Title: M'Ress's Pet
Author: Farfalla the Butterfly-Kitten
Website: http://www.cosmicduckling.com
Series: Star Trek TOS
Pairing: Chapel/M'Ress, Kirk/Spock implied
Rating: G
Beta: kelthammer and gensei. Thanks oodles, guys. :-) And thank you to Hypatia for the late addition.
Disclaimer: Christine's rightful owners don't want her to have any fun, and I do. No profits but my smiles and your feedback.
Summary: Chapel makes a monkey of herself on her first date with M'Ress.

M'RESS'S PET

Dr. McCoy was a damned smart man, Nurse Chapel thought to herself as she walked through the ship's hallway with M'Ress. She still couldn't quite believe she was on a date with another woman--well, a female, anyway. But somehow the novelty of M'Ress's cat ears, tail, and body covered in fur had overshadowed the basic fact of her gender. And the Caitian communications officer had treated her so nicely all night that she hadn't even hesitated when she was invited back to M'Ress's quarters after their evening meal.

Leonard was right. It was so lovely, so reassuring, so *refreshing* to be spending time with someone who was thoroughly interested in her. M'Ress had been hanging around Chapel for months, flirting clumsily but endearingly with snappy comments and offers to help. But Christine's mind had been shamefully focused on the unattainable Spock, and she'd seen M'Ress first as an annoyance. It took weeks of miniature conversations with McCoy between patients for her to warm to the idea of *anyone* else, much less a female who wasn't entirely humanoid.

Seeing Spock with Kirk today in the Sickbay had pushed her over the edge. Considering Spock's mating urge, his joy at seeing Captain Kirk alive, and Kirk's sated refulgence a few hours later on the bridge had finally buried her crush under a mountain of reality. That door--was closed.

This door, however, was being held wide open, and it led into M'Ress's quarters.

Christine stepped over the threshold and inhaled the fragrant odor of lilacs wafting from an incense stick on the desk. "Mmm," she exhaled.

"Would you like something to drink?" M'Ress asked, hovering by her cabinet. She let out a growly purr noise as she began fixing herself what looked like a white russian, heavy on the cream.

"Uh, uh," Christine sputtered. Just how drunk did she want to get tonight? She decided, not very. Any nervousness she felt at the not altogether unappealing prospect of physical contact would have to be dealt with responsibly, not in a glass. "Do you--have any wine?"

"I have something pink..." M'Ress rummaged around in her bottles.

Just then, a moving shape on the bed caught Christine's attention. She turned her head towards it and her mouth dropped wide open.

There, between the pillow and the top of the blanket, was a large sleek black cat. Not anything close to M'Ress's size, intelligence, or bipedalism--just a regular, simple, Earth housecat. It was apparently waking up from a nap, stretching its sinuous limbs elegantly.

"White Zinfandel okay? It's a blush." M'Ress appeared at Chris's side holding a shotglass full of pink liquid. "Sorry about the cup... things with stems are hard for me to manage with these paws." She let one of her furry fingers slide around Chris's hand briefly as the nurse distractedly took the cup from her.

"Thanks." Chris was still frowning, and staring at the bed.

"What is it?" M'Ress's ears twitched slightly in concern.

"You have a cat."

"Yes, I do. I'm so glad Starfleet let me keep my little pet." M'Ress gazed lovingly at the cat. "What's the matter? You're not allergic to cats, are you?" she asked teasingly, grinning like a teenager. "Mrrrr."

"No, of course not." Christine shook her head. "It's not that."

"Her name is Claudia," M'Ress continued proudly. The black cat yawned unabashedly, opening up a bright pink mouth against its dark fur. "Isn't she adorable?"

"She's very pretty," Chris agreed. "I'm sorry I reacted like that. I guess I'm just a little confused, that you--have a cat."

"Why?"

"Well, I mean--" Chris paused. "--you ARE a cat!"

"And you're a monkey," M'Ress retorted. "Want a banana?"

Christine opened her mouth and shut it again. She decided now would be a good time to sip that wine.

"Oook ook ook!" M'Ress added, screeching like a monkey. The hand that wasn't holding her white russian scratched under her arm. Christine didn't do anything, so M'Ress melted. "Christine, she's just a cat! I'm a Caitian. I'm sentient--at least, last time I checked. We evolved from what you call a cat, just as you evolved from monkeys--but we've both come so far from that, right?"

Chris smiled and blushed. "Well, I--I didn't mean to offend you. I guess a part of me just wanted to make sure she wasn't--that this wasn't--slavery."

"Slavery?!" M'Ress giggled. "That little diva owns ~me~, if anything!" She walked to the bed and ruffled the fur on Claudia's little head. "She's a pet. I give her food and affection, and in return she cuddles with me." She stopped, suddenly, and looked at Christine. "Well, that sounds like our night, if you're up for it." She put down her glass on the nightstand.

"Uhh...." Christine smiled shyly. "I think so."

"C'mere, doll." M'Ress settled down on the bed and held both arms wide open. "I always wanted a monkey for a pet."

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