Disclaimer: Yep, Paramount owns them. They don't own this story.
Rating: PG, TOS
Summary: From "The Naked Time" Events shortly after the Enterprise survives the Psi 2000 virus, told from the POV of Christine Chapel and Spock.
Intermission 2: The Apology
Roger. What am I going to tell Roger?
I'm not going to tell him anything, that's what. I can't, not about this. I joined Starfleet to find him, and when I do, I'm going to let this be an eternal secret.
Not four days ago, I told Spock I loved him. And maybe I do, in some secret corner of my heart, but it wasn't anything I would have told him. I wouldn't have done anything to upset him, or the emotional distance he works so hard to maintain. I don't know what's worse, that I infected him with this virus, or that I inflicted my emotions upon him.
We used to work together in the lab, he and I. I was trained as a research scientist before I went into medicine, and although he never said anything, I think he appreciated my competence. But those times may be gone forever; I can't even think of looking him in the eye after what I did to him.
Nyota came by earlier, once we'd safely cleared the system and things had gotten back to some semblance of normality. Sulu had just offered to take her to dinner the next time they were on shore leave, to apologize for the way he'd acted. "I think we'll be hearing a lot of apologies on this ship," she said, and I have to agree with her. But I don't know if apologies will be enough. People on this ship saw sides of each other they were never meant to see. How do you apologize for that?
I wish I could apologize to Spock for what I did, for the emotions I thrust upon him. But I don't know if that would be enough. I had a Vulcan roommate during medical school; I know how my outburst disturbed him. But I have to try.
I stop at his door, and press the buzzer.
The door slides open. He is sitting there without his uniform shirt, a slim figure in black. "Nurse Chapel," he says in greeting, and I can see that he is nervous around me. No surprise, that. I'm nervous around me too right now.
"I'm sorry, did I wake you?" I ask.
He shakes his head. I plunge forward. "I came here to apologize," I say.
"There is no need, " Spock says stiffly, clearly afraid of another emotional display. "If you will excuse me, Nurse---"
"I ask forgiveness," I say more forcefully, in his native language.
That stops his hasty retreat. "Indeed," he replies in the same language. "For what cause?"
It's been seven years or more since I spoke Vulcan with my roommate. Nevertheless, I do remember most of it. "I inflicted my emotions upon you. I gave you the virus. The cause was not sufficient."
One eyebrow arches. "The cause was sufficient. You are not responsible for what was said or done under the influence of the virus."
In the dim light, I can see the remains of what must have been a nasty bruise along his jawline. I wonder who gave that to him? The captain? I realize that he bears his scars, as we all do, from that virus, from the things we saw that were meant to remain hidden. "I'm not asking for a miracle," I say, returning to Standard. "But I would like to know that this won't affect our working relationship."
She has come to my cabin to apologize, yet another human custom I do not understand. How can I grant an apology for harm the nurse did not mean to inflict? We were neither of us in our right minds at the time.
Nurse Chapel told me she loved me. No woman has ever said that to me, and I think it likely that none ever will. My betrothal to T'Pring is an accomplished fact; in a few years, the bond will call me back to her who I do not know and will never love. There is no choice in the matter; this is the Vulcan heart, this is the Vulcan soul.
But if there was a choice…heya, there is no logic in debating in a vacuum. I know that the nurse is betrothed as well; it is part of the gossip that no one thinks I hear. I can tell that she regrets the words she spoke in Sickbay, and perhaps the best thing I can do for us is to let them be forgotten.
"Christine," I say, deliberately using her given name. "I find that I have some short-term memory loss. I cannot remember what was said in Sickbay."
Her eyes, the clear blue of my mother's, lighten somewhat. My statement has made her happy, and though I would try to deny it, this pleases me. Illogical, but true for all that. "Well, in that case, then, will you be needing my assistance in the lab tomorrow?"
I nod. She leaves, happier than when she came. I return to bed, only now realizing how the choice was lost before I ever knew I had one.