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) 2003 by Djinn. Apologies to Steven Tyler—what can I say, I listened a few too many times to "Dream On" and this angstfest was the result. This story is Rated R.
Dream Until Your Dream Comes True
Christine waits for Spock to go to bed, but he shows no sign of getting tired. She's excited, can't wait to get out. She shouldn't think of it. Keep her mind on something neutral, something safe. He passes her room once, stops in the doorway but says nothing. She can feel his stare as she lies on the bed reading. She doesn't turn around. His thoughts are shielded; he sends her nothing to judge his mood. He stands there for longer than she expects. And when he leaves, she can tell he's gone only by the hairs on the back of her neck that finally lie down.
She puts the book down, gets up from the bed and locks the door of her bedroom in this rented house on Risa, then checks to make sure the lock has really engaged. It has. If only she could lock him out of her mind as easily. She walks to the closet and strips off her clothes. Pulling out a dark dress, she slips it on; it's tight, clings to her body as if glued on. She runs her hand over it, feeling the way her body has thinned down in some places, filled out in others. Vulcan nutrition agrees with her. It is the only thing Vulcan that does.
She goes into the bathroom and reaches for the makeup that will erase some of the years from her face. The light in the club is forgiving, and she's deft with her brushes and paint. Taupe here to deepen a hollow, pearl there to highlight a curve, kohl to make her eyes look bigger, whiter. She tries not to see the wrinkles that have formed, especially the two just above her nose that come from frowning too much. She hates those most of all. She doesn't have any smile lines—she doesn't smile much anymore.
This is what she wanted, and she knows that. She pursued this life that now she can't wait to flee for the night. She wanted Spock more than anyone she had ever met. It took years, but she finally found a moment when he needed her and she could give him what he'd normally refuse. A time when he burned too much to turn her down.
The Pon Farr. She hates it. Hates the memories of it. Seven years seem to go by much faster than they should. Before she knows it, he'll be back again. No lock will stop him. Nothing will stop him.
She can feel the anger rising inside her and fights it down. She can't afford to get upset. He will surely feel it.
She dips her brush into the lip gloss and watches as it shakes. Steady. Easy. Once her hand stops trembling, she paints her lips the dark burgundy color Spock dislikes.
Satisfied she looks as good as she's going to, she goes back into the bedroom and rifles through the small jewelry box Spock gave her for her birthday the first year they were married. It was exactly what she wanted and she knows now that Uhura told him what she liked. At the time though, she still wanted to believe he picked it out on his own.
She reaches behind the box, traces the deep gouge on the back. She threw it at him once. Before she learned to hide her feelings. Before she learned how to shield.
It was during the Pon Farr. Not the first Pon Farr when she thought the emptiness she felt afterwards would go away once they grew closer. And not the second one when she realized the emptiness would never go away. But the third Pon Farr when she was sick and didn't want him near her. He didn't have a choice, of course. And if he didn't have a choice, then neither did she. She was overwhelmed by the power of his need, had no alternative but to do what he wanted, what he required. Between that and the virus she'd picked up, she was tired enough to die. She should have been so lucky.
"I'm sorry," he said as he finally left her. And he set down a package on the pillow next to her.
She looked at it dully. Then turned away.
He opened it for her and showed her a necklace he told her had last been worn by his grandmother. It was beautiful.
She hated it.
"I will put it with the others," he said, carrying it over to the jewelry box. Back then, she never wore the things he gave her; she just let them sit in the box. They were the only things in the box.
"Can you not even try, Christine?" he said as he walked to the door. His look was full of disappointment.
Tired, hurting, and angry beyond reason, she somehow managed to get out of bed and lurch to the dresser. Picking up the box, she hurled it at him. It would have hit him in the head, if he hadn't knocked it aside with his hand. The box hit the bedside table, the metal corner scoring a deep groove in the back. When it hit the ground, the jewelry spilled onto the floor.
She stared at it for a long moment, then met his eyes. She could still feel his mind in hers, even though he'd pulled away hours earlier. She could always feel him in her for weeks afterwards. I hate you, she sent as hard as she could, hoping he could hear her through the anger and bitterness.
If he heard her, he gave no sign.
She reaches into the box and pulls out a particularly valuable necklace. She wears them now, these baubles he no longer gives her. Wears them whenever she goes to the club. She smiles as she locks the Vulcan sapphires around her neck, then adds the matching earrings. They make her look regal and go well with the supple dress.
