An East Wind
“There’s an east wind coming all the same,
Such a wind as never blew before...
It will be cold and bitter,
and a good many of us may wither before its blast.”
“His Last Bow”
Contrary to popular belief, Captain James T. Kirk absolutely did not love away missions. How the hell the Admiralty and his crew had gotten that idea he had no idea. What with away missions being what they are: dangerous, inhabited by cranky natives, carnivorous plants, egocentric Demi gods, and mad stampeding monsters (Delta Vega came to mind), plus beaming down to find, surprise? time portals, sex pollen and unstable, rocky, ugly terrain? Ugh! So...fun frolicking times on away missions? No. Just. No.
On the other hand, Jim had to acknowledge that at least this away mission was providing a respite from the tedium of flying through unending, mostly empty, boring space like they’d been doing for the last three interminablely long weeks.
Aaaand...on the other, other hand, this present away mission was, at least, on an uninhabited planet which Spock’s Science minions had sworn was safe as houses. Thus the Captain had made the decision that a Science team, along with Jim, Spock, and Bones, would beam down to survey said uninhabited planet.
Since the moment he’d heard that Jim’s orders would include his going down planet, Bones had bitched and complained. At every opportunity he would tell Jim how goddamn awful the transporters were, how dangerous to his atoms, how much he hated them, how those things were a death trap if he’d ever seen one, how he really didn’t want to beam down, blah, blah, blah. Jim had listened patiently each and every time, but he’d also been adamant about the doctor going. “Bones, you have to log some hours on away missions. All CMOs and ships’ doctors have to, and at least this will be an easy one. And besides, I want you there.”
So, after hearing that, of course Bones had agreed. He’d stood as close as possible to Jim on the transporter pad, grumbling irately under his breath the whole time. And now here they all were on this rocky hill, Spock, Bones, Jim, and the excited Science geologists and botanists, with Bones after all his bitching and complaining, looking inexplicably happy and relaxed as he talked with Spock.
And here sat Jim, observing a turn of events that was completely surprising. Since this, their first exploratory mission had begun, Bones had loudly, clearly, and as often as possible, told Jim that he didn’t like, respect, or trust the Vulcan. In fact, Bones went out of his way to avoid and/or deliberately irritate and insult Spock. If ever there were two personalities who clashed and consistently rubbed each other the wrong way, it was Bones and Spock.
In vain had Jim urged Bones to forget that Spock had banished him to the icy wasteland of Delta Vega, that it had ultimately proved to be fortuitous when he’d found Old Spock and Scotty, that in the aftermath of Nero, Jim and Spock were now well on the road to detente, if not quite friendship. Bones had countered that Spock had tried to kill Jim, and that if not for Sarek, he would have succeeded. Jim then rather pointedly reminded Bones that he hadn’t protested Spock’s Delta Vega decision, nor had he intervened while Spock was throttling him on the bridge. Reminded him how he and everyone else just stood there looking on, watching as Spock choked him. At that, Bones had flushed a deep red and cast his gaze down reliving the shame, worry and guilt he’d felt for not leaping immediately to Jim’s defense. When the hazel eyes had finally looked up at him, blurry with misery, guilt and sorrow, Jim had caved fast. He’d reached for Bones and hugged him tightly, reassuring him that later Spock had told him how Bones had furiously berated him for what he’d done to Jim.
Jim glanced again at the inexplicably happy Bones. Presently his crew was keeping fairly close together, the two teams exploring what was either a very tall hill, or a very small mountain. This area was extremely rocky with a smattering of plant life, and according to scans, some primitive and sparse insect life. Apparently, that was all there was. However, since it was an unexplored planet, and exploration was their primary mission, they’d made orbit to check out this strange new world. The geologists had come down to analyze the rocks (and there was a hell of a lot of rocks) and the botanists had come to look for plants. Sadly, because Starfleet always wanted detailed medicinal research about a planet’s flora, (with the attached opinion of the CMO), there were very few plants growing on this side of the mountain.
Right now though, Jim was not looking at the rocks, or at the scarcity of plant life, or at his busy Science crew. Jim was looking at Bones. His eyes were riveted on his CMO, because, for a long time now Jim had been living with a heightened awareness of Bones; where he was, what he was doing, who he was with. Bones, his very best friend in the universe. Jim’s entire body and all his senses immediately went on high alert as soon as Bones was anywhere close by. His heart rate would pick up, his breathing would hitch, and his chest would tighten. It had taken Jim a while to figure things out, having had zero experience with the heightened feelings whenever love was involved, but eventually he’d realized that, yes, he had fallen in love with his best friend.
It was before Narada, even before Bones had sneaked him aboard the ship, that these feelings had first surfaced. It had been a shock when he’d first realized he wanted Bones, wanted him more than he’d ever wanted anyone. But... (and it was a big but) if Bones felt the same way, if he reciprocated Jim’s feelings, he’d never shown any signs of it. So...Jim had worked hard to keep his feelings to himself. It had been much easier when he’d been busy back on Earth, and later in the chaotic aftermath of Nero, and still later while he was getting ready for this mission, but now in the close confines of the ship, it was proving to be extremely difficult.
Right now, it was proving to be impossible. Jim sat on one of the larger of the millions of rocks strewn about pretending to survey the area. In reality he was looking side eyed at Bones.
Jim’s hungry gaze took in the tanned olive skin above the v-neck of Bones’ blue Science shirt, the strong arms, the muscular biceps, the powerful shoulders, the trim waist, and finally the long well muscled legs that ended in the black boots. His eyes took in Bones’ shiny dark hair, his long elegant fingers holding the scanner, the high cheekbones, plush lips, and the deep dimples that came and went with the smile he was flashing at whatever the hell Spock was saying.
Jim huffed a long frustrated, annoyed, sigh. He was feeling downright cranky, his usual sunny disposition gone walkabout because Bones’ attention was riveted on Spock and on the small plant he was holding. True, it was more on the plant than on Spock, but his hazel eyes were intent, focused, going back and forth from Spock’s face to the plant. On Bones’ face was an unusual open, happy, dimpled smile. Whatever his scanner showed, the two men looked very pleased about it.
Jim, keeping a fake fixed smile on his face as he sat on his rock, avidly watched the doctor’s hands. And yes, it was true. Bones’ surgeon hands really were legendary across SF Medical, and although Jim loved every part of Bones, it was his hands that were Jim’s favorite, had always been. Those hands had healed him, comforted him, and occasionally even tucked him in bed. Those hands always touched Jim with gentleness, warmth, and strength, and he always coveted their touch. Bones’ hands also caused fantastic tingly feelings whenever Bones happened to lay them on him.
He huffed another irritated breath at himself. Jim was well aware of his many character flaws. All his life, people had told him, in exact detail, what they were, told him over and over again. When he was younger, and also at the Academy, he'd been reckless, collecting a trail of one night stands, beings who came and went out of his life without a single regret on his part. Bones had been the one exception, he’d become a true friend, a friend he treasured above all others. For Jim, Bones was the gold standard by which he measured everyone else. Jim also knew that in spite of his past failures and flaws, he’d matured a lot since those first days at the Academy, thanks in no small part to Bones’ constant presence, acceptance, and unstinting support.
Jim was also aware that he was a needy bastard, always wanting too much; wanting love from his mom, wanting his father to be alive, wanting to stand out, wanting affirmation, affection, and always, always, wanting Bones’ grumpy, loving attention which right now he was absolutely not getting. The truth was that Jim was so attached to Bones, that he couldn’t imagine ever being without him, couldn't imagine living a day without the refuge of Bones' steady attention and constant care. Jim knew that he craved that attention, that affection like a drug. Truthfully, he wanted Bones' focus on him all the time, but more than that, he wanted to make Bones want him like he wanted Bones.
Before Bones, very little good had come into Jim’s life, but after Bones, everything good had come with him. In Jim’s worldview, Bones and good were synonymous, therefore the two of them always had to be together, JimandBones, plain and simple. Before the Academy, he’d been without Bones’ affection and care, and once he had them, Jim knew he didn’t ever want to be without them again.
At the Academy, Jim had discovered, to his utter astonishment, that being around Bones made him in turn, happy, amused, amazed, bemused...and yes, horny. He’d totally ignored horny part though, not wanting to change the perfect dynamic of their deep friendship. Back then, they’d started to spend most of their time together, because after Jim became aware that Bones didn't have any kind of social life, not even with his clinic colleagues, he’d begun to include Bones in all his social plans, with the obvious exceptions of his sexual trysts. In no time at all, their lives had somehow been inexplicably and inexorably tied together, and somehow Jim knew that Bones would be by his side forever.
Jim squirmed on his rock, a deep boiling resentment coursing through him. He'd never experienced resentment about sharing Bones’ attention before, because there had never been anyone for Jim to feel resentful about. Right now though, all he wanted was to get up from his rock, childishly pull on Spock's pointed ears, and yell mineminemine into them.
And damn it, Bones was not even close to being by his side, and Jim was feeling deeply resentful of the rapt attention that his CMO was giving his First Officer! What the hell was going on with those two? Things between Bones and Spock had never been pleasant, in fact they had barely been civil. Bones’ raging antipathy dating all the way back to when Spock had accused Jim of cheating on the Kobayashi Maru in front of the whole Academy. It had gotten worse after Delta Vega, and worse yet, after Spock attacked Jim on the bridge. He recalled some of the names Bones called Spock, sometimes to his face, other times behind his back: a big green bat, a pointy-eared bastard, a hobgoblin, a walking computer, a bowl cut hack, a six foot elf...those were a few that came to mind. Yet here they were, standing too close together, bonding over some stupid alien plant.
Jim felt himself flush hot with shame and embarrassment. He hoped his crew would attribute the pinkness of his fair skin to the warmth of the planet’s sun. With the still recent, too vivid memory of Vulcan being wiped off the face of the universe, how could he be so petty, as to begrudge Spock this small happy interlude with Bones, this purely Scientific moment that they were so obviously enjoying?
Jim chewed on the inside of his cheek, shook his head, got up, and began to pace in agitation. Damn it! He really hated this confusing mess of feelings, the constant knot in his belly, and the tight feeling in his chest whenever he looked at Bones. There was also the overwhelming urge he got during every conversation with Bones to just come out and tell him how he felt. At least if he told him, the horrible suspense would be over.
As he paced, Jim remembered the dream he’d had last night. The dream had been about them, about Jim and Bones. Jim with Bones, Jim kissing Bones, his mouth hot and lush, sighing against Jim’s own: Jim, Jim, so good, darlin’, wanted you for so long. In his dream Jim marveled at how well they fit together, as if they'd been made for each other. He’d woken up with a raging hard on, wanting Bones’ touch desperately, fiercely disappointed it had just been a vivid dream. Groaning, he had taken himself in hand, standing for a long time under a cold shower. It was under the shower that Jim suddenly knew with absolute certainty that somehow he was going make the gorgeous, hazel-eyed doctor his. How he was going to make it happen, he didn’t know, but damn it, happen it would!
He wasn’t really jealous Jim assured himself, watching the two men. That would be ridiculous! He knew with absolute certainty, that no one on the ship, or anywhere else for that matter, with the sole exception of Joanna, was as important to Bones as Jim was.
Whenever they were in close proximity, (which was as often as Jim could manage it) Bones always gave Jim about 90 percent of his undivided attention. That constant care and vigilance Bones always had for him, satisfied the possessive part of Jim that somehow had claimed Bones as his own from that first encounter. He’d been immediately drawn to the doctor, to his haunted beautiful eyes, to his southern drawl sweet as honey, to the scruffy handsome face. Bones had shared some of his bourbon, thrown up on Jim, and they’d bonded immediately.
After that, a bemused Jim had systematically set out to befriend Bones, determined to break through his grumpy, growly exterior to the soft marshmallow heart underneath. And breakthrough he did. The two of them became roommates and after that, where Jim was, Bones was, and where Bones was, Jim was there too.
Looking back, Jim realized that falling in love with Bones had been so gradual a thing that he was at a loss to pinpoint when it had happened. Jim also realized that he’d become very possessive about the doctor. He’d lectured himself often; you’re a selfish, needy bastard, Kirk, get over yourself, keeping his feelings under tight control, because he knew Bones would never tolerate that kind of behaviour. Right now though, that raging possessiveness was rearing its ugly head
Brushing his butt off, Jim walked slowly toward the two men. He’d had quite enough of Bones’ smiley face with his eyes on Spock. Jim wanted for Bones to look at him, pay attention to him, and it needed to happen right now! He opened his mouth to get Bones’ attention away from Spock when he felt rather than heard the rocky terrain shift under his feet. With that atavistic sense of danger honed from years of being a repeat juvenile offender, Jim stilled, looked up the hill and shouted, “Bones, watch out!”
He dove straight for Bones’ body, tackling him and rolling him away from the spot where he’d been standing by Spock. A huge boulder rolled by, barely missing Spock, and rubble rained down on them. Jim tucked his body over Bones’ head and torso, protecting him from the falling pebbles and dirt which mostly fell on Jim’s back and shoulders, until finally, the rocky rain stopped.
“Bones! Bones are you all right?” Jim raised his body and looked down at Bones whose eyes were dilated with fright. His frantic hands roamed all over Leonard’s body, checking for injuries. “Bones! Answer me! Did you get hit?”
“Jim, Jim! I’m all right.” Leonard clasped Jim’s trembling, agitated hands between his own. “I’m fine, Jimmy. Nothing hit me. You saved me!”
“Oh, thank God! You scared the shit out of me! Did you see the size of that boulder? It would have crushed you!” Jim sat back on his heels feeling cold and shaky with fright.
Leonard sat up gingerly, brushing himself off. He was covered in fine gray dust. He wiped at his lips and coughed harshly, spitting dust out of his mouth. The rest of the crew had run over to them, hearing Jim’s frantic shout.
“Captain!” Came another shout. Jim turned his head. One of the Science team was kneeling by Spock’s prone blue shirted figure. “It’s Mr. Spock, Sir,” he yelled. “He’s unconscious and bleeding from his head!”
“Jim, help me up,” Bones grunted. “Gotta’ go check on Spock.”
A still shaky Jim hauled him to his feet and they went to Spock. Bones pulled his medical tricorder out of his field med bag and carefully examined the unconscious Vulcan. He lay pale and still, his face, his uniform shirt, and his usually shiny black hair covered in fine dust.
“Bones, what’s wrong with him?” Jim asked anxiously.
“Look here.” Bones gently probed the top of Spock’s head. There was blood from a jagged wound on his scalp and there was also a large lump. “Looks like he got hit by a pretty big rock. He has a severe concussion. We gotta’ get him back to the ship right away, straight to the Med Bay. Tell them to be ready with a hover stretcher.” Leonard sat down, gently lifted Spock’s torso, and pulled him to his chest to cradle him in his arms. He nodded to Jim that he was ready for beam up.
“Alright, everyone, we’re going back to the ship. This ground is obviously unstable. We’re beaming Mr. Spock to Medical first. Gather together and wait for beam up,” Jim ordered and opened his communicator. “Enterprise, this is the Captain.”
“Uhura! Emergency beam up for three. Spock’s been injured. Notify Medical we have a head injury, to meet us in the transporter room with a hover stretcher. He’s unconscious.”
“Aye, Captain.” Consummate professional that she was, there was not even a tremor in her voice at the news. “Notifying Medical now.”
“Uhura, meet us in the transporter room.”
“Aye, thank you, Sir.”
The three materialized on the transporter pad just as the Med Bay orderlies came running through the doors. Dr. M’Benga, resident expert of all things Vulcan, was already there. Leonard saw Uhura running in after them, but she stayed well back to not impede the medical staff.
Leonard was still sitting on the pad with Spock cradled in his arms. “Let’s get him on the hover stretcher,” he told the orderlies.
Jim stepped off the pad. “I’ve ordered the rest of the team to beam back,” he told Transporter Chief, Lt. De Salle. “The ground down there is unstable. They’re waiting for you to beam them up as soon as we clear the transporter pad.”
The orderlies placed Spock gently on the stretcher and with the two doctor on either side, they all walked quickly to the lift, Uhura never taking her eyes off Spock’s face. When they entered the Med Bay, Christine Chapel had already prepared a private room for Spock. The orderlies, laid him on the bio bed and Leonard and Geoffrey stepped back to let Christine do her job. She removed his shirts, the rest of Spock’s clothing, and mindful of his Vulcan dignity, kept him as covered as possible while she did so. She put the Med Bay gown on him, started Spock on an IV drip, linked the bio bed monitors to the two doctors’ padds for continuous read outs, and gave Spock a tri-ox injection when ordered to do so by Leonard. She covered Spock with a blanket, tinted the observation window dark, then stepped back to let the two doctors examine Spock.
Geoffrey examined the scalp wound and announced that it was deep, but easily taken care of. He shaved and cleaned the small area, then regenerated the skin around it, taking note of the large lump under the scalp. Leonard did a thorough examination with his hands and medical tricorder, pulling up Spock’s eyelids to check his pupil size and retraction. Spock remained deeply unconscious through everything. Finally, Leonard stepped back and motioned for them to step away from Spock’s bed to the corner of the room.
“Spock has a severe concussion caused by the hard blow of the rock. It’s what we call a traumatic brain injury, a TBI. Thankfully, he escaped a skull fracture. Having that hard, dense boned Vulcan skull came in real handy for him today.”
“Will he be all right, Len?” Uhura asked anxiously.
Leonard looked grave. “I think so, Ny. Vulcans have superb recuperative powers as we all know. However head injuries are tricky, even in this day and age. Mostly we have to let the brain heal on its own. It’s too risky to mess with brain functions unless it’s absolutely necessary to save a life, which thankfully, is not the case here. We’ve cleaned, closed, and healed the head wound, also I’ve given him medication to reduce the brain swelling. As for the rest, we’ll have to wait until Spock wakes up to know more.”
“Bones, what are some of the possible consequences with this type of head injury?”
“Well, for a severe concussion like Spock’s here, several short or long term symptoms can show up. There’s just no way of knowing right now.”
Geoffrey interjected. “We’re calling it a severe grade 3 concussion, because of Mr. Spock’s prolonged unconsciousness.”
Leonard nodded. “A TBI can cause a wide range of short or long-term changes in the brain. In Spock’s case, with him being Vulcan, we don’t have any idea yet of the possible severity of those changes.”
Jim looked at Nyota’s horrified expression and his face softened with sympathy. “Let’s not borrow trouble, Ny. It may be that Spock’ll be fine when we wakes up.” He turned to Geoffrey. “Have you ever treated a Vulcan with a brain injury, Geoff?”
Geoffrey shook his head. “No, Captain. During my Residency on Vulcan, I never saw a TBI, indeed, due to the species harder and denser bones, I saw very few bone fractures at all, and then only in young children. However I’m going to review everything we have in our medical library about a Vulcan TBI. If necessary, I’ll contact one of the healers on New Vulcan.” He sighed. “Like everything else, there probably won’t be much in our medical library.” Vulcans we’re notoriously private in all matters related to their health, so there was very little written information to be found anywhere.
Jim gently patted Nyota’s shoulder in comfort. “Try not worry.” Since the Nero/Narada fiasco, Jim and Uhura had formed a better relationship and were by way of being friends now. In fact all the Command crew had gotten closer, their trial by fire forging them into a formidable team.
“Geoffrey, Chapel, and I will take turns watchin’ him, Ny. We won’t leave him alone for a minute, although he’s not gonna’ wake up soon from the looks of it. We’ll comm you when it starts to happen. It’ll be good for him to wake to a familiar face.”
She nodded. “I’ll go back to my station then, try to keep busy.”
“Are you sure you don’t need some time with Spock, Lieutenant? I can order a relief for you if you do.” Spock and Uhura were very discreet about their romantic relationship, but it wasn’t a secret from the Command crew or the Medical staff.
“No thank you, Captain. I’d rather go back to work than just sit here waiting and worrying. I’ll feel better finishing my shift.”
“Very well, Lieutenant, you may return to the bridge.”
Leonard looked somberly at Jim. “All we can do now is wait for Spock to wake up.”
An East Wind
“Memory is all we are.
“Moments and feelings, captured in amber, strung on filaments of reason.
Take a man’s memories and you take all of him.”
The three men watched Uhura leave, her shoulders and back straight, always the controlled, poised, perfect officer.
Jim turned to the two doctors. He cleared his throat, pulling himself together to form proper Captainly questions to ask. “All right, Doctors, just how bad is Spock’s injury?” he asked.
Geoffrey’s dark eyes met his. “Sir, we need to do more tests before answering your question, but we’ll have to wait until Mr. Spock wakes up for some of those tests. However, I’m optimistic. Since this type of injury is not as serious as a skull fracture, I’m hopeful that Mr. Spock’s incredible stamina, Vulcan recuperative powers, and his denser skull will minimize post concussion syndrome.”
“Yeah, Jim, Geoff’s right. When Spock wakes up, I’m sure there’ll be some issues related to his head trauma, but we hope they’ll be minimal. He’s not going to be happy, though, ‘cause I have to keep him here for at least 48 hours after he wakes up. Geoff and I’ll have to monitor him closely. Thing is, symptoms for a TBI may show up right away, or after a few hours, or even days later, so I’m counting on you to make it an order about him stayin’ put...if Spock is uncooperative.”
“Of course, Bones. I’ll give the order if you say it’s necessary. Just what kind of symptoms are we talking about?”
“It’s hard to say at this point, but this kind of injury can be very serious. It could affect Spock’s memory, his reasoning skills, maybe his sight, balance, or speech. TBIs can also cause depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and even inappropriate behavior.” Leonard paused, knowing it sounded bad. “On a more hopeful note, howwever, Vulcans are not prone to either anxiety or depression, as far as I know, and even less to inappropriate behavior. Retrograde amnesia is also a possibility,“ he continued, “either temporary or permanent, although thankfully, in most TBI cases it’s temporary. But, Jim, these symptoms have only been documented in humans. Since Spock is only half human, we have no idea which symptoms might manifest, if any.”
Jim sighed. Like Bones said, they had to wait and see and Jim was not good at waiting. “Okay, keep me posted. I’ll have to report Spock’s injury to Admiral Pike and, if it should prove really serious, to Ambassador Sarek.” He looked down at the unconscious Spock. It was going to be hard on the command crew and on him to be without Spock on the bridge. The Vulcan was a well oiled machine, both as Jim’s XO and as head of the Science department. Basically, he did the work of two men, the only XO in the Fleet to handle both jobs. Depending on how Spock was when he woke up, Jim might have to appoint a temporary First Officer and a Science department head.
Leonard looked at him knowingly. “Don’t borrow trouble, Jim. He may be right as rain when he wakes up.”
“Yeah, well I sure hope you’re right. Okay, gotta get back to the bridge. Let me know when he starts waking up. I want to be here when it happens.”
“It will be good for Mr. Spock to see some familiar faces when he comes around, don’t you think so, Len?” Geoffrey asked, raising the head of Spock’s bio bed a little.
“Yeah, I do. It’ll be much less disorientin’ for him to see familiar faces when he opens his eyes. It’s standard procedure for a TBI patient returning to consciousness, when it’s possible of course.”
Jim left them to their medical talk and went back to duty. The bridge lift door opened and Uhura turned to look at him as he walked to his chair. Her face was tight and anxious, her dark eyes wide.
