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 PG-13.

Wander No More

by Djinn



Chapel watched Spock stride away from her down the corridor, wanting more than anything to follow him but knowing what might happen, what she—in the state she was in—would let an equally troubled Spock do. It hurt to do it, but she turned and hurried off, to the safety of the security lounge but not to the new weapons simulator. She'd had enough of guns for one day.


She was on her third glass of rye when La'an found her there. She watched as La'an grabbed a beer, her hand not shaking at all. "You survived an entire planet of those things?" She hated how her voice was trembling. Hated how close she was to crying.


La'an knelt down in front of her. "You did good today." She stroked Chapel's hair the way she usually let Chapel play with hers. "You did so good, Christine."


"We should go back to your room. We should really, really go back to your room. We should get naked and forget about today and yesterday and the day before." And Spock. Forget especially about Spock.


La'an just smiled. "That would be nice, but I'm packing."


"Packing for what?"


"I may have tracked down some relatives of Oriana's. I'm going to take her home.


Chapel popped an antitox and felt the lovely numbing of too many ryes fall off. Shit, now she felt even more like crying. "You're leaving the ship?"


La'an nodded gently, never stopping the gentle stroking of her hair.


"For how long?"


"I'm not sure. But you'll be all right. We both know you don't need me to look after you."


"I do. I wouldn't have survived alone."


"That's not what I meant. We both know you have someone else who would also die for you." She finally pulled her hand away. "Don't you?"


"No, I—"


"Christine, stop lying. To me, at least. Lie to everyone else if you must."


"I didn't mean to, with him, I mean. I was just flirting and having fun and then suddenly I was in—"


"In love with him. Yes, I can see that. And I can see how often he looks at you when you don't even know it. I pay attention. Especially to you."


"I know you do. That's why I should come with you. I could run genetic tests. Prove if they're really Oriana's relatives. You don't want to leave her with just anyone."


"I won't leave her with just anyone and we both know that. You just want to run away because what you've got with Spock is messy. And as much as you play this chaotic free spirit, you like things organized just like I do. You like control."


Their eyes met and La'an's held no judgement.


"I can't come with you?"




"Will I ever see you again?"


"I hope so." She eased her out of the chair and turned her to the door. "Now, go back to your quarters. Or to his. But deal with this. It's time. I think we all got a reminder today that life can be gone in an instant."


"Seize the day?"


"For tomorrow we may die." La'an leaned in, her forehead to Chapel's, pushing hard. "You'll be fine. If he hurts you, I'll kill him." Then she pulled away. "You, however, can hurt him all you want."


Chapel laughed.


"Now go."


"I'll miss you so much."


"You have Erica. And I don't know what Uhura is going to do but she's...worth getting to know."


"I have gotten to know her, a little bit anyway." When she wasn't mesmerized by Spock, that is. Or hanging out with this wonderful woman wondering why she couldn't reach out just a little further, hang on just a little tighter.


Why did she always want what she couldn't have?


"Don't be like me, Christine. Don't be someone most people won't miss."


"You're not that to me." She pulled La'an in and gave her a desperate kiss, then turned and fled.


She heard La'an say, "I love you, Christine" as the doors closed.




Spock slammed his hand down on the door panel into his quarters and stomped to the comms terminal. He keyed in T'Pring's code with jerky strokes.


She had clearly been asleep. "Spock, is everything all right?"


"No." He knew he was glaring and did not try to mitigate the expression. To master it. To turn something human into Vulcan.


Christine was right. This was part of him. And he was angry not just at what happened with the Gorn. Or for losing valued crewmates. He was still angry over his brother.


"Do you have any idea what time it is?" Her voice was the chiding one he usually considered gentle but tonight it grated on him.


"It is of no importance to me."


"I see." She sat up straighter. "You are...upset."


"I am enraged, T'Pring. Tread carefully in this conversation."


Finally he saw a spark of emotion—of an anger that might match his own if she would just let it out. "Or I could just disconnect and wait for you to compose yourself into a Spock I actually enjoy interacting with."


"You would do that at our bond's peril."


"I control the bond." Her voice was ice cold.


"But you do not control me." He began to pace. "I wish to see him."


She did not insult him by asking who he meant. "That is impossible."


"Yet you were able to free him. How was that done?"


She took a deep—bolstering, he thought—breath. "Stonn assisted me."


"Of course he would." Stonn their childhood companion. Stonn who he considered a friend. Or had. Now...? He'd always known Stonn was fascinated by T'Pring. "If you can see my brother, and Stonn can as well, then I should be able to. I claim the right of kinship." His voice was rising, his tone more dynamic, his volume increasing. The right of kinship did not apply in this case but he did not care—he was too angry to care.


"I will put you in the cell next to him if you cannot gain control of yourself." There was pure...disdain in her voice. And it was there, he thought, to snap him out of his mood.


A mood she no doubt thought ephemeral, a reaction to something that would pass. As had happened in the past.


Not this time. He had never opened himself up this way to fury. Had never felt so much pain fill him in reaction to loss, so much anger at the creatures hunting them, so much pride in his shipmates.


