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) 2007 by Djinn. This story is Rated PG-13.

Nowhere to Go, Nothing to Say by Djinn


by Djinn



The cave was dank and smelled of things that Chapel decided she'd rather not spend time investigating.


"Stay here," the guard said to Spock and her, as if they had a choice.  The bars on the door definitely put a damper on any thoughts of skedaddling.


She tried to catch the man's eye.  "Look, I--"


The guard held up a hand and backed away slowly, as if she was the one with the scary weapon.


"Damn."  She glanced at her companion; he was as taciturn as ever.  "Nice place you have here, Spock."


"It was not necessary for Emergency Operations to provide a representative for this mission."   But he'd gotten one anyway; this planet was in a perfect location to stage rescue missions for disasters and other relief operations. 


She just hadn't expected to be the one chosen to come along.  She was a little surprised he'd allowed it.  "Tell that to the brass," she mumbled, as she tried to see what the floor looked like, decided it was too dirty to risk sitting on.  She might change her mind later, when she'd been standing for hours.  Or days--please God, don't let them be stuck in here for days.


"I would not sit on that."  He viewed the floor with distaste.  Much the same way he'd looked at her over the years.


"Not to worry."  She walked over to the bars.  "Force field?"


"I think not."


She wondered if he'd lie just to shut her up, leaned down and grabbed a pebble.  She tossed it toward the bars; it sailed right through.  "No force field."


"As I said..."


"You're the smart one, all right."  And she was the smart ass.  Quite the pair.  "So...I assume we're being monitored?"


"It is likely.  I suggest you not divulge anything sensitive."


"No shit, Sherlock."  Did he think she was a complete novice at this?  She'd been in Emergency Ops now for nearly a decade.


He moved closer and she glanced at him.  His eyes were serene, as if he had nothing better to do with his day than hang out in a prison cell.


"We didn't do anything wrong," she said.


"No, you did not do anything wrong.  I insulted the monarch's youngest bride."


She loved that this was not her fault.  "That'll teach you to turn away homemade meatloaf." 


"I do not eat mea--"


"Uh huh.  Infinite diversity in desperate situations, Spock."


He actually sighed.


"It wasn't bad meatloaf."  She smiled at him in a way she was sure had to be annoying.  Eventually she'd tell him that it wasn't even real meat.  But...not yet.  Served him right for not doing his homework.  "I mean as meatloaf goes." 


"I would not know."


"No?  Zarabeth didn't cook you up a prehistoric meatloaf to take the edge off?"  The whole Zarabeth thing was still a sore spot.  As was Leila.  And Droxine.  It was one of the reasons she'd let her hair go back to brown.  Spock obviously had a thing for blondes--it had hurt that Chapel hadn't been included in that sunny pack despite her best efforts at platinum, champagne, and any other shade she'd thought he might like.


"I do not intend to discuss Zarabeth with you."


"Good."  She started to rattle the bars a little, looking for a weak spot. "You could help."


"You have the task well in hand, Commander."


"That's what all the boys say," she muttered, grinning at the idea of the men who might have said it recently.


"So I have heard." 


She turned to look at him--damn his Vulcan hearing.  "Miaow."


One slowly rising eyebrow was her answer.


"Ooh, snarky Spock.  I sort of like him." 


"I shall desist from such comments, then."


She laughed and went back to the bars.  "So, how long has it been since you were forced to endure my presence?"


"The diplomatic crisis on Deneva last year."


"That's right."  And the time before that had been right after Jim had died.  She'd been far gentler with Spock then, had known how badly he'd been hurting, even if he hadn't shown it. 


Spock seemed to become very still, and she thought he might be thinking about Jim, so she left him in peace while she finished determining that there was no way in hell they were breaking out of their cell.


"Solid?" he asked when she straightened up.


"'Fraid so."


"As I suspected."  He began to examine the rest of their cell.  Which didn't take him long because their cell was tiny with no windows, only the light from the corridor spilling in to keep it from being pitch black.




"We are not going anywhere."


"I sort of knew that."  She crossed her arms over her chest.  "And you with no dinner."  Not that she'd had much.  The first course and then a few bites of the meatloaf before Spock had done his "I will not eat anything with a face" routine, and they'd ended up being yanked from the table and put in here.  "So, as crimes go on this planet, you think not eating meatloaf is a capital one?  And why the hell am I stuck in here?  I'm not culpable.  I ate the damned stuff."