“Bones will comm me as soon as Spock begins to wake up,” Jim told her. “He wants both of us to be there, apparently seeing familiar faces is good in these sort of cases.”
Her worried face relaxed a little. “Thank you, Captain.”
The rest of his shift dragged as Jim signed off on his never ending reports. He worked quickly and steadily until his chair comm finally beeped. “Captain, it looks like Mr. Spock is starting to wake up. You and Lt. Uhura might want to get over here.”
“We’ll be right there, Geoff.”
Jim gathered Uhura with a nod and her relief slipped smoothly into her seat. The two were silent in the lift, each preoccupied with their own thoughts and worries.
As they approached Spock’s room, they saw that Dr. M’Benga, with Chapel by his side, was intent on the bio bed readings. “Dr. McCoy is seeing to another patient that just came in, but he’ll be right back, Captain. Mr. Spock is about to wake up,” the doctor reported. “Talk to him, Sir, it might speed things up.”
Jim stepped close to the head of the bio bed. He spoke slowly and clearly. “Mr. Spock, it’s time to wake up, you were injured on the planet, but you’re going to be fine.” There was absolutely no response from the Vulcan. Jim tried again, his voice a bit louder. “This is your Captain speaking, Mr. Spock! Open your eyes!”
At Jim’s Command, Spock’s eyelids fluttered, his head turning restlessly from side to side. He was obviously making a valiant effort to wake up.
“Ny, come closer so he can see you when he opens his eyes,” Jim ordered softly. Then louder. “Mr. Spock, open your eyes!”
Spock’s eyes opened slowly. He blinked rapidly as he looked at the four people standing around his bed. He closed his eyes again, a furrow appearing briefly on his usually smooth forehead, then, grimacing, he opened them again. “Thirsty,” he rasped hoarsely.
Christine Chapel brought a glass with a straw to his lips. “Small sips, Commander.” She let Spock drink a small amount, before she withdrew the glass. Spock nodded his thanks, looked slowly around taking in the room, then at the people surrounding him.
“Where am I?” He asked, his deep baritone voice stronger now. “What is this place? Why am I here?”
Geoffrey took a step closer directly into Spock’s line of sight. “You’re back on the ship, Mr. Spock, in the Enterprise Med Bay. You were injured a few hours ago on an away mission. While you were planet-side, you took a pretty severe hit to your head. There’s swelling in your brain which appears to have caused your memory loss.” Geoff spoke slowly and clearly, keeping his voice soft.
Spock was silent. “I don’t remember being on a ship,” he finally said. Then he looked around and saw Jim and Uhura. “Who are you?”
Nyota looked at Jim, not hiding her dismay. Dr. M’Benga touched her arm gently before speaking. “I’m Dr. Geoffrey M’Benga, one of the doctors on board this Starship, and this,” he pointed, “is our head nurse, Christine Chapel. This,” he pointed at Jim, “is your commanding officer, Captain James T. Kirk, and this,” he moved Uhura gently forward, “is Lt. Nyota Uhura, our Communications Chief.” He opened his mouth to add more, but thought better of it. Giving Spock too much information was not appropriate right now.
Spock looked at the four people clustered around his bio bed and shook his head. “I don’t recognize any of you,” he said, wearily, “and my head hurts.” He closed his eyes, grimacing, obviously exhausted by his short conversation.
Leonard came striding in from one of the other rooms straight to the bio-bed. He looked at the monitors checking Spock’s read outs. He nodded in satisfaction at what he saw. Spock’s vitals seemed to have stabilized. “Well now, Spock. I got a ping on my comm that you woke up. That’s real good news. How are you feelin’?”
At the sound of Leonard’s voice, Spock opened his eyes again. His eyebrows rose in surprise, then his pale stoic demeanor lit up in relief and delight. “I do know you! You’re Leonard McCoy! My doctor! Leonard!” He grinned hugely at the surprised Leonard, and reached out to grasp Leonard’s hand which was resting on the bed railing. He tightened his grip over Leonard’s fingers, then frowned at the doctor. “Leonard, I don’t know these people and they’re making my head hurt. Tell them to go away, I don’t want them here, I don’t know them. I only know you. You can stay.” Spock sounded querulous, childish, even petulant, and completely unlike himself. His long fingers clutched at Leonard’s hand, holding it in an even tighter grasp. Leonard winced at the pain caused by Spock’s grip. It was only by keeping tight control on himself, that the startled, dismayed Leonard kept from pulling his hand away.
Jim looked at the four shocked, horrified faces around Spock’s bed and then down at the painfully tight Vulcan grip grasping Bones’ hand. Holy shit, he thought. This is a fine kettle of fish!
Spock was now asleep, sedated and deeply asleep. He had become increasingly agitated demanding answers to questions that seemed to pour out of him. Why couldn’t he remember anything? Why was he on a ship? Was he really a Starfleet Commander? How long before he got his memory back? When could he leave the Med Bay? Leonard and M’Benga had, in turn, tried to reassure and calm him. Jim had also tried, speaking softly and soothingly to him, but he’d become more and more agitated until Dr. M’Benga had finally given him a mild sedative to calm him. His Vulcan body unused to any type of medication had reacted quickly. Once the medication hit his bloodstream, he had settled down and, shortly after, fallen into an exhausted sleep. Spock had finally, to everyone’s relief, let go of the death grip he had on Leonard’s hand.
His aberrant behavior had been extremely alarming to the five people watching him, especially to Uhura. This was a Spock no one had ever seen before, his speech pattern, agitation and behavior completely surreal. There had been no sign of Spock’s usual Vulcan control, his normal impassivity, and stoicism. What alarmed Leonard the most was the memory, the still too vivid picture of Spock when he’d completely lost control on the bridge and tried to choke Jim. Even then though, he’d still been a recognizable Spock, coming back to himself immediately at his father’s terse reprimand, quickly and logically removing himself from command on the grounds he’d been compromised by his mother’s death. But this, his present behavior, was not only strange, but unexpected and, medically speaking, completely unprecedented.
Right now, Christine Chapel was sitting by his bedside carefully monitoring all of Spock’s bio-medical readouts. Jim, Leonard, Geoffrey, and Nyota were sequestered in the bridge briefing room away from curious eyes and listening ears so they could discuss Spock’s condition. The four of them were extremely worried and disturbed about Spock’s reactions, but it was Nyota who looked distraught, her eyes anguished by Spock not recognizing her, not knowing who she was.
It was clear that Spock had not remembered her at all, their years together, the bond they shared, everything they’d been through. All of it was gone from his memory. In her wildest dreams she could never have imagined this. Spock, with his eidetic memory, Spock, who always remembered everything, now remembered nothing.
Leonard and Jim exchanged glances and looked at her worriedly. Nyota sat looking down at her hands, sitting stiff and silent in her chair, her whole being under rigid control as if afraid she’d break down in front of them. Geoffrey, too, glanced at her, concern written all over his kind face.
Jim shifted restlessly in his chair. “Alright, Geoffrey, report. We’re you able to discover anything useful from your research?”
“It was just as I thought, Captain, there’s not much in the Federation medical data base about Vulcan head injuries,” he reported, his forehead creased in concern. Geoffrey shook his head in frustration at the vagaries of Vulcan privacy mores. He looked down at the notes in his padd, and chewed abstractly on his stylus. “There was only one Vulcan case study of a concussion, and one other of a skull fracture, but no mention in either case study of anything like Mr. Spock’s profound memory loss and the radical changes in his behavior. On the contrary, both patients recovered quickly and completely. Of course the two case studies were full Vulcans, and Mr. Spock’s hybrid makeup has obviously negated these examples.” He looked up. “I have put in a comm request to the New Vulcan Medical Complex, to a healer named T’thanol. It was she who did the write ups of both case studies that are in the Vulcan medical data base.”
Jim swiveled in his chair. “Bones, what do you make of all this?”
Leonard’s hazel eyes met his and Jim saw that his mouth was pinched with worry. He wasn’t surprised. Worry was ingrained in Bones’ DNA, and Spock’s condition was, for the present, a medical anomaly, and Bones despised any medical mystery. “Never seen anything like it, Jim, and I’ve treated a hell of a lot of concussions and skull fractures. I’ve seen instances of retrograde amnesia that sometimes occurs with this type of injury, also seen some personality changes like anxiety, depression, aggression, mood swings, things like that, but nothing like this. Spock has not only lost his memory, but he seems to have lost his “Vulcanness” too. That’s what really worrying Geoff and me. All the emotionalism he’s expressed is completely unlike his usual behavior.” He shook his head. “From how he’s behavin’ it seems the only part of his psyche that’s currently manifesting is his human side, and his usual Vulcan stoicism and behavioral control has completely disappeared. I did a quick search through all my databases and I cain’t find anything similar to his symptoms...and none of our scan results can explain them either.”
No one mentioned the elephant in the room, Spock’s completely bizarre reaction and attachment to Bones.
“How long can retrograde amnesia last after a concussion? And why hasn’t it ever happened to me, Bones? I’ve had a couple of concussions.”
Leonard snorted. “More than a couple, Jim, but thank the good Lord they’ve been mild ones. You’ve been real lucky you never had any type of post concussion syndrome. And as far as post concussion memory loss, it’s a real tricky thing, hard to predict, it can come back in a few days or last as long as a year.”
“A year!” Uhura gasped.
Leonard put his hand over hers and patted it gently in comfort. “That’s very rare, Ny, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Also, we didn’t get a chance to test his long term memory yet, to check whether he remembers anything about his early life when he was a youngster on Vulcan, or before he entered the Academy. We’ll know a lot more after he wakes up.”
“But why did he remember you, Len, and not the rest of us.” Nyota’s eyes were bleak, especially me went unsaid.
Jim wanted to know that himself. Why had Spock fixated on Bones? Why Bones? When he’d seen Spock’s hand clutching at Bones’ hand like that, voicing that he only wanted Bones...seeing Spock behave like that, Jim had felt a flare of something very like anger. He’d quickly suppressed the feeling, but he couldn’t help wondering how Uhura felt about seeing it too.
“I’m not sure,” Leonard said, looking at Jim uncertainly. He looked so bewildered and uncomfortable about Spock’s reaction that every scrap of Jim’s protectiveness for him reared up. In his role as Dr. Leonard H. McCoy, the ship’s CMO, he had responded professionally and reassuringly to Spock’s strange behavior. But as Bones, Spock’s reaction had obviously shaken him, the way the Vulcan had grabbed his hand and looked up at him with eyes that were uncertain, afraid, yet trusting. Truth be told, Spock’s behavior had been alarming and completely out of character.
“It may be that mine was the last face he saw before the rock hit him, so that’s why I’m the only one he remembers,” Bones finally answered Nyota. “But we have no way of knowing for sure,” he added, shaking his head in mystification.
Geoffrey nodded. “It’s one of Mr. Spock’s unusual symptoms that I’ll be asking the Vulcan healer about.”
“So what do we do now?” Jim asked, trying to temper his frustration.”
“There’s not much we can do, except run more tests while we wait for T’thanol to return my comm,” Geoffrey told him, “and I’m not sure what time that will be.” There was silence in the room, the tension palpable.
“Do you think we should notify Sarek about Spock’s condition?” Jim wondered. “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Sarek is his father and he has a right to know that Spock’s been injured, that his memory is gone, and he’s behaving erratically.”
Uhura’s head came up as she waited for a response to the question. The two doctors eyed each other. “Let’s wait a bit,” Geoffrey finally responded. “Let’s see if the Vulcan healer has anything helpful to suggest before we talk to Sarek.”
“Okay, I’ll agree to that. We’ll wait a little longer,” Leonard agreed, “but on the other hand, it might be that Sarek may have some insight about what’s happening to Spock.”
“I wonder if Spock even remembers his father?” Uhura murmured.
“Good question, Lieutenant, “Geoffrey answered. “We’ll have to wait and see about that too. Len and I have many questions that need answers. After Mr. Spock wakes up, I hope further tests and questioning him may give us some answers.”
After Spock wakes up, Jim thought, is he going to only remember Bones like he did before? I won’t like that and, he looked at Nyota’s worried face, neither will Ny. She’s already bonded to Spock. This must be hurting her terribly. How would I feel if that was me, if Bones didn’t remember our friendship at all, much less if we’d been together for years, bonded, deeply in love like Ny and Spock ? He swallowed hard. Bones was the most important person in his life. From the beginning of their friendship Jim had known that his broken mess of a self wasn’t good enough for Bones, that he’d never be good enough for Bones, but that had never mattered because Bones had whole heartedly accepted Jim just the way he was. If Bones ever forgot him, forgot all they’d been to each other, their deep friendship and trust, it would be a devastating blow to Jim.
He looked over at Bones. The frowny groove in his forehead was prominent like it always was when he was deeply worried or stressed about something or someone. Jim’s fingers itched to reach out and gently smooth it out. He had seen it a few times at the Academy, but recently it had appeared more often, and it all had to do with Jim. He’d seen it after the loss of Vulcan when Spock had choked Jim on the bridge, after he’d returned from the frozen wasteland of Delta Vega, after Jim and Sulu had brought Captain Pike back to the ship from Vengeance, after Jim became Acting Captain, and again after their battle with Nero.
Above all Bones was a healer, a caregiver, deeply committed to fixing all the broken and hurting bodies and minds on the ship, but always his highest commitment and priority was to Jim, his Captain, his best friend. Right now Jim saw that he was at a loss and deeply frustrated about Spock’s condition, not really having any idea how to heal him, how to fix him.
There was silence around the table. It seemed the two doctors had no more to add. “I guess that’s all for now. Dr. M’Benga, Lieutenant Uhura, please return to your stations. Geoffrey, please keep me informed if anything changes with Mr. Spock’s condition. Dr. McCoy if you would stay for just a minute.” Jim waited until Geoffrey and Nyota closed the door.
Jim swiveled in his chair to face Bones. “Hey, are you all right? You seem really worried about Spock, even more so than Geoffrey. Is there something else you’re not sharing with the rest of us?” Jim tried to keep his voice soft and as normal as possible, but he was aware he sounded strained. Was Jim’s paranoia running rampant? Was Bones more invested in Spock’s welfare than was strictly professional?
Bones noticed Jim’s tone, because Bones always noticed anything untoward about Jim. He examined Jim’s face, his hazel eyes sharp. “I am real concerned, Jim, but mostly because I have no idea what’s causin’ Spock’s behavioral changes and profound memory loss.” He rubbed at his forehead in frustration. “I’m at a loss and so is Geoff. The anti-inflammatory meds have drastically reduced the swelling of his brain, and universally that means some improvement in symptoms, but we’re not seein’ that at all.”
Jim leaned back and made sure he had eye contact with the troubled hazel eyes fixed on him. “You’ll figure it out, Bones, you always do.” Jim was sure he would. One thing he’d always been dead certain about was Bones’ awesome medical abilities.
“I hope we can, Jimmy, because Spock deserves the best medical care we can provide for him, but this is outside the parameters of everything I know about concussions, and I know a hell of a lot. Geoffrey knows more about Vulcan physiology then I ever could, but he’s stymied too.”
“Bones...no one knows more than you do,” Jim protested.
“Most of the time that’s true.” Leonard did not suffer from false modesty about his medical abilities or expertise. “But this time it’s different. Neither Geoffrey nor I have any idea what’s going on in Spock’s head. We don’t know if it’s physical, psychological, or emotional, if it’s from his human side, or something entirely different, some unknown Vulcan syndrome we know nothin’ about.”
He gazed at Jim. “But there’s no use in borrowing trouble just yet, or your worrying unduly,” Bones told him, his eyes softening in reassurance, his voice soothing. Of everyone of his crew, only Bones and Spock were aware of how much work Jim had to get through every single day without ceasing. Many an evening had been spent in one or the other of their cabins, with Jim plowing through his padds while Bones stayed awake with him and read his medical journals, keeping Jim supplied with snacks and hydration late into the night. Even with Spock’s help, and Janice Rand, his yeoman, keeping track of his deadlines and more mundane tasks, there were reports and briefing notes that only Jim could take care of, or were for the Captain’s eyes only. It seemed that his work was never ending and if he didn’t keep up, he’d drown under it. “I know you’re gonna’ need help on the bridge, darlin’, especially with all those schedules and reports that Spock takes care of for you.”
Jim nodded, feeling a surge of warmth go through his whole body at Bones’ “darlin’.” That particular endearment came out rarely, Bones mostly called him Jim, Jimmy, kid, or even infant. But “darlin” only came out when Bones wanted to give him comfort and reassurance, and Jim treasured it each and every time. He had to restrain himself from reaching out a hand to Bones. God, he thought, how he wanted this man. All of him. All the time!
He closed his hands into tight fists keeping them below the table’s edge, feeling his nails bite into his palms with the effort. Damn it, unrequited love was a bitch. You’ve got it bad, James. Geta hold of yourself.
“I’ll manage somehow, Bones, I’ll figure something out,” Jim told him.
Leonard cleared his throat and rubbed at his face, then added softly, “That’s as may be, but I don’t want you killin’ yourself with work and me losin’ sleep worryin’ myself sick about you as a consequence.” His protectiveness for Jim came through loud and clear. “It seems like you never know your limits, Jim, you just keep goin’ and goin’ til you drop, and that there is what worries the hell outta me.”
“Aw, Bonsey, “ Jim grinned. “You only worry ‘bout me ‘cause you love me.”
“I do, to my sorrow and detriment,” Bones replied promptly. His warm hazel eyes met Jim’s and there was something in them, an intensity Jim couldn’t quite read. Those words weren’t anything they hadn’t said to each other a hundred times through the years, drunk, sober, teasing, but always sincerely, lightly and affectionately, nothing more. This time hazel eyes met blue and held, and Jim’s heart rate suddenly sped up, his chest constricting with a held breath of anticipation. “Bones,” he breathed out, the grin dropping from his face. He suddenly felt a little bit dizzy, his brain turning to mush, heat spreading all over his body. His tongue darted out over his lower lip and he licked it, suddenly nervous.
He saw Bones’ eyes dilate as he tracked Jim’s tongue, his cheeks flushing pink. “Jim...Jim, darlin’...I....”
The intercom beeped interrupting whatever Bones was going to say. “Damn it!” Jim cursed silently and punched the button with unnecessary force. “Kirk here. What is it?” he growled. He didn’t care that he sounded testy. Their moment was broken and he just knew there wouldn’t be another one any time soon.
An East Wind
“The mind is its own place,and in itself
Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heaven."
There was a brief hesitation on the comm before Geoffrey spoke. “Sorry to interrupt, Captain, but is Dr. McCoy still with you?” Jim glanced at Bones who raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah, Geoffrey he’s right here.”
“I just got word from New Vulcan that Dr. T’thanol is willing to have a medical comm conference with us in 10 minutes.”
Leonard stood hurriedly. “I’m comin’ right now, Geoff.” He turned at the door. “I’ll have a report for you as soon as possible, Jim. We’ll talk later,” he assured him.
Jim nodded, watching the tall, lean figure walk out. He swallowed hard with disappointment. Bones had been about to say something momentous, he just knew it! But what? The moment between them had been intense, the look Bones had given him fraught with possibilities. Was it even possible that Bones felt the same as Jim did? He flushed at the thought. Jim had never really thought of forever before, never thought he could have that with anyone, but he wanted forever with Bones with an aching want. He wanted to belong to Bones, and for Bones to belong to him. He wanted to be with Bones always, to be with him through the good and hard times that would inevitably come to them.
Jim groaned outloud He was needy and selfish, an awful person, but he wanted Bones so bad! He was pining, and damn it, Starship Captains did not pine!
Jim tugged at his already tousled fair hair. The interruption couldn’t have come at a worse time! He ran a frustrated hand over his face. Enough of this, he had work to do on the bridge! With difficulty he brought his mind back to the issues at hand. It was time for him to address the fact that Spock would be absent from his XO and Science Head duties for no telling how long. Jim sat thinking through all that Spock did on a daily basis, of his many responsibilities and duties always done effortlessly and perfectly. The list was so incredibly long that there was no help for it. He definitely had to appoint a temporary Science Department head and an XO.
Spock always had several important Science experiments going on simultaneously. Someone had to supervise them, as well as the routine running of the 14 Science labs, the ship’s staff schedules, the departments’ monthly reports, efficiency reviews, department heads’ meetings reports, and more, so much more.
As Jim went through the list of his more experienced officers, Lieutenant Toriani came to mind. She was the most experienced officer in the Science Department, and Spock had expressed his confidence in her abilities several times. Yes, he thought, she would be the right person to act as the temporary Science department head. As for a temporary XO, he would ask Sulu. It would be good for him, give him some additional experience in Command which was important as he made his way up the ladder to being a Captain some day. Sulu could then decide who would take over as helmsman in his stead for Alpha shift.
Jim stopped at Uhura’s station to tell her the Vulcan healer was on the comm speaking with the two doctors. “Bones will give me a report as soon as he can,” he said softly.
“Thank you, Captain.” She replied equally softly.
“Uhura, I really don’t want to do it, but I’ll have to appoint a temporary XO before the amount of work Spock takes care of gets completely out of hand. Bones said that no matter what, Spock is on medical leave until he says otherwise.” Jim didn’t want it to be a surprise to her when the temporary XO and Science Head reported in. “Please ask Lt. Toriani to meet me in the briefing room in ten minutes.”
“Yes, Sir.” Her brown eyes told him she understood, but her face was sad as she turned back to her comm to contact Lt. Toriani. Jim stepped over to the Captain’s chair. “I’ll be busy a few more minutes, Mr. Sulu. Everything going all right?”
“Aye, Sir. Everything’s quiet.”
“Good, I’ll be going back to the briefing room for a few minutes. Lt. Toriani will be taking over for Mr. Spock as temporary Science Department Head, and I’d like you to step in as temporary XO, Mr. Sulu.”
“Me, Captain?” A delighted grin flickered across Sulu’s handsome face before he remembered Spock and sobered.
“Yes, you, Lieutenant. I can’t think of anyone better qualified.” Jim clasped him gently on the shoulder. “Are you up for the job, Mr. Sulu?”
“Absolutely, Sir. It’s an honor, thank you, Captain.”
“You’re welcome, I’ll brief you on Mr. Spock’s duties after shift, and I’d like for you to pick your replacement as temporary chief Helm Officer. You, more than anyone else, know what the job entails, and I trust you to pick the best person to fill that job.”
“Aye, Sir. I’ll get on it right away. Any improvement in Mr. Spock’s condition, Captain?”
“Not yet, Mr. Sulu.” Jim shook his head, dismissed him, and went back to his briefing room to speak with Lt. Toriani.
Lieutenant Toriani was honored to step in as temporary Science Head. “I can’t possibly hope to fill Mr. Spock’s shoes, he’s brilliant and super organized, Captain, but I’ll do my best to keep us all on task while he’s recovering. He is going to be all right, isn’t he, Sir?” She asked anxiously.
Jim nodded, putting on his Captain’s facade of total confidence. “He’s getting the very best care possible, Lieutenant, and I’m confident he’ll make a full recovery. And by the way, Mr. Spock has often expressed his full confidence in your abilities, and you know Mr. Spock doesn’t give compliments lightly.”
Toriani looked pleased. “Thank you, Sir. That’s very good to hear. I won’t let you or Mr. Spock down.”
