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) 2022 by Djinn. This story is Rated R.

It's in the Spaces Between That We Fall in Love

by Djinn



Part 2: How We Fell Apart


He is in his quarters when Christine comes to him after the Captain's Dinner. She is in a dress he loves on her, the dress she wore when she first hit him on the head as she gave him relationship advice—black and white, elegant and definitively human. Her hair is up. Her make-up is subdued to let her natural beauty show through.


She smiles in the way she used to, when there was no need to hide feelings they were both willing to pretend did not exist. "Hi."


"Good evening."


"I've had a chance to think." She holds her hand out to him. "Get changed."


He is still in uniform. He is not sure he wishes to change. "Why?"


"I've never been conventional, Spock. So what if I can't ever be your wife—or your bondmate, which as I said, sounds a little intrusive. I'll be like Madame de Pompadour. If I'm to be your mistress, then I'll be a very public one. Starting tonight, when we will go the lounge and sit for a few minutes talking with our heads close together so the rumor mill can get going."


He does not have the heart to tell her the rumor mill long ago placed them together. Vulcan hearing is, at times, a curse.


"Are you sure you want this?"


"I want you. Seems clear to me."


"You say that now. But...I foresee difficulties." The captain, for one. He is a great champion of T'Pring. Might he send Christine away if he does not like the decisions Spock is making?


Could he stand that? Losing one more thing after Sybok, Michael, Hemmer, now Number One?


"You're not getting changed."


"You cannot be a public mistress, Christine." He must be logical in the extreme. She is analytical in nature; she will understand. "First, T'Pring is secure she has won. If you and I are seen flaunting our relationship, she will take it as a humiliation. I may well find myself at Ankeshtan K'Til as a result."


"Who would tell her?"


"She has friends on board. One of them is the captain. What if he sent you away to stop us?" What if in the process, Spock lost his friendship? Now, when they both need each other so badly?


She sits in a chair heavily. Her exuberance is gone. She runs her hand down the front of her dress and says, "Stupid."


"Not at all. I appreciate it."


"But if we have to sneak around, you won't see me like this. Because where am I going dressed all fancy? What story am I supposed to give someone?" She looks down.


"You could keep some things here."


"And play dress up for you?" She stands and heads for the door.


"Is that it? You will not consider other options?"


She stops but does not turn around. "I will. But I had this all figured out—I thought. And I liked it. I'm not sure I like the idea of sneaking around."


"Of course. I am sorry I am suggesting it."


She finally does turn. He expects her to be crying but she is not. "But that's how it will have to be, right? The only way I can have you?"


"I believe so. Perhaps, in time, when the insult to T'Pring is not so fresh, she will relent and let me go."


"You're an idiot if you believe that. She will never let you go."


He starts to get up, but she stops him with a move of her hand. "No, I get to think about this."


She turns and walks out of his quarters.


He feels bereft. This is what T'Pring intended though. If he wishes to have a woman in his life, close and supportive, he must choose her. He must return to Vulcan and marry her.


But he does not want to. Not now that he has tasted what happiness might feel like.


He will wait for Christine to consider her options.




His sight is coming in and out and his abdomen hurts. He thinks he is bleeding because someone is pressing near where his heart would be and Chris is saying, "Hang in there, buddy. Come on, Spock. Hang in there."


He wants to say he will. That he will not leave him, but then the transporter takes them and the green sky of the world where the mission has gone terribly wrong is replaced by the ceiling of the medical transporter pad.


He sees Christine's face above him and then it all goes black.


A moment later he is shocked back into consciousness. "Stay with us," she says, and her voice holds more than just concern.


"I love you," he tries to say but it comes out as just a jumbled stream of sound as he finds he is choking on something—his own blood?


He can see her and then he can't, everything is going black.


"Bypass now," someone else calls and for a moment he cannot feel his heart beat, he can sense that no blood is running through is veins. Until the machine takes over, pushing it fast—too fast—but he feels her hand on his forehead and she murmurs, "Don't fight it, Spock. Let us help you."


He would let her do anything. He stares up at her, at her beautiful eyes—eyes he has dreamed of seeing above him but in different circumstances—and quits fighting.




"Stay up there with him, Christine." M'Benga sounds worried. The wounds to his abdomen—to his heart—must be severe for him to sound so concerned.


She is smiling tenderly and she leans in and says, "I love you. Don't leave me."


And he wants to say it back and to promise he won't leave her, but he feels weightless, as if part of himself is floating.


"We're losing him, Christine. Keep him with us." He can feel M'Benga working faster, but he can only see her.


"We don't have to be public." She is whispering now and he makes a moan that is meant to be, "Yes."


"We can sneak around—maybe it'll be fun. I just want to be with you."


He does manage to say, "Yes," this time.


"Vitals stabilizing," a new voice says—some other nurse. They know Christine is best up here, keeping him grounded, keeping him with her.


He thinks M'Benga may understand what is going on quite well.