"Your language is atrocious."


"It's bland compared to some of my compatriots.  And you're not answering the question."


"Perhaps your company was seen as further punishment?"  His voice was even, as if he had not just delivered a zinger of an insult.


She made a noise like she'd taken a sharp blow to the chest, saw his expression change just a bit--he was amused?  "Years ago, you'd have made me cry with that remark."


"You are nothing like that woman."


"For which you are eternally grateful, I'm sure."  She leaned against the bars, studied him.  "So, we can't talk about work.  Let's catch up."


"I would prefer not to."


"Silence is overrated."


"Not on Vulcan."


Who knew he could verbally fence like this?  Although she'd seen him give it to Len, and that took guts and skill.  "So, are you seeing anyone?"  She laughed at his expression.  "Oh, yeah.  That was so worth it.  If you could see your face..."


"Fortunately, I cannot."




"My social life is not your concern."


"No, but it's more interesting than watching water collect on these walls.  Humor me."


"Perhaps a compromise.  You could tell me of your latest conquests.  That should take several hours."


"Ouch."  She moved closer.  "What have you been hearing?"


He shook his head slightly, a rather tense little gesture.


"And more importantly, why are you listening?  Do you care what I do?"


"I do not."


"Good.  Because you don't get to care."  She turned away.


"Have I offended you?"


"Would you care if you had?"


He moved to stand next to her, his hands on the bars.  "Is it untrue, then?"


"What?  That I'm a big slut?"


He looked away.


"Yes, it's untrue.  No, it's not.  Guess it depends on your interpretation."  She could feel some vestige of the old hurt welling up and pushed it back.  "Did you consider Jim a slut?"


His expression tightened.


"Well, then, there you go.  I'm like him."  Actually, she was like her old captain.  Open to experiencing pleasure for pleasure's sake, but still looking--and never seeming to find--something more permanent.


"He was a good man," Spock murmured.


"Never said he wasn't."  She moved away from him.  "He was my friend, too.  Not the legendary friendship that you had.  But we grew close after I left the ship."


"How close?"


She turned to look at him.

"There were...rumors."

"Were there?"


He nodded.


"And you listened to them?"


He did not answer, and his expression didn't change.


"Jim and I were just friends."


He seemed relieved.  But was that over Jim, or over her?


"So, now that we've established my social calendar, Spock, let's hear about yours."


"I think not."


"That's because you don't have one."


He didn't rise to the bait; she really hadn't expected him to.


"If you're seeing someone, I bet she's blonde."


She got the eyebrow again.


"Don't try to tell me you don't prefer blondes."


"Very well."


All except her.  Damn him.  This should not still hurt.  "So, how long do you think we'll be locked up in here?"


"I do not know."  He seemed about to say something, bit it back.




"Is someone waiting for you?"


"You mean do I have a hot date I need to get out of here for?"


He nodded slightly.


"I'm working, Spock.  I don't shit where I work."  She'd learned that from Jim. 


"I see."


"Do you?  Because I don't think you do."  She moved closer.  "What difference does it make if I have a hot date or not?"


"I was merely making conversation.  You were the one who preferred it to silence."


"My mistake."  She turned, banged on the bars.  "Yo, Sparky!"


The guard looked out.


"There's been a mistake.  I want a cell with an interesting person."


The guard scowled at her and went back to whatever he'd been doing.


"That was ill advised."


"Why?  Because I might leave you all alone?"


"Because you might irritate the guard when you could be building bridges."


She turned and stared at him.  "You are not seriously suggesting that I seduce our jailor, are you?"


"And if I were?"


"I've been well trained in martial arts since starting this job.  I will hurt you."


"I am Vulcan and much stronger."


"I'm a human woman.  And about to get very pissed."


He conceded with a nod.  "I was merely suggesting that you might find your way to establish a rapport--of a type up to you, of course--with our guard."


"How do you know he might not prefer a rapport with you?"


"I saw how he was watching you."


She frowned at him.  "When?"


"In the elevator.  You were attempting to memorize the key combination and did not notice."


"You knew I was doing that?"


"Yes.  But there were too many numbers."  He moved closer, pitched his voice low.  "I memorized the last ten digits.  Did you get the first ten?"