It will not please him that she displays them so. That she displays herself so. The thought makes her happy. Pulls her mouth into an unaccustomed smile.
She takes off the ring that T'Pau put on her finger after Christine followed Spock out of the mating shelter and onto the hot sands. The ceremony was brief, but despite that, the harsh dry wind and blazing sun as well as her ordeal with Spock and the Pon Farr made her feel faint.
When T'Pau laid her hand on Spock's head, then on Christine's, and spoke the ritual words that formalized the bond, Christine almost passed out. The intensity of Spock's presence in her mind increased from the nearly overwhelming sensation it had been during the Pon Farr to something more permanent, and even more intrusive.
She would never be alone, she realized. And promptly threw up all over the challenge grounds.
The Vulcans were too polite to chastise her for it. But she felt Spock's disapproval fill her. It wouldn't be the last time.
She slips on some strappy shoes and unlocks her door, walking down the hall to the room where he works.
"I'm going out," she says, and feels his condemnation fill her. She can sense that he's trying to influence her, make her change her mind.
She wonders if he'll ever realize that doing that only makes her more determined?
She calls for a cab and a flitter arrives more promptly than usual. She gives the address of the club that's her favorite here. It's called Regret. She loves the irony. She never regrets going there.
The room is dark, filled with people writhing to the overly loud electronic music that an alien she can't identify is playing. Couples are pushed up along the wall, moving desperately against each other. Regret customers have no shame. It's one of the reasons she likes it here.
She grew weary of shame long ago.
She moves to the bar and orders something strong and tall. The bartender recognizes her from the last time she was in. She takes that as a compliment and talks to him for a while until she feels someone softly grasp her shoulder then let go as soon as she begins to turn.
"Dance?" a beautiful young woman asks her.
Christine isn't ready, needs to drink more. "Maybe later," she says and the woman leaves her alone.
She looks around the room, getting a feel for who's there, who she might want tonight. She doesn't think she's in the mood for a woman. Thinks she wants a man inside her. A human man.
There are plenty to choose from. One watches her from the end of the bar. His hair is light and that appeals to her. She's tired of dark hair. He lifts his drink to her and she gives him a slow smile. It promises a lot. He lets an eyebrow go up in reaction. She can feel her smile fade and turns away from him, knowing he will wonder what he did wrong.
She will have no reminders of Spock tonight. At least not from some stranger.
Another young man stands in front of her, too close for someone she's never met. He smiles down at her and she decides she likes his looks. Reaching up, she pulls him even closer.
Her fingers on his lips stop his introduction. "I don't want to know." Then she lets her mouth turn up, into the seductive grin that rarely fails her. "Just tell me you're good."
"I'm very good." He pulls her to the dance floor.
As the young man moves her with him to the frenetic beat of music so loud it's almost painful, she lets herself drown in the sensations, in the feelings. Feelings...she loves feeling something again. She drops the shields that keep Spock out but also keep her from experiencing anything in an emotional way, and surrenders to how the boy feels against her, how his lips make her feel. She revels in not being able to tell what he's thinking.
Why did she think she ever wanted to know that? Why did she think it would be good to share a mental bond with a man who said he had no emotions? She found out to her dismay that he didn't exaggerate. Not when it came to her. There was no affection, no love, no romance. Nothing. Except his mind cemented into lockstep with hers by a ritual that Christine barely understood.
She also found out he did have emotions for others. Did feel strongly, even loved, a select few. Kirk, McCoy, his mother, even his father. If he was immune to Christine's charms, he was not so indifferent to certain others. She experienced his feelings for Zarabeth, and Leila; even T'Pring seemed to enjoy some emotional hold on him. It hurt Christine to know that he could love her, he just didn't.
No one had told her this could happen. But if they'd tried, she wouldn't have listened. She'd been so sure Spock would learn to treasure her, that over the years, he would come to care for her.
They really should explain it doesn't work that way before some poor fool goes and makes it permanent with a bond that only death can break.
She can feel the moment Spock comes into the club. In the unguarded space in her mind, his anger at her resounds.
He isn't entirely immune to her, she thinks in triumph; as she throws her head back and lets the young man have access to her neck. She can still enrage her husband.
She sees Spock then, as he moves across the floor, finds an unoccupied place against the opposite wall. Christine pushes the boy off her. "I'm tired of dancing," she purrs, as she moves around him, so that her back is to the wall.
He's already pulling up her dress. As the fabric moves up her leg, she can feel Spock's temper rise.