"I'll be yours, Spock." She leans in and he feels her lips on his cheek, warm and loving, but he can also feel the worry from her touch.


The near panic she has pushed down.


I will not die, he tries to send her. But he is not touching her meld points and she has pulled away.


And then he hears M'Benga say he is closing, and there is the sound of a hypospray and he is gone, floating peacefully into sleep, her eyes the last thing he sees.


And the first thing. He wakes to find her holding his hand.


She tries to pull away. "I know we have to hide."


He does not let go. "This is comfort. Surely that cannot be criticized." His voice is gravelly and his throat hurts.


She seems to know he is thirsty and brings him an ice stick to suck on.


Then he holds his hand back out. "I find it both comforting and grounding. You may always do this. I do not care what others say."


She takes it, and he feels the relief and the love she is feeling.


"Christine, I wish...I wish I could offer you more."


"We're friends now. People are used to seeing us together. So that doesn't have to change, Spock. We can be lovers in private."


"Yes." But he is falling asleep again.


"Don't fight it." Her grip on his tightens.


He does not. When he wakes, she is still there.




Chris throws him a Captain's Dinner. He does not invite Christine, and Spock does not think he should press since the other nurse is not invited. M'Benga is there, though. Given credit for saving him.


"To be honest," M'Benga says as they sit around the counter. "I think Christine had as much to do with Spock's survival as I did."


Chris looks directly at Spock. "Is that so?"


"She is important to me." He says it in rebellion, the same way he would have to his father.


"Seems to me you have a woman on Vulcan who should be more important to you."


"She is rarely on Vulcan."


Chris smiles but not in an amused way. In a way that says he sees what Spock is doing, trying to deflect. "You know what I mean."


"Christine is a valued friend." He feels that this is not the way a party for him should be going. He sees Ortegas studying him—why is she here and not Christine? He spends virtually no private time with her, nor with Kirk who is also here.


He is glad when the dinner breaks up earlier than most. His fault, no doubt, as he defaults to what most people expect from a Vulcan: awkward silence.


But he wants to see her—he wants to have her. And he has been cleared for all types of duty.


And pleasure, by extension.


He comms her as soon as he is in his quarters. She does not answer. He tries again a few moment later in case she was occupied. She still does not answer.


Where is she?


He goes to the lounge, and sees her with a man he does not know. They are only talking, but the man clearly wants more. He is leaning in, his smile too wide with many teeth showing.


Spock debates what to do and finally walks over to her. She looks up, her expression unreadable, and says, "You're here."


"Dinner was not the same without you." He knows it is ill advised to announce a connection with her this way to what may be a rival. But he cannot fight the urge.


Her eyes widen and her smile is a real one. She turns to the man. "I'm sure you'll find more interesting company than me."


He looks like he finds that highly unlikely.


As they walk out of the lounge, she says, "The longer I sat in my quarters, the worse the fact that I wasn't invited to dinner got." She stops him. "The captain doesn't like us together, does he?"


"I believe he does not. He is a friend of T'Pring."


She looks as if this is not a surprise. "I wanted to be waiting for you. But my resentment was going to start festering if I just hung out thinking. So I had to find people."


"Don't you mean you had to find a male?"


She sighs, as if he is exhausting her. "He found me. I was just sitting at the bar minding my own business. And was I supposed to tell him I'm with someone if we can't be public? How logical is that?"


She was right of course. Still, he did not like to see her with someone else.


She stops and it takes him a moment to realize she is not with him, that he should go back to her.


"This isn't romantic, Spock."


He studies her carefully, the way she is holding herself, the set of her mouth. "Did you want it to be? I am a Vulcan; I have limited experience with romance."


"Especially with a human, right?"


He nods.


"Have you ever been with a human?"


"I have not."


"So I'll be your first. Small victories, I guess." She pushes past him and waits at the lift for him.


"Perhaps your quarters?" he says softly.


"Yours are nicer."


"The captain occasionally will show up unannounced."


He can nearly feel the anger rising up in her. She backs away from the lift and stares at him, her gaze so controlled it has to be that she is desperately trying to keep control—to not make a scene.


"We haven't even started and this is hurting me."


"I regret that."


She puts her hand up. "This is what it is. I get that. But...let's not start it tonight, after you've been somewhere I wasn't invited even though I think I would have been before."


"Are you changing your mind?"


"I don't know. What I do know is I'm saying not tonight."


He feels a surge of disappointment—and annoyance. They have planned this.


But he merely nods and says, "As you wish."


"Don't. Don't say that. Because I wish we could go back in the lounge and you would put your hand on the small of my back and we could talk to our friends as a couple. I'd like to dance"—she holds up a hand—"I know you don't dance, but I'd like to."


"You seemed very sure when you were telling me to hold on during the surgery."


"I was sure then. I didn't want you to die. But this...I'm not sure the woman I am—that I happen to like—will survive this."


She turns and leaves him. She is clearly headed back to the lounge.