"I did."  She was glad they hadn't both gone for the same ten digits.  But-- "Since when can't you memorize the whole damn pattern?  Unless you really were watching me?"


"As I said."  At her look, he gave her the Vulcan equivalent of a shrug.  "I am adept at multitasking."


"That's not the point.  Why did you care?"


"I did not."

"I think you did."


He crossed his arms over his chest, as if creating a barrier between them.  "I was merely concerned at the potential for violence to you in this place.  Of a sexual nature."


"That would be sweet if it were true.  Sparky doesn't strike me as the rapist type."  The guard didn't even scowl very well.


"You cannot tell just by looking."


"Guess you should know.  I mean the whole logic turns into raging lust thing must be a bit like that?"


"The Pon Farr is not rape."


"If you say so."  Not that she knew.  And she shouldn't be baiting him about this.  There were things that had happened during that time on the ship she'd rather not dredge up.  Things that hadn't happened, too.  What had he meant when he'd said that it was illogical to protest against their natures?  She'd never known.


"This conversation has turned unpleasant.  I would prefer silence."


"Fine by me."  She suddenly felt very tired and crouched, leaning against the bars and trying to look past him.


He turned away, stared at where the bars joined the wall as if he could pry them apart by will alone.


"Look.  I'm sorry.  That may have been out of line."  She pushed herself to her feet, really wanting to pace but there wasn't room.  "I just..."


"It is all right."


"No, it's not all right.  It's never all right between us.  Why is that?"


"I do not know what you mean."


"Bullshit, you don't."  She turned and met his eyes.  "We just can't find an ease around each other, can we?"


"Perhaps not."


She sighed and nodded, turning away.


"I am not sure we have ever tried, Christine."  He sighed, too.


"You've never wanted to."


"And you, in the past, have wanted to too much."


"Well, there you go."


"Do you still want it?"


"Ease?  It's not something you want, Spock.  It's something you either have or you don't.  And we most decidedly do not."


"Of course."  He joined her again at the bars, as if trying to see what she was staring at.  Or maybe trying to see if she was crying, which she wasn't. 


"Did you and Valeris have ease?"


"We did.  I am not sure that is an indicator of a successful relationship."  There was a wry irony in his voice that made her smile.


"Good point.  Android Roger was pretty easy to hang around with, too."  Until he went insane.


"I rest my case."


She glanced at him.  "Are you saying we stand a chance?  Because we don't have ease?"


He didn't look at her.  "I am not sure what I am saying."


"I think you're just delirious with hunger."  She bumped up against him, and he allowed it, and she was pretty sure they needed to stop talking.  "I think you probably shouldn't be saying anything."


"Perhaps not."


There was a short silence.  Then he said softly, "I did not, for the record, consider Jim a slut."




"But he was quite frequently occupied."


"Occupied is not a bad thing."


"I am not saying it is.  But it can be off putting."


"How so?"


"If someone wanted more from a person.  To see that person continually with new partners..."


"Yeah, well, when you see someone who wants more from me, you be sure to tell him I'm open to it.  He'll just have to chase away the other men."


"Is that all that is required?"


She nodded. 


"I see."


"Why?  Do you know someone who is interested?"  She didn't look at him.


There was a long pause.  Then he said, "No."


The answer didn't surprise her--but it still hurt.


He moved away.  "Were you and Doctor McCoy ever...close?"


"Spock, I am not sure why you think that my past relationships are any of your business."  Especially when he wasn't interested.


He didn't seem deterred by the glare she shot him.  "His behavior with you was not always consistent."


"He's like that."  There was no way that she was going to tell Spock that Len was occasionally a "friend with options."  What difference did it make?  Now that she no longer worked for him?  "We really need to get out of here.  How do you think we manage that?"


"I am uncertain."  He sounded, finally, as if he regretted his nosiness.


"Well, work on it, will you?  I can think of about a hundred other people I'd rather spend time with."


"A hundred other men, to be exact."


"Yes, to be exact.  But you don't care, remember?"


He looked away.


"What is with you?"  She moved closer, got almost in his face, which wasn't hard to do in a cell that was getting closer by the moment.  "I like our lack of ease.  It makes sense to me.  Your interest in me and my...activities does not make sense."


"I did not say it made sense."


