A Matter of Survival 1/1 K/Ch [R]

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Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star Trek. I only own my fantasies.

Summary: Story takes place near the very end of ST IV. What ghosts are resurrected when faced with the obliteration of everything?


The celebration of Earth's rescue from the whale probe, as it was quickly becoming known, was on its last breath. The mass of people was noticeably thinner but hardly yet sparse. Kirk found Gillian at the bar and approached, not liking the way she had just dismissed him after the hearing. Her face lit up as he neared, a good sign, perhaps their relationship would not remain as cryptic as she had left it in the tribunal chamber.

" Good evening, Admiral--I mean--Captain. I wasn't sure the bureaucrats were going to let you go before I had to leave." Her smile held both a hello and a goodbye.

Glancing quickly over his shoulder at the throng of dignitaries that had held him hostage most of the evening, Kirk felt his smile falter slightly at her mention of departure. "I think we've been through enough together that you can call me Jim, Gillian, and if you know who those people are, you *are* a quick study."

"Not by name, but I know bureaucrats when I see them and those are bureaucrats." She gave him a knowing laugh that said some things would never change, regardless of the century.

"Another universal constant I'm afraid, but why do you have to leave now that I'm free?" He tried for his most winsome smile.

"Because my ship is leaving in three hours for Mer and my escort is coming for me in...five minutes." Her glance at the clock told him she was not kidding.

"Mer? What about George and Gracie?" His confusion was real, she had told him Gracie was very close to term and he could not believe she would abandon the creatures she had fought so hard to save.

"We're going to Mer to recruit a few scientists to be on hand when Gracie has her baby. I mean, it's one thing to be present in a dive suit and respirator, but if you have gills, well, then you're prepared for anything." From her look of longing, Kirk thought Gillian would gladly grow gills if that were possible.

"I see your point, but you have to go? Certainly a comm to Mer would have a whole legion of scientists begging for a chance to be a part of rejuvenating a species."

"That's just it, Jim, we need more than George and Gracie's DNA to bring back the humpbacks. God might have been able to create a viable species with just two specimens, but we're not God. Mer has the closest living relatives to large whales like the humpback. With samples of their DNA and some from the smaller whales species still alive on Earth, we think we can keep the bloodline diverse enough to keep them from dying out after just a few generations. I'm going to Mer to review DNA samples and help gather what we need before Gracie has her calf."

"Sounds--busy." Kirk grinned in defeat, knowing he did not stand a chance over the gleam of excitement in Gillian's eyes.

"It will be. Oh! There's my guide!" Gillian grinned in anxious excitement as she waved her hand at the nervous ensign who nodded, but seemed quite content to wait near the exit and let her come to him. "I'll never find my way around here, everything's so different than what I'm used to."

He chuckled softly at her wild gesturing to gain the ensign's attention. "You'll get used to it and you have a lifetime to do so."

"Yes, and I have you to thank for this new and exciting life--and for George and Gracie's. Take care, Captain Kirk!" She stretched up and kissed him much as she had in the auditorium, her smile mischievous in the knowledge he would prefer much more.

Kirk watched Gillian walk toward the young escort, feeling a momentary pang of envy at her sense of joy and awe regarding her new life.

"Oh my God, the Mighty Casey has struck out," came a familiar, but slightly catty voice from just to his left. He turned to see who felt the need to quote Ernest Thayer to him.

"Commander, I didn't see you sitting there," Kirk cautiously acknowledged the tall brunette wearing a revealing ice-blue dress.

"I seem to suffer that condition a lot. But I'm sure you wouldn't know anything about that," she remarked into the dregs of her drink, motioning the bartender to pour her another.

"Do you really think that's wise, Christine?" Kirk asked with brows askance. He could hardly believe what was coming out of her mouth now and did not think more alcohol would improve the situation.

Chapel's cold stare allowed Kirk to notice her eyes were the same shade as her dress before she turned her attention back to the bartender. "I'm paying for these, thank you," she lectured, noticing the bartender hesitated at Kirk's remark.

"Uh, it's an open bar, ma'am," the young man corrected her very apologetically and looked to Kirk for help.

"Then, I'm tipping. Refill *please*." She turned her withering gaze on the bartender, motioning for him to pour.

