DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc and Viacom. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2019 by Djinn. This story is Rated PG-13.
In the low light of the cave, Chapel eased her leg out from under Spock's and studied him. They were lying close together in the small space, had just cleared a slide of falling earth and rock as they dove for shelter. He had pushed her ahead of him, and the bits of debris they hadn't outrun had fallen on him. Now his eyes were closed and blood was trickling down his face.
Her medical bag was poking into her back, and she drew it over her shoulder gingerly, afraid to knock anything since she wasn't sure if the cave was stable. She moved carefully in the tight space so she wouldn't hit Spock with her elbow and add to any damage.
First she pulled out the tricorder and checked the air. There was light coming from the narrow gaps over their heads, so she hoped that meant fresh air was coming in too. The tricorder confirmed it. They might die of thirst, but they wouldn't suffocate.
Then she eased the scanner from the bag, checking herself first to make sure she wasn't bleeding out and didn't know it. She'd be of no use to Spock if she were dead. Fortunately, she was fine, so she moved on to him. The head wound was superficial, the blood already stopping. The rest of him scanned okay. She gently shook him.
He opened his eyes and looked pretty much the way she'd expected he would, coming awake to find himself in such close proximity to her.
Well, no amnesia. "Other than your head, does anything hurt?" The scanner said he shouldn't be in pain, but there was no input like that from the actual patient.
He seemed to be assessing. "No." He began to look around—clearly trying not to touch her as he moved. "This cave appeared larger from the outside."
"Don't worry. Jim will find us."
"Are you reassuring me or yourself?"
"I don't know. It seemed a positive thing to say. Under the circumstances." Although Jim finding them soon would probably be more welcome news to him, stuck in here with her.
He wiped his face and studied the blood on his hand.
As he reached up to where the wound was, she grabbed his hand. "You'll just make it bleed again."
Then she let go of him as quickly as she could. "We've got air. No water. My communicator is buried, I think. I reached around but couldn't find it."
He dug around behind his back, came out with his communicator, which miracles of miracles worked. Or at least, it turned on and made the appropriate noises. It just didn't reach anyone.
"Interference," he said softly.
"Does that mean they won't find us if they scan the area?"
"I am uncertain."
"Is that the truth or are you just trying not to panic me?"
She closed her eyes. "Can't they extrapolate where we might have run to based on where we were? The communicators are traceable right—until the point that this cave got buried." They'd been in a gully; there'd been nowhere else to run. He'd seen the cave and practically dislocated her shoulder as he'd grabbed her hand, jerked her around, and said, "Run!"
He'd saved her.
Officer training, muscle memory—she doubted it had been deliberate.
"They should be able to do that," he said.
She didn't have the heart to ask if he was once again sparing her feelings. As the tininess of the space began to work on her, she focused on keeping her breathing even and closed her eyes.
"Are you injured and not telling me?"
"No. I'm claustrophobic and admitting it. If you ever want to hide from me, the Jefferies tubes are a good place." She kept her eyes closed as she focused on her breathing.
"Duly noted." His voice sounded closer. "He will find us."
She nodded, trying to forget that they needed rescue. In and hold, and out and hold, and over and over—until they died. "Distract me, Spock. Please?"
"I do not remember you referring to Jim by his first name during the first mission."
He seemed to be waiting so she opened her eyes. "I cannot distract you, Christine, if you do not elaborate."
"Oh. Right. Good point." Also, did he just call her by her first name? And did he sound almost...tender doing it?
Maybe the air wasn't all that good. Was she hallucinating?
"Are you panicking?" Again his voice was low and soft, and he touched her temple gently.
"I'm not," she whispered, and it was mostly true, and partially because he didn't yank his hand back the way she expected. He left it on her, the heat of his fingers soothing.
"Are you and Jim involved? I have asked him and he seems to enjoy not giving me a straight answer."
"Do you care if I am?"
He began to stroke instead of just touch, gentle but firm movements on her skin.
She moaned and then said, "I'm sorry."
"I can feel you are enjoying it. You merely vocalized your enjoyment. Why apologize?"
"Because touching me isn't something you used to do of your own volition."
"Perhaps things have changed. Also, you have not answered my question."
"Have things changed?" She bit back a smile at the idea that she was doing the same thing to him that Jim probably was.
They weren't involved, but they'd become good friends after being on Earth with everyone else busy or gone. They might have become more if she hadn't been leaving. And now that he was her captain again—well, his rules were clear.
Plus she was in love with the guy who suddenly wanted to play with her hair—holy God that felt good—and Jim knew it.
And Spock no doubt knew it too—stupid telepathic hands.
He leaned in slightly. "Answer my question first."