"Then stop it.  Because normally you make sense.  If nothing else, I try to depend on that."


He moved back, only stopped when he ran into wall. 


"We're giving them quite a show, you realize," she said, backing away herself, stopping just shy of the wall.  "If they wanted a primer on a dysfunctional relationship, we're certainly delivering."


He didn't answer.


She turned back to the bars.  "Yo, Sparky," she said so softly she knew the guard wouldn't come out.


"You were easier to deal with before."




"During our first five-year mission."


"Oh, you mean when I was the doormat who lived for any little moment with you?"  She turned to see his expression.


"That is not how I thought of you."




"You were, however, much...softer."


"I was weaker.  There's a difference."  She turned away.  She hated to think about those days.  Hated how she'd acted around him.  "Am I so bad now?  Such a harpy?"


"I did not say that."


"You said you preferred the old me."


"You were not listening very carefully."  At her look, an eyebrow went up slowly.  "I said that version of you was easier to deal with."


"I don't understand you."  She moved away, feeling like she had that day in his quarters, when he hadn't wanted to protest against their natures.  Off guard.  Unbalanced. 



"I do not always understand myself, either, Christine."  He was staring at her with an expression she couldn't read--but then he was Vulcan.  Not reading it was the entire point.


"You should work on that."  She turned, unwilling to feel the old way, the soft way--the doormat way.


Before he could answer, she heard a door slam and a blustering voice saying, "Damn it, Ambassador.  How the hell did you end up in here?"


"Captain Walsh," Spock said coolly, "I regret there was a misunderstanding."


"Something about the national dish of this planet, from what I could gather?  They're rather irritated with you."  Walsh glanced at Chapel.  "Tough luck for you, Commander.  Guilt by association."


"Oh, if only."


He shot her a confused look.


"Private joke, sir.  Nothing to worry about."


He grinned, the way he had all through their voyage here, and she glanced back at Spock; he seemed to be assessing Walsh's smile.  "Not where I work, remember?"


He nodded tightly, following Walsh out and leaving her to bring up the rear.  As she passed Sparky, she murmured, "No hard feelings?"


"Very sorry, ma'am.  Had my orders."


"Gotcha."  She held back, not eager to join into the conversation the two men were having.  As soon as they beamed up to the ship, she headed for her quarters--and far away from Spock.




She was just pulling off her uniform top when the chime rang.  Pulling it back on, she opened the door.


"I do not believe our conversation was entirely concluded," Spock said, pushing past her.


"Oh, I think it was very much over."  She followed him, grabbing his arm when he didn't stop. 


He looked down at her hand, and she removed it in a hurry.  "Spock, I'm tired and I'm not in the mood for this."


"We have so little chance to converse."  If Vulcans tended toward sarcasm, his voice would be the perfect example.


"Fine.  How's T'Pring?"  That ought to stop him in his tracks, make him run for cover.


It didn't.  "She prospers."  He moved closer, seemed to be assessing her now.  


"Stop it."


"Does my behavior trouble you?"


"Everything about you troubles me."  That, at least, was the truth.  No matter how much of a smart ass she'd become about their past, he'd never stopped getting to her.


He was standing close to her, his breath making her hair shiver, and she refused to look at him.


"I know why T'Pring does well," she said, her voice diving low, into cutting territory.  "She's nowhere near you."


"You are striking out because you are hurt by what I said earlier."


"No, I'm striking out because it feels good to do it.  Because I don't like you, Spock.  Because I'm trapped in here with you and unlike before, I have a choice about that.  And I don't want to have anything to do with you."


He touched her arm, his hand settling gently.  "I think you do not know how you feel about me."


"Oh?  Why is that?"


He let go of her.  "Because I do not know how I feel about you."


He moved around, until he was facing her, staring hard, his eyes cold like the scientist he'd been before diplomacy had become his life.  She let her own eyes go cold, stared back.  Didn't move as he stepped closer and closer, when he reached out, his hand pressing against her upper arm.


She wouldn't blink.  She would not be the one to move away, but he began to rub her arm, and she finally let out a shuddering breath.  "I hate you sometimes, Spock."


"Jim used to tell me that hate and love were merely sides of the same coin."


"Yes, opposites."


"But still the same coin."  He let up a little, but didn't pull away entirely.