"Commander, what's wrong?" Not willing to be stared down or ignored, Kirk stepped closer, waiting for an answer.

"I found near annihilation a very sobering experience. I'm working on remedying that," she answered drolly, her look laced with contempt for herself and the world at large.

"I believe you've succeeded then--" Kirk started before she cut him off.

"Oh no, I still remember quite vividly, so I'm not nearly drunk enough yet." She slid her glass toward the bartender, daring him to catch it before it fell off his side of the bar.

"But we're still alive. We found a way to communicate with the probe. Earth is safe." It sounded so simple but Kirk knew it was anything but.

"No, *you* saved the world again. Ops just sat back and watched every contingency plan we ever had blow up in our faces. We were helpless--the fleet was helpless--everyone was helpless but seven refugees coming back to face a court-martial in a commandeered Klingon Bird of Prey. That's a sad commentary on our abilities." Christine turned on her stool and stared Kirk squarely in the eye, her voice full of disgust at how easily the Federation was rendered useless by the probe.

Kirk leaned in, whispering quietly, "Hmmm, I see your point, but I seem to remember that an Ops *friend* helped those officers become refugees by opening a pair of dry-dock doors." Christine stiffened and glared at him all the more, her irritation reaching new peaks when a smile curled the corner of his mouth.

"*I* didn't open any doors," She spoke plainly, as if talking to someone slow.

"Perhaps you didn't push the button, but if a certain engineer happened to *find* a random set of numbers, who's to know? I mean, he is the miracle worker, but maybe all the drama of us escaping was just show and tell to keep folks from looking too closely." Kirk's eyes said he knew what was true even if his tone was questioning.

"Maybe, but you have a lot of friends in Ops. Who's to say?" she tossed back in the same cavalier tone.

"I have two that I counted on," Kirk answered with quiet conviction and Christine felt herself flush under his scrutiny.

"Yes, the same two who were pushed out of the nest long ago." Despite the tingle, she brushed away his attempt to reel her back into the fold. It did not matter that she chose to leave, he let her go, just as he let Janice go. But Uhura was still with them and that always bothered her for some reason. Why did she get to stay and become the darling of the group?

"Some learn to fly faster than others." He tried for something light.

"Right. I'm sure you've kept all the others close because they're not ready yet to be out on their own." Sarcasm was a new look for her.

"So, I see being sober has forced a lot of skeletons out of the closet." Kirk sat on the next stool and motioned for his own refill, it sounded like he was going to need it. "Maybe they haven't found their destinies yet--but yours and Rand's were never with me."

"But still we serve you--can't turn our backs on you even when you're a renegade. How can you not be a part of our destiny?" She intercepted Kirk's drink as the bartender sat it down in front of him, smiling humorlessly as he watched her sip his scotch.

"Did you want to remain in McCoy's shadow? You deserved a CMO position of your own--". Again, his attempt to mollify was slapped away.

"I *had* one, remember? You replaced me." She cut him precisely, wielding an emotional blade as sharp as a laser scalpel.

"Janice loved you--loves you--you know." She watched his face for a reaction. He had to know how Jan felt about him, a man as perceptive as Kirk must have figured that out a long time ago.

"Janice cares for her former captain." Kirk looked away from the penetrating blue gaze and continued speaking. "She doesn't know the real me. She was young and naïve, I was her commander, someone to look up to and make sure she made it back home in one piece. Sometimes that loyalty gets mistaken for love."

"You don't really believe that, but if it makes it easier to deal with, then I won't argue with you. We all have stories we tell ourselves to make the truth more palatable." It was her first concession toward him and she realized her mistake too late.

"What truths do you tell yourself, Christine?" He looked at her now, his own eyes challenging hers for a confession.

She smiled enigmatically, not yet willing to share that part of her soul with him.

"Let me take you home, Commander," Kirk asked, straightening on his bar stool and using her title to try and set some distance between them again in more ways than one.

"My place or yours?" she asked seductively, ignoring his real question and turning it into one of her own. Why did she have to be yet another wallflower? Why couldn't she get the guy on occasion?