“I know you won’t, Lieutenant. Okay then, I have to get back to the bridge. You’re dismissed. Please inform the Science Department of the change in your status. I’ll also send out a memo immediately.”
Before going back to the bridge Jim stepped up to and drew back the sliding titanium window cover in the briefing room. It opened to a small observation window which was seldom used by anyone but Jim. Sometimes after a long briefing, or prior to a difficult mission, he needed a few minutes alone. He stood there, one hand pressed hard against the transparent diridium window, the other curled into a tight fist as he watched the stream of the warp bubble starlight stream across the skin of the ship in the blackness of space. It was not a view that everyone liked, Bones being one who vehemently didn’t. Being inside a warp bubble in Other Space was an eerie sight, but Jim loved it. It reminded him of why they were out here, of the mysterious, the unknown, of the beauty and danger of what was out here in the black, of the strange new worlds yet to be explored, and of his oath to boldly go to these new worlds with his wonderful crew.
Presently, he was not thinking of the vastness, the beauty, the unknown dangers just on the other side of the transparent window. He was thinking of the very small world that was Bones’ office where he and Geoffrey were talking with the Vulcan healer. He was also thinking of an even smaller world, a world where Bones’ eyes had met his, and their world had narrowed down to just the two of them. Everything, Spock, his ship, his crew, the mission, they’d all vanished, swept away, leaving only the two of them encased in a tiny bubble of their own making. Jim sighed, and turned to go back to the bridge.
Jim thanked Sulu, reminding him that Jim might have to leave again and Sulu would have the con. He swiveled restlessly in his chair, waiting impatiently for word from Geoff or Bones about the conference with the Vulcan healer. He glanced at Uhura and saw that she too, was nervously and uncharacteristically shifting in her chair. Ordinarily, Jim loved his Captain’s chair. There was nothing like it, the feeling of being charge, watching the stars on the view screen while his crew moved with their usual efficiency, knowing that something new, something unexpected, could happen at any moment. Today, however, he'd have paid good credits to hear something new from the Med Bay. Time seemed to drag, made worse by the fact that absolutely nothing of interest showed on either the short or long range sensors.
Janice Rand came in with her Yeoman dispatch pouch filled with padds needing Jim’s attention. She had Lt. Toriani’s official change of status ready for Jim to sign as well as Sulu’s temporary assignment to Executive Officer. Afterward, she would send the changes to Admiral Chris Pike, at Command. There would be an attachment with Jim’s report of Spock’s injury, his subsequent medical leave, and their voyage to New Vulcan. As Jim signed his padds he glanced up and saw Uhura looking at him, her face completely devoid of expression in an uncanny imitation of Spock.
“The Med Bay is still connected to New Vulcan, Captain,” she reported, checking her light on the comm board.
“Thank you, Lieutenant. How long has it been now?”
“One hour and fourteen minutes, Captain.”
Shit, Jim thought. That was not good. Vulcans were either succinct about imparting information, or they went on and on saying nothing, or they stone walled and refused to divulge anything they didn’t want an outsider to know. He hoped it wasn’t the latter. Bones and Geoff really needed some medical guidance about Spock’s treatment.
After what seemed a glacial ice age, his chair comm lit up.
“I’m here, Bones.”
“Our comm conference is finished. I need you and Uhura in Med Bay.”
“On our way.” Jim bit worriedly at his bottom lip. Bones sounded weary and dispirited, that didn’t bode well. Whatever the Vulcan healer had to say had obviously not been good news.
Sulu took the con and Uhura’s relief slipped into her chair.
“Jim,” Uhura whispered, “do you think it’s bad news? Len didn’t sound happy.”
“I don’t know, Ny, but you’re right, he didn’t sound happy, but let’s hear what the Vulcan healer had to say.” He put a consoling hand on her arm and she leaned into it a little. It was a measure of her distress that she did so. Uhura was one of the strongest people Jim knew, no matter what you threw at her she handled it.
The lift stopped on deck 7 directly in front of Med Bay. Nurse Chapel was at the door to greet them. “Both doctors are in Dr. McCoy’s office, Captain.”
“Thanks, Christine.” Jim saw Christine give Nyota a worried glance. Things were obviously no better with Spock, or Christine would have looked happier. They walked into Bones’ office to see both doctors waiting with two chairs already set out for them.
Bones stood. Even when he was stressed, busy, or worried, his southern good manners, that overdeveloped sense of decorum drilled into him by his mama and grandmama never faltered. “Sit down, Ny, you too, Jim. And before we get started, I have a nurse in with Spock, we’re keeping someone with him all the time because he gets more agitated if he’s alone. He asked me to stay in there with him, but I had to tell him I have other responsibilities.” Nyota flinched minutely at that, and Jim’s hands clinched. “Anyway, the nurse just reported there’s no change at all in his condition. So we’re still exactly where we were.” Jim saw him shift restlessly. Not good. Bones didn’t get restless in his Med Bay. It was his domain, where he felt at ease, comfortable and in control. He grumbled instead. He was an expert grumbler, an accomplished grumbler, and he always grumbled when he felt in control.
“Geoff and I just had a long conversation with T’thanol, the Vulcan healer.” He scowled. “Let me tell you, it was all up hill dealing with that woman. If it hadn’t been for Geoff here, his knowledge of Vulcans and their ways, the respect the Vulcan healers have for him,” and here he smiled grimly, “and his considerable powers of charm and persuasion, we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. Damn those paranoid, secretive Vulcans. Thought for a few minutes there I was gonna’ have to call in the big guns and talk to Ambassador Sarek before we even know what’s really wrong with Spock, and I sure didn’t want to spring that on him. It hasn’t been that long since Sarek lost Amanda. Which brings us ‘round to what the healer finally told Geoff. I just sat there and listened, didn’t want to piss her off,” he admitted gruffly. “Go ahead, Geoff.”
“Dr. McCoy is correct. There was difficulty in extracting information from the healer, but I prevailed,” the soft spoken, gentle Geoffrey grimaced.
“Damn straight,” muttered Leonard.
“Without forming an actual Vulcan healing mind meld with Mr. Spock, T’thanol could not be absolutely sure of her diagnosis, but from what I told her about the injury, and Mr. Spock’s symptoms, she told us she could make an almost certain diagnosis with a 99.37 percent margin of error.”
Uhura snorted softly. “So typical,” she said.
“According to the healer,” Geoffrey went on, “Mr. Spock is suffering from a rare type of Vulcan trauma, a kind of PTSD psychosis, if Vulcans even experience that kind of thing. She believes it was caused by both his physical injury and his psychological trauma suffered from the loss of their planet with most of its inhabitants. She said PTSD is extremely rare in Vulcans, but not unknown. It can also be caused by the sudden, unexpected severing of either a mating or familial bond.”
“Amanda,” Uhura breathed, remembering the sheer horror of Amanda’s loss, how she’d almost been saved.
Geoffrey nodded. “Usually a healer is available after the death of one of the bonded pair or after the loss of a close family member to mitigate and heal the pain of a bond severance. However, with the destruction of Vulcan, in the aftermath of that horrific catastrophe, and because Spock didn’t go to New Vulcan afterward, he never received that healing mind meld from a Vulcan healer. It seems Sarek didn’t either, T’thanol told us. It wasn’t until weeks later after things settled down, that Sarek sought a healer and the healer did whatever it is they do in those circumstances, she wouldn’t say what it is. The whole ritual is wrapped up in Vulcan secrecy. But because Sarek is a full Vulcan, he was able to maintain the integrity of his shields until that time. But...sadly, no one thought about Spock, mostly because he’s half human. Apparently even Sarek didn’t think that Amanda’s death, the breaking so abruptly of his familial bond, would affect Spock’s shields in the same way as in a full Vulcan. To be fair, their few remaining healers had their hands full with so many broken bonds, both marital and familial. Some of the Vulcan survivors even died from it, the sudden trauma being too much for them to deal with. She intimated that Spock’s well-being was never discussed among the few remaining Vulcan healers during their meetings.”
“In other words,” Leonard said angrily, “Spock fell through the cracks.”
Jim turned to Nyota. “Ny, did you and Spock ever talk about his mother’s death?”
She grimaced. “Only a little. I tried to help him, tried to get him to verbalize his grief, but I really didn’t get anywhere. All he’d say is that although he appreciated what I was trying to do, Vulcans grieve differently than humans and then he’d just shut down. I gave up after a while.”
“Stubborn Vulcan,” Bones muttered.
“Yes, well. According to T’thanol, it seems that Spock didn’t really handle things the right way. Maybe he didn’t know how to handle it, but he pushed the pain of his broken bond and all his grief aside and put it into some sort of mental Vulcan compartment. He never sought help after his familial bond was left in tatters with Amanda’s sudden death. All that being said, we then addressed the loss of Spock’s memory and of the dominant side of his personality that we all know him as, the Vulcan side.”
“What did she say, Bones?” Jim asked the too quiet Bones. He was beginning to get a very bad feeling about this.
“Seems we have to go to New Vulcan, Jim. T’thanol said Spock must be seen by a Vulcan healer ASAP. Also Sarek and Spock have to meld together with the healer to strengthen his familial bond. It’s considered a medical emergency, which is what you’ll have to tell Admiral Pike, and I guess the time has come that you and I should speak to Sarek. He’s gotta prepare himself for all this and T’thanol made it quite clear she wouldn’t do it.”
“But what did the healer say about Spock’s loss of memory? And his reaction to you?”
Leonard flushed, and Jim’s stomach lurched as he saw that. “What, Bones?”
Leonard looked an apology at Uhura. “T’thanol said that Spock has negated his entire Vulcan identity and memory, that the blow to his head was a catalyst, a tipping point, so to speak. In effect she said he’s been a ticking time bomb...sooner or later somethin’ was going to cause the mental break with his Vulcan identity. Presently, he’s only identifying with his mother’s humanity, and since I was the last person he saw before his injury, and the first person he recognized when he regained consciousness, his emotional transference to me was immediate and total.” Leonard looked supremely uncomfortable. “She said I had to allow that transference, that it could cause him further mental damage if I rejected him in any way.”
Uhura made a soft wounded noise.
“Ny, I’m sorry. I also had to tell the healer about your relationship with Spock, tell her that he didn’t remember you. She said it was possible he might start to remember you before we get to New Vulcan, but there’s no way of knowin’ if that’ll happen. She said it wouldn’t hurt anything and might help if you interacted with him on a limited basis, or any of his crew mates for that matter, not to expect too much though. Regaining his full memory will definitely require a healer’s intervention and a mind meld with his father.”
Geoffrey interjected. “She said the healers will want to examine Spock... he’s the first case like this they’ve ever seen and now with their population so drastically decimated, they know there will be other Vulcan/human, Vulcan/other species children, that their research on Spock would be invaluable. It would be only logical to use his mental trauma for further study.”
Leonard snorted. “I told her hell no! I put my foot down on that one pretty damn fast I can tell you. Not gonna’ happen on my watch. No patient of mine is gonna’ become a Vulcan guinea pig, no matter how logical it is to them Vulcan healers. Don’t suppose his daddy would like it neither,” he added somberly, “so it’s not gonna happen, least not without Spock’s full consent.”
There was silence for a minute. “Anyway, that’s it for now,” Leonard said. “Ny, sweetheart, why don’t you go in and try to talk to Spock for a few minutes...not long mind you. The healer said it might help, and it certainly cain’t hurt. Answer any question he may ask you, but don’t volunteer information...about anything.”
“Thank you, Leonard. I’ll be very careful.” She nodded and stood facing Jim.
“You’re dismissed, Lieutenant, and I don’t want you to go back to your station after you visit to Spock. Go back to your quarters and get some rest, and a good dinner later.” He cast a stern eye at her. “No arguments.”
“Yes, Captain,” she said, her voice resigned.
Geoffrey got up. “I’ll go do my rounds, Len. Shouldn’t take long, we’re pretty low on patients, thank goodness.”
Leonard nodded. He sat back in his chair and stared at Jim. Jim saw that there was a hint of vulnerability in his eyes and seeing it, Jim protective instincts for Bones roared to the surface. It wasn’t normal seeing him unsure or uncertain in his Med Bay.
“It’ll be all right, Bones. I’ll send an update to Admiral Pike right away. We’ll abandon our present mission. I’m sure there won’t be a problem about that and we’ll soon be on our way to New Vulcan. Spock is the son of the President of the Federation Council, an Ambassador’s son, and the grandson of one of the founders of the Federation, so the Admiralty will bend over backward to help. We’ll be there in three days if Scotty pushes the engines.”
“I’m not worried about that, Jim. I know you and Scotty will do your best to get us there as soon as possible.”
“What is it then?” Jim asked, looking at the worried hazel eyes.
“It’s Spock’s behavior, Jim. He’s attached himself to me like a limpet. I don’t like it one bit, it ain’t natural. You know we’ve never even liked each other and I’m a doctor not a baby sitter. I gotta’ tolerate it because the healer says it might make Spock’s mental state worse if I don’t. Geoff and I didn’t tell Ny this, no use in hurtin’ her more, but when he chose her as his bond mate, it was the Vulcan part of him that made the choice, so that’s why he doesn’t remember her at all.” Leonard’s hands were curled into fists with his tension and frustration. Bones was a caregiver through and through, and Jim could see the sheer unadulterated frustration and anxiety as only Bones’ mobile face could express.
Bones looked so tense and unhappy that Jim couldn’t help himself. He reached for one of those beautiful, clenched hands, taking it in his two warm one. Gently he uncurled the fingers one by one and rubbed soothing circles on the back of Bones’ hand.
“Please don’t fret, Bones, it’ll be all right. You’re the best doctor there is. You could never do anything that would cause harm to anyone.”
Leonard used his free hand to run it down his face, not letting go of Jim’s hand. “‘Course I wouldn’t, it’s my oath not to. I’m not worried about that.” He turned his hand in Jim’s and grasped it tightly, giving Jim a long hazel eyed look before he spoke.
Jim’s heart skipped a beat, but he kept his hand very still, not wanting to spook Bones. His body became totally attuned to the pressure, feel and texture of Bones’ hand. With difficulty he brought his attention back to the words Bones was saying.
“Spock is just one patient, Jim, but, shit, he’s real demanding. Wants me with him all the time, wants my time and attention exclusively, if you can believe that of Spock after all our arguments and bickering.” He shook his head and again rubbed tiredly at his face. “I don’t know what to do. You, of all people, know how much work I have to get through every day. As good as Geoff and Christine are, there are duties and responsibilities that only the CMO can do. How am I gonna’ do that if I have to be at Spock’s beck and call? You weren’t here earlier, Jimmy, but we had to sedate him to keep him calm enough so I could have the comm meeting with Geoff and the healer and our debrief with you.”
Jim felt an irrational flash of anger at Spock. This was his Bones, his very worried, stressed Bones, trying to do his best for everyone. Looking at the worried furrow between his brows, Jim quickly put his tactical mind to work, rapidly running through ways and means to help him.
Jim was silent for a minute, thinking furiously, the gears in his brain working hard. Finally his eyes met Bones’. “You know what we’re going to do, Bones? The Command crew, plus Scotty, we’re all going on rotation to visit Spock to keep him company. After all, the Vulcan healer said it might help. I’ll release them from duty to report here for an hour at a time and they’ll spend that hour with Spock talking about familiar things, bridge duty, away missions, family, whatever. They’ll all be happy to help out. It’ll be me, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Hannity, and Scotty. That’ll keep Spock’s mind occupied and free up your time from babysitting him. You or Geoff can decide how much company will be okay for him and let us know. We don’t want to overtire or stress him out more. What do you think of my idea?”
Bones finally smiled, his dimples flashing and Jim’s heart beat faster at the sight of those dimples. “That’s a great idea!” He sighed softly in relief. “Thank you, Jim. That should help a lot. Geoff and I will draw up a schedule for the Command crew. Spock won’t be left alone, and it may help jog his memory to see his friends one by one. It’ll sure free up my time, but I’ll still check on him often, Jim, I’ll make sure it won’t seem like I deserted him.”
“Of course, Bones, you’re too compassionate, too good a doctor to do that! Spock is very sick and we’re all here for him, not just you and the Med Bay staff.”
Bones’ hazel eyes were shining. He looked at Jim as if he had just told him Joanna was coming for a visit. “I knew you’d figure somethin’ out. I might bitch and complain at times, but you always help me when I need it. You're the best friend I've ever had, Jimmy, the best friend anyone's ever had, or ever could have," he added huskily.
“I’m always gonna’ help you, Bones. Always.” Jim finally gave in to the feelings in his chest that were almost suffocating him. He tried to think of a time when he wasn’t in love with Leonard McCoy, tried to imagine his life without him. He couldn’t. With every fiber of his being he wanted this brilliant, amazing man. He tightened his hand around Bones’, and blue eyes met warm hazel. “There’ll never be a time when I won’t be here to help you when you need me, Bones. Not ever!”
An East Wind
“Memory is all we are. Moments and feelings,
captured in amber, strung on filaments of reason.
Take a man’s memories and you take all of him.
Chip away a memory at a time and you destroy him
assuredly as if you hammered nail after nail through his skull.”
Jim went back to the bridge, warmth and happiness coursing through him as he thought of that moment of closeness he and Bones had shared. He felt a little giddy in the aftermath of holding Bones’ hand and feeling the deep, profound connection between them and he couldn’t help feeling encouraged by it. Maybe it wasn’t as impossible as he’d thought for Bones to return his feelings, maybe it wasn’t outside the realm of possibilities for Bones to love him as deeply as he loved Bones. On that planet, with Spock at Bones’ side, Jim had realized that Bones belonged by his side. Space, the stars, his ship, they were nothing without Bones. His beautiful, brilliant, compassionate, doctor, all wrapped up in one broad shouldered, tall, lean, hot body.
Sitting on that rock, Jim had also wondered if it would be a huge mistake to pursue a romantic and sexual relationship with Bones. He knew he’d be taking a chance by divulging his feelings, because what if Bones didn’t feel the same? What if he confessed his feelings and it changed the dynamics of their deep friendship, changed it forever? Jim rubbed at his temple. He was getting a headache from the thoughts going round and round in his head.
Sulu vacated the chair as soon as he saw Jim step into the bridge. “How is Mr. Spock doing, Sir?” he asked. All eyes on the bridge swiveled toward the Captain. Spock was highly respected, if not loved in the same way Jim was, but everyone cared deeply about his well being and the bridge crew was worried.
“He’s the same, Mr. Sulu. His head wound has healed, but otherwise he’s the same. I’ll keep everyone posted if things change.”
Jim sat in his chair staring, but not really seeing anything, outside of the giant view screen in front of him. He wondered how Uhura’s visit with Spock had gone. Maybe her mere presence would trigger a memory or two in Spock? Although she had seemed stoic, he knew that it had hurt her deeply to be completely erased from his memories, from their shared lives. From Geoffrey’s latest update, it looked as if he didn’t remember anything at all about his past, not Sarek nor his mother, not his young life on Vulcan, not the horrendous loss of his home planet at the hands of Nero. To Jim’s untrained, but Captainly eyes, it looked as if Spock had wiped out every single part of his past life, every meaningful and important person in it. He was, for all intent and purpose, a ‘tabula rasa’.
Jim also remembered what Bones had told him earlier, his voice a little hoarse, hazel eyes blurry with tiredness. “Jim, I’ve treated you and a whole lot of others on this crazy ship. Y’all have been shot, stabbed, poisoned, kidnapped, tortured, brainwashed, mauled by animals, taken over by aliens, and overcome by weird pollen. I’ve handled it all, me and my staff have handled it all; we’ve figured out how to help y’all every single time. But this? I’ve never had to figure out how to treat a half Vulcan with a TBI, and far’s as I can tell, there’s never been another such case. Even that supercilious Vulcan healer seemed out of her depth when she talked to Geoff and me. She would’ve died rather than admit it, but she was guessin’, same as us. I feel totally out of my depth treatin’ Spock’s memory loss, and this attachment he has to me is way more than weird. He doesn’t even like me! He only tolerates me because of you, because of our friendship. I don’t know how the hell to fix him, Jim! Hate to admit it, but I prefer the cold, humorless, logic board of a Vulcan than this travesty of the real Spock. And I don’t even wanna’ think of what poor Nyota must be goin’ through.”
Jim hadn’t taken his eyes off Bones as he vented. His face had two tight, anxious lines running along the side of his mouth, frowning wrinkles on his forehead, and circles under his eyes that looked like dark bruises. Jim didn’t think he had ever seen Bones look so helpless. His shoulders sagged as if carrying a heavy weight, and his usually pristine hair was tousled from running his hands through it.
What could Jim say? He could hear the self blame in Bones’ voice, because Bones always blamed himself for everything that he couldn’t fix, even when it wasn’t his fault, even when things were impossible to fix. Jim remembered Bones’ heartbreaking confession that no matter how hard he’d tried he couldn’t fix his failing marriage or his terminally ill father.
Jim had tried to comfort Bones’ worry by tracing soothing, comforting circles on the back of his hand, by telling him there was no better doctor in the entire Fleet, no better medical staff on any ship, that they’d figure it out. But in spite of all of Jim’s reassurances, he still remained pessimistic and uneasy about Spock’s prognosis. Bones, his honorable, kind, grumpy best friend, who was born with the words, “my job is to heal everyone,” tattooed on his heart.
So at the end of the day, after their frustrating talk, after hearing the bleak prognosis from the Vulcan healer, Bones and M’Benga had decided they’d run out of options. They made the decision that the CMO and the Captain would have to speak with Sarek after shift today. It was time.
Jim had asked Uhura’s replacement to route a priority comm call to New Vulcan after Alpha shift so there would be no interruptions. He and Bones would break the news to Sarek about Spock’s injury, his catastrophic memory loss, his inexplicable attachment to Bones, their conversation with the Vulcan healer, and their present detour to New Vulcan. Bones hoped, and it was a slim hope at best, that Spock’s father might offer some additional suggestions the two doctors could try before they arrived for the mind meld with Sarek and the Vulcan healers.
With difficulty, Jim pulled himself back to the present and nibbled worriedly at his bottom lip knowing he also had to report to Admiral Pike personally. He was surprised that his report about Spock’s injury, their detour to New Vulcan, and his changes in Bridge personnel hadn’t already prompted a comm from the Admiral, but, even not hearing from him, Jim was sure that Pike would support Jim’s decision to re route the ship to New Vulcan.
Chris Pike was proving to be the best of bosses. In spite of his promotion and being grounded by his injuries, Pike continued to be both friend and fatherly mentor to Jim. He felt fortunate to have him as his commander, especially when he thought of some of the other Admirals who hadn’t supported his promotion to Captain. He also knew how hard Chris Pike had fought the brass to be assigned as Jim’s Commander. He hoped the Admiral would comm soon, because Jim sure could use some words of wisdom right now.
He glanced at the lift to see Janice coming in with her dispatch bag. Jim sighed and put aside his worrisome contemplation to sign off on some time sensitive reports. He finished them quickly then checked all his Bridge readouts on his chair console. Everything was normal, space was clear of anything, asteroids, stars, planets or other ships. He unobtrusively checked on Lt. Toriani at the Science station. Her demeanor, her stance, looked focused and relaxed. Sulu, too, was deeply engrossed in whatever Spock had been doing prior to their away mission. He made himself a note to get Sulu and Toriani together to ensure that their devision of labor during Spock’s absence was fair and didn’t overlap.
