The Peace Giving: A Star Trek Fan-Fiction Story
Since their return from Platonius Spock had largely kept to his cabin, after the obligatory medical checks that the doctor had put them all through. The kironide was out of his system now and any physical injuries were healing, although he still felt certain aches and pains that he saw no need to confess to the doctor. He rose in the morning, attended his shifts at the correct times, and retired to his quarters when not on duty. Even Jim had failed to coax him out for chess. Perhaps later, Spock thought, in a few days, when mediation had healed what McCoy could not fix.
He did not look up as the buzzer sounded at his door. He was half inclined to ignore the sound, but to pretend he was not here was tantamount to lying, and while it was not true that Vulcans could not lie, it was not something he ever felt easy about doing.
‘Come,’ he said briefly.
As the door slid open and soft footsteps moved in, he raised his head. He only raised one eyebrow to show his surprise as he saw the woman standing hesitatingly at the door, then said.
‘Nurse Chapel. Come in.’
She stepped forward, and he nodded her to a chair. She sat silently, her head bowed slightly.
‘Did you wish something of me, Nurse?’ Spock prompted her.
She looked up briefly, and he saw pain in her eyes before her gaze flickered down again. Their treatment at the hands of the Platonians had affected Spock deeply enough, but he could only imagine how it had affected the nurse and Miss Uhura, who had been put through a real fear of rape and torture.
‘I only wanted – I wanted to apologise, Mr Spock, for what those people – the Platonians – made us do.’
Spock regarded her steadily. It was a curious need on her part, since they had both had absolutely no choice in what the Platonians had forced upon them. There was a certain feeling though, a guilt he had experienced and tried to process in himself, due to their actions being carried out through telekinetic force. When he had lifted his arm, there had been no solid hand around his wrist forcing him to move. There had just been that irresistible, inescapable invisible force. The invisibility, the intangibility, was core to the guilt. Christine had been correct when she had first been beamed down. The Platonians’ force had been like sleepwalking.
‘Apology is quite unnecessary, Nurse,’ he said. He paused. ‘Why will you not look at me?’
‘I’m – I guess I’m so ashamed for what they made me do.’
‘There is no need for shame, either. They made you do it. They made me do it. You had no more power for resistance than I.’
She looked up. ‘I – I know. But – I know it must have hurt you, Mr Spock.’
‘I suspect that it hurt you as much,’ he replied.
Before now he had felt that his suffering had been something no human could understand. The ripping away of the Vulcan shields was a terrible thing, and how could a human empathise with the rawness that he felt? But now, looking at Christine Chapel and feeling the pain that she radiated, he was not so sure.
‘You said that for so long you had wanted to touch me,’ he continued softly. She closed her eyes briefly, and when she opened them again the dim light of the cabin sparkled on the tears in her eyes. ‘But it is far different to be forcibly pushed to do something, even if you had wished to do it yourself.’
‘I just knew how much it must have hurt you, to be forced to do that, in front of them,’ she said, her voice choked with sadness.
‘At the time, I was more concerned for your human emotions,’ Spock admitted slowly. ‘I knew how deeply they were cutting you.’
‘I was – I was so afraid that they’d make it go even further. I didn’t know how much they’d do; when they’d think it had gone too far. I was – ’
‘You were afraid that they would force me to assault you.’ Spock shook his head. ‘I would not have let them.’
‘You didn’t have control,’ she burst out, almost crying now. Spock reached out a hand towards her, but her eyes were closed again and she did not see the gesture. He dropped his hand back into his lap.
‘I would not have let them,’ he assured her. ‘When they forced me to pick up the poker, I managed to keep it from touching you. They tried to make me burn your face. It made my mind scream, but I could not have let them force me to harm you.’
She half-smiled at that, as if she were inclined to believe at least his intent, if not his actual ability to resist.
‘They did more to you, didn’t they? Before we were brought down.’
‘They did attempt to persuade the doctor by manipulating the captain and me,’ he nodded.
‘Alexander said that they made you cry,’ she said tentatively, then quickly shook her head. ‘I’m sorry, Mr Spock, I shouldn’t have – ’
‘It’s all right, Christine,’ he said, startling her with his use of her name. ‘Yes, they did do that. But it is over now. You cannot let what has happened pain you still. None of it was your fault.’
‘Thank you, Mr Spock,’ she said, and he could hear real gratitude in her voice. She smiled, and somehow the smile was all the brighter for the sparkling of tears in her eyes.
He regarded her. He had the distinct feeling that she wished to say more to him. She was looking at him and then looking away, indecision in her eyes.
‘You wish to say something else,’ he prompted her.
She gave a quick, tearful laugh. ‘It’s nothing, it’s silly. I don’t want to talk about it any more and hurt you more than you already are.’
‘I am not hurt by your talking,’ Spock assured her. In fact, he felt more healed after her words than he had for all of the doctor’s words and ministrations and all the time he had spent in meditation. ‘What did you wish to say?’
She swallowed, and smiled again. ‘I – thought that your voice was beautiful, Mr Spock,’ she said in a rush. ‘Uhura and I were both horrified at them making you sing, but you sang well.’
Spock regarded her steadily, giving her no sign that he was distressed by the reminder of that forced humiliation. Then he got up slowly from behind his desk, and for one moment she looked as if she were afraid he was going to order her to leave, but he only unhooked his lyre from the wall, and sat down on the edge of his bed, positioning the lyre on his knee and beginning to tune the strings.
‘Sit with me,’ he said, and she rose wonderingly and came to sit beside him on the bed. He began to play quietly, humming softly to the music in his resonant baritone. Then, after a time, he sang a few words in his native tongue. Carefully, diffidently, he added a few more, until eventually he had put a whole song together, which he sang through again in its entirety.
‘Oh, that was beautiful, Mr Spock,’ Christine smiled as the final notes faded in the warm air.
‘My people call it a peace-gift,’ he said, his eyes fixed on the opposite wall, while his hands rested still on the lyre’s strings. ‘It is something of my making, for you to keep, and also to share. It means that there is no bad feeling between us. Neither of us could help what we were made to do.’
‘Oh, thank you, Mr Spock!’ she said, her voice choked with emotion. ‘I’ve never had anyone give me a song before.’
Spock regarded her for a moment, then put the lyre on the bed and reached a hand out to turn her face towards his. His lips brushed hers, and they kissed.
‘That is also a peace-gift,’ he said softly, when they had finished. ‘To make up for the kiss that they stole from you when they forced you to kiss me.’
She tried to choke back a sob, but another one forced its way out, and she fell forward onto Spock’s chest. He put an arm very carefully around her back as she cried.
‘Oh, Mr Spock…’ she said through her tears.
‘I know,’ he told her quietly. ‘But we should make the most of this night, while I am giving away peace-gifts. Tomorrow, I am first officer to the starship Enterprise again.’
By Aconitum Napellus
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