Kirk bit his lower lip--torn between laughing and issuing a reprimand. He settled for a shrug of his shoulders and a careful smile. "I think me seeing you to your door is our safest bet."

"And we know how well you like to play it safe. I'm surprised Nyota has let you off your leash this long." Kirk followed Christine's gaze to where Scotty, Uhura and Spock were standing against the wall, watching them with concern. Uhura stepped nearer Spock, whispering something as he lowered his head toward hers. It never slipped Christine's notice that Spock always allowed her closeness--some things even transcended reincarnation.

Kirk's face grew cold but his voice became soft. "Commander, I'm trying to be understanding of your condition, but you're pushing it."

"My condition? What condition is that, sir? My state of inebriation or my sudden ability to see truths?" Christine knew she was way over the line but it was heady, the trill of anticipated rebuke making her finally feel something again.

"Lets leave it at alcohol consumption and not visit truths that vanish when you're sober." He kept his voice calm but it took more effort than he cared to admit.

"Okay, fine. I'm not really interested in spending the night in the brig anyway." She tut-tutted him with a condescending pat against his chest as she attempted to slide off her barstool.

Only because Kirk was so near did she not end up as a limp mass in the floor. His strong arms held her steady as she attempted to find her balance. In heels she was slightly taller than Kirk and she liked that he tilted his head back to look at her, if not the actual expression on his face.

"Take me home, James," she commanded like a royal decree and then giggled at how it made her sound like some rich heiress.

Out of the corner of his eye Kirk saw Uhura, and then Scotty, take a few steps toward them. Not wanting to draw any more notice to Christine's lack of grace, Kirk warned them off with a shake of his head. Fortunately, the bar was near a side exit and Kirk would be able to get Chapel out with minimal attention.

The bartender gave him a hesitant "good luck" as Kirk escorted Chris with his right arm wrapped tightly around her waist. From a distance it looked more than a little familiar, but Kirk decided he would rather deal with that rumor than Chapel getting a reprimand for public intoxication and conduct unbecoming.


Once he got her into the brisk night air she pushed away from him. Leaning against the corner of the building, she sucked in deep lungfuls of fresh air in an attempt to clear her head.

"Are you okay?" Kirk stood close enough to catch her if she should start to fall but allowed her the space she demanded.

Peeking at him with one eye, she shrugged her shoulders slightly. "Depends on what you mean by okay. If you mean am I going to throw up, well, the answer is 'not yet'. If you mean my issues with mortality, then 'I don't know' would be correct."

"Fair enough. Lets deal with those one at a time." Jim motioned a cab over to their corner. "Step one, get you home and bedded down with a few detox pills."

"Hmmm, well part of that started to sound interesting," she tsked sleepily as he helped her into the cab.

"Step two," he continued patiently as he followed her into the cab, "talk about why you think getting drunk and hitting on your former commander is going to solve your problems."

"Well, that part doesn't sound like any fun at all." Chris pouted as she snuggled against Kirk's shoulder and went to sleep.


The trip to Chapel's apartment was uneventful save for the stares of her neighbors as Kirk propped her against the elevator wall on the ride up to her floor and then *helping* her place her palm on the door sensor. Once inside he followed the drill every 'Fleeter' knew of making coffee, finding the detox and washing her face with a cold, wet cloth.

Chris pulled away from the chill of the cloth but Kirk slipped his hand behind her head and held her still as he pressed the cloth to her forehead. Once she quit struggling and succumbed to the relief of the cold compress, he moved it across her face, gently stroking her cheeks and brow. As with the night air, the cool dampness revitalized her enough so he could get her to swallow the pills.

"Oh God, I think I'm about to lose step one--" Chapel murmured as she lurched for the head and proved herself right. When she was down to dry heaves Kirk heard the shower come on. Ten minutes later a wet and bedraggled, but much more sober, Christine returned to the living room wrapped in a voluminous terry robe. Kirk passed her some coffee and waited for her to speak.

"So...lets just forget about tonight and truths and mortality, shall we?" she asked contritely under Kirk's steady scrutiny.

"No, now that you're sober I want to revisit a few of your remarks, Commander." The voice was calm, mild even, but she hardly thought he felt like either.