Suddenly the ship’s sirens started blaring, red lights flashing throughout the bridge! “Red Alert! Red Alert! This is not a drill! Red Alert!” The computer voice, frantic and strident by design, incessantly continued to call.
Sulu looked up from his console to report. “It’s the Med Bay, Sir! They’ve gone into lockdown!”
Immediately Jim’s chair comm pinged. “Captain!” It was Christine’s voice.
“Christine, what’s happened! Why are you on lockdown?”
“Sir, you need to get over here fast and bring Security! Tell Mr. Hendorff to bring his strongest men. Mr. Spock...he wanted to see Dr. McCoy, but the doctor was with another patient so Dr. M’Benga went in to attend him and Mr. Spock started yelling he only wanted Dr. McCoy. He got extremely agitated and angry when Dr. M’Benga tried to calm him down. Captain, he threw Dr. M’Benga against the wall! Dr. M’Benga is hurt, he’s slumped against the wall by the bio bed, he’s bleeding and unconscious! Dr. McCoy came running and saw what happened and he initiated the lock down. He’s in there with Mr. Spock now, alone, Captain, trying to calm him down. We were all in there trying to help the doctor, but Mr. Spock just got angrier, he growled at us! He growled like some sort of wild animal and Dr. McCoy ordered us to leave the room, to get out!” Christine stopped and took a hiccuping breath.
“I’m coming, Christine! I’m coming! Stay away from Spock all of you! He can kill with one blow.” Too well Jim remembered Spock’s strength, his hands tight around his neck when he’d tried to choke him. “Toriani, notify Security! You heard, Hendorff and his strongest men. Sulu, you’re with me. Lt. Toriani you have the con, and whatever it takes, keep Uhura away from the Med Bay! And cancel the Red Alert!” Jim called back as he ran into the lift, Sulu at his heels. “Deck 6,” he told the computer, as blessed silence descended on them from the canceled Red Alert. Inside the lift his mind was racing. Please don’t do anything stupid, Bones, please be all right, please be all right! Don’t piss off Spock even more than he already is.
The lift deposited them just outside the Med Bay door and Jim ran in. He found the nurses and orderlies clustered outside of Spock’s room looking through the observation window. “Chapel, report!”
“Dr. McCoy keeps trying help Dr. M’Benga, but Mr. Spock won’t let him get close to him, Captain. He’s still extremely agitated. Dr. McCoy has been trying to reason with him, but it’s not working, Sir. He won’t let Dr. McCoy get close enough to administer a sedative either. Dr. M’Benga’s nose and head are bleeding, he needs medical assistance!”
“What the hell happened? I thought Spock was doing better?” Jim asked, peering through the window. He could see Bones talking to Spock, his stance calm, relaxed, non threatening, while he held a hypo behind his back. Spock was standing in front of the prone Geoffrey, his usually calm face distorted in rage, his teeth bared. Geoffrey was obviously still unconscious, blood dripping from his nose and head down to his uniform.
“He was doing better for a while, Sir. Nyota came in for a few minutes. She tried talking with him, but he sort of ignored her, wouldn’t even respond to her. After she left, Mr. Spock kept asking for Dr. McCoy. He began to get agitated and angry when the doctor didn’t come. Doctor has been very busy with a case of appendicitis, a burned Engineer, and then a young Ensign came in in tears. She wouldn’t tell me why, so Dr. McCoy took over and couldn’t go to Mr. Spock right away. When Dr. M’Benga finished with his own patient, he saw that Dr. McCoy was still busy so he went in instead to see what Mr. Spock wanted.”
Jim listened never taking his eyes off Bones and Spock. Every time Bones got a little closer to Spock, his lips would curl into a snarl. Under the bright overhead light, Jim saw that Spock’s eyes looked slightly crazed, pupils dilating unsteadily. Not good. Bones, Jim thought, cold with fear. Don’t try to be a hero, don’t make him any madder. He could see that Spock was a ticking time bomb who could go off at any moment. Although Bones was in great physical shape, muscular, lean, and strong, he was no match for an enraged Vulcan.
Jim wiped his sweating palms on his pants legs trying to get his nerves under control, fighting the urge to get in there with a phaser set on stun. Bones had absolutely no regard for his personal safety when it came to his patients. He would do what he felt he had to do even at the risk of life and limb. Jim brought a hand up to his throat in an unconscious sense memory of Spock’s hands around his neck trying to choke the life out of him. He hastily pulled his hand down when he realized what he was doing. That was not going to happen to Bones, Jim was here to make sure it didn’t.
Lt. Hendorff and 4 of his men came striding into the Med Bay. “Sir.” Hendorff stood at attention, his men behind him waiting for Jim’s order.
Jim breathed an internal sigh of relief. “Lieutenant, this is very volatile situation, we have to tread carefully. Mr. Spock is obviously highly disturbed, enraged. I’m going to open the door and walk in very slowly, then I’m going to inform Dr. McCoy that you’ll be coming in for a take down. It’s urgent that we get Dr. M’Benga some medical help. No matter what happens Mr. Spock cannot be allowed to leave the room, he might hurt someone else. It’s going to be a difficult take down, he’s extremely strong, so it’ll probably take all of you to subdue him. Just try not to hurt him. Dr. McCoy has a sedative in hand. I know he’ll be as quick as he can to administer it.”
“We’ll be careful with him, Captain. These four are my strongest and best trained men. We’ve practiced take downs over and over. They’re experts at it.”
“Good. Nurse Chapel, Sulu, I want everyone away from the door except for Security. Lock the main entrance to the Med Bay, put us on Lock Down mode, Captain’s or CMO’s override only. Put whatever patients you have in a separate room, and lock the door. All techs and nurses in with them. Quick as you can, please.”
“Yes Sir, On it. We only have two right now.” She and Sulu hurried off and Jim heard the priority 1 lock down command given. He heard the shuffling of the two patients being moved and soon the main Med Bay was empty. Christine came and stood by his side. “We’re done, Captain.”
“You too, Christine.”
“I’m sorry, Sir. Can’t do that. I’ll keep out of your way, but Dr. McCoy may need help with Dr. M’Benga.” She faced him, her slim body straight, her blue eyes steadfast, calm and determined.
Jim didn’t waste precious time trying to change her mind. “All right, nurse. Just stand to the side of the door until Mr. Spock is subdued. Mr. Sulu, be prepared if Spock somehow gets out of the takedown. Take him out. Phaser on heavy stun.”
“Aye, Sir.” Sulu hefted his phaser and changed the setting.
“Okay, we’re ready. I’m going in first, Mr. Hendorff. I’ll call you when we’re ready. Don’t go in the room until then.”
Jim pressed the door code. “Computer, Captain’s override: Alpha 000-00-002 Alpha Kappa 1.”
“Override code accepted,” said the tinny computer voice and the door opened.
Jim walked in, Captain’s demeanor and authority firmly in place, shoulders straight, face stern. “Mr. Spock, what is the meaning of this behavior? Commander, a Starfleet Officer does not behave in this manner!” He chanced a glance at the door. Security and Sulu were ready.
Spock’s wild dark eyes flickered to his without recognition. “Careful, Jim,” Bones said very softly as Spock’s eyes flickered back and forth between them. Spock didn’t even notice the others just outside the door.
Jim stepped closer. “Mr. Spock! Commander, explain yourself! This is conduct unbecoming of an officer!” One more careful step and he was shoulder to shoulder with Bones.
Spock growled, a feral sound that sent chills down Jim’s spine. “Bones...?”
“He’s deteriorating, Jim.” Bones whispered. “He won’t let me get close enough to sedate him.”
“We have to take him down, Bones. He’s dangerous,” Jim murmured under his breath. “Security is outside. Geoff needs medical attention and we’re at a standoff. Hendorff has 4 of his strongest outside the door. He promised they’ll try their best not to hurt Spock.”
“I know, Jim. It has to be done. I’m not gettin’ anywhere with him.”
Spock shifted his body back and forth, growling louder, their whispering obviously agitating him more. Jim raised his hands toward him in the universal sign of “I come in peace”. Quick as a flash Spock reached out a long arm and grabbed Jim’s wrist. The bone snapped instantly, and Jim howled in pain! “Hendorff!”
“Jim!” Bones yelled, his voice anguished. “Let him go, damn you!” He lunged at Spock and thrust the hypo with all his strength into the arm holding Jim’s wrist. Spock cried out, let go of Jim’s wrist, and swatted hard against Bones’ hand, just as Hendorff and his men surrounded him. Each of them grabbed one of Spock’s limbs, two men clamped down on his arms, two men on his legs, knocking him to the floor. They pinned him down, Spock struggling ineffectually at their combined weight and strength. He howled like a wounded animal, his eyes crazed, his face contorted, spittle spewing out of his mouth. “Nooooo, nooooo!” Spock shouted, his voice hoarse, his neck contorted with his fear. “Leonard, Leonard, help me! Stop! Leonard, don’t let them hurt me! Help me!” There was heartbreaking panic in Spock’s voice, and it tore at Leonard’s heart to hear it as he loaded the hypo again to give him another dose of sedative. Spock’s eyes looked up at him, pleading, terrified, until he finally closed his eyes and his struggles stopped. The four Security men didn’t let go until Leonard checked his pupil refraction. “He’s out. Put him on the bio bed, guys. Be very careful with him. Christine!” Leonard yelled.
“I’m here, Doctor.” She appeared instantly by his side.
“See to the Captain, Spock got him, I heard his wrist bone snap. You four, put the restraints on Mr. Spock. Put them around his wrists, chest, legs, highest permissible bio bed strength.”
“Hendorff, see that all the nurses, techs, and patients are allowed back in the main ward,” Jim grunted, paling as Christine gently checked on his wrist. “Tell them it’s all clear. Mr. Sulu, stand down. Go back to the bridge.”
Sulu holstered his phaser. “Aye, Sir.”
“Hendorff, send a couple of orderlies in here. I need help with Geoff,” Leonard ordered. He went to the unconscious Geoffrey and ran the scanner over him. “Broken nose, mild concussion, dislocated shoulder, two cracked ribs...could’ve been much worse,” he muttered. “Spock threw him clear across the room. Jim, you doin’ okay?” He cast an anxious glance over to him, obviously itching to examine him. “How’s the pain?”
Jim grunted. “I can handle it, Bones. Nothing I haven’t felt before. Take care of Geoff.”
Christine strapped the osteo regenerator on his wrist, and injected him with a mild analgesic. “Clean break,” she reported. “An hour on the regenerator and he’ll be fine, Boss. Afterward I’ll put a wrap around the wrist so he doesn’t over use it until the bone is completely healed.”
Two orderlies came in with Hendorff and looked around obviously bewildered at the havoc in the room.
“Tom, Casey, get Dr. M’Benga on a hover bed and then transfer him to a regular bio bed. I’ll be there in a minute. Christine, I’ll finish up with the Captain. Get Geoff started on fluids, antiobiotics, a strong analgesic, and strap an osteo regenerator around his rib cage. I’ll have to reduce the shoulder and straighten his nose, then we’ll see how his head is doing. The concussion is mild, thank the good Lord.”
He watched the orderlies intently as they gently lifted the unconscious M’Benga to the hover bed.
“I’ll take care of Dr. M’Benga, Doctor.” Christine gave him a knowing look, and followed the orderlies out.
Leonard went to Jim and picked up the hurt wrist. “Let me see, Jimmy. I heard that wrist bone snap,” he shuddered. “Damn Vulcan, too strong for his own good,” he snarled angrily, unstrapping the regenerator. He ran gentle and exploring fingers up, down, and around, checking the condition of Jim’s wrist for himself. He gave a sigh of relief. “The bones startin’ to knit already. You’ll be all right in an hour or so, darlin’.”
Jim grasped the gentle, restless, probing fingers with his good hand. He looked deep into the worried hazel eyes. “I’m good, Bones. It was my fault, I shouldn’t have gotten so close to him, stop your worrying, I’m just fine.” His voice had taken on that soothing tone he used with upset, scared or injured crew, his blue eyes lake calm. He grimaced. “I should’ve known better. After all, I’ve had enough experience with an enraged Spock.”
“You were just trying to help me, Jim, but it scared the shit out of me when I heard that bone crack.” He shook his head, bewildered. “I don’t know why he went off on Geoff like that. You know Geoff, he’s always so gentle and soft spoken. I think Spock’s mental condition is deterioratin’ fast. He was so terrified. Broke my heart to hear him pleadin’ with me like that. If there’s any way to get us to New Vulcan quicker, I think we need to do it. Also, it’s not safe now for the Command crew to visit him. Much as I hate it, I’m gonna have to keep him sedated and in restraints until I can figure out what’s happening. He could go off again, and next time we might not be so lucky in subduing him so fast. He’ll be out for a while now. I gave him an extra strong sedative.” He ran his hand through his hair causing it to stand on end.
Jim’s fingers itched to pat the dark strands back down. He gripped Bones’ hand tighter. “I’ll talk to Scotty, see if we can squeeze a little more speed out of the engines. We have to tell Ny what’s happened, Bones. She needs to know.”
“Damn it! I know. I just hate to do it. Spock’s mental deterioration is really worryin’ me and it’s gonna hit her real hard.”
Spock moaned and they both turned to him. Leonard automatically glanced at the bed bio feeds “Poor devil. He’s suffering and I don’t have a clue how to help him. Geoff doesn’t either. He’s not in any physical pain, but his mental shields are totally gone. He’s not used to dealing with all of his emotions, and ours too,” he added bleakly. He looked out toward the main ward. “Shift change’s happenin’ soon. I’m dismissing the two patients we have in a bit. I’ll get someone to stay with Spock, although he’ll be out for a long time and then I’ll give him another sedative. Let me check on Geoff and then we’ll go to your quarters to talk to Sarek.”
“Uhura’s replacement will route the comm to me at 1900 hours. I’ll ask the mess to send sandwiches to my cabin, you have to eat, Bones, you’re running on empty, I can tell. I’ll talk to Scotty, while I wait here for you.
Bones gave him a grim smile. “I’ll eat if you will. I know you skipped lunch too, Jim.” He drew in a deep steadying breath. “I’ll be back for you after I check on Geoff, have to reduce his shoulder and fix his nose, much better to do it while he’s unconscious. I’ll tell Christine to make sure he stays put. I’ll assign Spock’s babysitter too.” He turned his hand and brought Jim’s uninjured hand to his lips and gave his palm a feather light kiss. “Thanks for helping, Jimmy, no tellin’ what would’ve happened if you and Security hadn’t come in,” he said, hurrying out the door.
Oh,” Jim breathed, his heart stuttering, looking down at his palm. He curled his fingers into his palm as if doing so would keep the kiss inside his hand. Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod! His heart was pounding in his ears and his breath came in short gasps.
And Bones was coming with him to his cabin...and they would be alone. Okay, calm down, James. Bones has made the first move. It’s up to you to make the next one. You’re both on the same page about this. Bones made it clear that taking things to the next level is what he wants too. It’s time for you to seize the day, Carpe the Diem.
In spite of his deep worry about Spock, Jim couldn’t help it, he felt elated, jubilant, as he cradled his healing wrist to his chest oblivious of the thud of pain. He would be very careful, he wouldn’t push, but he would make it clear how much he wanted Bones, how much he loved him. Bones had been courageous enough to make the first move, take the first step, so Jim would take the next one.
An East Wind
“And sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself,
because I could find no language to describe them in.”
Jim waited impatiently for Bones in the CMO’s office. He’d already talked to Scotty who promised to squeeze more speed out of the engines after hearing how sick Spock was and how imperative it was to get to New Vulcan as fast as possible. He’d also commed Sulu and asked him to update Uhura. Sulu and Nyota were good friends and he would be gentle in breaking the news and supportive afterwards. He knew that Sulu would stay with her until he was sure she was all right. Jim promised himself that he would make time to talk with her this evening. Jim would also make damn sure that she would accompany Spock to New ShiKahr. Shit, she and Spock were practically married, they only needed the formal bonding ceremony to make it so.
The osteo regenerator attached to his wrist beeped. The wrist bone was, for all intents and purposes, healed. Christine came in with her Med Bay data padd in one hand and a support bandage in the other.
“I’m going to wrap your wrist now, Captain, and give you a mild analgesic. It’ll be achy for a few more hours. You can remove the support bandage tomorrow morning. Don’t take it off when you go to bed. You might re-injure the wrist when you turn over in bed. We don’t want you to do too much with it or put too much stress on your wrist until the bones have completely fused. Doctor McCoy is just finishing with Dr. M’Benga. He’s regained consciousness and all his vitals are good; he’s doing well. He’ll be off duty for twenty four hours, then light duty for another twenty four. Mr. Spock’s status is unchanged, he’s still heavily sedated. Dr. McCoy asked me to tell you that he’s going to keep him that way until we reach New Vulcan.” She finished her report and wrapping his wrist at the same time. “Not too tight?”
“No, it’s fine, thanks, Christine. Is Bones finished? He’s got to eat something, I know he hasn’t had time for food. Now that you’re finished with my wrist, I’ll go wait for him in his office and suggest getting something to eat.”
“He should be finished in a few minutes. He was updating Dr. M’Benga’s chart and Mr. Spock’s. I hope you can get him to rest too, Captain. He’s been very worried, very stressed, and every spare minute he’s had, he’s been doing research like a mad man on TBIs. He’s taking it very personally not being able to help Mr. Spock. You know how he is, Sir.” She smiled fondly.
Jim nodded. Their eyes met in understanding. “I do know, Christine, and I’ll do my best.” Jim knew that Bones’ staff, and especially Christine, adored him, protected him, cosseted him, and mother henned him when he let them, and even when he didn’t. In spite of his occasional grumpiness they all knew he was the most brilliant doctor and surgeon in Fleet and would always do his utmost for his patients and for his staff. They had seen him stay on his feet past the point of hope trying to keep a crewman alive and succeeding when other doctors would have given up, seen him doing surgery in the middle of a firefight oblivious to anything except his patient on the table, and seen him seeking out the younger, newer crewmen to make sure they were adjusting to being out in the black on a ship far away from home and family.
The whole ship knew that Dr. Leonard McCoy, was the best doctor in the galaxy, a xeno-psychologist, a PhD, a renowned Fellow of the Federation College of Surgeons, brilliant and always deadly serious about his profession and his patients. He would drive himself tirelessly until his job was done, he would send an exhausted nurse or orderly off duty to rest, and take their shift himself, he’d hole himself up in a laboratory concocting a cure for an unknown virus, and he’d fight like the devil to keep the crew and, most especially, his Captain safe.
Jim jumped off the bio bed and took himself to Bones’ office. While there, he checked in with the relief communications officer and was told his comm to Sarek on New ShiKahr was on schedule. He and Bones had agreed that Bones would explain about the accident, Spock’s subsequent memory loss and emotional outbursts, about the treatments that he and Dr. M’Benga had already tried, and what the Vulcan healer had told them. After that, Jim would tell him about their present voyage to New Vulcan, their ETA, and Spock’s aberrant behavior with Bones, Uhura, and with himself.
Jim sighed. This was going to hurt Sarek. No matter how stoic Vulcans were, the familial bond between Vulcan family members was formidable, and although they didn’t show it, their grief for the terrible losses they had endured was there just beneath the surface. Sarek was about to discover that Spock’s bond with his mother which had been torn asunder, had never been healed, and that he’d lived with a torn familial bond for many months.
Bones walked into his office. “I’m finished, Jim. Happy to report that Geoffrey is doing real well. I’ve released our couple of patients, and Geoff is going back to his quarters. Spock is our only patient right now. I’ve assigned nurses to sit with him 24/7. Christine will supervise and call me in if anything happens. I just checked on him and he’s still deeply asleep. The sedative I gave him is strong, that Vulcan constitution of his requires a heavier dose.” He frowned worriedly. “I hate to keep him under so long, but he’s gonna have to stay sedated until we reach New Vulcan. He’s a danger to himself and others if he’s awake.” There was guilt, anger, and frustration in his hazel eyes. “I hate that I had to do it.”
“You’re doing what you have to do, Bones. Let’s hope Sarek can tell us something that will help Spock. Are you ready to eat? Our sandwiches are in my quarters by now.”
Bones nodded, but he still looked worried, the tight set of his mouth giving away his tension. “Has someone checked on Ny? I’m real concerned about her, Jim.”
“I sent Sulu to update her about what happened, what we had to do with Spock, and he won’t leave her until he’s sure she’s all right. I’ll check on her later, and I’m going to make sure she goes down planet with us too.” Jim frowned. Bones looked completely worn out. “Christine will comm if you’re needed. Come on old man, let’s go eat. You need sustenance and I’m starving. I’d rather talk with Sarek on a full stomach.”
“Yeah, I am hungry, and real tired.” His eyes swept around the Med Bay seeing all the empty beds and he gave one final lingering glance at Spock’s room to make sure a nurse was with him. “I guess I’m ready, Jim.”
They left the Med Bay, Christine waving them off cheerfully. They walked shoulder to shoulder into the lift, the silence between them pregnant and fraught with possibilities. Jim felt half drunk with anticipation, the reality of what was about to happen nearly overwhelming him. He focused on breathing in and out, trying to calm himself, to lower his heart rate, to regain his equilibrium.
Jim put in his door code and the door opened to the quiet and dimness of the Captain’s quarters. He heard Bones take a deep breath and Jim turned to him.
“Jim,” Bones breathed out. In the dim light Jim saw that his eyes shone green today, broad black circles wrapped in a tiny ring of soft green. And looking into those beautiful dilated eyes, Jim decided now was the time he was going to kiss Bones. He leaned in and put one warm hand around his neck, and with the other arm, drew him in. “I’m going to kiss you now, Bones. Kiss you and kiss you and kiss you.” Jim pressed his lips gently to Bones’ mouth, while his hand first cupped Leonard’s neck and then smoothed it up and down over his arm and chest.
“Damn it, Jim!” Leonard whispered as their mouths met. He caught Jim’s face in one hand and his hip in the other and pressed their bodies closer together and Jim made a small pleased noise deep in his throat. The kiss went on forever, or else time stood still, Jim thought dazedly, as they gently nipped, nibbled and sucked at each other with lips and tongues. Jim lost all sense of time as heat surged through him, all his senses zeroing in on the man pressed tight against him. Jim’s arms were finally holding Bones in the way he’d always wanted. His ship could have been boarded by Klingons, or been sucked into a black hole, Engineering could have caught on fire, none of it would have meant a thing against the fact that Bones was kissing him, kissing him for the first time. Jim’s whole world had faded away to narrow in only on Bones. He could hear his heart thundering in his ears and both their gasping breaths loud in the silence of his cabin. As their kiss got more heated his arousal ramped up and his pants got uncomfortably tight.
When Leonard pulled back to breathe, Jim stared at him, a dazed, wobbly smile on his face. He felt shaken to the core, struggling with what had just happened, his complete and utter joy at finally being granted his most secret, heart felt desire too long denied.
