The enticing warmth and familiar smell blanketed Spock comfortingly as he entered the sanctuary of his quarters after a particularly trying day. Here he could relax the rigid ultra-Vulcan demeanour and allow himself the luxury of simply being himself, giving the worries and trials of the day some expression and letting a weary frown pass across his features unnoticed by the prying eyes of Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy.
Slumping uncharacteristically into his chair, Spock thought over the events of the day.
He had been hesitant about leading a landing party consisting of just himself and Nurse Christine Chapel. It was a simple mission, the scanning and selection of certain chemicals for biochemical analysis. It required no more than the two of them and they were both suitably qualified.
He had tried to justify his misgivings and been unable to produce a plausible conclusion. He was not uncomfortable in the nurse's presence the same way he had been early in their mission. Indeed, even after her outrageous outburst during the Psi 2000 mission, she had always maintained a thoroughly professional manner. If he was completely honest with himself, he could admit to a certain... pleasant anticipation when he was due to be working with her in the laboratories. She had proved herself an able scientist and her vast knowledge on a variety of scientific subjects had intrigued him.
Perhaps then, his reservations were more about the reactions of others who would surely comment on the fact that Chapel was working alone with the known object of her affection. He knew it was illogical to concern himself with the thoughts and observations of others, but McCoy had a knack for rattling him with snide or sarcastic remarks and the very idea of giving the doctor ammunition to use against him unnerved him.
As it turned out, McCoy was presented with a better arsenal than if he'd been given an entire cargo-hold of phasers and photon torpedoes. When he beamed down to find a sleeping Spock – albeit injured – in the arms of his head nurse, her hand gently caressing his hair and her voice issuing soft calming sounds, he thought his next three birthdays had come at once.
Sighing, Spock stretched out his aching legs under his desk and ran his finger over the bandage at his temple. He would be sore for a few days but hadn't sustained any permanent injuries – if he didn't count the damage to his pride after McCoy had let loose a healthy barrage of teasing.
If it hadn't been for the nurse's dedicated attention to his care while they awaited the return of the Enterprise, he might not have survived at all. He attributed his continued existence entirely on Chapel's quick thinking and professionalism.
Glancing at his desk, he discovered a package wrapped carefully and marked 'Fragile'. He recognised his mother's handwriting immediately. On opening the parcel, he decided that the day had definitely improved. Inside was a container of his favourite homemade Vulcan-style cookies and a letter from Amanda. With a cookie already in his mouth, he opened the letter.
My dearest Spock,
I hope I find you well.
I'm sure Sarek thinks I indulge you but I know how much you love these cookies. The truth of it is that Sarek enjoys them as much as you do and I had to make another batch especially for him before he ate all of yours! I've sent you an extra-large portion this time – so I hope you'll think to share them with your friends.
Speaking of your father, he's still telling anyone who'll listen about his visit to the Enterprise and his son, the first officer. Being Vulcans, nobody will say that they're sick to death of hearing about "First Officer Spock" but I know that's what they're thinking. One day he'll talk their ears off! You must know that you made quite an impression on him and he's very proud of you, as am I.
While I think of it, please thank that lovely nurse, Christine, on behalf of Sarek and I. I know it's been such a long time since our visit with you but we never had a chance to thank her. She took such good care of you and Sarek and I'd like her to know it was appreciated. Why don't you offer her some of the cookies I sent? She told me she rather liked Vulcan cuisine.
I'd like to share something with you that my sister on Earth sent me recently. I'm aware of your fascination for Terran culture and when I heard it I thought of you. It's a very old but lovely song from around the turn of the twenty-first century. You may think the lyrics somewhat... illogical at first but I'm sure that, if you put your mind to it, you may find some logic as well.
Please give my best wishes to Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy and take care of yourself.
All my love,
Spock carefully folded up the letter and placed it on the desk next to the fast-emptying cookie container. Reaching into the parcel, he picked up a cassette marked 'Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman – Bryan Adams'. Raising an eyebrow at the title, he deposited the cassette into the appropriate slot in his computer and listened....
His mother was quite correct; the words did sound 'somewhat illogical'. Trying to fathom how she thought he might find some logic within the song, he listened again.