"Are you saying you love me?"


"No, I am saying you love me."


She jerked away.  "How convenient for you."


"To be honest, it is not.  It has never been."  He surprised her, leaning in, his face resting lightly against her hair.  "When we were on Platonius, your hair smelled like the jasmine that blooms on my planet in the autumn."


"That was their perfume."


"It smells of mountain herbs now."


"Starfleet-issued shampoo." 


"It does not smell that way on me."  He left her hair alone, but pressed his body even closer.


"What are you doing?"


"I was in the officer's club with Leonard just before we left.  I saw you with a man.  It made me...uncomfortable."


"Not my problem." 


"I found myself contemplating opportunities lost."


"Not lost.  Never taken.  Never reached for." 


But he was reaching now, his hand stealing around her, pulling her closer. 


"Let me go."


He let her go, moving away slowly.  "You do not want me any longer?"


"No."  But she couldn't meet his eyes, stared much lower and saw that he most definitely wanted her, and that shook her.  She was used to things being a certain way.  She wanted Spock; he didn't want her.  "No, I don't."


"I am not sure I believe you."  He stroked her cheek.


"No more talking, Spock.  It's just too confusing."


"An excellent suggestion."  He pulled her to him and kissed her, making talking impossible.


When he finally let her go, she said, "I did not say you could do that."


"I am aware of that."  He brushed her hair back.  "I prefer it dark."


"Do you?"


"Yes.  It brings out your eyes."


"Are you in woo mode?"


"Would you object to that?"  He moved away from her, sat down on the chair by the desk.


"Make yourself at home."


"You did not answer my question."


"There's no reason to answer your question."  She headed toward the bathroom.  She was going to close the door and lock it and take the longest shower ever, and try to forget that he'd kissed her, and that it had been exactly what she'd wanted him to do.


Even if she knew better.  After all these damned years, she had to know better.


He grabbed her as she passed, pulling her down to his lap.  Before he could kiss her again, she put her finger on his lips to stop him. 

"What if I told you to go?" she asked, her voice nearly a whisper.


"Then I would go."  He pulled her closer.  "You would, however, have to remove yourself from my lap for me to do that."


"I didn't put myself there, Ambassador." 


"No.  You did not."  Nuzzling her neck, he ran his hands over her, his touch possessive in the extreme.  "It was an extremely bold move on my part, was it not?"


"I've heard you're full of bold moves."  In diplomacy, anyway.  He wasn't known as a lothario.


He just kept touching her, his look untroubled and very intent.


"As I said, make yourself at home."


He seemed amused.  "This may, in fact, be my way of chasing off the other men."


"There aren't any other men in sight."


"Then it appears to be a very effective measure."   He stopped touching her, stared up at her, all coldness gone, but she was unsure what she was seeing.  "Do what you want, Christine.  If you want me to leave, then get up and tell me to go.  But if you want something else..."


She stared at him for a long time, knowing she should take option number one.  Should get up and order him out.  And call this a moment of insanity she'd look back on with as much confusion as that moment in his quarters.


She should do that.


She should make him leave.


She leaned down, kissing him the way she'd wanted to for far too many years.  He kissed her back, the way she'd wanted him to for just as long.  He kissed her that way for a very, very long time.


"Why now, Spock?"


"I do not know."


"Why me?"


"Because I find that I want you."


"Not very romantic."


"You think not?"  He stroked her hair from her face.  "It is perhaps lacking lyricism.  But it is elemental.  Raw."


"Raw is good?"


"Perhaps not.  We will, no doubt, ascertain that in time."  His words were cold, clinical.  But they were tempered by his hand on her neck, his eyes as they seemed to shine with a calm humor, his mouth as he tasted her lips and cheeks and earlobes.


Then he touched her much lower, his fingers relentless as they slipped under fabric, over skin.  "I do not plan on sharing you."


"Who said you were even going to have me?"  But the way she was wriggling on his lap probably negated that statement.  She threw her head back, gave in to him.

Damn.  He was much, much better than she'd ever fantasized.  And this was fully clothed.


"We will have to discuss that."  He was watching her as she moved, a small upturn of his lips indicating a satisfaction that she found more arousing than any expression he'd ever shown her.


"You like this?" she asked.  "Doing this to me?"


"I do.  Very much." 