"No." She laughed at his expression—he looked so put out. "Why should I? Are you just curious? Or do you truly care?"
"Answer and perhaps you shall find out."
She grinned and realized the panicky feeling inside her was fading. "You're really good at distracting."
"You are not. Answer the question."
"He and I are very good friends. That's all." She touched his face and he closed his eyes. "So...is that of interest to you?"
God damn, the way he said it, the huskiness of his voice that still lingered even weeks after V'ger, the way he was watching her: it was all so damn sexy. "Do you think I care?"
"I do. I could feel your pleasure at my answer."
"Can you feel all kinds of pleasure?"
"You're not going to keep distracting me if you don't elaborate." She laughed at his expression.
"Very well." He eased her toward him. "I will elaborate." He ran his fingers lightly down her cheek, then did it again and again causing her to shiver. "I can tell that excites you. Being close to me. My touching you this way."
"Maybe..." She tried to bite back another laugh and failed.
He traced her lips with his finger. "I can tell you enjoy that."
"Well, who wouldn't?" She returned the favor and he closed his eyes and inhaled sharply as she played. "Also, we might never get out of here. Maybe my reactions aren't what they might be if we weren't trapped and lying so close."
"Perhaps not." He shifted, clearly trying to get comfortable.
She eased him toward her. "I'm actually not trying to escalate this. I just think we could both be more comfortable."
He moved carefully and then said, "That is better. Thank you."
"I'm still a doctor. Even if I'm enjoying whatever it is you're doing."
"I am distracting you." His lips ticked up slightly. "I may also be seducing you."
"You? Why, Mister Spock. How unlike you." She frowned. "This isn't the Pon Farr, is it?"
"No. It is not that. Nor is it V'ger's influence. I have waited, to approach you. I wanted to be sure. I did not want to hurt you by acting on urges that might not last."
"Thank you. You might have waited a little too long, though. If they really can't find us."
"They will find us. I have faith in Jim."
"Well, me too. But it would be just my luck." She sighed. "I bet you can last longer without water."
"Probably so." He studied her. "You do not seem unduly upset at the idea of dying."
"I'm so tired, Spock. Med school, then trying to learn how to be CMO on a ship that nobody thought I deserved to be CMO on. It was so exhausting. So while dying wouldn't be my ideal resolution, a little rest—and this nice distracting talk with you—seems very welcome."
"You are a complex woman."
"Or a really dull one." She grinned and said in a sappy voice, "Just give me the guy I love for a few minutes and some shut-eye, and I'll die a happy woman."
"You love me."
"Well, shit. I didn't really mean to say that." She studied him; he didn't seem perturbed. "How does that make you feel? That I love you?"
"Relieved. It will make the seduction much easier. I anticipate not being overly skilled in that department."
"And you're admitting it?"
"But you've done it? Right?"
"Intercourse? Yes. But never as the seducer. Never in my right mind, either."
"Well, the air might be thin in here. Or there could be gas." There wasn't gas. She'd checked that, and by the way he looked at her, she could tell he knew that.
"I think not. So you will have to deal with the real me."
"Well I happen to like the real you. I told you that in an overly emotional way when I was hyped up on the Psi2000 virus, remember? I like the human Mister Spock and the Vulcan Mister Spock. I don't expect you to be one or the other—just what you are."
"That is an agreeable concept."
She closed her eyes. "It is."
"I thought of you. When I was at Gol."
"Thought of me how? As something nasty you'd be escaping?" She tried to keep the sarcasm low; she didn't really understand how Gol worked or why she'd have come to mind.
"No. As a regret. Someone I never let in." He exhaled slowly. "We had to release such things. It is impossible to purge emotions that one is tied to by regret or guilt or other strong impulses."
"I bet." So she was a regret. That was interesting.
Then again how many others were too? "You know Nyota likes you, right?"
"I am aware of that. I did not request her on this mission, though, did I?"
He'd requested her? She'd thought Len had just refused to go. "Hmmm."
"Is that a sound of pleasure or consternation?"
"More confusion. Were you going to say something to me, to clue me into your interest? I mean if we hadn't ended up here?"
"Eventually. But once we were in here, you needed distracting and I believed this would do the job admirably."
"You weren't wrong."
"I rarely am."
"Oh my God—is that what I'm going to have to deal with? Monumental ego?" Not unlike Roger, when you came right down to it. Should be like falling off a log.
"Is it ego if it is true?"
"Good question. I imagine you may find yourself right less frequently when it comes to interpersonal matters than scientific."
"I will concede that. Are you highly variable in mood?"