So much desire for the woman who had dared to confront him—to face down his anger—and comfort him.


The woman who had been the first to ease away from their embrace. Who had not leaned in when he would have let her, had not laid her lips on his when he would have welcomed them. Who had just looked at him—seen him. With her loving, compassionate eyes.


T'Pring moved closer to the screen, her eyes lowered, her lips curled almost into a smile. "Spock, everything is all right. I do not know what has happened, but I can help you find the path back to logic. It is what I do for strangers. How much more willingly would I do it for you?"


He forced his breathing to slow as he sought some measure of composure, as he pushed the memory of Christine's face to the back of his mind so he could focus on this woman—his future bondmate. The woman their parents had chosen for him. The woman who had wanted to make her own choice too, who had told him when she was sure of him, she would ask him to marry her—a formality, but one he had found charming. The woman he had waited for, that he had been faithful to.


The woman who had been lying to him the entire time. "T'Pring, does Sarek know Xaverius is Sybok?"


"Of course. We could not keep him without your father's knowledge."


"And my mother?"


He thought he saw a momentary expression, the kind that in a human would indicate dislike. "No. Sarek thought it best to keep it from her."




Again the expression, only more so. "Most assuredly not."


He forced his voice into something approaching his normal measured tone. "I will take this up with my father if you deny me access to my brother. Or with T'Pau."


"Will you?" Her tone was so mocking that if she were human, she would have been laughing outright at him. "No, you won't. You will meditate—I suggest the fifteenth and sixteenth samras of Surak's fourth to start with—and then you will sleep if needed. I know you sleep more than I do."


More than a Vulcan would need to, she meant. Because of his taint. His human taint.


"And then what will I do?"


"You will resume your duties on the ship that keeps you so far from everything that matters and be the Spock I know and someday hope to marry."


"I will be a Vulcan. Like a good boy."


"That is overly simplistic and not what I meant." She actually frowned. "What has happened?"


"I find that it is not you I wish to discuss that with." He said it as coldly as any Vulcan ever could.


She looked stricken. "I see." She reached out, her hand touching the monitor, so graceful, so lovely. Everything he had ever wanted. "Spock, I miss you."


"I must go."


"Spock, no, I have not been empathetic. It was a trying day. Let me start over and—"


"No. I do not wish to start over. I do not, as it happens, wish to talk to you at all right now." Blue eyes swam before him, blue eyes bright with unshed tears at the memorial, with empathy in the hallway. With...love. He had felt love when she'd grabbed his neck and helped him understand what was happening to him. He wanted more of her help.


He wanted more of her. "I must ask for a ritual break in our bond."




"I am compromised emotionally. Not the man you hope to marry. If you do not wish to grant the break, to allow me to have time to explore other things—"


"You mean other people. You mean her." Her skin darkened, the flush only making her more beautiful, more beautiful than Christine but not—at this moment—more desirable. "Your precious nurse."


"Yes. I mean her." He took a deep breath. "I request hiatus."


"I could break our bond."


"As you so recently did." He met her eyes. "You will appear highly unpredictable if you continually attach and disengage from our betrothal. I would think your superiors would question your suitability to work in re-instilling logic in others. But you must do as you see fit."


"And either way, you will have her. Either with my blessing in the hiatus, or without if I break our bond."




"Elegantly logical." Her voice was bitter and far from being devoid of emotion now.


"For a half human, you mean?"


"I did not say that, Spock." She leaned in. "If this is about your brother, I beseech you to consider your own words. You told me to destroy your ship rather than release him to his wife. How can I let you see someone you considered that dangerous if freed? What would he do to you—you know how clever he is, how able to spin minds, to make the most illogical things sound reasonable?"


"My brother is the lie that stands between us, that caused the fissure I feel in our former accord. But my request for hiatus is about me, the Vulcan part of me and the human part. Will you grant me it or must we formally end this?"


"I grant you hiatus, but Spock you care for me. You have always cared for me. Seek clarity but do not seek it in her arms. She is not worthy of y—"


He cut the connection.


And turned and left his quarters.




Christine was nearly to her quarters when she saw Spock heading toward her. They met at her door and as before, they stood close, staring into each other's eyes, neither making a move.


Until Spock murmured, "I have requested and been granted hiatus from my bond with T'Pring." His voice was harsh, his eyes burned into her.


"What does that mean?"


"I am free to explore other options."


"Options." She was an option.


He nodded.


"And statistically speaking, how often are these other options transformed into more permanent arrangements?"


She could see his surprise at the question. "I do not know." He took a step back. "Perhaps there are more suitable places to discuss this than the corridor?"


She nodded but when he turned to her door, she whispered, "We can discuss it in the observation lounge." A place she liked to go to think, to be alone with the stars she never thought she'd be flying among.


He looked entirely perplexed. Did he really think he could just come and tell her he and his fiancée were on some kind of break and then...fuck her?


He reached out, gently this time, and took hold of her wrist. "Did I hurt you?"


"No. You stopped yourself."