“Bones...I... ah—” Jim shook his head, and gave up on trying to articulate words. His famed silver tongue, that gift of gab that could convince any being to do almost any thing had deserted him. Instead Jim greedily kissed Leonard again, teasing his lips open with a little hum of pleasure at the feel of him. Jim’s breathing hitched as his tongue slipped into Bones’ mouth. This is what he’d dreamed of, what he’d coveted. He pulled back, shuddered a deep sigh, huddled closer to Bones’ chest, then pressed his head against Bones’ shoulder. He felt dizzy with happiness, with joy, his knees felt weak from the surge of emotion he’d felt when he kissed Bones.
“Jim, darlin’ are you alright? You're being awfully quiet," Leonard whispered in his ear.
Jim cleared his clogged throat. “Never been better.” He breathed deeply, trying to compose himself, taking in the smell of Bones, the ever present antiseptic smell of the Med Bay, the remains of his woodsy aftershave, the piney scent of soap on his hands, and underneath it all, the well loved scent of Bones’ clean skin. He raised his head and looked at Bones. “You know I’m shit talking about my feelings, but I've thought and thought about this so much, about you being with me, about us being together. I’ve wanted you so much, Bones, for so long.”
“Me too, Jimmy. I’ve wanted you too,” came the hushed reply.
Jim smiled tremulously. “You’ve always stood by me even when you found out about my Mom, Sam, Frank, the car, jail time, Taurus, all of it. You’ve stayed and you never judged me, just supported me. Growled and grumbled at me, but you were always there. How could I not want you, love you?" Jim asked, patting Bones gently on his chest, on his arm, on his shoulder, making sure Bones was real, not just another of his vivid dreams. Jim thought back to how they had been instantly drawn to one another, two people who were way too familiar with loneliness, loss, even death. Bones had completely accepted Jim, helped him, healed him, mended some of his broken pieces and asked no questions. Jim had done the same, accepted Leonard and all the shit that had come with him, his divorce, Joanna, his dad, his months of dependence on alcohol, and before they knew it, they’d formed an unbreakable bond.
“I can’t believe you never realized I was falling for you.” Jim grimaced. “Although I tried my best not to show it, because I didn’t want to ruin what we already had, but you know that old Spanish saying, ‘Love and a cold cannot be hid.’ I thought sometimes I was so obvious, you’d guessed how I felt.”
Leonard shook his head. “I had no idea. Guess I was too busy trying to hide my own feelings about you.”
Jim snorted. “For two supposedly brilliant men, we were damn stupid. Shit, we could’ve just talked to each other...saved ourselves a lot of pining.” He looked deeply into the hazel eyes. “I can't believe this is real, that I actually get to have you, that you’ll stay with me.” Jim whispered against McCoy's lips and kissed him again and again, trailing light adoring kisses all over his lips, cheeks, and his forehead. From now on, he was going to make it his personal mission to kiss Bones until he was breathless!
“Jim...of course I’ll stay! And yeah, I’m yours, always have been yours. Back at the Academy I just sortta’ became yours, “ his words came out muffled under Jim’s kisses.
Jim saw that Bones’ eyes shone like the green, amber, and misty brown cat-eye marbles of Jim’s childhood, like Earth’s loden green and brown forests when seen from space.
"So good," he breathed into Bones’ mouth, his voice husky with love, with want. “Better than anyone else ever. It feels so good when you touch me. I love your hands, Bones...such beautiful hands. I wanted to know how they'd feel from the moment I saw you holding on to that flask on the shuttle. Back at the Academy, I loved it whenever you touched me, I kind of lived for it. I didn’t understand why at first...but I wanted, needed your touch.” He touched one of Bones’ beautiful, capable hand and Bones’ turned his hand to hold Jim’s.
Now far from being quiet, Jim realized he was babbling, he felt giddy, euphoric. He drew back to put some space between them as he looked Bones straight in the eyes. He had to be absolutely sure about this, about how Bones felt. “Bones. You’re sure about this... about us... you’re sure you want this... want me?” Jim’s voice came out a little shaky, a bit uncertain.
Leonard ran the fingers of one hand over the lines and planes of Jim’s face. With his thumb he stroked softly over his lips. Jim sighed, and brought Bones’ hand to his lips and placed a warm lingering kiss in the palm of that beautiful hand. It felt wonderful, this getting to know one another's bodies the way Jim had always wanted to.
Leonard reached up to cup Jim’s face with both hands, looked into the azure eyes he loved and imbued his voice with all the love, reassurance and tenderness he could muster. “I’m positive, darlin. This...? You and me? It’s what I’ve dreamed of, what I’ve wanted more than anything for a long, long time. I’m never leavin’ you, Jim, I promise, ner leavin’ you no matter what.”
All of Jim’s pent up tension left his body with Bones’ words. In the back of his mind, Jim knew there were still things left to say, things to do, problems they had to face. Chief among them was Spock’s medical condition and alarming mental deterioration, Admiral Pike’s briefing that had yet to take place, and soon Sarek’s comm would be coming in. But right now, just for a few minutes, Jim wanted to bask in the present, in the now, because now was when things were perfect. He and Bones had finally found their way to each other.
Jim smiled his sunniest smile at his Bones, making a happy little noise in his throat, big blue eyes fever bright with joy. “And if someday I decide to kick you to the curb, old man?” He teased, his eyes crinkled in delight, pecking at Bones’ lips over and over. He felt Bones’ breath hitch.
“Why then I’ll just dust myself off and come right back to you, kid. Once I’ve had you, I couldn’t be without you.” Bones’ soothing warm baritone settled Jim’s nerves, uncertain heart, and insecure head as nothing else could have.
“Me neither, Bones,” Jim whispered against his mouth, still holding on tight. “Me neither.”
Leonard gave Jim one last lingering kiss. “Why are we still standin’? Let’s go sit down, darlin’. I’ve been on my feet all day and I wanna’ get off them.”
Jim grinned and that grin lit up the room. “I totally agree, let’s sit. It’s easier to neck sitting down.”
“You should know,” Leonard grumbled, pulling him gently to the sofa by his good hand, mindful of his wrist, “with all the experience you’ve had.”
“I was just waiting for you to get with the program, Bones McCoy...been waiting a hell of a long time. Sometimes it’s seemed like I’ve been waiting forever. I had to distract myself somehow,” Jim mumbled, nibbling gently at Bones’ neck, rubbing small circles into Bones’ back and carding his hand into his dark hair. It seemed he couldn’t get enough of touching Bones, touching him to his heart’s content.
Bones tilted his head to give Jim better access. “No more distractions for you, Jim Kirk, is that understood?”
“Bones,” Jim whispered against his neck, totally dazed at finally getting his heart’s desire. “Haven’t you noticed that I haven’t been distracted in a long time. I didn’t have the heart for it, not when I was head over heels in love with you, wanted you so bad, Bones.” His hand came down from his hair to stroke anywhere there was soft bare skin for him to touch. He was already desperate for Bones, he’d wanted him so much, waited so long.
Leonard turned his head to face Jim and gripped one wandering hand tightly. “I thought you weren’t telling me about your one night stands anymore because you’d gotten serious about someone...I couldn’t think who it could be, but I thought if there was someone, I’d just have to learn to bear it. That caused me a lot of sleepless nights, Jimmy, and some god awful nightmares about you with some nameless someone, where you were out of my reach forever.”
Jim leaned away from Bones, blue eyes shocked. “Why didn’t you say something, or ask me?”
Leonard ducked his head not meeting Jim’s eyes. “I was a coward, Jim. I was afraid to hear what you’d tell me. I didn’t want to hear there was someone else.”
“There’s never going to be anyone else, Bones, you’re my end game, have been for a long time. You believe me, love?” Jim’s eyes were deadly serious as he waited for Bones’ response.
“I do.” Leonard shifted against him and sighed happily, feeling the heat radiating from Jim’s body. “This,” he motioned between them, “makes me so damn happy, Jim. I cain’t remember ever being this happy, maybe when Joanna was born, but that’s about it. What about you? Are you happy, darlin’?” He asked gently, hazel eyes shining.
“Happier than I’ve ever been.”
The strident beep of the Captain’s main comm, startled both men. Reluctantly they drew apart. “Damn it to hell, worst possible time,” Jim grumbled, keeping a tight grasp on Bones’ hand. “Kirk here,” he said, using the voice only mode of the comm.
“Captain, your comm to Vulcan will be live in one minute,” Ensign Leslie, Uhura’s relief told him.
“We’re ready for Ambassador Sarek, Leslie. Give me a ten second head’s up so Dr. McCoy can also get in front of the camera.”
Jim looked helplessly at Bones.
“S’all right, Jim. There’ll be time for us after the comm call.”
Jim finally let go of Leonard’s hand to pull up another chair so Bones could sit beside him while they spoke to Sarek. His stomach was in knots at having to give Sarek the bad news. Spock was his son, the only living relative left of his once numerous clan. Jim hoped with all his heart that Sarek could shed some light on what was happening to Spock.
Leslie’s voice came over the comm. “Ten seconds, Captain.”
Jim took a deep breath. “Are you ready for this, Bones?”
“Ready as I’ll ever be. Had to tell people hard things since medical school. Never gets any easier.”
Jim and Leonard sat side by side as the Captain’s large room comm came to life.
And there was Sarek; the austere, somber, dignified survivor; the head of what remained of his clan, Vulcan Ambassador to Earth, President of the United Federation of Planet’s Governing Council, and son of one of the original founders of the Federation. The weight of his losses, his vast responsibilities had evidently not bowed him. He sat straight, at military attention as he faced the holo camera.
Jim had not had any interaction with Sarek since Nero, since Vulcan had crumbled to dust in front of their eyes. After dropping off all the Vulcans they’d rescued in San Francisco, including Sarek and Old Spock, Jim had not had an occasion to see any of them again.
Spock had kept him abreast of the survivors’ search for a new home planet, of finally finding a planet similar to Vulcan, of the founding ceremony, of the hastily built New ShiKahr, of the gradual resettlement of the survivors there. Many Federation worlds had sent assistance to New Vulcan because the Federation planets took care of their own. Since their resettlement there had been a constant flow of resources sent to New Vulcan: medical personnel and supplies, monetary aid, Engineers, construction supervisors with their crews, food, lumber, supplies of all kinds, teachers, etc. Spock had told them of all that had been accomplished in the past year on New Vulcan. It was a top priority for the Federation Council and all Federation worlds that the Vulcan race be returned to its former stature as one of the premier leaders of the quadrant as quickly as possible.
Spock had shared with the Command crew that Sarek had been at the forefront of that effort, his formidable stamina never flagging as he led his remaining people through their recovery and resettlement. It would take many years for New Vulcan to recover, and Sarek would continue in his role as the leader in that recovery, because, by Vulcan standards, he was still a young man with a long life in front of him.
Jim looking closely at Sarek, saw that since he’d last seen him there were no new wrinkles on his face, and still only a touch of grey in his dark hair. He was just as Jim remembered him.
“Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy.”
“Ambassador.” Jim cleared his clogged throat. Under the comm table he grabbed Bones’ hand and held on tight.
“Since you have never had an occasion to contact my office before today, Captain, I assume the reason you have done so is important.”
“Yes, Sir, very important, else I would not have interrupted your work, Ambassador. It’s about Mr. Spock.”
“Spock?” Even Sarek’s stoic demeanor couldn’t hide the sudden alarm in the dark eyes at Jim’s words. “Has something transpired with my son that I should be aware of?” His visage became even more austere, more stoic as if he were preparing himself for bad news.
“Yes, Sir. I’m sorry to tell you that Mr. Spock was injured on an away mission. It was a freak accident, falling rocks. Dr.McCoy is here to fill you in on the nature of his injury and what has happened to Spock since he was injured.”
“Captain...Spock lives then?” Sarek’s voice was tight with strain
Jim felt a frisson of horror go through him. Sarek must have immediately thought the worst.
“Yes, yes, Ambassador! Spock’s physical injury was not life threatening. It’s something else, but I’ll let Dr. McCoy explain it all to you. Just so you know, Sir, we’re on our way to New Vulcan as quickly as our warp engines can get us there.”
The widening of Sarek’s dark eyes was the only indication of his surprise. His sharp gaze turned to Leonard.
Leonard inclined his head respectfully to the Ambassador as he met the dark eyes so like Spock’s. He’d only interacted with Sarek once, immediately after the Nero debacle, on their way back to Earth. Truth be told, he’d been impressed with the Ambassador, his dignity, his stoic self control, his presence. And besides that, anyone who could bend Spock to his will with just one word, especially an enraged out of control Spock, deserved the highest degree of respect. As far as Leonard was concerned, Sarek was the only Vulcan he’d met who was in any way tolerable.
“Let me fill you in on Spock’s injury, and what’s happened since Spock was injured, Ambassador. I’ll start from the beginning.”
An East Wind
“...your mind is a palace.”
After Leonard finished describing Spock’s medical and mental condition, he sat back and waited. Jim, too, remained silent watching Sarek’s impassive face.
“So what you are telling me, Dr. McCoy, is that Spock has no emotional control, that the part of his brain that focuses on logic and order is shattered, completely undone, that he has become violent, that his mental shields are gone, and that he has no recollection of his present life on board your ship, of his fellow officers, nor of Nyota, only of you, Doctor?”
“That’s about the size of it, Ambassador.” Leonard shifted uncomfortably in the chair. “Also, Dr. M’Benga and I were able to determine that he doesn’t remember his life as a youngster either...doesn’t remember you, his mother, his school mates, his home on Vulcan. He was awake only sporadically and so disruptive we couldn’t even finish all our tests. I had to sedate him. I have kept him sedated for his safety and that of others. In fact he broke Jim’s wrist when Jim tried to calm him, just snapped his wrist bone with the grasp of his hand. Thank goodness it didn’t shatter, that it was a clean break. It took four security officers to subdue Spock.”
Sarek’s face twitched. “That is most unfortunate, Captain. It will cause him great consternation when he discovers he injured you.”
Jim waved his free hand. “It’s of no consequence, Sir. He had no idea what he was doing. I don’t blame him at all. And there will be no official reprimand put in his record. Spock is such an exemplary officer, that I’ve had to assign two officers to cover for him, that’s how efficient he is.”
“I know it’s a matter of pride for Spock to be as efficient as possible and assist you as much as he can,” Sarek inclined his stately head. “How is Lieutenant Uhura, Captain? I am certain this situation is quite difficult for her.”
“It is, Sir. But she is and remains a consummate professional. I’ve relieved her from duty for today, and Dr. McCoy and I will speak with her after we finish here to update her about Spock’s condition, also to tell her we’re on our way to you, Ambassador. That will certainly go a long way to ease her worry.”
“I will await your coming, Captain. I will speak with another of our Vulcan healers, and older more experienced healer than T’thanol. Perhaps he will have some insight or knowledge about Spock’s condition.” He steepled his fingers in the same way that Spock always did, and Jim felt a pang for his First Officer. “I will send you coordinates for your transport and contact you if I learn anything more. Until we speak again, Captain, Doctor.“ The comm went dark.
Jim sat back, sighing in relief. “I think he took it well, don’t you, Bones?”
Leonard scowled. “How do we know, Jim? The man barely reacted, but then I don’t expect nothin’ different from any of those Vulcans.”
Jim turned to look at him. The dim light in the room cast dark and light shadows on the face turned to him. By this time of the evening, Bones already had a little scruff on him, and it made those cheekbones that could cut glass jut out even more. God, how I love that face, so gorgeous...and he’s mine now, all mine. Jim scooted closer, placed a kiss on Bones’ already familiar plush lips, while his fingers entangled themselves in the hem of McCoy’s blue shirt. He broke the kiss, but stayed close enough so that he could feel Bones’ warm breath on his face.
“Sarek is worried, Bones. I know he is. He just didn’t allow himself to show it. Spock is his son, so of course he’s worried. I hate to think about how he must be feeling, and he can’t even show it.” Jim’s finger came up to trace the worried furrow in Bones’ forehead, gently smoothing it out.
Bones was quiet for a minute then nodded. “Guess you’re right, darlin’. I should make allowances for that Vulcan stoicism and formidable self control. Also Sarek knows we’re all gonna’ do our best to save Spock’s green ass. Me especially, Jim. Somehow I’m gonna’ figure out how to help Spock.”
Jim nodded. This was his Leo after all. His Bones, Leo the lion hearted; strong, brave, focused, brilliant.
Leonard gently loosened Jim’s grasp and got up from the chair. “Let me check in with Christine.”
Jim waited patiently. There was no use in telling Bones that Christine would have commed him if there had been any change in Spock’s condition. He heard Bones’ soft murmur telling Christine what time to administer the next sedative and that he’d check with her again in a couple of hours.
While Leonard talked to Christine, Jim wondered worriedly why he still hadn’t heard from Admiral Pike. It wasn’t like him to postpone returning Jim’s comms. Christopher Pike usually responded quickly. If he didn’t hear from him soon, he’d try to reach the Admiral again.
“Jim, we need to go check on Nyota.”
“Now?” Jim gave him a reproachful, indignant look.
Leonard’s lips quirked. “Yeah, darlin’, right now. We need to talk with Ny right away, she needs to know what’s goin’ on, that we spoke with Sarek. Then....”
“Then...?” Jim looked at him, and Leonard saw that in the dim light his eyes were lucent, hopeful, yet slightly guarded, still uncertain.
Leonard bit his lip...Jim still insure of him, of them? Well he’d fix that pretty damn fast. “Then...? Well, I was kinda hoping that you’d invite me to spend the night here with you.”
Jim shivered at the sound of that voice. It was like honey, thick and slow, Bones’ accent rich with southern warmth.
“Jim? Jim, is that a yes?” Leonard asked the silent, bemused Jim.
Jim flushed. “Bones....Bones! Yes! Yes!”
Jim gave him a dazzled, delighted look as he leaned in to wrap himself around Bones again, tangling his fingers into the soft dark strands of hair. “Consider this an engraved invitation. For a minute there I was worried you’d changed your mind, that you might be having second thoughts, about this...about us. Don’t ever leave me, Bones, don’t ever go somewhere I can’t go too,” Jim murmured thickly. His hand rose and cupped Leonard’s cheek, thumb stroking his jaw.
“Not on your life, Jim Kirk! Now that I’ve got you I ain’t never letting you go! So get that through your thick head! I will never leave you, not ever!” Leonard growled, eyes fierce.
Jim’s smile grew even wider, the twin spots of color in his cheeks getting pinker. “There’s the Bones McCoy I know and love,” he said. Then gave Leonard an exuberant, gleeful, open mouthed, wet kiss on the cheek. Blue eyes met hazel, and Jim suddenly sobered, his eyes going wide. “Bones...,” Jim asked in a hushed voice. “Is it wrong that even though I’m worried sick about Spock, I can’t help feeling the happiest I’ve ever felt in my life?”
Leonard shook his head vehemently and took hold of one of Jim’s strong capable hands. “No, darlin’, it’s not wrong. We’re all worried sick about Spock, especially Ny, but we still have to live our lives, go on about our duties, doing our jobs, and it’s perfectly okay to be happy because we’ve found each other during a dark time. That’s a human and natural response. Humans don’t compartmentalize well, Jim, and our feelings and emotions can be ambivalent, mixed, or just plain confused. I’m happy too, but I’m also concerned about Spock’s condition.” He cupped Jim’s face. “Ny will be happy for us, darlin’, in spite of her sorrow and worry. She’s been after me for months to tell you how I felt, Chapel and Geoff too.”
Jim’s eyes crinkled at the corners as he burst out laughing.
“What?” Leonard looked chagrined. “They guessed and I couldn’t deny it.”
Jim gave him his sweetest smile, still tickled. “It’s not that, Bones. Ny’s been after me too, Sulu also. Guess we were both pretty transparent to other people,” he added ruefully. “How come we didn’t see how we felt about each other?”
Leonard’s eyebrow climbed to its highest altitude. “Because we’re men, stupid, dumb ass men, who were too constipated and emotionally stunted to notice or talk about our feelings for each other!”
“Yeah, there is that.” Jim sighed for the time they’d lost pussyfooting around their feelings. “Shall we go? Maybe we can get Ny to eat some dinner with us in the officer’s mess. It’s more private there. Then afterward we can come back here, because I want to make love with you...here in my bed, then on the sofa, then in your bed, and then on every surface of this ship, as many times as is humanly possible. I’ve wanted you for so long, sweetheart.”
At Jim’s heated glance, a deep flush became visible under Leonard’s tanned skin.
Jim felt inordinately pleased with himself that he’d reduced Bones to monosyllabic utterances. He stood and looked down at his wrinkled, messy self, and tried to right his disheveled appearance. Leonard stood too, and Jim tried to set him to rights with gentle fingers, straightening his shirt and patting down his dark hair. He chuckled. “We look like we’ve been making out, Dr. McCoy.”
Leonard glanced at his rumpled appearance and then at Jim’s. “So we do, Captain darlin’, but I cain’t find it in me to be sorry about it.” He gave Jim one last mostly chase kiss and they went to look for Uhura who had retreated to her own cabin not having the heart to go into Spock’s where they spent most of their off duty time.
Leonard followed Jim slowly, his steps reluctant. He hated that he had no good news for Nyota, hated that the news he did have would hurt her even more then she already was. But a long time ago, when Leonard had first started practicing medicine, he’d learned that when you’ve got to do a hard thing, somehow you have to find the courage to do it, no matter how difficult.
They took the lift to deck 6 where Uhura’s cabin was located when she wasn’t with Spock. She still kept most of her things there, coming and going as circumstances and shift schedules dictated. Jim rang the door chime.
“Come in,” came Uhura’s soft voice.
The two men walked in to her dimly lit quarters to find Uhura huddled in to herself on the small sofa, her arms wrapped tightly around her knees.
“Ny, sweetheart, how’re you doin’?” Leonard went to sit by her, but took care not to touch her. “Jim and me came to take you to dinner. You need to eat. I bet you skipped lunch, didn’t you?”
She nodded. “I wasn’t hungry, Len.”
“I know, Ny, but you have to eat or you’ll get sick, and Spock’s gonna’ need you.”
Nyota snorted. “Need me? He doesn’t even know who I am! Why would he need me?”
Jim came closer and sat on the floor directly in front of her. “Ny, we talked with Sarek. Bones told him everything.”
Nyota closed her eyes at the thought of Sarek’s pain. “How did he take the news?” Her eyes were huge and dark as they opened, searching Jim’s face.
“As you’d expect. He tried to hide it, but it shook him, hearing what Spock’s goin’ through. Ny, he asked about you, he’s real concerned about you.”
Nyota smiled wanly. “Would it surprise you to know that Sarek and I like each other very much? Even if he doesn’t show it overtly I feel his approval of me. I think for him it’s because I’m human, like his Amanda, and for me, because Sarek is so much like Spock in so many ways, or at least how Spock will be when he’s Sarek’s age. We hit it off right away.”
“Wouldn’t surprise me one bit,” Leonard said stoutly. “He’d be a fool not to think Spock hit the jackpot with you, sweetheart.”
Jim reached out and took the small, capable hand in his own, and Nyota didn’t resist. “Bones is going to tell you what’s happening, Ny.” He took a deep breath. “It’s not good. We’re on our way to New Vulcan even faster than before. Scotty is working miracles to get more speed out of my girl.”
Nyota gripped his hand tighter. “Tell me.”
