemed satisfied. Christine’s fingers strayed further down from his hip, passing into the wiry hair about his penis, pleased as the action caused Spock to shiver in an entirely different way. He sat up and leant over Christine to kiss her, the warmth of his fire-heated body sinking into Christine’s skin. Her mouth fell open to Spock’s probing tongue and she tasted the alien-spiced interior of the Vulcan’s mouth. No matter how many times they kissed she always loved that exotic taste.
Spock’s hands were moving over her body, hard and hot against her human-cool skin, brushing over the erect nubs of her nipples and the swelling of her breasts, down her smooth stomach and into the fur of hair between her legs. She reached out for Spock with her own hand, finding him already part erect. She took hold of that heavy organ and moved her hand firmly against it, and Spock growled and kissed her with renewed force.
‘I think you’re becoming a lion,’ Christine murmured, but Spock was apparently beyond speaking. The Vulcan pushed Christine firmly down onto the fur rug and turned his attention to the valley between her legs, sinking his mouth down over her without preamble. Christine arched and gasped at the hot touch, thrusting against the enveloping mouth and probing tongue. Spock’s hand caressed her breasts, rolling a stiff nipple between his fingertips, his tongue pulsing at the centre of her until she felt as if she were about to explode.
‘Oh – oh my god, oh my god, Spock,’ she gasped, hardly able to contain herself.
Her hands were on Spock’s head, her fingertips in his hair. She could feel Spock’s arousal and delight through the touch as he continued to suck and pummel.
‘Oh god,’ Christine murmured. This setting was so perfect. She wanted Spock inside her, right now. That part of her ached for him.
With some difficulty she tried to pull Spock away. The Vulcan didn’t want to stop. In the end Christine became masterful, taking hold of his head with both hands and pulling it back. She felt crazed with the need for him and she turned Spock onto the rug so he was lying on his back. Spock’s erection was huge, yearning, fluid glistening at the tip, and Christine clenched her fist around it, stroking it so firmly that Spock moaned aloud.
‘There’s a taste of your own medicine, mister,’ she whispered in his ear.
Spock gazed up at her, his lips parted, his hands in tight fists as if he could barely contain himself.
She lowered herself down over him, leaning forward to kiss his parted lips and then sinking herself onto the Vulcan’s hot erection. Dear god, it was like coming home, like a sheath receiving its sword. Her entire body thrilled with the feeling, a sensation that was concentrated to an almost unbearable peak in her belly and groin. She moved on him again and again, her hands on his hands, pinning them to the floor, riding him as if she were careless of his pleasure and only intent on her own. Spock moaned aloud, his own ecstasy exploding like fireworks in a mind sensation that Christine could feel clearly through their link. She could feel the Vulcan building to a peak even as she reached her own. As the pressure built everything else faded away. There was no fire, no room, no alien planet. All she wanted was to pull back and have him sink home again and again as the fire built to a crescendo, until Spock was jerking in completion and she was crying out his name in a soft, desperate sound.
She slumped over him and lay still in the blissful silence that followed, her breath coming in heaving gasps. She did not know how much time passed, but after a time she could feel Spock becoming hard again beneath her, and he was urgently grasping at her shoulders, turning her over so that she was on her hands and knees. Then Spock was over her, the hardness of his erection pressing against her, and Spock was kissing her shoulders and back and sides in a way that made her think of cherry blossom spontaneously appearing on a tree.
For a moment she felt Spock’s fingers toying with her lightly, moving up to her breasts, down again to the folds between her legs, and then he entered her, hard and fast and desperate in his renewed urgency. She buried her face into the soft fur rug, calling out the Vulcan’s name, calling on god, calling on hell, but Spock was silent except for wordless sounds of pleasure. When he came the sensation of it exploded through Christine’s mind too, and for a moment everything was blanked out and she was floating higher than the sky.
She came back to herself still kneeling on the rug with Spock over her, their bodies pressed together with a thin slick of sweat between them. Her heart was thumping and her mind still felt disconnected and elevated with endorphins. In the silence the fire crackled and the colour of the flames leapt against her closed eyelids.
‘Oh my god, Spock,’ she murmured.
Spock gently put his hands on her, turned her around so that that both knelt facing each other on the rug, and kissed her. She melted into the heat. Spock’s head nestled onto her shoulder, and she put her arms about the Vulcan’s back, stroking his dry skin softly as if he really were that loving cat.
After some time, perhaps a long time, they pulled apart. The fire was growing low, and cold was starting to push back into the room.
‘I don’t even know what time it is,’ Christine murmured.
‘Ship time or local time?’ Spock asked, and Christine realised how meaningless time had become.
‘Why don’t you put some wood on the fire, Spock?’ she said. ‘I’m going to go and see if I can find something to – well – to clean up. I think we – ahem – mussed their rug a bit.’
‘Must you go?’ Spock asked in a very human way.
Christine kissed the tip of one pointed ear. ‘I must, my dear cat.’
When she returned Spock had piled logs onto the fire again and the heat was pressing through the room. She had noticed through the windows that the night was fully on them now, thick and dark with the blanket of cloud to block out even the stars. This planet had a moon, but it was small and would have given out little light even if it had been visible.
‘Here, I found a vacuum,’ Christine said as she came through the door, using the generic term for what was actually a particle disintegrater and would clean up what they had left on the rug so well that no one would detect it without forensic skills.
Spock was no long in front of the fire. Christine looked about, startled at first, and then saw him sitting at a baby grand piano near one of the high curtain-covered windows. His fingers were arched, hovering just above the keys. Spock looked up to meet his lover’s eyes and then began to play. Christine knelt on the rug and began to carefully clean up the mess, while music spread into the room. Spock was still naked, but above the piano she could just see the top of his chest, his collarbones fine and sharp, his face intent with concentration.