It was too much.  Too good.  She let go, tried to be quiet, felt his lips cover hers when she failed.  His tongue explored as she finally quieted down, breathing heavily.


"You liked that too, Christine.  Did you not?"


"Hated it.  Absolutely hated it."


"A pity."


When her body worked again, she slid off him, pulled him up.   "This will never work," she said as she stripped off his uniform.


"Perhaps not." 


"It's going to end badly."


"That is a possible alternative."  He was not gentle as he removed her uniform, as he pushed her to the bed then joined her, staring down at her.  "But there are others."


"Oh?  Perhaps you could enlight--"


She forgot how to talk, nearly forgot how to think.  Holy God, this was better than anything she'd ever imagined.


Better than her friends with their options.   Better than...  "I hate you."  She clutched at him.  How could she still feel this way after so many years?  How could she still want this so much?


"Yes, I know."  His lips were gentle, his hands tender, as he moved over her. 


He was watching her and she turned away.  But she murmured, "I love you.  I still love you," and he kissed her as her face burned with that persistent truth. 


When they finally lay quietly, much, much later, he asked, "Were you waiting for me?"


"Get over yourself."


"I will take that as a yes."


"Do so at your peril."


His mouth again turned up, the miniscule, sensuous smile.


"I have a confession to make," she said softly.




"The meatloaf.  I saw them making it.  It wasn't meat--it was some kind of vegetable matter."


"I see."  He looked at her very sternly.


"Are you mad?"


"I do not know.  Perhaps you could make amends?"  He very obviously looked south.


"Never let it be said you're not a real man."  But she headed for points lower.


When she was done, and his toes uncurled, he said, "I have a confession to make, as well."


"You do?"


"Regarding the meatloaf not containing any actual meat--I knew that."  He headed south without any prompting from her.   


Smart man.




She woke to feel him pressed against her.  He made a small sigh that seemed to indicate contentment. 


"Good morning," she said.


"Good morning."  His voice was scratchy, but then she'd managed over the course of the evening, to make him cry out a few times.  Loudly.  She was very glad Starfleet had soundproofed the quarters in these new ships.


She turned, felt him let her move before he pulled her in again, holding her in a way that was both comforting and a little frightening.  Just how much did he want her?  And if it wasn't as much as she thought, how much was this going to hurt?


"What are you thinking about?"  His voice was sweet.




"Of a personal kind or more universal?"


She smiled.  "I'm good at the latter."


"Yes, I know you are.  I've heard excellent reports from those of my colleagues who have worked with you."  He shifted a bit.  "This personal disaster...does it involve me?"


"Maybe."  She leaned up, kissing him gently, wanting to take the sting out of her answer.


His lips were soft against hers, his movements unhurried.  He pushed her to her back, moved over her.  Took her as if he'd been doing it all his life.


And her body welcomed him as if she was his only home.


God, she was doomed.


"You are thinking those things again."  He didn't stop moving as he played psychic lover.  He really was adept at the multitasking thing.


"Make me stop thinking," she said, and he pushed her harder and farther than he had the night before, until she could only concentrate on him and what he was doing to her and how he was making her feel.


He kissed her as they came down, watching her with the gentlest look she thought he'd ever given her.  But there was humor there, too.  As if he knew something she didn't.




"We would not have been in that cell long, even if Captain Walsh had not come to rescue us."




He shook his head.  "There was a time when the youth of the planet rebelled against the national dish.  They refused to eat it, and laws were put in place to try to make them see the errors of their ways.  Over time it became less a matter of rebellion, more a rite of passage.  And the sentences were made increasingly less punitive.  The maximum sentence is now two hours in one of their holding cells."  He nuzzled her neck.  "And I have endured the same trial the monarch did for the sake of personal freedom.  That is important to these people.  It will go a long way to securing the bases your department wants so badly."


She couldn't decide how she felt about that.  "I guess it was just your bad fortune to be stuck with me."


He looked at her like she was very stupid.  "Do you suppose you are on this mission by chance?"


"You didn't ask for me.  They'd have told me."


"Of course, I did not ask for you.  But there are other ways to ensure the presence of someone on a particular assignment, are there not?"


"You engineered this?"


"Diplomacy is much like engineering.  And like chess."


She let her hand stray down his body.  "Is this diplomacy?"