Spock's rage never fails to surprise her. He's not hurt by her actions. Not in the way a human might be. If she weren't his wife, he wouldn't care what she did.
But she is his wife. The wife of an important man of Vulcan. Her actions shame him.
Yet he gives her leave to do it. Here, on this planet. Only on this planet. Only when they come to Risa. Once a year...for her to work out the frustration.
She loves this part. The boy pushes her up against the wall and looks at her for permission before thrusting into her.
She likes him for asking. Her eyes lock with Spock's as she tells the young man to take her. Her husband doesn't look away as she's rocked back against the wall. The boy is skilled, pulling her leg up and moving against her in a way that brings her great pleasure.
Pleasure: something Spock knew nothing about. She wishes she could pack all the venom she feels at this moment and send it to him. But she can't. He can invade her thoughts, but she can't find her way into his unless he's touching her. And touching her is something he tries not to do. Except for every seven years.
The first year with Spock, she tried to win him over. Thought that if she worked hard to be a good Vulcan wife, he'd open up to her, would begin to love her. She carried herself with reserved grace, learned her role, her duty as his wife. She even learned to speak Vulcan in a way that didn't immediately mark her as a complete outsider. And he was pleased.
But pleased never translated into love.
She worked harder. Began to read the old literature, studied his family history. Tried anything she could think of to make him proud of her through her interest in him, in his family, in all things Vulcan.
And she tried to bear him a child.
Christine shies away from that subject, turns her attention to the young man. He's nearing completion and Christine urges him on. She doesn't want to think about the child. The child she could never have.
Or that Spock could never have. That was more accurate. He was a hybrid. Like a mule, he was sterile. It wasn't a comfortable time for them when he found that out.
Back then she still cared about him. Cared about sparing his feelings. She said it wasn't important to her. And it wasn't, she wasn't particularly maternal, didn't feel the need to procreate. But it was important to him to carry on his line. And he couldn't.
He went away for a time then. Left her alone on Vulcan. She waited for him, hoping that when he came back it would be because he realized that they could build something strong just for themselves. That they didn't need a child to make them whole, united, together.
She was a fool back then. She still hoped. Hope was something she kicked out of her life at the same time she started locking the door to her bedroom. He may have come back to her, but he didn't come back for her. He came back for himself, because of the Pon Farr.
And during that Pon Farr she saw that he wouldn't have married her if he'd known there would be no children. He wouldn't have bothered.
That was when her heart broke. And when she woke up. Grew up.
And when she walked out. Or tried to. That was something else no one had ever told her. That you didn't leave in the middle of a Pon Farr.
Not if you wanted to walk the next day. Or speak. Or think.
The boy sags against her and she finally looks away from Spock. She kisses the young man. He's sweet and wants to hold her. She lets him. She knows how it feels to be pushed away.
As he rests against her, she remembers how liberating it felt to finally pack her things up, to realize she was going to end the fiasco her marriage had become. She'd barely got her things in the first bag when he was in her room.
"Where are you going?" he asked. His hand on her arm burned.
She ignored him and pulled away. She would leave him. In a moment, he'd watch her walk out.
He jerked her to him. His hands were on the meld spots. She felt his mind barreling into hers. Where are you going? His mindvoice was savage, primitive...and on the attack.
"Leave me alone," she said, trying to push him away from her.
Somewhere, deep down, she thought she heard a calmer version of his voice warning her not to fight, not to run. That it was dangerous.
But she had to fight. She had to run. She couldn't stand this any longer. Wouldn't stand it any longer.
A Vulcan woman might have fought her way out of that bedroom. A human woman didn't stand a chance of getting away.
But she tried anyway.
She got as far as the door when he threw her up against the wall, leaning heavily on her, forcing her to stand still as his mind and body pounded her. Over and over.
She gave up hoping it would stop. Began to hope she'd die.
When he finished, she couldn't move, couldn't talk. He lifted her up and carried her to the bed, curled himself around her, his hands holding her in place. Do not leave, he whispered helplessly in her mind as she desperately tried to catch her breath.
She felt his regret. Wondered if it would stop him from taking her again.
It didn't. The fire wouldn't be denied. For two more days.
He took care of her when it was over. Was good to her in every outward way, even as he pulled further away from her emotionally. She was too tired to try to stop him. Too tired to fight anymore.
What was the point of leaving him, if this would happen over and over? She'd never be able to build anything good with someone else. Not when she had to drop her life every seven years to appease his rut. The words of the bonding ceremony came back to her. The ones she'd barely listened to at the time. What exactly had she agreed to?