Christine looked up and tried to see if she had a senior officer in front of her or just 'Jim Kirk'. She was not sure which persona was the better one to deal with in this circumstance. Admiral or Captain, Chapel knew either could bust her back to plebe for what she had said, but many of her remarks were personal, and she thought 'Jim' would be the one to avoid most. "Oh well, I don't really remember much of what I said tonight. Sorry, sir."

"That's okay because I do." He gave her a tense smile that held nothing in the way of humor. "Point one: do you and Janice really think I pushed you away for any reason other than to better yourselves?"

'Well, nothing like leading off with a trump card,' Chris thought to herself about Kirk's question, recognizing it as a tactic to unnerve her. She sat back against the couch and drew her feet under her robe, sipping her coffee for a moment as she pondered her response.

"The short answer--no. The whole truth of it--yes." At his silence she continued. "Did my leaving make Spock's life easier? I've no doubt. He couldn't keep himself far enough away from me no matter how I acted toward him. Much in the same way Janice made you feel, Captain." Chapel saw he was about to interrupt and she held her hand up, silently asking him to hear her out.

"Maybe not exactly the same way. See, with Spock I harbored no misguided perceptions that he cared for me in any meaningful way. But you, no, you *did* care for Janice. Maybe not love, but you were attracted to her and you were afraid of that one slip in maintaining the proper distance. And then what would you do? Transfer her off? Forget it ever happened? Keep seeing her with all the risk that entailed?" This time he did not try to answer her even when she paused for a reply.

"So, you see, the most honorable way for you to deal with all our problems was to encourage us to better ourselves. We gained something and so did you--a guilt-free conscience."

"I thought she had died," Kirk replied casually as he sank back into the cushions and sipped his own coffee.

"Who?" Chapel asked, confused by the non sequitar of his remark.

"The young woman who brow beat her way onto my ship those many years ago to search for someone she loved. It seemed once we discovered Dr Corby was dead, you died too. The woman who stayed on the ship was just a ghost of the person who convinced Starfleet and me that we needed her vast experience in research for a head nurse position." Chris felt her eyes well with tears but she kept them at bay by blinking, trying desperately not to feel that pain from her past.

Kirk did not stop; it was his turn to tell truths. "All those meek 'yes sirs' and 'no sirs'--the perfect nurse--tender but distant. Maybe your attraction to Spock was a safe haven to store that love until you were ready to love again. Maybe you were ready to move on once the emptiness was not enough."

"Maybe--" She whispered before finding her voice. "Maybe I didn't want to live for a long time after Roger. I didn't think you knew the difference."

"I knew," he answered with a sad, but knowing smile. "I just wasn't allowed to show it--not to you--and not to Janice. A captain has no friends among the crew, he must remain distant and above reproach. I just had to trust that the others would see you through."

"Trust, that's an easy word to hide in. You may regret my rebirth, Captain, I'm a wicked lady now, not sweet like what you're used to." Her eyes were veiled, as mysterious as her remark.

"How do you know what I'm used to?" Somehow Kirk knew he would not like her answer.

"Uhura is sweet, isn't she? She's always around to take care of you--" The tone was innocent but the idea behind it was not.

"That's twice you've slammed Nyota, Christine. I don't understand, I thought you two were friends." Kirk cut her off, clearly not liking the turn their conversation had taken.

"We are, but that doesn't mean I don't resent that she got to stay. When Janice and I were promoted away, she got to remain. Why? Surely Nyota is capable of doing more with her life than being your comm officer. Isn't she? But for almost thirty years she's been yours and Spock's shadow." Her voice was full of goading indignation. Was it simple jealousy or something more?

"She's a part of my command team." His answer was tight and succinct. This was not territory he intended to cover with anyone.

"A beautiful member of your command team." Christine pushed, knowing he would cut her down, but doing it anyway.

"You're out of line, Mister," his warning was low and dangerous.

"And you're hedging, sir." She did not allow her voice to escalate as she called him out.

Kirk rose from the couch and stepped to the window, staring out at the bay below. The view from his apartment was often much the same, a gray mist rolling in from the sea, settling around the bridge and surrounding land. "Uhura is a part of my command team and her beauty neither adds nor detracts from that. I still don't become involved with crew, Commander--that rule hasn't changed."