By the fifth playback, he believed he had discovered Amanda's logic and he allowed himself a small smirk at her shrewd deduction. He knew that his mother had observed him closely in sickbay while he recovered from the effects of the blood-producing drugs. It was understandable; she hadn't seen him in four years and she was eager to see what kind of man he had become and how he interacted with his human crewmates. With Christine Chapel in charge of looking after both Sarek and Spock, it was inevitable that Amanda would watch how Spock behaved with the nurse, trying to deduce the way in which he acted with human women.
Since that time, Amanda's letters had mentioned the blonde nurse several times – including this one – and Spock knew that his mother was trying to determine her son's attitude toward the young woman, knowing quite well that Spock was free to search for a bondmate of his choice.
With that in mind, Spock realised that the song his mother had sent was quite informative indeed. He was rather unsure of his 'feelings' for Nurse Chapel; now, Amanda had supplied him with a sort of... checklist, a number of questions and qualities he could provide answers to. Logically, by answering each query, he could present a reply to the question which was the title of the song. Once he had completed his task, he would be able to determine the appropriate actions to take regarding the nurse. Quite logical!
With a confidence that this was the answer to his concerns, he played the tape one more time.
To really love a woman
Spock thought back to the mission where the evil Henoch had appropriated his body and of his consciousness being placed within Christine's own mind. Her thoughts had been a haven for him. At first, he had been concerned that her strong emotions, especially her love for him, would overwhelm him. To his surprise, he had found a great sense of peace and serenity, a brilliant intellect and an admirable sense of purpose and determination. It was an incredibly intimate experience, each having the privilege of seeing the other without shields or cover, souls laid bare and free.
Yes, Spock believed he did know Christine deep inside, and he liked what he saw.
Hear every thought - see every dream
This question was similar to the first, thought Spock, but he was able to answer in the affirmative to both parts. Christine's thoughts were agile, ever-moving and she had let them brush against the space Spock occupied, knowing that he would be privy to everything she thought and felt, but wanting him to know that he wasn't alone.
Her dreams had, at first, astounded and then inspired Spock. Her fertile, imaginative mind could allow her to see into the future with much more clarity than any kind of fortune teller. She knew where she wished to go and her fierce strength of mind saw that she achieved her goals.
And give her wings - when she wants to fly
The logic of this line was lost on Spock. If Christine wanted to fly, he would take her in a shuttle or other air-vehicle. Thinking again of the way humans used unusual idioms to express themselves, he decided that the words inferred that he should allow Christine to follow her own path and to support her in whatever endeavours she chose.
Yes, he would willingly do that. To do otherwise would destroy the woman he admired.
Then when you find yourself lying helpless in her arms
Spock thought back to the events of that day. He had indeed found himself lying helpless in her arms. After his fall, the nurse had immediately sprung into action, assessing his injuries and repairing those she was able to. Once she had done all she could with the equipment she had, they could nothing but wait the four and three-quarter hours until the Enterprise was due to pick them up. Spock knew there was no more she could do to treat him; logically, she should have left him and continued studying the abundance of minerals natural to the planet.
But she didn't.
Instead, Christine had gathered the semi-conscious Vulcan in her arms, providing him with her body warmth and sharing her strength as best she could. She had spoken softly the entire time, knowing that, even when he fell asleep, some part of him was aware of her voice, a beacon in a thickening fog. Her fingers had smoothed his hair, caressing him in a way that no one but his mother had ever done. It brought back memories of his very early childhood, a time before his father's Vulcan strictures had been enforced, and with those memories came a sense of safety; no harm had come to him when there had been a gentle hand on his brow. Christine's embrace may very well have saved his life.
When you love a woman you tell her
Spock listened to the song's chorus. He could not understand why this had been placed right after the first verse. Of course, he knew that it was common for songs from this era to be formed by verses separated by a repeated chorus, but the words seemed to indicate a set of instructions, a plan of action once you have discovered if you have "ever really loved a woman". Deciding that this was best left until the end, he moved on to the next verse.
To really love a woman
Spock was always aware of how humans, especially human women, felt the need to physically touch one another. He knew that, if he were to take a human wife, he would be required to furnish her with the tactile stimulation she needed. Vulcans did not touch in the way humans did.
How did Sarek cope with a human wife? Spock could not think of any way he could have his father answer this question. Amanda seemed content. Perhaps, a human wife could teach him how to touch? The words of the song seemed to suggest he could learn from the way she held him.