And Leonard did. Knowing Nyota as he did, her fortitude and strength, Leonard didn’t sugar coat anything. He described in detail what had happened, what Spock had done to Geoffrey, Jim’s broken wrist, the take down, having to use the sedative, Spock’s terror, and having to use the bio bed restraints. Silent tears gathered in her eyes and flowed down Nyota’s beautiful face, but she didn’t say a single word. Finally, Leonard related their conversation with Sarek and Sarek’s promise to consult with other, older, wiser Vulcan healers.
His large warm hand covered hers and Jim’s. “I’m so sorry, Ny. I’m sorry I’m failin’ Spock, that I’m failin’ you and Jim. I don’t know how to help Spock, don’t have the slightest idea.”
Uhura unbent her body, straightened her shoulders and looked fiercely at Leonard. “Leonard McCoy! You stop that right now and listen to me! You could never fail me, Spock, or Jim, or any of us. You’re what’s kept more of us alive than I can count, especially Jim here. You always give us your all, Len, so I don’t want to hear another word about failing us. Just because none of us know what’s happening to Spock doesn’t mean you or I or Jim have failed him. We just don’t know enough yet about what’s happening to him! You’re an awesome, awesome doctor and a caring, good man. You’ve been through hell so many times trying your best to heal and cure us and everyone else. If you, Jim, Geoffrey, Sarek, and the Vulcan healers can’t help Spock, then it can’t be done. But,” and here she brought her head directly in front of Leonard’s and looked deep into his eyes, “I have faith in you, in all of you.” Nyota pulled her hand away from Jim’s and clutched at Leonard.
“She’s right, Bones. You couldn’t possibly fail any of us.”
Uhura straightened. “Now then, that’s enough of my wallowing. I just needed a little time to myself. Captain, I need to return to duty. I need to work. I’ll eat something here, so don’t worry about me.”
“See, Bonsey, I told you. Ny is a rock, and we will get Spock better, no matter what we have to do we’ll do it.” Jim grabbed Leonard’s hand and held on tight.
Nyota eyed their clasped hands. “Really?” She grinned widely. “Wow! I’m going to collect so many credits!”
“Nyota!” Leonard sounded scandalized.
“What? Do you think the whole crew is blind? We just were waiting for one of you to make the first move.” She looked at them. “Who was it?”
Jim pointed to Bones. “But I was going to, he just beat me to the punch.” He looked at her sheepishly.
Her face softened. “I’m happy for you.” She leaned in and kissed Leonard softly on the cheek. “Good for you,” she whispered. “Okay. Be off with you. I’ve got things to do.”
“Ny, you can sit with Spock if you want to. He’s heavily sedated, and I have someone monitoring him constantly. You can touch him, read to him, talk to him if you want to.”
She nodded. “I think I will, just for a little while. It’ll do me good to sit with him.”
Once back in the Captain’s quarters, as soon as the door closed, Jim pushed Bones against the door and brushed a kiss against his lips, cuddling close. “That went better than I expected, I was dreading telling her.” he said. “Bones, I’m glad she knows about us.”
“Me too. Uhura’s good people, Jim, and she’s a mighty strong woman. She’ll be alright.”
Jim nodded. “Bones, Bones, Bones,” he murmured huskily, tugging him along toward his bedroom, Leonard clutching his hands tightly. Jim dimmed the lights. “Lets get ready for bed, okay?”
Bones’ nodded, but his hands clutching Jim’s, the steadiest hands in the Fleet were shaking. He gave Jim an endearingly bashful smile, looking at him with uncertain eyes.
Jim noticed right away, because there wasn’t one damn thing that Jim didn’t notice about Bones. He pulled the silent Leonard toward him, and pressed his warm body tight against him. “Please don’t be nervous, Bones. It’s just me, it’s just us, same as it’s always been, but even better now, just like we’ve both wanted,” Jim whispered in his ear.
“I know, Jim, and I want this, want it more than anythin’. I love you so damn much. It’s that...I....” He took a deep shaky breath. “It’s just that I’m not nearly as experienced as you are, Jimmy, and I don’t want to disappoint you. You know it’s been only women for me. It’s been years since I was with a guy, way back in college and it was only the one time, and I don’t even remember most of it, cause I was more drunk than sober.”
Jim grabbed him tightly by the stiff shoulders and shook him gently. “Bones McCoy! You could never, ever disappoint me. I love you! Love you with everything that’s in me. What we do together will be because we love each other. If you want to take this slowly, then that’s what we’ll do. We’ll do whatever you’re comfortable doing. There are absolutely no expectations from me that you have to live up to. None! Actually I think it’s kind of hot that I get an almost virgin Bones!” He grinned, his teeth flashing white in the dim room. “You don’t have to worry about anything with me, Bones. All you have to do is what feels good to you, what feels right.”
Leonard snorted rolling his eyes. “Just because it’s been mostly women with me, doesn’t mean I don’t know what to do, Jim Kirk. I am a doctor. How hard can it be? It’ll be easier than with a woman. After all we have the same body parts and we know what to do with them, and what feels good to me will probably feel good to you too.”
Jim could feel the slow relaxation of Bones’ shoulders under his hands. “Yep, and I don’t know about you, but my right hand has certainly gotten to know my body parts more intimately since I became Captain.”
Bones nodded. He knew Jim did not sleep with any of his crew. He considered it an abuse of power, plus it was against Starfleet regs to get involved with anyone on the ship who was more than two ranks below Captain. Which meant, thank God, that he and Jim were okay.
Jim looked keenly at Bones’ face and to his relief, he smiled at Jim softly, dimples in full display. “I’m okay now, darlin’...got a tad nervous there for a minute. It’s overwhelmin’ when a man gets his heart’s desire all of a sudden. Just let me freshen up a bit.” His eyes widened in sudden dismay. “I didn’t bring any night clothes. You have somethin I could borrow, Jimmy?”
Jim went to his chest of drawers and pulled out an old soft T-shirt, some sleep pants and handed them over. “There’s an extra toothbrush in the medicine cabinet.”
“Thanks, darlin’. I’ll be out in a few minutes.” He stepped into the sonic for 5 minutes, stepped out, stared at himself in the mirror and brushed his teeth vigorously. He put on Jim’s sleep pants and t-shirt, which were a bit snug, but still comfortable, and walked out of the bathroom to find Jim already in bed, clad only in his briefs and black t-shirt, one of his treasured paper books in his hands. Jim looked up, smiled sweetly at the sight of his Bones and closed the book, laying it carefully on the night table. Bones stood looking down at him for a minute, then slid in next to Jim. Jim’s arms immediately came around him, and he sighed in contentment. Leonard laid his head on Jim’s shoulder. “Kiss me, Jim, I’ve dreamed about this for so long.”
“With pleasure,” Jim whispered. “I’ve dreamed about this too.” He shifted his weight so they were lying face to face and pulled Bones forward until their bodies were snuggled up warm and close. Jim caressed the side of Bones’ face and leaned in to kiss him, licking along the seam of Bones’ plush lips. Jim could hear him whimper low in his throat and Bones pulled them even closer, entangling his legs with Jim’s as Jim deepened the kiss. His tongue danced lightly against Bones’, gentle and slow, showing Bones there was no hurry, they had all the time in the world. He wanted to make sure Bones was as comfortable as possible, to let him know that he was in total control, that this, their first time together, would go only as far or as fast as Bones wanted.
Bones moved his hand backward to the waistband of Jim’s briefs and along the hem of his t-shirt. Jim shivered. As his doctor, Bones had soothed, and healed Jim’s body, tended to it tenderly, carefully, but clinically, and despite Jim’s carefully hidden wishes, always abiding strictly by his medical ethics when he touched Jim. He had never used his hands like he was doing now, stroking Jim’s skin, lingering and reveling in the soft, smooth, planes and contours of Jim’s body. Bones moaned as Jim kissed him and then licked at his earlobe.
Jim felt him draw in a sharp breath when Jim lightly nipped him.
“What is it, baby, tell me. Was that alright?”
“Feels so good,” Bones panted. “You feel so good. I never dreamed this would happen.”
At Bones’ words, Jim opened his mouth and Bones tongue slid in, hot and slick. Jim couldn’t help it, he grabbed roughly at the front of Bones' t-shirt and hauled him in closer.
With the power and heat of that kiss, Jim felt himself getting harder and he knew that Bones could feel it, but he didn’t move away, still holding Bones tightly.
Unable to control his heated body, Jim rolled his hips, and Bones let out a soft moan. His hand on Jim's waist tightened convulsively and a shudder ran up and down Jim’s whole body. He smoothed one hand over Bones's shoulder, his bicep, down the hollow of his spine, and rolled his hips again.
And with that Bones seemed to come undone, to discard all his hesitancy, his doubts, his inhibitions. He whispered hotly in Jim’s ear, soft endearments, love words, how much he’d always wanted Jim, how long he’d loved him and needed him. Jim pulled back to see Bones face, the pink flush in his cheeks, the blissed out look on his face, the way his lashes fluttered against his cheeks. Jim felt suddenly shaky seeing how beautiful Bones looked as he completely surrendered to his emotions, going pliant under Jim’s hands and body.
Jim frantically needed to get closer to Bones, as close as possible, his need for more was overwhelming. “Bones, Bones, Bones, I love you, you’re so beautiful, mine, only mine,” Jim babbled at him. “Come for me sweetheart, I wanna’ feel you. Come on.” The pleasure between them, so long deferred, reached its peak quickly, as Bones, too, rolled his hips up to Jim’s.
They were both so aroused that it couldn’t last long. Jim’s orgasm suddenly roared through him, fiery and blinding. Bones came too, both of them shuddering and panting through their joint orgasms. When Jim finally opened his eyes, he realized that he’d blacked out momentarily. That had never happened to him before, Le petit mort, he thought dazedly. Bones was slumped over his chest, full on top of Jim. Jim clutched at him, unwilling to let go, then rolled them both onto their sides. Bones was panting just as dazed as Jim and they were both flushed and sweaty. Jim’s briefs and Bones’ pajama pants felt wet and sticky, but neither man made a move to put any space between them.
“Oh my god,” Jim murmured. “I saw stars! The creation of the universe, the birth of the Big Bang!” He grinned blissfully, completely, unbelievably happy. Then he yawned hugely, completely exhausted by emotion, by love, by sex, by his worry about Spock, but mostly by having his deepest most secret heart’s desire granted to him at last.
He gave his sticky briefs and Bones’ pajama pants a perfunctory wipe, then plastered himself along the warmth of Bones’ long lean body, pressing himself into the crook of his neck and shoulder. Bones scooched himself closer into Jim’s warmth, murmuring incoherently, sleepily, contently. Jim was already half asleep, sated, sex stoned, a goofy, tender smile of happiness on his lips. “Bones, I love you so much I can hardly stand it, but let’s go to sleep now, sweetheart. Time for sleep.”
An East Wind
“Sail Forth...Steer for the deep waters only.
Reckless O soul, exploring. I with thee and thou with me.
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared go.
And we will risk the ship, ourselves, and all.”
Jim woke up first. He felt the welcomed heavy weight of Bones’ body on him, surrounding him, peaceful, pliant, and sound asleep. Jim inhaled deeply, breathing in the scent of happiness that seemed to waft above and around the bed. He smiled. Bones’ cheek was pressed into the sensitive skin of Jim’s ribs, his face utterly relaxed, his lips soft from sleep, the frowny groove completely gone.
Jim took another deeply contented breath. Gone we’re the long days, weeks, months of terrible want, of uncertainty, of loving someone that he’d thought would never love him back. He’d spent such a long time watching Bones with sorrow in his heart, hiding his feelings as well as he could. But right now he was going to spend a few minutes indulging himself just because he could, marveling at the sight of Bones in his arms and the miracle that had happened, wondering why the hell it had taken them so damn long to get here. Finally acknowledging that they were overwhelmingly, passionately in love with each other has lifted a heavy burden too long carried by both of them.
The attraction between them had been there from the beginning. More than a physical attraction, it had been an instant magnetic connection, so rare and so special that Jim had been hard pressed to accept it. That instant connection found Jim quickly going from liking Bones, to liking and trusting him, and finally to loving him. The two had taken ‘I’ve got your back’ to a completely new level. Jim knew that after Jocelyn, Bones’ trust in anyone had been hard to regain, but their’s had lasted through three years at the Academy, through the horrors of Nero and the destruction of Vulcan, through the chaos in Fleet when Jim had been made Captain, through their time on Earth getting ready for this, their first mission, and Bones’ agreement to come with Jim.
At this moment though, with this man in his arms, the realization of how right all this was hit Jim hard. He kissed Bones’ shoulder and collarbone, his kisses feather light, careful not to awaken him, but still holding him tightly. They were both naked and sticky, but Jim didn’t give a damn, not when Bones was right here where he belonged, where he had always wanted him! Finally, finally Bones was his, his to love and his to be with forever.
A couple of minutes later, Bones murmured, shifted in his arms, and kissed sleepily at Jim’s neck causing goose bumps to rise all over him. He opened his kaleidoscope eyes to stare bemusedly, unbelievably at Jim, then, when realization hit, smiled so sweetly that Jim had to reciprocate with a tender kiss. They nuzzled each other happily, totally ignoring the sticky mess between them and the need for cleaning themselves. It seemed like they just couldn’t stop touching each other. Jim felt Bones’ calloused hands on his wrists, then stroking his fingers. Bones’ hands had always been calloused since Jim had known him, but they were gentle and warm, and every nerve in his body came alive as he felt Bones’ breath, light on his cheek, the expanse of heat from his body pressed tight against Jim’s.
“Hey, darlin’. Morning....,” Bones murmured huskily. “Look at us,” he said smiling, his dimple flashing, looking down at their entwined bodies. There was wonder in his eyes as he looked at Jim. “Jim...Jim...I’m happy, the happiest I’ve been since forever. You know I was a broken mess until I met you. I wouldn’t have made it through the Academy without you, you’re the one who saved me, darlin’, “ he added huskily. “You’re the best man I’ve ever known, the best friend a man could ever have. You should know that, know how I feel ‘bout you, have always felt ‘bout you. You’re everything to me. So I’m tellin’ you now, all laid out for you to know.” The eyes that looked at Jim were greener than brown today, shining, soft and Jim lost himself in the love and warmth that was there just for him.
For a minute, Jim was speechless “Bones McCoy, have you been holding out on me?” Jim tenderly swept the recalcitrant bangs off Bones’ forehead. “I never knew you had these romantic thoughts about me?”
A faint blush crept up the nape of Leonard’s neck to his high cheekbones at Jim’s tender teasing. “You bring it out in me, darlin’, and I wanted you to know the truth of it.” Then Leonard grinned, a mischievous glint in his eyes. “I was born and raised to be a southern gentleman, and I’m ah wooing you, sugar. We McCoys do have a well earned reputation as expert wooers. There’s only been one known failure,” he added ruefully. “Jocelyn Darnell. Woman din’t stay wooed for long.”
“More fool her. Her loss, my win,” Jim said stoutly. “And there’s never been a need for wooing,” Jim laughed. “You had me from the minute you shared your flask with me.” He pulled back to see Bones’ face better and winced, the dried fluids between them sticking to his few sparse chest hairs. “Ugh, that smarts...it’s definitely shower time, we’re a sticky mess. And aren’t you lucky the Captain has a real water shower to use and share?”
“One of the perks of bedding the Captain? I reckon I could get used to that.”
Jim grinned hugely. “You said ‘reckon’,” he chortled. “The Southern is coming out in you, Bones McCoy, and for your information, I’ve never shared my shower with anyone before...was saving it just for you, for us,” he added shyly, remembering those interminable days and nights of wanting Bones so much, he’d ached with it.
Leonard grinned back. “Mama always said I sounded more Georgian when I was mad or happy. This time for sure it’s ‘cause I’m happy.”
“Then shall we, Dr. McCoy?” Under the still faint smell of sex, he breathed in the scent of Bones, Med Bay antiseptic, almond hand lotion, woodsy after shave, sandalwood soap, so familiar, so loved. For Jim, the scent and taste of Bones was a a feast for his starving senses.
Jim gingerly unstuck himself from Bones and went to turn on the hot water. Since the water on the ship was stored in enormous tanks, it always took time for the water to heat up. The Med Bay and the kitchen had their own separate water tanks, and separate heating system for their large tanks. It was a priority for medical and the kitchen to always have hot water available. When the ship was moored at any star base, those two enormous tanks were always filled first.
The two men walked into the shower and both moaned as the hot water rained down on them. Jim grabbed the soap and kissed the stubbled jaw. “Let me wash you, Bones,” Jim murmured. “Let me do this for you. My Bones now.” Jim pressed kisses to Bones’ cheeks and chin and neck. He kissed him on the shoulder, then moved to the enticing hollow between his neck and shoulder. “What would I do if I ever lost you?” Jim mumbled indistinctly into his neck.
Bones heard him, because he always heard Jim, was always attuned to Jim’s voice anywhere. He spun his dripping body around to face Jim, irate eyebrows raised to his hairline. “Lose me? Lose me? Damn it, Jim! Where the hell do you come up with this shit? Just get that outa’ your head right now! You ain’t never gonna’ lose me, kid! Never gonna’ happen! Are you hearin’ me, James Kirk?” Bones’ hazel eyes blazed and his jaw ticked.
Jim, recognizing the set of the chiseled jaw, relaxed. He smiled at the familiar sight of an irate, stubborn Bones and cupped Bones’ face with soapy hands. “I hear you, Bonsey. I hear you. I just got a bit anxious for a minute there, cause I can’t believe I have you now.” He leaned in to kiss him again, his eyes fluttering shut. He kissed him hotly, sweetly, with deep tender passion. “I keep thinking I’m in a dream and I’ll wake up and this will be all gone.”
“If it’s a dream, then we’re both in some weird sharing dream state, and that would be just plain ridiculous. I’m a doctor, I know when I’m asleep or I’m awake,” Leonard growled, pinching Jim’s side, “and if you felt that, you’re awake!”
“Ouch!” Jim laughed into the warm heat of Bones’ mouth. Trust Bones to bring a sharp dose of reality to their lovemaking. Then his lips traveled down and Bones threw his head back to give Jim better access to his throat. “God, you should see yourself,” Jim told him, nipping softly at his throat, resuming his washing. His soapy hand moved to Bones’ biceps, his shoulder, his chest, his fingers splaying over his heart. “Jesus, Bones, you’re gorgeous.”
Dimly through the haze of pleasure and love, he heard his main comm beeping insistently.
“Damn it to hell, not now!”
“You better answer it, Jim, it might be important. Here, rinse off.”
They finished quickly and Jim wrapped a towel around his waist. He answered his comm in voice only mode. “Kirk here.”
“Captain, Admiral Pike is on the comm. shall I put him through, Sir?”
“Can you give me two minutes, Leslie? I just got out of the shower.”
“Aye, Sir. I believe there’s some sub space interference I have to clear up.” Leslie’s pleasant tenor remained smooth and professional.
“Thank you, Leslie.” Jim said. “Two minutes, mark.”
Jim looked around frantically for his uniform. Bones, out of the shower now, quickly handed him his undershirt, briefs and socks. Jim hopped on one foot putting everything on at once. He grabbed his Command shirt from the floor, and his black pants from the bed. Bones handed him a comb which he hurriedly ran through his thick hair. He’d have to do this without his boots, but at least his feet couldn’t be seen. Leslie’s voice came through his comm again. “Ten seconds, Captain.”
“I’m ready, Leslie, thank you.”
“No problem, Sir, that’s what I’m here for.”
Jim sat in the desk chair, took a deep breath, and composed his face into some semblance of calm and Captainly dignity. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Bones retreat out of comm range. Thank goodness he was dressed now, in case Pike wanted to talk to him too.
The comm opened and there was Admiral Pike. “Captain.”
“Admiral” Jim responded in his best captain’s voice.
“Jim,” Pike’s voice immediately changed from commanding to concerned. “What’s going on? I’ve been out of the office on a Command team building retreat,” he said, disgust in his voice. “Sheer waste of my time. had so many messages piled up in the queue, that I just got to yours. It sounded urgent.”
Jim sat back in his chair. “Let me update you, Sir,” Jim said, his mind whirling with the sheer volume of information he had to give the Admiral. Swiftly he ordered his thoughts to give the Pike a complete briefing in chronological order.
When he finished, Pike sat back in his chair and ran a hand down his face. “Shit, Jim. Poor Spock. I’m sorry I wasn’t available for you, but you’ve made all the right calls. When we’re finished, I’ll comm Sarek, offer my support and tell him every resource Fleet and the Federation have are at his disposal. What does Dr. M’Benga think about all this, he’s the expert on Vulcan medicine.”
“I’ll let Dr. McCoy fill you in on the medical aspects, Admiral. He’s here with me.” Even Jim’s formidable self control couldn’t suppress the slight tinge of pink that suffused his face. Pike looked at him curiously, smiled slightly and knowingly, and turned to look expectantly at McCoy.”
“Admiral,” Leonard said respectfully, ignoring the smile.
“Leonard, good to see you. I take it from what the Captain has told me, you and Dr. M’Benga have no idea what’s happened to Mr. Spock.”
“That’s essentially correct, Sir. We know he has a grade 3 concussion, a Traumatic Brain Injury, but his symptoms follow no known symptom pattern that I’ve ever seen. Dr.M’Benga concurs with me. Unfortunately, Sir, there was little information in Federation, Fleet, or Vulcan medical data bases about a TBI in a Vulcan. The Vulcan healer we contacted also had little to tell us that was helpful, and Admiral, let me add that it was very difficult to get any information from her,” Leonard added, testily.
Pike sighed. “Unfortunately, Doctor, as we know, Vulcans value their medical and cultural privacy to an extraordinary degree.”
“Yeah, sorry, Sir, but it’s to a ridiculous degree, it’s not helpful to us medical professionals. We’re hoping that once we’re on New Vulcan, Sarek’s choice of a different healer will expedite Spock’s diagnosis and we can get on with determining the kind of care he needs.”
“As I understand it, Doctor, the blow to the head and subsequent swelling of his brain began the entire cascade of his mental symptoms?”
“That’s true, Admiral, but the head injury has basically healed and the TBI swelling has responded well to the anti-inflammatory medications we’ve given him, which makes his mental deterioration and aggressive behavior even more puzzling. His memory loss is catastrophic, he doesn’t remember any of us, Jim, Unura, his life on the ship, his years at the Academy, his young years on Vulcan, not even Sarek or Lady Amanda.”
“He doesn’t remember anyone at all?”
“Uh...um...well, Admiral, somehow he remembered...only remembers me.”
Pike looked taken aback. “You, Leonard?”
“Yes, Sir.” Jim saw Bones fidget uncomfortably.
“But why just you?” Pike looked intently at the flushed Leonard.
“The Vulcan healers seemed to think that it was because I was the last person he saw before he was struck by that rock.”
“I see,” Pike said thoughtfully, and to Leonard’s relief, shifted his eyes back to Jim. “What’s your ETA for New Vulcan, Captain?”
“We’re pushing the engines as hard as we can, Sir. Scotty is keeping a close eyes on both the impulse engines, the crystals, and our warp core. I anticipate at our present speed early morning tomorrow.”