"But you've thought about it." Like a medieval physician she continued to bleed the wound.

"I'm a man, of course I've thought about it." He turned away from the window, attempting to stare her down, cow her into silence.

"Pat answer, Captain--too easy. I know everything McCoy knows about psychology and dysfunctional relationships. I *am* a dysfunctional relationship." She smiled at his glower, dismissing his efforts at intimidation.

"I think I liked you better when you were drunk." Suddenly changing tactics, Kirk morphed from angry to flip.

"I told you I was wicked." Christine's smile grew bigger, perversely enjoying the cat and mouse game that was developing between them.

"So you did." Kirk's eyes stayed locked with hers.

"And?" She refused to blink.

"And what?" He pretended ignorance.

"You've thought about pursuing Nyota?" She kept dogging him like a dingo pacing prey.

"Why do you feel that is any of your business, Chapel?" His voice became edged, again full of warnings Christine chose to ignore.

Chris sat back and sipped her coffee, speaking matter-of-factly, as if she might be commenting on the weather. "Because I'm not crew anymore and I'm not interested in a competition."

"A competition for what?" Kirk was momentarily lost, his patience hanging by a thread.

"For whom," she corrected mildly over the last of her coffee.

"For whom?" He drew himself up short, still wary of her nonchalance.

"For you." She held him with a cool stare.

"Me?" His eyebrows arched in surprise as Kirk processed what she said.

"And they said you were bright... " Christine deadpanned, shaking her head in melodramatic disappointment.

"I have my days." Shocked and off balance, Kirk kept up the banter, trying to buy some time to consider Christine's admission.

"Today isn't one of them." Interest and insult in one conversation, it both startled and intrigued him.

"Apparently. Did I miss something?" The little double-take he gave her was quite endearing.

"You mean the 'hey! I like you club over-the-head' I just smacked you with?" Her smile widened, enjoying having him out of sorts.

"Does being scared out of your mind make you irrational?" He walked back to the sofa, sitting down with a definite thud.

"No, but it does make me horny. After the initial wave of panic dies down I pinch the first bit of ass that walks by." Christine thought it seemed as sane an answer as anything else that came to mind.

"I imagine Cartwright gets a big kick out of that." Kirk laughed, visualizing Christine grabbing a handful.

"I try to time it to where he's not the man going by." Christine tried *not* to visualize herself doing so.

"I won't tell him then, wouldn't want him to feel slighted." With a laugh, Kirk shrugged his shoulders and sank back into the cushions once again.

"Exactly." Christine's smile faded.

"Exactly?" The hairs at the nape of his neck bristled at the sudden flatness of her tone.

"Yes, it's no fun to feel slighted." Her eyes grew hard again, the humor in them gone.

"Did I ever make you feel slighted?" he asked, somehow knowing this was a issue in her remembrance of their past.

"You made me feel non-existent." There was no anger, no condemnation, just a cold statement of fact.

"I thought that was Spock." The comeback was mild in delivery if not in implication.

"Good one--yes, he was very gifted in that department too, but he is a Vulcan. No, you were the expert at shutting down whenever I happened to walk in on any frivolity between you and McCoy or Spock." She smiled in spite of how the old resentment crept into her voice.

"I did? It wasn't personal--just trying to maintain decorum, I guess." Kirk's eyes became unfocused, as if he were trying to remember their time together on the Enterprise so long ago.

"No, it definitely wasn't personal. You kept the crew at arm's length at all times. I never understood how you could command such loyalty and devotion from us yet remain so distant. Still haven't figured that part out..." It was not the first time Christine considered the irony of her continued loyalty to him.

"I was just doing my job, Commander--you know what it's like to maintain a chain of command." Kirk's face became serious, now more captain than man.

"Yes, I do, but I allow for a certain familiarity between us-- discipline with a smile." She did not give in, refusing to accept duty as a reason for distancing.

"On Earth that's okay. On a starship, with no other outlet for tension, familiarity can lead to trouble." He knew this argument only too well, having had it often enough with McCoy.

"It can, or it can just make the trip a little easier." Her eyes softened, becoming wistful.