I am a fool! Spock thought. The answer was there all along. He remembered the soft hands, the gentle but secure circle of Christine's arms. Strong, yet gentle; that is how she would wish to be touched.
You’ve gotta breathe her - really taste her
The Vulcan sat back from his desk for a moment. Was this more evidence of metaphorical imagery? Surely, it had to be! Humans and Vulcans alike breathed an oxygen nitrogen atmosphere; it was illogical to attempt to breathe a human body.... On the other hand, he had tasted her; he'd ended up with a mouthful of her hair when she had leant forward to check his wounds. It had been unpleasant for both of th....
Wait! Although it had been a source of great shame to both Spock and Christine, their time under the control of the Platonians had given Spock one pleasurable memory. He had been forced to kiss the nurse in front of an audience of Platonians. Neither of them had wished it to happen, but a secret part of Spock had revelled in the taste of Christine's lips and hungered for more.
...gotta breathe her... He closed his eyes and remembered the times the nurse had been close to him physically. Everyone had their own unique scent, a smell that identified them. Hers was... fresh, vibrant... intoxicating....
The Vulcan examined the last line. He knew what it meant; the blood travels throughout the body, it's everywhere! It is the life-force of every living being. Was this how he saw Christine?
And when you can see your unborn children in her eyes
The next line stirred Spock's soul. His unborn children? If he thought about it, there was no one else he could imagine bearing his children. He had looked into her eyes as she tended his wounds... and for a brief moment he had seen a flash of the future, beautiful elfin children with the crystal blue gaze of their mother. He had been delirious, of course, barely conscious, but he had seen it and had marvelled over the image of serene togetherness – a family where all were loved and accepted. A dream... or a possible reality?
Spock realised that he had now answered all of the questions posed by the long-dead Mr Adams. He took a note of the lyrics that were left; yes, the remaining lines informed him of what he must do once he had discovered if he really loved a woman.
Now came the time to answer that question. Did he love Christine Chapel? The logical evidence suggested that he did! He had been able to give instances where he achieved each requisite item. He knew her better than he knew himself. His thoughts centred on her unconsciously night and day. How can I have only just noticed?! He had already considered Christine as a possible mother of his children and he was beginning to recognise that his reactions to her nearness and the way he revelled in her touch was because... he loved her!
Now that I have found my answer I must act!
He made a mental list of the instructions within the song....
When you love a woman you tell her
I must inform Christine that I desire her company very much.
When you love a woman you tell her that she’s the one
I must tell her that I wish for no other and will never want another. It is not logical to tell her than any union will last forever; but I can certainly tell her that I will remain with her until death.
So tell me have you ever really -
I believe I have replied to this query. Why are humans so fond of repeating themselves?
You got to give her some faith - hold her tight
I certainly have a great deal of faith in Christine already and, if she will allow me, I will hold her securely – although, of course, I will not apply as much pressure as will cut off her blood circulation.
A little tenderness - gotta treat her right
I could treat Christine with nothing but gentleness and consideration and I will not willingly cause her any harm – ever.
She will be there for you, taking good care of you
I have experience already of Christine's care and I fully intend to look after her in return.
Spock skipped over the next verse, which was comprised of lines which had come before, and listened to the end of the song....
So tell me have you ever really
Just tell me have you ever really,
Perhaps the repetition is to ensure that I am positive regarding my decision?
He thought it over for exactly 0.734 seconds.
I have come to this realisation logically; there is no doubt. Mr Adams has supplied the necessary attributes for love and I have been able to answer each without difficulty.
I am in love with Christine Chapel!
The Vulcan removed the tape from the computer slot and leapt to his feet with a vigour that belied the injured muscles in his legs. He had the required knowledge and he had a purpose. Logic had aided him once more – although, he had to admit that much of that logic had come from a Terran who had lived three hundred years before.
He set off for the nurse's quarters, humming quietly as he went – earning the odd startled expression from passing crewmen, listening as the words tumbled melodically through his mind...
Have You Ever Really Love a Woman....
Three hours later, Spock found himself lying helplessly within the circle of Christine Chapel's arms, blissfully sated and more at peace than he had ever dreamed possible. As he drifted into sleep, he thought of the gorgeous future children they would have, not realising that his unborn child no longer resided only in her eyes.
Click here for the lyrics to the song
Disclaimer: The Star Trek characters are owned by Paramount, the song by Bryan Adams; story content belongs to Mrs Spock.
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