"I think it is.  Or was.  We were at odds.  Lacking ease.  Now...?"


She laughed.  "I will never understand you."


He closed his eyes as she found her target.  "You appear to understand me quite well at the moment."


"I won't argue that..."  She turned her full attention to her task, showed him just how well she could play the game of diplomacy. 


He held her tightly when she'd finished, kissing her gently.


"So, I'm supposed to believe this is all because you saw me in the officer's club with another man?  Just before we left."


"Not at all.  I have been thinking about you since Deneva."


"A year ago?"


"I am not an impulsive man.  You know that, Christine."


"A...year ago."


"It was most odd.  Our mission prior to that was just after Jim died.  I was...raw inside, and you were kind to me.  And I believed you were possibly using the situation to try to get close to me.  I thought you were as you were long ago.  Wanting me.  It made me uncomfortable."


She felt the warmth drain out of her.  "Nice."


"I am telling you what I felt then, not what I feel now."

She realized she'd tensed in his arms, tried to relax.  "Okay.  Go on."


"On Deneva, you were as you are now.  Or as you were yesterday."  His eyes gleamed with warm humor.


"Fully clothed, you mean?"


"Sharp.  Quick.  Somewhat mean."


"I always knew you were a masochist."


"Let me finish, Christine."  He waited until she looked up at him.  "I thought at first you were angry with me for the various rejections over the years.  But then I came to realize that was the way you are now.  And that the last time we had interacted, it had probably been the way you were then as well.  That you were being kind, when you didn't have to.  Not trying to get me.  You were trying to spare me."


"So, you were suddenly interested in me.  A...year ago." 


"You are not letting go of that concept."


"I'm sure not."  She pulled away a little.  "You couldn't just try asking me out?  Some candy and flowers, maybe?  You thought a jail cell would be romantic?"  Although witness the result--her all naked with him, doing her best to make his toes curl.  Maybe he was on to something.


He seemed to be following her train of thought, his fingers were dancing over her skin, his lips turning up just enough to be an almost smile.  "I believed a more traditional approach was destined to fail.  As you put it so well yesterday: we have never had ease between us.  Would you have trusted flowers or candy from me?"


She tried to imagine him showing up at her door with either.  Finally shook her head.


"You had some hard truths to get out, Christine.  You needed to hear some things from me also."  He leaned back, pulling her with him to settle on his chest.  "And I needed to make this gesture with these people to accomplish what both our departments want.  It was, in my estimation, a no-lose scenario."


"What if I'd said no?"


"I would have refused the meatloaf indefinitely.  You would have stayed in the cell with me out of loyalty.  And I would have had more time to counter your resistance."


She laughed at his logic train, and saw that he seemed a little relieved.  "What if I'd still said no?"


"I would have waited till the Pon Farr and asked you to help me."


She saw that he was deadly serious.  "How far away is it?"


"Approximately four years."


"That's a long time to wait."


Again the Vulcan shrug.


"I'm impressed.  You had a back-up plan, even.  A very long-term one."  She leaned in.  "Did I have a code name?  Operation Get Her in the Sack?"


He shook his head firmly.  "You were Christine.  A woman I did not know despite all these years of association."  He kissed his way to her ear.  "And you lied about McCoy.  He told me the truth."


"I'm going to kill him."


"I believe he was trying to make me jealous."


"Did it work?"


"At that point, as I was already set on my objective, yes, it did."


"I think I love that."


"I thought you would find that agreeable."


She moved over him, smiled as he helped her get settled just right.  "All this because you like my eyes and my hair smells good?"


He closed his eyes as she moved.  "Yes.  Those are the only reasons.  Your skill in situations such as this has absolutely nothing to do with any decision I will make to continue to seek your company."


"It better not.  I'm much more than my talent in the sack."


"I am aware of that."  But he seemed at best barely aware of anything other than enjoying her.


She loved that, too.  She leaned down, kissing him gently.  "You really don't want to share me?"


"I do not."  His eyes narrowed.  "Will that be a problem, Commander?"


"Absolutely not, sir."


"Excellent."  He pulled her down, holding her in a way that gave him remarkable access.  She wondered if he was trying to prove to her that she'd never need another man.


She more than believed it.  Not that she'd tell him that.  After all, he wasn't the only smart--and devious--one in the bed.