Confused by the yearning he saw in her expression, he pressed, needing to understand all the layers of emotion peaking between them. "Chris, you weren't interested in me back then on the ship, what is this all about?"

"I came to the Enterprise to find Roger and you were so supportive and gentle with me through that whole nightmare. But once we got back to the ship, you just backed away and disappeared. That hurt, I hardly knew anybody except McCoy. I was so fixated on finding Roger--I guess I thought your concern was genuine." It was her turn to stand by the window, the use of her nickname implying an intimacy that suddenly made it easier to talk to the darkness outside.

Kirk came and stood behind her, not touching, but so close that Chris could feel her skin prickle from the nearness of him. "It was, but I couldn't fix it and I couldn't be Roger for you."

She spoke to his reflection in the glass, "No, I understand that now, but I didn't then and it hurt. Rebound or not, the misery is twice as bad because you've never dealt with the first loss. It was never all about Spock."

Rediscovering her resolve, Chris faced Kirk and finished what she needed to say. "I might have been a driven woman when I came to the Enterprise but it was for all the wrong reasons. After Roger, I lost myself for a long time. It took years, getting away from the ship, getting away from Spock, and a lot of soul- searching to realize other people couldn't make me happy. I had to do that. So I joined Ops, someplace where I could make a difference--except during the probe attack--I found we couldn't do a damn thing."

He tilted his head, a quirky smile playing with the corners of his mouth. "Welcome to my world--not being in control is a bad feeling."

"Very bad." She stood nose to nose with him, amazed that he attributed her meltdown all to a lack of control.

"And it makes you look at life differently," he replied sagely, quite aware of how it felt to stare death in the face.

"It obviously can make you say and do some pretty stupid things." She laughed self-consciously.

"Are we talking about you or me here?" he teased, liking the pinkness of her cheeks and the vulnerability she allowed him to see.

"Hmmm, I think I was just talking about me, for this whole evening debacle, specifically." She stepped past him, moving back to the couch so she could breathe once again.

Kirk followed her, once more taking residence on his side of the couch. "Debacle? That's a bit harsh. I thought we had a pretty good therapy session going myself."

"But who is the patient?" Chris challenged gamely, at least pretending to consider Kirk might be gaining something from this rough ride down memory lane.

"Maybe both of us. Maybe you needed to put a few ghosts to rest and maybe I needed to be there for the funeral." It was an easy acknowledgement of some not-so-easy issues between them.

"I think we need our license revoked." She laughed shakily, grateful for his understanding but at a loss of where this left things between them.

"I think we need something to eat. You want to go out or do you have something in the kitchen?" Kirk looked at her state of dress and then looked toward the kitchen.

"I think I might find us a snack." Chris grinned, trust Kirk to always think of food when the situation called for a break.

She came back with a tray of crackers, assorted cheeses and some sliced apples. A small bottle of sparkling wine and a seltzer were balanced on either side of the small platter.

"I thought you could enjoy some wine even if I preferred to skip it." Her smile told him she was definitely given up drinking for the evening, if not longer.

They munched quietly for a few minutes. Kirk spread some brie on an apple slice and held it out for Chris to bite.

"That's my favorite way to eat brie," she grinned.

"On an apple, or from my hand?" he asked wryly.

"Oh, you *can* play when it suits you?" Chris gave him an impertinent look back.

"I'm not in space and you're not crew. It's allowed," he answered archly over the rim of his wine glass.

"It's always by your rules, isn't it?" The smile faded from her face, the hurt and anger resurfacing again. The camaraderie and ease they had established with each other, gone.

"How do I answer that? I am who I am, Christine. I believe what I believe." His voice was tired.

"So simple--so neat. My God, sometimes I think you're more Vulcan than Spock--turning your emotions on and off at your convenience-" Christine flinched internally at the amount of vitriol in her voice. Where was all this rage coming from?

"That's not true, Commander, and you know it. Why do you think me so cold?" Kirk answered with his own measure of anger, but was more hurt by the idea that she thought of him this way.

"Because you always stop yourself, thinking about the consequences, and I say to Hell with the consequences... ." Leaning over to invade his space, Christine looked him defiantly in the eyes before pressing her lips to his.