"I did. That is comforting to me. That I did not hurt you. That I had the wherewithal to stop before I caused you harm." He let his hand slide down to hers and twined his fingers with hers gently. "I wish to spend time with you. I want you. It is why I asked for hiatus." Then he let her go. "The observation lounge is acceptable."


They walked together, as closely as they ever did, which she realized was very, very close. Once they hit the darkness of the lounge and it was clear they had it to themselves, he took her hand and pulled it to his mouth, kissing her fingers, his lips lingering.


It felt so good, but still, once they had chosen a couch in a corner that would give them privacy, she said softly, "You are not yourself right now."


"I was not myself before either. Angel said I did not know who I was. Only what I was." He slid his arm around her and pulled her in to cuddle against his chest. "They were right. I am Vulcan and I am human. I have spent most of my life trying not to show the human side and yet it is part of me. That is what I am. But who I am is a mystery."


"Not to me. You're a good man. A smart man. A sexy man." She laughed at his expression of pleasure. "A sad one, though. Always trying to be something more when you are already so much."


"Is that not the nature of life? To strive?"


"Not when it takes you further away from who you are at your core than brings you clarity. I think—I think you don't know what you want. I think you view me as..." God, was she really going to say this? "As your true north if you want to be more human. And I can't be that. Our true north has to live in ourselves for us to be whole. It has to be the essence of all we are, not just part."


He studied her. "You fear I have unrealistic expectations of what this is?"


"No, I fear that I do. I want love from you, Spock. It's not in my nature to commit, and yet I want to. It is in your nature and you've already done it—to T'Pring. There's a word for what I am. The other woman. She doesn't get the guy usually. She doesn't get a happy ending." She curled harder into him. "How long is your stupid hiatus anyway?"


"Until I ask for it to be terminated or T'Pring tires of the state of things and terminates the bond."


"What does that mean, though? I saw her divorce you with a handwave. Is it really that simple?"


"It is far from simple. But we are not barbarians, Christine. I am not her property nor she mine."


"But you haven't really broken up with her, Spock. Not really." She was exhausted. This was too hard to think about after the day they'd had, the deaths they'd just mourned.


"You need sleep."


"But I want you."


"At last, the words I want to hear."


She snaked her hand around his waist. "But not so fast, okay? Not so...unilaterally."


"I understand. And I will not change my mind tomorrow. This is nothing you must decide now." He began to play with her hair. "May I sleep with you? Not make love to you. Just...share your bed, feel your warmth, hear your breathing. Know I am with the person I want to be with."


She nodded, touched at how sweet he could be just being himself.


"Then let us go."


"And the rest? T'Pring? Your stupid fucking hiatus and that is what I'm going to call it now."


"Will play out as it is meant to, as we wish it to. Slowly, if that is what you want."


"Okay." She let him ease her out of the couch. But when he started to walk away, she pulled him back. "Not too slowly, though."


"No?" He moved in, close like before, then closer like when he had kissed her, his lips moving over hers as he talked. "You wish for more to happen before we retire?"


The feeling of his lips over hers was the sexiest thing she'd ever felt. Reaching up, she ran her fingers over the tips of his ears, curious if they were as sensitive as she imagined.


The feeling of him biting her lip gently was her answer, the sharp intake of breath as she didn't stop, then his kiss, deeper, slower, more full of intent.


No one watching them. No one judging their "performance." No one making fun of them. No one hurt by what they were doing.


"I love you," she whispered without meaning to. "Shit."


"It is all right to tell me that. It may be exactly what I need to hear right now." He stroked her hair back gently. "I cannot say it back. Not yet. But I can say that you have broken through in a way no one ever has. I see you in the morning in the corridor and feel my spirit lighten, knowing we will spend time together, knowing you will tease me and laugh at me and none of it will be meant to judge or hurt. I see you through the course of the day—sometimes when you do not even know I am in the vicinity—and I admire how you move, how you execute your duties, the gentleness you can display with some, the humor with others. I see you in the lounge with a crewman and feel...jealous. I see you spending time with La'an and want to challenge her for you." He frowned. "Is this too much?"


"Are you kidding. This is everything I've ever wanted to hear."


"I admire your intellect, your passion for science. I anticipate discussions with you, things we agree on and perhaps more intriguing things we do not. Christine, when I think of you, I see a future with you and I see it in Starfleet. In the place I want to be."


"I may not stay, though."


"Would you stay for me?"


She thought about how all the things he was saying were what she felt too. The way her heart jumped when she saw him, how much fun she had with him. How much she wanted to touch him.


"You are the keeper of my secrets, Christine. Do you realize that?"


And he was the keeper of none of hers. Did he realize that?


Did it matter? Her secrets pretty much sucked.


And eventually, if this worked out, perhaps she'd tell him some or maybe all of them.


"I do like it on the ship, Spock. Except for the Gorn. I really fucking hate the Gorn."


"As do I." He pulled her back to him and kissed her playfully this time, nipping at her lips, making her laugh. "See, we agree on this. A good beginning, do you not think?"


"We're past the beginning."


"Yes, we are, Christine. Long past."