Pike nodded. “Good. Keep a close eye on those dilithium crystals, Captain. They’ve been known to crack under too much pressure. Happened to me once,” he shook his head remembering. “Not a pleasant experience, I can tell you. We were dead in space for two days until replacement crystal could be installed. I went against my CE’s advice and he was furious. Rightly so, it was entirely my fault too, I’m the one who insisted and gave the orders to go to a higher warp, but I wanted to see how far I could push the ship should it become necessary.” He sighed again. “Well I found out. Good thing we were in an area that was mostly empty space, but it’s a lesson I’ve never forgotten. If your CE tells you to slow down, do it.”
“I will, Admiral, thanks for the heads up, Sir.”
“Keep me posted, Jim. I want regular updates. I’m moving any messages from you to my priority queue.”
Pike nodded and closed his comm.
Jim checked his chronometer. It was time for him and Bones to go on duty. They were both on Alpha shift these ten days. Lt. Hannity was on Gamma shift and with her usual efficiency would have her shift report ready for him. Med Bay had obviously been quiet during Gamma, Bones had not been contacted during the night. Jim glanced at him. He was checking his padd, but he looked rested and a lot less stressed.
He glanced up at Jim and smiled ruefully. “Guess it’s shift time.”
Jim nodded and came close. “Never enough time for personal stuff is there.” He closed the gap between them and nuzzled at Bones’ neck, relishing the softness of Bones’ skin, feeling the faint steady thrumming of his pulse so close to the surface of his skin. This was his Bones, the smell, the taste, the sound of him and Jim’s heart contracted with joy. “Let’s go have a quick breakfast, and we’ll have lunch together too,” Jim said. He took a slow, shaky breath, trying to contain himself, the mess of tangled feelings he didn’t know what to do with threatening to overwhelm him. Instead he simply leaned in, framed Bones’ face, and brushed a kiss against Bones’ lips.
“Sounds good, darlin’, then how ‘bout a romantic dinner this evnin’ here in your quarters just the two of us?”
“A romantic dinner, Bones? I don’t know what to say.” Jim fluttered his eyelashes.
“You could say yes, jackass, “ Bones growled.
“If didn’t know better I’d think this was more of your trying to woo me, Lieutenant Commander.”
Bones glared at him, and Jim gave up teasing to laugh and kiss him.
“A romantic dinner for two sounds perfect.”
Leonard kissed him back, his lips curling in an almost smile, then swatted him on his butt. “Let’s go, Jimmy, I’m hungry, and I need to check on Spock. I’ll get the Gamma report from the duty nurse and forward it to you.”
Jim’s comm beeped, interrupting them. Scotty. “What’s up, Scotty?”
“Captain...me bairns are feeling the strain now. I’m gonna tae’ have to lower our speed for at least 4 to 6 hours in order to save the dilithium crystals.”
Jim sighed. There was no help for it. Chris Pike’s warning rang in his ears. “Do it, Scotty. If our crystals crack, we’ll be dead in space and we won’t be going anywhere.”
“Aye, Sir. ‘Tis sorry I am, knowing how sick our Mr. Spock is.”
“Can’t be helped, Scotty. What will our revised ETA be?”
“If we don’t have to lower our speed agin, Sir, mid-morning, tomorrow.”
“All right, Mr.Scott. I’m heading to the bridge. Keep me updated on the state of our core.”
“Aye, Sir,” Scotty’s glum voice replied.
“Here, Jim.” Leonard handed Jim an energy bar. “We don’t have time for breakfast. You have to get to the bridge, and I need to check on Spock’s condition. I’ll update you as soon as I can after I check him over. Jim, be sure to keep an eye on Nyota. She’s a strong woman, but this has to be taking a heavy toll on her. Send her to me, if you think she’s not coping well today. I doubt if she slept much last night.”
Jim gave him his sweetest smile, blue eyes soft. “That’s my Bones, always looking out for everyone. No wonder I love you so much.”
Leonard flushed. “Just doin’ my job, Jimmy,” he muttered. “Someone has to watch over you crazy bunch of hell raisers on this tin can!”
Jim nodded sagely. “Of course, Doctor. I understand completely.”
Bones harrumphed and reached over to kiss him, a mostly chaste kiss, but a few neurons in Jim’s brain jumped for joy anyway, and a thrill ran through his whole body at the knowledge that they could do this now.
“See you in the mess, Dr. McCoy.”
“See you at lunch, Captain Kirk.”
An East Wind
“Temper us in fire, and we grow stronger.
When we suffer, we survive.”
“City of Heavenly Fire”
Leonard walked into the Med Bay and looked around, it was time for shift change. The tired Gamma shift staff were logging off and turning over their reports of an uneventful ship’s night to the incoming Alpha shift. The shift changes were usually handed over seamlessly and if there was a serious case the outgoing duty Medic made sure to report about that case verbally to the incoming Medic This ship’s night had been empty of patients except for Spock, and Leonard, looking over the Gamma shift report saw it showed little activity. It seemed the crew was unusually healthy and, miracle of miracles, Engineering had been accident free.
Geoffrey M’Benga handed off Spock’s file to Leonard. “I did another brain scan as you ordered, boss. Brain swelling is almost gone. As near as I can tell, his frontal lobe activity is the problem. As you can see the activity is erratic. In my opinion that’s what’s causing his personality change, his memory loss, his aggressive behavior, and his impaired judgment. The injury is completely healed, so there is no physical reason for his symptoms. You’re the expert, Len, from the results of this last scan, what do you think?”
Leonard looked at the results carefully. From the look of the scans he had to agree with Geoff and told him so.
“As per your instructions, we administered the prescribed sedative every 4 hours. Unfortunately, Mr. Spock’s system is fighting it. It’s barely lasting the 4 hours it’s supposed to. He begins to get restless and tries to get out of his restraints even while sedated. That Vulcan strength of his is formidable.” Geoff eyes were troubled. “I think you may have to up his sedative dosage a bit.”
“Damn it!” Leonard frowned, thinking furiously. “I hate to do it, Geoffrey. That Vulcan hybrid constitution of his is difficult to predict...human meds are iffy at best, and heaven knows we’ve never administered any Vulcan meds to him. Man’s healthy as a horse! I’m not even familiar with those medications.” Leonard shook off his ire and frustration. Now was not the time. “I’ll go over these brain scan results again more carefully. Maybe something will jump out at me. Go get some rest. Our ETA is mid morning tomorrow. Scotty told Jim, we had to slow down some, somethin’ about the dilithium crystals being in danger of crackin’ if we didn’t.”
Geoffrey’s eyes widened. “We’d be dead in space if that happened, and that would be catastrophic. Mr. Spock needs to be seen by the healer as soon as possible.” He cast a keen glance at Leonard. “Hmm, I must say that in spite of our current situation, you’re looking pretty chipper this morning, Len.” His dark eyes took in Leonard’s rumpled uniform, and for the life of him, Leonard couldn’t keep his color down. Geoffrey smirked knowingly. “Well, well, no wonder you’re all rosy cheeked and perky this morning. All I can say is it’s about time,” he grinned. “Just wait until I tell Christine. She’ll be absolutely delighted!”
“Tell her what? There’s nothin’ to tell, absolutely nothin’! I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Don’t you go blabbing your mouth about nothin’, Geoffrey!”
“Uh huh. I can see that it’s nothing,” Geoffrey chuckled, not even trying to hide his delight, “and I’m going to tell you straight out, Len McCoy wild horses, attempted bribery, good alcohol, or sharing your winnings with me in the galactic lottery, couldn’t keep me from sharing this news with Christine.” He patted Len’s blue clad shoulder gently. “I’m happy for you, boss. Christine will be too. For both of you. If ever there were two people who belonged together it’s you and the Captain.”
“Don’t know what you’re goin’ on ‘bout, this is all in your head,” Leonard muttered darkly, clutching his padd to his chest in a white knuckled grip. “You are a wicked, wicked man, Geoffrey M’Benga. Now you go on. Go, git! Get some sleep. Get outta’ here, before I write you up for for insubordination.”
At that, Geoffrey laughed heartily, but he obediently left the Med Bay. “I’m going to go find Christine before I hit the sack,” he called back, gleefully.
Leonard shook his head. He might have known...might as well stop the tides from coming in. There were no secrets in the Med Bay. He took a quick glance around. Thankfully this morning there was only one patient that had just come in. The ensign was sitting on the bio bed while Nurse Barrows scanned her vitals. He walked over and raised a questioning eyebrow at the nurse.
“Ensign Rodriguez woke up with a slight fever and cough, Doctor. Looks like a run of the mill cold,” Barrows reported. “Nothing to worry about, Ensign.”
Leonard nodded. “We’ll keep an eye on her anyway. Isn’t this your third cold this year, Rodriguez?”
Ensign Rodriguez’ eyes opened wide in surprise. How on earth did Dr. McCoy remember that? The doctor hadn’t even looked through her medical history in Nurse Barrows’ padd.
“Yes, I’m afraid it is, Doctor, McCoy. I don’t know why I keep getting these colds,” she sniffed unhappily. “This ship is practically sterile.”
“Our bio filters can’t do everything. Never have been able to avoid colds on any ship, as far as I know. Hmm,” Leonard checked her file. “Looks like your blood work shows low vitamin C levels. Barrows inform the kitchen that Rodriguez must have a big glass of orange juice every morning, doctor’s orders, and give her a daily hypo of 500 mg. vitamin c for the next two weeks. Also you’ll need a couple of sessions under the sun lamps, and that should do it. I want you to report here either in the morning or after shift every day for your hypo, Rodriguez, and don’t make me go chasin’ you down. You hear?”
“Yes, Sir. I’m tired of getting the sniffles. I won’t forget.”
“See that you don’t, young lady.” He glanced up to see Christine Chapel coming in with a big grin on her face.
“You’re dismissed after your hypos for vitamin C and fever reducer, Ensign. No duty today, just rest in your cabin and drink lots of fluids. You can go back to work tomorrow. Barrows, give her the hypos and release her. Rodriguez, go get some rest, your duty shift is canceled for today. Nurse Barrows will notify your department head.”
Christine stood waiting by Leonard’s office until she saw the doctor was alone. She sidled up next to him with a huge smile. “Soooo, I hear you’re off the market now?” She whispered slyly. “Have to say, Len, there’s going to be a lot of disappointed crew when they find out you’re taken. And by Jim Kirk of all people! Are you sure it’s Jim Kirk who caught you? Our Jim Kirk, the Captain guy?”
“Har, har, Christine. Why don’t you give up nursing and go into stand-up comedy as your next career choice. You’re wasted on nursing duties on this ship.”
“Nope,” Christine’s blue eyes were wicked with mirth. “No stand up comedy for me. I’m going to get my doctorate and take over your job as CMO. You’ll be way too busy doing other things to care much when I become CMO...you know...lots of naughty things with the Captain.” She leered at him and then laughed out loud as Leonard turned a bright pink. “I had no idea when I signed on to this ship that life would be sooooo interesting and exciting,” she added gleefully. “I wonder how they manage boredom on all the other ships,” she mused.
Finally taking pity on the pink faced, embarrassed Leonard, she reached out and gave him a heartfelt hug. “I’m so happy for you and Jim, Len. You two belong together, you really do, you’ve been pining for him for ages, and we all saw he was pining for you too. You're perfect together.”
Leonard relaxed and hugged her back. “Thanks, Christine. Was I really so obvious ‘bout my feelings?” He asked ruefully, knowing full well that he had been. Christine had teased him about it. How every time Jim visited Med Bay Leonard would smile and light up.
“Just to me and Geoff, and we kept it between ourselves because we love your grumpy ass and didn’t want to embarrass you.”
“Well, I ‘preciate it.” He glanced over to Spock’s room anxious to change the subject. “Let’s go check on our patient. I have his new brain scan to review too. Both the Gamma report and Geoff said the sedative isn’t quite makin’ it the full four hours, and he’s trying to get out of his restraints. I’m afraid he’s gonna’ injure himself doin’ that, or if he gets out of them, injure someone else.”
“So what’s the next step in his care, Doctor?” Christine asked, going seamlessly from personal to professional.
“Much as I hate to do it, I’ll have to up his sedation dosage. We need him to rest as much as possible.” He sighed. “Uhura will be coming by, Christine. See if the two of you can schedule your lunch break together. It’ll do her good to talk to you...she seems very alone right now, in spite of her many friends on the ship. She’s much too subdued and quiet, that’s not like our Ny at all.”
“I’ll do that, Len. She won’t be alone, we won’t let her be alone. Her friends will support her through all this. This thing with Spock has hurt her a lot, she loves him very much. I’ll talk to Tonia, Sulu, and Chekov. I know you and the Captain will be there for her too.”
“We will. Thanks, Christine.” They walked in to Spock’s room and Leonard carefully checked all his vitals. First with his tricorder, then double checked them with the bio bed results, the Gamma shift report, and finally, as was his custom, he did a hands on examination. Afterward, he and Geoffrey would compare all results and the new brain scan to yesterday’s scans and note any changes, even the most minute ones. He put everything aside for a moment looking at the disheveled Spock.
“Christine, let’s get a couple of orderlies in here. You know Spock is always meticulous about his cleanliness and appearance. The man always looks pristine. I want us to keep it like that. He’s to have a sonic, a shave, his hair combed, and a fresh gown this morning and another late this afternoon. I want him to look as normal as possible before Nyota sees him.”
Christine looked down at Spock, sadness in her eyes. “Of course, Doctor. I’ll see to it right away.”
“Who’s on duty to monitor him this morning?”
“Tonia Barrows this morning, and Tim Ramirez this afternoon.”
Leonard nodded. Both good, competent, conscientious nurses.
He went to his office to look at the brain scan more closely and to check all of Spock’s other morning results. Later, out of the corner of his eye he saw Nyota come in to the Med Bay. She slipped into Spock’s room. Nurse Barrows came out almost immediately and stuck her head in. “Lt. Uhura told me to take a short break, Doctor McCoy. Is that alright?”
“Go ahead, Barrows. I’ll look in on Spock in a minute. Just come back in fifteen minutes.”
Leonard left his office and stepped up to the window of Spock’s room, lessening the darkness mode of the privacy screen. Uhura was just sitting there, close by Spock, but not touching him. She stared at him, as if the weight of her presence could wake him and make him remember her.
Leonard turned away from the window, darkening it again. Sometimes he wondered about those two, about how Spock and Uhura had gotten together, what had drawn them to each other? How did Spock, an emotionless, stoic Vulcan, manage to catch the attention of someone as awesome as Uhura. And Uhura, who could have anyone she wanted, why had she decided on Spock? Decided that he was the one for her? Leonard shook his head. He would never understand those two, and he sure wasn’t gonna’ ask her.
He went back to his office to get his reports in order. Jim would be waiting for him to make his mid-morning daily bridge visit to update him.
Jim was waiting impatiently for Bones to come to the bridge with the Med Bay report. He’d done all his routine checks of the Gamma shift reports. Sulu had highlighted Engineering’s check of the dilithium crystals. “Slowing down has stabilized the crystals, Captain. Mr. Scott is happy with their current status. As long as we maintain this speed he said the warp and impulse engines will be fine.”
Jim looked closely at the warp equations. Scotty was, as usual, correct. The crystals were stable and he knew that his CE would keep an eagle eye on the warp core and the impulse engines too.
“Thank you, Mr. Sulu. Keeping up okay with everything?”
“Absolutely, Captain.” He lowered his voice, for Jim’s ears only. “I’m also keeping an eye on the helm, Sir. Mr. De Paul is doing a fine job, he’s working well with Chekov.”
“Excellent. He was a good choice. Meant to tell you that yesterday, Mr. Sulu.”
“No problem, Captain. You’ve been busy,” Sulu assured him, going back to the Science station. Jim looked over to Uhura’s station. Her relief was an Ensign, but there was only routine comms to and from the ship, and Uhura would be back on regular shift shortly.
The lift door opened and Bones came in padd in hand. “‘Morning, everybody.”
“Good morning, Doctor McCoy,” came the chorus from the whole Alpha bridge crew. It always tickled Jim that when the bridge crew answered Bones, they sounded like school children greeting their kindergarten teacher in the morning.
Bones approached the Captain’s chair and looked down at him. He leaned down a little to give Jim his copy of the report. “Mornin, Captain darlin’,” he said softly, for Jim’s ears alone.
Jim’s fair skin pinked as he looked up and saw, that under the bridge bright lights, Bones’ eyes were green today, clear as glass, beautifully warm and filled with love.
Jim almost leapt up to kiss him right there and there. But no, it would be unseemly on the bridge, so by exercising tremendous Captainly self control, Jim restrained himself.
Bones smiled down at him, eyes bright, one dimple flashing, reading him easily, as he put his warm hand on Jim’s shoulder. It was that open, happy smile filled with love, that Jim had only ever seen directed at Joanna, but now at him too, and it made every part of Jim feel warm all over. He had pictured this in his head so many times, this closeness, this complete contentment, wondering if it would ever become a reality. JimandBones just as it was always meant to be. The universe had somehow shifted and now they were in an entirely different reality, a reality where Jim and Bones now shared a deeply devoted love that was simply meant to be.
“Hey, Bones.” His voice came out husky. “How are things?”
“More or less the same, Jim. Mr. Sulu, here’s your copy of the Med Bay report.”
Sulu looked at him incomprehensibly until he remembered that Dr. McCoy and the Med Bay were under Spock’s direct supervision, thus Dr. McCoy would be reporting to him now as temporary XO. He leapt to his feet and Leonard handed him the padd. Sulu bent to read it carefully and over his dark head, Jim and Bones shared a knowing smile. It was still all a little new to Sulu.
“Thank you, Dr. McCoy.” Sulu looked a question at Jim. What did Spock do with these daily reports?
“Just file it for right now, Sulu. Mr. Spock compiles all of the daily Med Bay reports first by the week, then by the month, and finally summarizes them for the quarterly report sent to SFM for Dr. Boyce. I sign off on it, as does Spock, and Dr. McCoy too.”
“I see. Thank you, Sir.”
“No problem, Mr. Sulu. Just ask if you have any questions. I’ll do my best to answer them.”
Jim’s com beeped. “Yes, Mr. Scott? How are our engines?”
“That’s why I’m comming you, Captain. I can squeeze a bit more out of me engines without compromising the crystals. How does warp 6.5 for the next 4 hours sound to you, Sir?”
“Do it, Scotty.” Jim didn’t bother asking if it was safe for the dilithium crystals. No one knew the Enterprise engines better than his CE.
“Aye, Sir. Increasing speed from my station now.”
Jim’s body, always attuned to his beloved ship, felt the increase immediately. He tilted his head and listened. The imperceptible hum was smooth and fluid.
“Helm, What’s our new ETA for New Vulcan with the increase in speed?”
“At our current speed, and if can maintain it, we’ll arrive at 0800 tomorrow morning, Sir.”
“Thank you, Mr. De Paul.” He turned in his chair to Bones. “We’ll need to update Sarek about our ETA, Bones. Make sure the healer is available for Spock right away.”
“I’ll take care of that, Jim. I’ll have Geoff send him a squirt from Medical along with Spock’s condition later today when he comes back on duty.” He sighed. “Not that it’s changed one iota. I sure hope Sarek has better luck with his choice of a Vulcan healer than Geoff and I did. We had to tread on tiptoes with her, Geoff especially, so as not to offend the woman. It was a pain in the ass, but there you go, we had to be “diplomatic.” His voice dripped with disdain.
Jim almost smiled at Bones’ obvious dislike for the Vulcan healer. His oath was so sacred to him that to see any reluctance to help an ill person by withholding knowledge, was anathema to him. Jim had seen him put his own life on the line to help others, so T’thanol’s reticence and stonewalling in imparting Vulcan medical help was deeply affronting to the doctor in him.
Jim spoke softly, for Leonard’s ears alone. He always made sure his bridge crew didn’t speculate or gossip while on duty. “I’m certain that Sarek’s status as the Vulcan Ambassador will assure him the best healer available in New Vulcan, Bones.”
“Well, Spock being Sarek’s son didn’t seem to impress her none. It was like pulling teeth to get a straight answer from that woman.” Leonard kept his voice low too. “And I sure hope there’s enough of them left for Sarek to get a good one with less of an attitude.”
“Spock told me once that he turned down a place at the Vulcan Science Academy to serve in Starfleet. He said it was because of their attitude toward his mother. He said the Vulcan Council considered his refusal an insult. I bet they haven’t gotten over it yet. It seems Vulcans never forget a thing,” he added ruefully.
“Good God, Jim. That’s just plain ridiculous. Spock has served with distinction in Starfleet. You’d think they’d be “logically” gratified to know that one of theirs has done so well.”
“Afraid that’s not the way it’s worked out. Sarek’s position and prestige as Ambassador, his clan line going back directly to Surak, has mitigated some of the Vulcan’s disdain for Spock’s choice, but logical or not, they have resented his choice and hold it against him. Thankfully, Spock doesn’t have to deal with it on a daily basis as he would if he lived in New Vulcan, but it crops up now and then, like you saw with T’thanol’s attitude.”
“What does Uhura think about all this?”
“It’s one reason they don’t travel to New Vulcan often, Spock doesn’t want to subject her to that sort of prejudice, but I’ve told him he’s doing Ny a disservice. She can hold her own, she’d give back as good as she got from the Vulcans. She’d be graciously and ruthlessly polite, just as she was at the Academy, but they’d get the picture in no uncertain terms.”
“You got that right!”
“Spock told me Sarek would like them to visit, to be seen, so Sarek can acknowledge her as Spock’s betrothed, that it would serve to formalize their arrangement. Uhura hasn’t agreed yet, she’s concerned it will cause dissension and controversy for Sarek on the Vulcan Council, and she says that right now all of New Vulcan needs to work together. Adding her relationship with Spock into the mix might not help their cause in the long run.”
“But Lady Amanda was human. She and Sarek were bonded, married for many years.”
“Yes, But according to Spock it took many years for the Vulcans to accept her. Only Sarek’s status as a Vulcan descendent of Surak and he being the head of the Vulcan Council eased her acceptance into Vulcan society.”
“Always said those Vulcans were elitist bastards. Think they’re superior, especially superior to us “emotional” humans.”
“They don’t all feel like that, Bones. Especially since their population is now decimated, endangered. They can’t afford to feel that way. But the Vulcans on the Council are old, traditional, and conservative. Sarek is the youngest member if you can believe that. New Vulcan settlers are managing to create habitable and comforting settlements in New Shikar and a few other select locations around the planet, but it’s slow. The Vulcan elders are hesitant to allow off worlders to come in to help rebuild their infrastructures. Spock said it’s a slow vetting process to get permission to do so, and there just aren’t enough Vulcan survivors to do everything quickly. Sarek and a few other younger Vulcan leaders are working to change that.”
Jim’s chair comm beeped. Jim looked down. “It’s the Med Bay,” he told Bones.
“This is the Captain.”
“Sir, this is Nurse Ramirez. If Dr. McCoy is still there, we need him right away. In spite of the new sedative dosage, Mr. Spock is waking up and he’s fighting his restraints. Lt. Uhura and Nurse Barrows tried to calm him down. Nurse Barrows called me in to help so I held his head, Captain. We didn’t want him to injure his head again. He’s a little calmer now, enough that I could leave him for a minute to notify Dr. McCoy”
Jim nodded to Bones who took off at a fast clip. “He’s on his way, Ramirez.” He took a deep breath. Not good, not good at all.