‘Do you have any idea how hot that is?’ Christine asked.
Spock raised an eyebrow. His playing did not falter.
‘You asked me to put wood on the fire, Christine,’ he said.
‘Not the fire – you, sitting there playing like that, naked as the day you were born.’
A slight smile touched Spock’s lips. ‘T’hy’la,’ he said tolerantly, ‘Were you not satisfied with our recent exercise?’
Chapel pursed her lips. ‘You know, I may be human, but I don’t always mean I want more sex. I can appreciate you in more aesthetic ways.’
Spock nodded, the smile still on his lips.
‘While I was poking about I found out their food stasis unit is still working,’ Christine said. ‘And I don’t know about you, but I’m starving.’
‘We have already broken into their home and stolen their firewood,’ Spock pointed out in a slightly disapproving tone.
‘Oh, Spock, I’m sure Starfleet can replace anything we’ve used,’ Christine waved away his concerns. ‘There are allowances for emergencies.’
Spock arched an eyebrow and continued to play. Christine took that as acceptance, so she left the room again and returned a few minutes later with a platter of food, vegetarian for Spock, but with a few pieces of Earth-style cured meats for herself.
‘Come on, Spock,’ she said, patting the rug before the fire. ‘Come break bread with me.’
Due to the excellence of the stasis storage the food was as fresh as it had been when it entered the house. Christine had also found a bottle of wine, of which Spock consented to drink a little. When they had finished he cleared away the things and they put more wood on the fire and then lay down together on the rug, flesh to flesh. They had been there for a long time now and the warmth and sex and food and wine were conspiring to make Christine sleepy. She nuzzled her face against the Vulcan’s back. With a far greater tolerance of heat than the human, Spock’s body was acting as a shield from the direct heat of the flames. The fire had brought a light green flush to his skin.
She did not notice herself slipping into sleep, but she must have, because the next awareness she had was of being pressed up naked against Spock’s warmth, with a pallid light coming through the curtains. The fire had died down to ashes and Spock was fast asleep. Christine lay there for a while just looking at the Vulcan’s face. His hair was still rippled by the rain of the night before. His eyelashes lay dark and long along his closed eyelids. His lips were very slightly parted and his breath came softly between them. His body was so relaxed that he looked like a cat in a sunbeam. Unwittingly Christine felt her heart begin to beat faster. How perfect it would be to have him here again, loose and lank on this fur rug.
Carefully and quietly so as not to wake the Vulcan she slipped away from him and went to put more wood on the fire. She noticed the automatic lighter control at the side, and smiled. Spock had told her he had used his phaser last night. She touched the control and instantly the wood burst into flame.
‘Oh, my perfect Vulcan,’ she murmured, kneeling down beside him again and kissing the tip of his ear.
Spock stirred a little, and his eyes blinked open. For an unguarded moment there was nothing of Vulcan control at all in his face as he gazed into his lover’s eyes.
‘You said you don’t always want more sex, Christine,’ Spock murmured, ‘but there is little else in your mind at this moment.’
Christine laughed lightly. ‘Well, I am human, after all,’ she said playfully.
They made love languorously and gently in front of the fire, with none of the bestial urgency of last night. Then, spent, they lay together on the rug again and let the heat wash over them.
‘I suppose you should try to contact the ship,’ Christine said eventually. ‘They must be worrying...’
Spock grunted in a non-committal way, most uncharacteristically unconcerned about duty. He was still warm and relaxed from making love and could not imagine moving.
Christine glanced at the two communicators, which lay by the side of the hearth. She tried to remember if she had had a dream where that thing had been beeping insistently. It had been half a possibility.
‘Perhaps I should call,’ Spock said eventually.
‘Oh, don’t,’ she murmured, spooning close against the Vulcan again and wrapping her arm about his body. ‘It’s just a communications blackout. It’s not like you can do anything from here.’
‘I think I dreamt the sound of the communicator just prior to waking up,’ Spock said musingly.
Christine smiled. ‘Isn’t that funny, Spock? I did too. I suppose that shows how in tune we are, each feeling the other’s dreams.’
‘Perhaps,’ Spock murmured, but a slight frown furrowed his forehead.
A very familiar noise began to build in the air, very quiet at first, but growing. Christine’s arm clenched over Spock’s body for a moment, but there wasn’t time to move. She closed her eyes, waiting for the inevitable.
‘Spock, Christine, what in blue blazes do you think you – ’
It could be no one other than Dr McCoy. His medical tricorder was already warbling. The doctor’s voice stuttered off. So far, Christine and Spock had confided in no one about their relationship. They were, to public eyes, just colleagues on the Enterprise.
‘The scanners showed an elevated – ’ McCoy stuttered. ‘I mean – And Spock was – Goddammit to hell, you two, I’m a doctor, not a blasted mind reader.’
The silence stretched out. Spock did not move. Christine did not dare turn around. After all, all of her modesty, what little there was left, was protected by the shield of Spock’s body, and she really, really did not want to meet the doctor’s eyes right now.
The seconds dragged on. Finally McCoy flipped open his communicator.
‘McCoy to Enterprise. Yeah, Scotty, they’re both just fine. They’ll be – ahem – I’m sure they’ll be beaming up in a little while. Meanwhile, get me the hell out of here. Please.’
Christine closed her eyes as the sound of the transporter built again. Spock was very, very still.
‘Well,’ Christine said after a long silence. ‘I guess the cat’s really out of the bag now.’
Spock did not reply, but after a moment he made a sound very close to a purr.