She didn't leave. But because they never spoke of what happened, it hung like a carcass between them. Making everything that was theirs rot. Stink. They both turned away when she should have tried to make him open up to her, when he should have let go of his pride and tried to reach her.
She was the wife he chose, and the woman he didn't love. He was her husband, the man who so many women envied her for having. In public, they appeared solid, their foundation firm. And it was firm. The bond made sure of that. But they drifted apart until there was nothing warm left between them.
That was when she quit hoping. That was when she started locking her bedroom at night.
Not that he wanted in. But it was a signal of the change between them, of the change in her. The growing coldness she didn't even try to stop.
She was his wife. Her bed was icy and sharp, but she'd lie in it. She'd behave in a way that befitted the wife of a high-ranking Vulcan. She wouldn't cause trouble. She would maintain appearances.
And she had. On Vulcan. On Earth. But not here. Not on Risa. She stares at her husband, seeing how his expression doesn't alter even though she can feel his intense anger.
Once he realized she was resigned, that she wasn't leaving, he began to relax, ignoring her. So long as she behaved herself, he was a distant and distracted presence in her life.
She learned to shield, to push him even further away from her. His mind could still reach her, but he had to work for it. Casual interest in her no longer allowed him access to her thoughts, her feelings. If his were off limits, then hers would be too. She learned to keep everything in.
Until their first trip to this planet. He was working; she'd come along because he needed his wife with him. For appearances. But once they arrived, she was barred from the meetings he attended and no one that mattered saw her. So she was free to do as she wished. She didn't mean to end up in Regret. She'd just come from the beach. It was hot and she only wanted some water. The club was on her way, and she welcomed its cool darkness.
Even during the day, the club was busy. The man who drew her to the dance floor was handsome, his touches gentle and sure. And warm. It had been so long since anyone had touched her.
It had been so long since she'd allowed herself to feel.
He was making love to her before she realized what she was doing. She gave herself up to it, began to let down the guards she had so carefully built.
And she felt Spock's mind in hers—surprised, then dismayed as he realized what was happening. But he didn't try to stop her.
And that night, when she returned to the club, he followed her. Christine was already off in a corner with a young woman who'd latched onto her the moment she walked in. Christine was lost in the soft kisses, in the gentle hands, when she realized Spock was there. She looked over the girl's shoulders and saw him standing across the room. Again, he made no move to stop her. Just stood in mute, angry witness. Seeing him watching her added a bizarre form of pleasure to Christine's tryst. His anger made her feel alive, wanted in a way she never had in the past.
Over the years, she began to feel guilty at how much she enjoyed his anger, his discomfort. She began to wait until he retired before going out. Made it his choice, not hers, if he followed her.
But he always showed up, watching her with eyes that burned a hole into her. He watched her dance, watched her drink and talk and laugh. And screw. She had sex with whoever caught her fancy. Men, women, it didn't matter. They just had to be human.
She knew that would hurt him. That she'd only touch a human. She wanted no more of Vulcans. Of aliens. Until the time on Risa was over and she had to return to his planet, or to Earth. Where she'd take up the mantle of a proper Vulcan woman. Would become something alien herself.
She'd dream of Risa even as she went through the motions of being the perfect wife. And when she could no longer stand it, when she felt as if she'd burst from the strain, she'd go to him and say, "I need Risa."
He didn't argue, although his mouth would become tighter and his eyes colder than normal.
She ignored his censure, wanted her respite, wanted a relaxing of the rules she'd imposed on them, rules he didn't try to alter by any warmth or tenderness.
She won the right to have her freedom, here in the dark corners of a planet no respectable Vulcan would go to. And she'd take it. She'd enjoy it.
After what he saw the first time, she thought that Spock wouldn't want to relive what freedom meant to her. But he insisted on coming to Risa with her. She wonders if he doesn't trust her to come back to him once she has a taste of freedom away from his lurking presence. He's possessive, even if that possession has no love around it.
She pushes the boy away with a kiss, pulls down her dress and walks back to the bar. She will have another drink before she goes back to the house they've rented.
She always prolongs the nights here, opens herself to the emotions she's shut down over the years. Feels things she thought lost long ago. And feels Spock suffer even as she begins to thaw inside.
If she can't have his love, his pain will do. She glances over at where he still stands. His eyes are implacable, darker than normal. She can feel his distaste for what she does; he's making no attempt to shield, has dropped his own barriers. She wonders if he thinks that will spoil her fun.