Will she find that male again? Will she bring him back to her quarters?


He is clenching his fingers so hard it hurts. Yet he cannot stop.


It takes everything in him not to follow her and drag her out of the lounge, to his bed—but then he would be no better than the man who tried to drug her.


She has said no. He has to respect that.




He finds her in the mess at breakfast. She looks as if she has not slept.


"May I join you?" he asks as soon as he has filled his tray.


She nods and he sits. "Are you sure about sitting with me, though? We can't be seen together too much, right? I mean if we can't fuck in your quarters."


He looks around but she has chosen a table in a barely populated area—had she been waiting for him?


"I suppose we can't go out to eat when we're on shore leave?" Her voice seems dangerous, like T'Pring's was at the end, waiting for him to make a mistake in how he replies.


He shrugs, uncertain how leave will play out.


"And holidays—if you even celebrate them—won't be together." She is pushing food around on her plate rather than eating. "I didn't think this through. I was so enamored with the idea of having you, that I lost sight of what I'd be giving up."


He does not know what to say.


"I'll disappear if we do this. I watched a friend do it. She was having an affair with a prof of ours. Only she never told me. The secret—it ate at our friendship. It changed everything. And she changed—the life went out of her the longer she was with him."


"Perhaps if we were actually to be intimate, the cost would not seem so high. You and I still have roles on this ship that are rewarding. We will still be friends—as we are now, eating breakfast."


"Or it would just get emptier." She meets his eyes. "Would you spend the nights?"


He has not thought that far ahead. Although it does not seem prudent to be gone from his quarters that long.


"I'll take that as a no. Do you want my opinion on your relationship with T'Pring, Spock?"


He shrugs, unsure if he does.


"Marry her. Because she's got you tied in knots as it is. At least then she'd let up and you'd have some freedom."


"And would I have you, then?"


"No. Have you not been listening?"


"I have, but I am confused, Christine. You are with me and then you are not. You say things to keep me from dying—were they lies? I care for you. Do you care for me?"


"I don't think caring for each other is really up for debate here. I'll always love you. But...what I thought I wanted with you sounds pretty empty right now as the details fall into place."


"If we just tried..."


"You actually think fucking each other will make everything better? It doesn't. It makes it worse. Especially if it's good. Yes, please, let's bring a lovely warm light to shine on all the shit that surrounds us."


He does not like having a possible relationship with him being referred to as excrement. "I can see you are upset this morning. We can revisit this later, after shift."


"I have a call with Stanford." There is something in her voice that says he should pay attention to her.




"Because we have enough field-testing data and there are nurses I've trained to do the disguises. Maybe it's time for me to go back to where the magic happens, not be out here in the academic netherworld."


He cannot believe what she is saying: she will leave him. Before they have even had a chance to try?


"No," he says so softly, but it has a quality of a little boy, the little boy he was when his brother disappeared. The little boy he felt like when Michael disappeared. "Do not leave me."


"I always said if I settled down it would have to be for the right man. But maybe what I meant was the right man in the right situation. You are the right man, Spock. I mean that sincerely. I love you more than I've ever loved anyone. But I just can't do this."


"You have already decided."




He stands and feels a rush of dizziness. Picking up his tray, he carefully nudges his chair back in with his hip. "I wish you every success, Nurse Chapel."


"And I you, Mister Spock."




He sees her at the trial for Number One. She is standing next to a man who is also a witness for their side. They stand very close and they laugh easily together. He knows that laugh. He knows the proximity of her when she is intrigued and engaged. He knows what she looks like when she is in love.


She is in love now.


Chris sees him looking and says, "That's Doctor Korby. Apparently he was a professor of Christine's early in her academic career. Amazing they should find each other again." His smile holds no malice. Christine left the ship and all is well—his world is, at times, a very simple place.


She finds Spock when the day is over, tells Korby to wait and comes to talk to him. "I hope we helped."


"I believe you did." He studies her; she is as lovely as he remembers. Then he sees the ring and takes her hand and holds it up. "You are engaged?"


"I'm sorry." Her eyes are full of something he cannot fully understand.


"Were you involved with him before?"


"No. He was my teacher and I looked up to him. We had a great rapport. But nothing happened. But working on this—with him at Stanford now. It just happened."


"Like we just happened." He looks down. He cannot stand the sight of the tastefully sized diamond on fingers that once touched him so lovingly.


"Don't you want me to be happy?"


"I do. But I also wanted you to be with me. Happily with me."


"Has anything changed?"


He shakes his head, still not meeting her gaze. It is too much, to look into her eyes and see not welcome, but caution.


"I love him."


He finally does look up, meets her eyes, and moves closer. Her pupils dilate and he can tell she is aroused by how close he is standing, by the way he is pushing back a strand of hair that has worked its way loose from the updo she wears. "Which of us, Christine, are you trying to convince?"


And then he turns on his heel and leaves her to her new man.


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