The kiss was not tender. Years of denial, anger, resentment and regret broke the surface as Christine locked her fingers in his hair and pulled him roughly against her. She found herself pushed down into the couch, strong hands and a harder body holding her there, passionate but furious eyes staring down at her.

"I have others depending on me--my actions affect their lives-- their careers. My duty doesn't allow me to act without thought, nor does yours." His voice was full of irritation that he should have to explain the obvious to her.

"Who knows you're here now? Who's life will be affected if you stay?" Christine flung it back to Kirk, daring him to see this time it was only himself he was protecting.

"Chris, what if you wake up in the morning and regret what you're saying now?" His question was tentative and halting, the dread of that regret very evident in his eyes.

"The only thing I'll regret is not saying it sooner, that it took near obliteration for me to wake up." She showed no hesitancy in her own eyes.

Kirk's eyes scanned her face, searching for answers, his body still holding her immobile. "Why me? Why tonight?"

"Because even though I've railed against you all night, you are who you are. You won't stay the night unless you really do care and because tonight is all we have. You're getting new orders tomorrow and I most likely won't see you again for a long time." He was a ship's captain once again and ships were assigned missions. A veteran like him would not be kept close to home. In fact, Christine fully expected Starfleet to send Kirk out into the dark just so they were not constantly reminded of their near folly.

"Is that a protection for you or me?" He knew the odds were high that his new orders would send him far away from Earth. The idea of leaving tomorrow made tonight both tempting and not.

"Maybe both, neither of us have much of a track record for long lasting relationships." It was brutal honesty. It was tentative, and yet bold.

His eyes became soft, the questing search for truth replaced with understanding. She was right, he was a failure where love was concerned. It would be so easy to walk out her door and protect himself from another heartache. But his body felt good pressed against her softness, her eyes were welcoming--one scarred soul calling to another--her moist lips beckoned him to taste them. It would be so easy to go, so hard to stay and try again. The flesh was easy, the heart was a bitch.

His lips found hers, this time the touch gentle. His hand found itself against warm skin, the robe hardly an impediment to her softness underneath. She shuddered under his touch and encouraged them to the bedroom.


The sheets were cool and crisp against his back as Kirk lay down. Christine followed him, her own flesh as exposed as his. They explored each others bodies, learning what brought pleasure to the other. Both were gifted in the physical aspects of making love, it was the emotional territory that often proved their undoing.

If the tenderness turned to something a bit more desperate, it was not without precedent. Each knew the fear of waking up to find a gaping void when the passion was sated. It drove one to seek every moment of ecstasy, to forge a connection that would not be severed with the coming of the dawn, the summons of a comm, the issuance of new orders.


Christine woke up to a warm body pressed against her back, a heavy arm draped over her waist and tucked under her breasts. Momentary panic galvanized her body as she remembered the night before--the terrible things that had come out of her mouth--and worse yet, to whom she had said them. Was she out of her mind? Why did she let herself get drunk? She, of all people, knew the symptoms of stress-induced emotional trauma. She could not even lecture herself with 'physician heal thyself' because the mantra of 'first do no harm' was carving itself into her brain.

Listening to his regular breathing, grateful he was still asleep, Christine reprimanded herself for drawing Kirk into her pity party. But had the night been solely about her? She had seen loneliness in his eyes too, eyes that bore new lines of wisdom and worry etched at their corners.

Despite all the anger and old resentments that bubbled to the surface during the night, she knew what stunned her most was the man himself. Something had driven him to stay and take her crazed abuse. He had shown her compassion when most people would have called Security and sent her away to sober up and cool off. If she did anything right this morning, it would be to apologize for her caustic mouth.

Sensing a change in his breathing, Christine knew Kirk was awake. She turned to face him, knowing to wait would only make it more awkward. She smiled into sleepy but intelligent eyes, running her fingers through tousled curls, holding her breath in anticipation of what greeting she would receive in return.

A kindred smile, sheepish and full of the same awkward nervousness, came back to her. "So, any regrets?" he asked, preferring to take the pain head-on rather than dance around it.

"Only that I spoke to you so poorly last night. Forgive me?" Her smile became genuine now, her manner more like the Christine of the past rather than the bitchy vixen he had dealt with last night.