She considered that. "Not really. I mean I use sarcasm like a saber—learned from the best, after all, in sickbay. But I think I'm pretty even keeled. Roger used to tell me I was his rock."
"I would concur. You came back to my quarters even though I had thrown the soup you made for me at you."
"I may just be a doormat."
His lips almost ticked up again. "I do not think so."
"You never know. I may bore you in days."
"I think it far more likely that I will bore you."
"We'll always have science. Not that we've really talked that much about it."
"I have considered that. A common interest."
"Why didn't you talk science to me?" She narrowed her eyes.
"At the time, as I was unsure of my path, I did not wish to draw you closer to me if I was going to leave. Gol had been in my mind since I was a teen. I have struggled for so long to be...Vulcan. It always seemed like an answer."
"A shining city on the hill. Roger was that for me. A partner I loved, a project I wasn't going to get sick of, tenure that would be hard to get otherwise, respect that I craved. Sometimes shining cities on the hill are just mirages."
"That is true."
"If V'ger hadn't called—would you have stayed?"
"I believe I would have. I think, however, it would not have been my best destiny."
"Yeah, I'm inclined to think that too." She grinned as she gently booped his nose with her finger. "But I'm selfish that way." Also maybe assuming a great deal. "So do you just want to get me out of your system or are you looking for something more enduring?"
"Which do you desire?"
"I asked you first."
"Had I wanted to get you out of my system, I would have approached you while I was compromised from the meld with V'ger."
"So you could blame its influence once you wanted out?"
"But you didn't do that."
"I did not."
"So you want more?"
"Yes. Unless we prove incompatible."
"In bed or in life?" Damn she was enjoying just talking with him. She'd imagined a lot of things about him but being this fun wasn't one of them.
"I have no doubt you will teach me anything I need to know to please you sexually. But general compatibility may prove more problematic." He went back to playing with her hair. "I do not think so, though. I find your presence both arousing and soothing. I look forward to discovering your interests, how your mind works."
"Ditto." She leaned closer. "I also look forward to knowing how you kiss me when there aren't a bunch of Greek pervs staring us down."
"I could show you."
"Mmm hmm. You could." She smiled, the best smile she could give him, one free of irony so he'd know she wasn't kidding even if her tone had been teasing.
"You have a beautiful smile. I have always thought so." He leaned in, his lips light on hers, playful even, as he kissed her, as she opened her mouth to him, as they both groaned.
Then he pulled away. "Do I pass?"
"Nope. Gonna have to do that so many more times before I even give you a D." She was touching his cheek as she said it, so he'd know how much she enjoyed it, how much she wanted more kisses—more everything. Except not right this second since she didn't want to bring the cave down around them because they were too dumb to wait until they were freed.
And somehow she knew they would be. She felt something she hadn't since Will had died.
Hope. Spock had given her hope.
He was watching her as she processed this, a curious look on his face.
"You make me feel...like there's a future again. It's...unexpected."
He pulled her back to him, kissing less gently this time.
When he let her go, she whispered, "You get an A+ on distracting. You can, in fact, distract me any time."
"I am relieved I excel at something."
"I like kissing you."
"I know that."
She waited, finally whapped him lightly on the shoulder.
His eyes were shining as he said, "Ah, I am remiss. I, too, enjoy kissing you." Then he pulled her back and kissed her some more.
She wasn't sure how long they'd been at it when she heard Jim's voice. "You two comfy in there?"
She and Spock pulled away, but not quickly, not like they had anything to be guilty over, and they looked up. In one of the gaps, hovering just over their heads, was a little exploratory drone that had been set up with a camera.
"How come that works and our communicators don't?"
Scotty's voice filled the space. "Modified it to override the distortion all those metals in the dirt are causing, lassie."
"How many people are watching us?"
"Just the two of us, Chris. You two seem pretty happy there. You want me to come get you later?" He was laughing and she heard Scotty snickering.
"I'm going to kill you."
"Captain," Spock said as if they hadn't been caught making out, "we would appreciate being released. I assume transporters will not function for this."
"You assume right. But we'll have you out in a jiffy." The drone still hovered. "Oh, did you two want some privacy while we did that?"
Spock reached out, pulled the drone down to him, did something to the back of it and the camera went black, then let it go back to hovering. "That will not be necessary."
"Hey. Hey where'd you go?" Jim was laughing.
"Not to worry, Captain. I can run the sensors even if we can't watch the two lovebirds."
"What fun is that? Fine. As you were, you two. It might take a while to move all that dirt. Kirk out."
"They can still hear us," she whispered into Spock's ear.
"I know," he mouthed. And then he pulled her to him and went back to kissing.
They tried to keep the happy moans to a minimum.
They tried and failed.