He doesn't know her very well if he thinks that. She smiles then, holds her drink up to him in a mock salute.
The bartender is staring at her. She stares back. He's young and handsome. And he wants her. She can tell by the way he lets his gaze rake her body, lingering on her breasts. Nobody on Risa is shy, or if they are, they don't come to this particular club.
He steps around the bar as another bartender relieves him, moving toward her until he's standing behind her. He leans in, his breath warm on her ear. "Every time you come here, he watches you."
"I know." She doesn't explain more.
He begins to touch her, making her groan. "I want him to watch us this time."
She lets him ease her off the stool, guide her back to the dance floor. She turns to look at Spock, feels his displeasure increase, as she begins to move, as the bartender begins to run his hands over her.
She rarely hurts him twice in one night. Usually he leaves before she can find a new partner. This will be special.
Spock is on fire. She feels his anger turn into desire as the bartender tries to move her to the wall.
"No," she says, pushing him away.
The bartender sees Spock coming toward them and doesn't argue.
She steps between them, faces Spock.
He's on her quickly, jerking her toward him, kissing her roughly, passionately. She can feel his emotion, his need.
He wants her. He wants to feel her, needs to take her. It isn't the Pon Farr, but he burns for her nonetheless.
"My wife," he says. Then he pushes her up against the wall, takes her in a passionate frenzy that's driven only by the lust he feels for her.
By the love he feels for her.
He loves her.
She can feel it through the bond, feels it even more when he melds with her. She begins to cry as he kisses her again. His hands roam everywhere, and he keeps saying her name in a way she's never heard.
When he comes, he buries his face in her neck. He pulls her to him, and she hears him whisper, "Christine. My love."
All these years, she thinks. All these years. And finally.
"Come back to the house," he says, and she follows him willingly.
Even after all these years, she'll follow him. She's his wife.
And she loves him.
Spock looks down at his wife. She sleeps still, moving restlessly. He touches her cheek, feeling how cool it is. He wonders if she is cold.
He melds with her, tries to reach some part of her, but there is nothing.
He pushes guilt away. It is easy now; he has had years of practice.
He cannot change things. Christine is gone. In a deep, deep coma. She sleeps as she has since that night he walked in and found her packing. He did not mean to hurt her, was too far gone in the Pon Farr. Tried to warn her not to run, told her not to try to escape.
She did not listen.
He only wanted to convince her to stay. But he took things too far, pushed her too hard.
He did not want her to leave him. It had been more than just the Pon Farr fire that had made him force her to stay with him. The emotions he normally kept under such rigid control came loose, made him even more violent, more determined to keep her than he might have been otherwise. She had touched something deep inside him. Panic, pain, fear of rejection, he is not sure, even now, what it was that came out. All he knows is that it hurt him that she would leave him so soon after learning he could not give her a child. It hurt him that she didn't want him touching her when he desired her so terribly. It hurt him to admit he cared whether she stayed or not.
He knows she was not satisfied with him, with the way they related. Or more accurately the way they did not relate. He knows she wanted him to touch her, to want her, to love her. Also knows that she could not understand that, in his own way, he did care for her, did want her. But it was never enough. She was going to leave, despite the fact that they were bonded, that the distance would make life unbearable. She understood nothing about the resonance between them; how it could make their life a living hell if either of them forsook the bond.
Especially in the middle of a Pon Farr.
She did not understand and he tried to show her. But he only ended up hurting her. He did not mean to, he tells himself again. He just didn't want her to leave him. And he has gotten his wish. The doctors say she will never wake up. Even though her brain activity shows that she is not completely gone. Somewhere in there, Christine lives still.
But she will not answer any of his calls. The bond is gone, was gone that night and never returned. Even his next Pon Farr did not wake her up. He had to find another partner—a service unbonded males used. Could not bring himself to use Christine, even though his body burned for her and her alone.
So she sleeps. She will not wake. And she will never leave.
He sighs and walks to the door. He has work to do. Looking back at her, he whispers, "Pleasant dreams, Christine," before returning to his office.
She waits for Spock to go to bed, but he shows no sign of getting tired. She's excited, can't wait to get out. She shouldn't think of it. Keep her mind on something neutral, something safe. He passes her room once, stops in the doorway but says nothing. She can feel his stare as she lies on the bed reading. She doesn't turn around. His thoughts are shielded; he sends her nothing to judge his mood. He stands there for longer than she expects. And when he leaves, she can tell he's gone only by the hairs on the back of her neck that finally lie down.