"I think we both said some pretty harsh things, but maybe they needed saying. We survived." His hand stroked softly against her cheek and down her bare arm, forgiveness and something more in his touch.

"Yes, we survived," she repeated as she leaned in and met his lips. It was still early in the campaign, but from such small victories wars were won.



Longings, No Moon S/U [PG]

Image courtesy of Paramount and Trekcore.
Disclaimer: The characters are Paramount's, their actions are mine.

Summary: What was Spock really thinking when Uhura asked about Vulcan's Moon?

Vulcan has no moon I tell her, but she has a sister in T'Khut.

In ancient days, couples walked in her glow, she lent her shadow to their trysts.

I never mention this to you and you walk away -- expecting no more from me.

If I called you back -- told you of the orb that inspired countless lovers -- would you go home with me?

Would you walk the sands of Shi'kahr and let me hold your dark figure in T'Khut's pale glow?

It nearly escapes my lips before reason takes hold. I fight to keep silent as you walk away.



Chocolate Dreams K/U [PG-13]

Image courtesy of Trekcore and Moi
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star Trek. I only own my fantasies.

Summary: The best presents are those you enjoy over and over.

He sat and smiled, watching the monitor as the pieces to the puzzle
once again began to take shape before his eyes. A flash of a known
smile, a tempting peek of breasts more remembered dream than
reality, the smooth curve of seduction that had to be chocolate
hips... .

The image coalesced and vanished much too quickly for the eye to
capture and no amount of coercion would make the computer
cooperate. He waited, reading as the message scrolled across the
bottom of the screen--

"Happy Valentine's Day, Captain! Love, Cupid's Arrow"

He sighed, watching as the sequence began again... .



Longings, Not My Destiny K/R [PG]

Image courtesy of Paramount and Trekcore
Disclaimer: The characters are Paramount's, their actions are mine.

Summary: When rejection finally becomes too much.

He walks into his quarters, lost in deep thought, at first oblivious to my presence. Yet, when he recognizes me his demeanor changes, stiffens, grows wary. As if I've backed him into a corner, and I haven't even moved.

I pretend not to notice; I've gotten quite good at pretending such things, but it hurts just the same. He never wanted me for his yeoman; chose me from my record, yet failed to notice I was 
female. His reputation as a charmer belies that he walks on eggshells when I'm alone with him.

I offer him my request for transfer….



I Stand in the Shadows Sc/E, K/E [G]

Image courtesy of Fancast

Disclaimer: The characters are Paramount's, their actions are mine.

Summary: Who really is her lover?
He's calling for more power and I've nearly melted your circuits as
it is.

He loves you--I know it, but it's a selfish love. Always demanding,
always expecting from you the impossible.

I love you differently. I know your strengths and respect your

It's a fine line I walk between you. He would never tolerate my
possessiveness if he didn't know I always had your best interest at

And you would never forgive me if I made you choose between us.
I understand my place in your relationship--really I do--but allow
me some grace occasionally.



Longings, My Mistress K/E [PG]

Disclaimer: The characters are Paramount's, their actions are mine.

Summary: Kirk's thoughts about his proud mistress.


The ship is quiet; but still I hear her whisper to me. She begs me
to free her from her moorings.

Her wounds are healed; she's ready to bolt out into the darkness--
her home--my home--our home.

She wants me to command her, to hold her, and stroke her. To sit
at the Conn so she can cradle me in her arms.

I hear her soft plea and am only too ready to comply. Like the
lovers we are--I can deny her nothing.

I say the words she longs to hear: " Take us out, Mister Sulu."



Longings, A View not Mine U/C, K/U [PG]

Image courtesy of Trekcore

Disclaimer: The characters are Paramount's, their actions are mine.

Summary: Protector or possessor?

I try not to stare at you but obviously I fail as the Captain taps my board, dragging my attention to it instead of your beauty. His look is stern and full of more warnings than I care to acknowledge.

I look cowed and he walks away, but I see Sulu shaking his head, glancing at the broad back and mouthing silent "No's."

I immediately understand that you are off limits--that he may look and we may not.

Does he do this to protect you? To save you from unwanted attentions? Or does he claim you for his own…?