Before the lift door closed, Leonard called back. “Jim get someone to wake up Geoff, I need him!”
An East Wind
“When you are mad, mad like this, you don't know it.
Reality is what you see.
When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else's reality,
it's still reality to you.”
Leonard strode directly into Spock’s room. Nurse Barrows and Uhura both turned to him in relief on their faces. “Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy is here,” Barrows told the Vulcan. “You wanted to see him, and he’s here.”
Spock turned his head to Leonard. “Leonard! Why am I being kept here, I feel fine. I don’t need to be restrained. Please remove these restraints.” His dark eyes were jet black, dilated, huge with his agitation and distress.
Leonard came close to the bio bed. “We had to restrain you, Spock. Earlier you became agitated and angry. When Dr. M’Benga tried to help you, You threw him across the room and he was seriously injured, then you grabbed the Captain’s wrist and broke it. It took four strong security men to subdue you. When you’re angry and uncontrolled your Vulcan strength can be dangerous to yourself and others.”
Spock’s forehead wrinkled. “I have no recollection of those event, and I sincerely regret my behavior, but I can assure you that it will not happen again.”
“Spock, I’m sorry, I just can’t remove your restraints. None of us are a match for your Vulcan strength if you become angry again.”
“Vulcan?” Spock looked up at Leonard in puzzlement.
Leonard’s stomach sank. “Spock, you do realize that you’re a Vulcan, right?”
Spock shifted restlessly, pulling hard at the restraints that bound his wrists. His eyes glittered dangerously. “No! I am certainly not Vulcan! I am human, the same as you, Leonard, I’m not a Vulcan!” His voice had risen, gotten louder and more agitated.
“Spock, calm down, and yes, you’re right, you are human, but you’re also Vulcan. Your mother was human, and your father is Sarek, the Vulcan Ambassador to Earth.”
“Was?” Spock asked, his attention caught by the word.
“Yes, I’m real sorry, Spock. I know you don’t remember, but your mother was killed when the Romulan Nero destroyed your home planet, Vulcan. We couldn’t save her. You, we...all of us tried, as we watched your planet being destroyed, but we couldn’t save her. She didn’t get off the planet in time, but your father did. Sarek is fine.”
“My mother,” Spock whispered, closing his eyes, “is dead? She died?”
“Yes, I’m so sorry, Spock.” Leonard looked down at him with compassion. “Spock...do you remember your mother?”
“No,” Spock whispered. “How can it be that I can’t remember my mother? If, as you say, I watched her die, unable to help her, and now I can’t even remember her, then it seems that I have lost my mother twice over.” His usually stoic, impassive face had settled into a mask of tragedy and a lone tear ran down his cheek.
Uhura swiftly came forward, reaching out a hand to him in comfort, but Leonard grabbed her hand. “No, Uhura! No darlin’. It’s not safe,” he said softly. He pulled her gently away from the bed. “I’m sorry, Ny, but Spock’s mental state is unpredictable right now. He could still hurt you. Even with the restraints, his fingers are very strong.”
Nyota nodded sadly. “I know Len, I know how strong he is. I don’t like it, but I know you’re right.” She straightened her already rigid back. “I think it’s best if I go back to the bridge, I’m of no use here.”
“I think for right now that would be best, Ny. I’m truly sorry, sweetheart.”
Her eyes shining with unshed tears, Uhura hurriedly brushed by Geoffrey on her way out. He gave her a worried look as he caught a glimpse of her tearful face.
“Geoff, I’m glad you’re here. Let’s step out of the room for a minute, be back in a minute, Spock.” Leonard closed the door and leaned against the wall just outside his room.
“Is Lieutenant Uhura alright?”
“She’s upset. I didn’t let her get near Spock.” Leonard shook his head. “I’m going to have to change his medication, Geoff. We’ll be arriving to New Vulcan earlier than we thought. Thanks to Scotty who worked his magic with the crystals, Jim said 0800 hours tomorrow. I want to keep Spock asleep until we arrive.”
Geoffrey nodded thinking. Being awake just seemed to agitate Spock more, and being restrained even more so. “I agree, Len. What are you going to give him?”
“I thought of tryin’ neurotrazodon.”
Geoff quickly checked the medication guidelines and side effects on his padd, then nodded. “It’s an older drug, but it’s a good one. Not used often these days, but it’s tolerated very well by patients, and it does give them good restful sleep without nightmares. Hopefully, even with his hybrid genome, Mr. Spock will respond well to it. In my opinion, it’s worth a try.”
“That’s what I’m thinkin’. Also, I’d like for you, as our resident Vulcan medical expert, to send a follow up report to Sarek. Give him an update of Spock’s condition and our new ETA. I told him we’d keep him informed and I’m sure he’ll pass along our reports to the Vulcan healer who’s gonna’ treat Spock.”
“I’ll do it first thing, I’ll even send it to him in Vulcan.” Geoff gave him a small tight smile. He was proud of his command of the Vulcan language, and it wouldn’t hurt to remind the ethnocentric Vulcans that they were dealing with someone who was knowledgable.
They went back to Spock’s room. “Nurse Barrows, bring me a hypo of neurotrazodone, please. Dr. M’Benga and I will stay here with Mr. Spock.”
“Right away, Doctor.”
Spock looked up at both doctors. “What are you going to give me, Leonard? What are you going to do?” There was a gleam of sweat on his brow... a further concern for Leonard. Vulcans did not usually sweat. Over thousands of years their bodies had evolved to conserve water in their extremely hot, dry environment.
Leonard approached the bio bed, careful to stay away from Spock’s hands and fingers which were twisting and twitching.
“I’m not goin’ to do anythin’ that will hurt you, Spock. I promise you. All I’m going to do is give you something to relax you, to help you sleep peacefully. I’m your doctor. I would never hurt you.”
Spock nodded wearily. “I am tired, Leonard. My mind whirls incessantly, without ceasing, it never stops. It is extremely fatiguing.”
“I know it, Spock. Geoff and I are doing all we can to help you. Now close your eyes, just try to relax.”
Nurse Barrow returned with the prepared hypo and Leonard checked it for the correct dosage. He was erring on the conservative side by giving Spock a 100 mg dose to begin with and they’d see how he would react to it. Spock’s dual heritage made the use of any drug tricky. He was happy Geoff had concurred with the use and dosage of the drug.
He went around to the head of the bed where Spock couldn’t reach him. “Here we go, Spock. A little pinch. This will help you.”
“Thank you, Leonard,” Spock murmured, his eyes already drooping. Leonard, Geoff, and Nurse Barrows watched Spock as his breathing gradually slowed and deepened, his body relaxed, and his fingers also stopped twitching. “Computer, mark time,” Leonard ordered.
“Time marked, 0943.23.”
“Keep a close watch on the clock, Barrows. You and Ramirez don’t take your eyes off of him. Let’s hope this works.”
“I’ll go send our update to Sarek now, Len,” Geoff said as they left the room.”
“Let’s wait for an hour, Geoff. I want to see how Spock reacts to the neurotrazodone first, then you can communicate with Sarek.”
When Leonard checked Spock in an hour, he was doing well with the new sedative. “I think you can send that update to Sarek now. He’s reacting well. In four hours we’ll see if he needs another dose.” Leonard looked thoughtfully at M’Benga. “I’ve been thinking that it’s best if we send the medical update to Sarek’s encrypted comm. After you compose it, Jim can send it for you from his briefing room.”
Geoff nodded. “Yeah, we certainly don’t want Spock’s injury splashed all over the news nets. Vulcan privacy is extremely important to them.”
“Geoff while you’re on the bridge, go ahead and update Jim about Spock’s new sedative. He wants to be kept in the loop so he can report everything to Admiral Pike. Everythin’s calm, so I’ll be in my office catching up on my paper work! I’m way behind.” Leonard grimaced. Who was he kidding. He was always behind with his paper work. The amount of a CMO’s paperwork was second only to that do the the Captain’s. It was always high on Leonard’s priority list because it reflected badly on Spock and ultimately on Jim, if his reports were late. Not that Admiral Boyce was unreasonable, he wasn’t. He tried his best to lessen the amount of reports his CMOs had to do, but anything having a medical tag attached to it had to have a paper trail for the protection of patient, doctor, and SFM.
“Been kept busy by the Captain?” Geoff asked way too innocently.
Leonard scowled at him fiercely. “No, I’ve been kept busy by very sick Vulcans and and a couple of blatantly insubordinate staff members.”
Geoffrey laughed loudly and took himself up to the bridge.
Leonard retired to his office and opened his computer files. He knew that Sulu as the interim XO had a lot on his plate. Being XO was a whole new learning curve for him. Leonard was determined not to add to it by being late with his own reports.
The Med Bay was unusually quiet, only the muted soft beeps of various machines provided background noise. Rodriguez came in for her vitamin C booster, waved, mimicked drinking a glass of orange juice, grinned and left.
Leonard smiled...at least someone was benefitting from his doctoring. Now if only they could get Spock well. He went back to his reports and worked steadily until Geoff came back.
“All taken care of, Leonard. The Captain sent it through his encrypted channel. He agreed it was best to be as discreet as possible. It took a while, there are all sorts of hoops he had to jump through. I don’t know how he remembers all those codes.”
“‘Cause he’s a genius, Geoff, with a phenomenal memory, and they teach you that stuff in Command school. Thank the good Lord we only have to remember diseases and drugs, and which species gets what.”
“Yes, well, that’s more than enough for my brain. I was going to do rounds, but we have no patients. When has that ever happened?”
“Shhh, don’t jinx it, Geoff. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts, before Scotty’s engineers do some dumb shit again. Maybe I can get these reports finished to send to Sulu.”
“Why Sulu....” Geoff suddenly looked stricken. “Damn it, for a minute I forgot Mr. Sulu’s taken over Mr. Spock’s duties.”
“Yeah, I know. It’s hard to internalize. Spock’s never been sick, and he’s never come in with an injury either. It doesn’t seem normal to have him here, does it?”
“No it doesn’t.” The two men were silent contemplating Spock’s present condition. “Well, I’m better get going on my own paper work while I still have the chance.”
Leonard worked steadily until lunch time. He checked on Spock again, and was pleased his pulse and blood pressure were normal. There was also no twitching of his hands. All positive signs that he was reacting well to the neurotrazodone. His desk comm beeped.
“Bones, are you free for lunch? Can you leave the Med Bay for a little while?”
“Yeah, Jim. Just checked on Spock and the new drug seems to be working well. I still have nurses with him constantly. We have no other patients right now, so it’s working out. I think it’ll be fine if I leave for a short time. Meet you there in ten minutes?”
“I’ll be there, usual table.” Leonard could hear the smile in Jim’s voice. They’d had lunch together hundreds of times, but never before as lovers, as partners, as a couple.
When Leonard walked into the mess, and saw Jim was at their usual table talking to Lt. Toriani sitting across from him. As if Jim had a sensor trained on him, he turned his head immediately when Bones entered the mess and gave him a small, sweet smile, blue eyes sparkling. Leonard smiled back and quickly picked up his food choices. Lt. Toriani got up from her chair. “See you later, Sir. Dr. McCoy,” she greeted him.
“Don’t get up, Lieutenant. You’re welcome to stay.”
“Thank you, Sir, but I’m on duty, my lunch break is next hour. I just had to run something by the Captain. Enjoy your lunch, gentlemen.”
Leonard sat down and grinned at Jim. “How’s it going, darlin’?”
Jim’s eyes dilated. “Bones,” he hissed, “if you don’t want me to jump your bones, don’t call me darling in public.”
A faint pink flush crept up Leonard’s neck and face. “Sorry, he muttered. “It slipped out.” He bent his head and attacked his food.
Jim looked at the bent, dark head. “I guess what we have to decide is if we’re going to make it public that we’re together now...no PDAs of course. Have to preserve the Captain’s and CMO’s dignity, after all,” he assured the startled hazel eyes that came up to meet his own.
“Well, you know me, Jim. You know I don’t hold with covert, sneakin’ around shit, but you have to do what’s best for you in your role as Captain.” He looked uncertainly at him. “I don’t want this,” he motioned between them, “us, to be something else you have to worry about, one more thing you have to manage. I want what’s between us to be somethin’ that makes you feel happy, at ease, content, because it damn sure makes me feel that way.”
Bones straightened in his chair, shoulders back as if bracing for what Jim would say. “I’ll abide by whatever you want do.” Leonard ducked his head down again, preparing himself for Jim’s decision. If it was up to him, he wouldn’t hide their relationship from the crew. He wouldn’t flaunt it either, but being discrete was not the same as hiding. But he wasn’t the Captain, and he didn’t have to maintain a Captain’s role for the crew and the Admiralty.
“Yeah?” Leonard breathed.
“Would you look at me please?”
Hazel eyes came up to look at Jim.
“I was thinking we should sign and send our change of status form to Pike...make it all official and shit. What do you say?” Jim was staring at him, patient, hopeful, not wanting to push.
Leonard’s dimples flashed. “I would say I like that idea a lot.”
Jim’s eyes sparkled. “Do you want me to make a formal announcement to the crew, Bones? Because I’m totally willing to shout it from the metaphorical rooftop. The Admiralty will know when I send in the co-habitation form to Chris.”
“God, no! The crew will figure it out soon enough.”
“Especially when we move your stuff to my quarters.” Jim looked anxiously at Bones. “Are you okay moving to my quarters instead of me to yours? Because I’m willing to move to yours.”
“Are you kidding? It’s hardly any further to the Med Bay from your cabin, and as long as we’re together cain’t say I care where we are. You’ve always everywhere I am and I always spend all my free time with you anyway. Guess what I’m tryin’ to say, Jim darlin’, is that I don’t want to be without you anymore. Is that a pathetically sappy thing to admit?”
Jim’s eyes softened, turning even bluer with tenderness. “I feel the same, Bones,” he whispered. He swallowed around the tightness at his throat.
Leonard blinked hard and cleared his throat. “Anyway, we gotta be practical here,” he added gruffly. “Your cabin is a lot bigger. Besides, you’ve got all your Captain’s stuff in there, no reason to move everything. I just have my clothes, Joanna’s pictures, the gifts you’ve given me, and a few books.”
“Good, being practical is good.” Jim nodded decidedly, clearing his tight throat. God, Jim felt like there were champagne bubbles in his blood stream, giddy with the knowledge that they were now talking practicalities about making a life together.
He composed his face. It wouldn’t do to look like a lovesick idiot in the mess in front of his crew. “Sounds like a plan. We’ll get on it right after New Vulcan, and you know, Bones,” Jim admitted, determined to be as brave as Bones about expressing feelings. “I don’t think I would handle it well now if we had to act as if we were just friends.”
“Me neither, Jim.”
“Okay then.” They smiled happily at each other.
Jim glanced over to the mess door to see Chekov and Uhura coming in. “Looks like the Command crew is on the job. They’ll see that Ny won’t be alone too much.”
“Yeah, Christine is going to have supper with her, and tomorrow morning we’ll arrive in New Vulcan. Spock will get the help he needs there, which we certainly haven’t been able to give him here,” Leonard added, bitterly.
Jim’s fingers stroked over the top of Leonard’s hand, their gentle touch comforting. “You and all your staff have done your best for Spock, Bones. What he needs in order to get well couldn’t be done here on the ship. Hell, none of us, including Spock himself, knew what he needed, so don’t be so hard on yourself.”
“I know you’re right, Jim, but it’s a bitter pill to swallow that we cain’t help one of our own.” His expressive hazel eyes were sad.
“I know it is, baby. But just you wait, Bones, you, Geoff, Christine, Ny, you’ll see. When Spock, Sarek and that Vulcan healer go through that healing mind meld, Spock will get well, his memory will be restored and he and Ny will be back together again. He’ll be his old self again.”
“I hope so, darlin’.” He shook off his moroseness, and glanced at the time. “I gotta go, it’s time I checked on Spock and gave him his next dose.” Jim got up with him, disposed of their trays and walked up to Chekov and Nyota. “How are you holdin’ up, Ny?”
Nyota looked up at them, her dark eyes sad and red rimmed. “I’m okay, Len. Pavel insisted I come with him to eat something, I haven’t been hungry.”
Jim gave Pavel an approving look and the young Ensign pinked under his hero’s gaze.
“Ny, Pavel is right, you do need to eat. Once we get to New Vulcan tomorrow morning, Spock’s going to need you.”
“Jim’s right. After you eat, why don’t you visit with Spock for a little while. He’s reacting well to the new sedative, resting comfortably. You can read to him for a while, or just talk to him. It’ll do you good to be with him, and who knows he might hear you.”
“Would it be all right, Captain?” She looked hopefully at him.
“Of course, Lieutenant. Just tell your relief to stay on for an additional hour.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
“Ensign, a word?”
Chekov rose and followed Jim to a corner of the mess. “Yes, Keptin?” He asked at attention.
Jim smiled at him. “Relax, Pavel. I just wanted to check with you about our new helmsman. Are you and he working well together?”
“Oh yes, Sir. Mr. De Paul is doing a fine job. Ve vork werry vell together.”
“Good, and thank you for taking time to eat lunch with Uhura today, Pavel.”
“Of course, Keptin. Ve vill not let her be alone, ve are taking turns accompanying her to meals. Ve vill not let her be lonely,” he told Jim seriously.
Jim used all his self control and didn’t reach out to ruffle Pavel’s curls, but it was a close call. “Good man, Pavel,” was all he said as they walked back to Bones and Uhura.
They went back to their respective duties, Leonard checked on Spock, relieved he was sleeping peacefully even when the four hours were up. He went ahead and injected him with the next dose of neurotrazodon to keep him on schedule and he’d give him another dose before he went off duty. He would also leave orders for additional dosages every four hours through the night. Geoff was on call tonight so he would monitor Spock’s sleep. Tomorrow they would arrive at New Vulcan and hopefully Spock would get the help he so desperately needed. He made a note to let Barrows know she would be in charge of the Med Bay while they were down planet. It was providential there were no patients, but that could change at any time. He or Geoff could beam up immediately if she needed them. He sent a copy of his orders to Jim, Geoff, Christine and all the Med Bay shifts’ staff. Barrows was a highly competent nurse, second only to Christine in experience and he trusted her decision making skills.
He logged out at the end of his shift and went to meet Jim for dinner. Instead of the romantic dinner they envisioned both agreed it would be best to eat in the Mess so Jim could monitor the morale of the crew. When one of the Command crew was ill or injured, the crew got a little skittish. Seeing the Captain and the CMO, observing them in the mess in their regular routine, did a lot to calm down anxiety. Jim looking around at the reassured crew, knew they’d made the right decision.
After dinner, Jim made his way around the mess stopping to speak with members of his crew. He and Leonard kept their body language relaxed, answering crew questions about Spock reassuringly. Afterward, the two men made their way to Jim’s cabin. The door barely closed behind them when Jim pulled Bones into his arms. “Oh God, I’ve been dying to do this all day! Come here.”
Jim took Bones’ bottom lip between his own and sucked it gently, making Bones gasp, then kissed him thoroughly. Jim clutched and pulled Bones closer to him. He could feel the heat of his body even through his shirts.
Not even bothering with the lights, Jim gradually pulled and pushed Bones toward the bedroom and tumbled them both on his bed. He let go of Bones’ neck and looked up at him, watching how Bones’ pupils dilated until there was only a tiny ring of jade around them. Jim decided right then and there that driving Bones crazy was going to be his brand new objective in life, mostly because pleasuring his Bones also made Jim happy after wanting him for so long.
Jim kissed him desperately and then they undressed each other, stopping to nibble and kiss anywhere and everywhere they could reach with unhurried tenderness and deep passion.
“Up here, baby," Jim rasped, pulling him up with a trembling hand. "Come up here, kiss me.” Jim opened his mouth to him, then pressed wet, hot kisses up Bones’ throat and down into the hollow of his jaw.
“Bones, Bones, love you, love you so damn much,” Jim whispered breathing in his warm, woodsy scent. His lips were on Bones’ mouth and neck, and his hand slipped around to hold him more tightly. Jim was deeply aroused, and he felt that Bones, pressed against him was too. The passion, need and desire between them, too long deferred, was overwhelming in its intensity. Touching him all over, imprinting, and memorizing the silky feel of Bones’ skin under his hands, Jim thought dazedly that he’d never get enough of him.
They made love well into the night, passionately, tenderly, unhurriedly. Then fully sated and deeply content, both murmuring words of love and happiness, they slept entangled together, neither of them wanting to let the other go.
An East Wind
“He was all iron outside, but all father within.”
Jim woke first. He felt warm and cozy, cuddled close to the lean body nestled tightly against him. Bones was clinging to him like an octopus, arms and legs wrapped around him, his warm torso half on, half off of Jim. He glanced at his chronometer to see there was still 15 minutes before his alarm was set to go off. Jim could lie here for a while more enjoying this short interlude of deep happiness before starting what he knew would be a long, stressful day ahead, for him, for Ny, for Bones, and Geoff too. The ship would be arriving to New Vulcan in a couple of hours.
Bones murmured softly in his sleep, and Jim tightened his arms around him, hoping he would sleep a while longer. Of all of the Command crew, the two doctors would have the most difficult and delicate roles on this mission. They would be the ones to deal with not only their patient, but with Sarek and the Vulcan healer. They would also have to describe and justify the treatment Spock had received thus far to the healer and to Spock’s father.
He looked lovingly at the man in his arms, realizing anew that the entirety of his world was asleep right next to him. He trailed gentle, reverent fingers over Bones’ freckled shoulders. His hair was a mess by virtue of Jim running his hands through the soft strands in the throes of their lovemaking, and also because Bones had fierce cowlicks in front and back which he attacked ruthlessly every morning, but which right now were sticking straight up. Jim tried to pat down the back cowlick, but it sprang right back up. He laughed softly at the sight.
“Needs lots of product to stay down,” rumbled a sleepy voice that reverberated up, down, and through Jim’s body. He looked down at the wonderful, beloved face and saw that Bones’ hadn’t bothered to open his eyes. Jim leaned down and placed a tender kiss on each eye. “I like it when you look like a fluffed up bird,” Jim grinned, softly stroking McCoy’s face. Leonard swatted at him indolently.
The computer alarm rang and Jim sighed. “We gotta’ get up, Bonesy. We’ll be making orbit around New Vulcan at 0930. Lots to do before then.”
Bones stirred reluctantly, finally opening his eyes. “Yeah, I know. I’m awake. Mornin’ darlin’.” That word, sweet like honey, from Bones’ mouth sent a shiver through Jim and he clutched Bones tighter against him.
“I know we gotta’ get up and get Spock ready for transport, make sure he gets his next dose of sedative so it’s still in his bloodstream. Have no idea how soon the healer will see him, maybe he’ll be there already when we transport down. Geoff and Christine will be my medical team and transport with us. I need them to hand, Jim. Don’t have any idea what the medical facilities are like in New Shikar either,” Leonard rumbled, “but they better be state of the art or I’m not releasin’ Spock to their care.”
“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Jim soothed. “It’s a brand new hospital after all.”
“Who the hell knows! Vulcans are notoriously robust healthy beings. Just look at Spock, the man has never been sick as long as I’ve known him, and and he’s only half Vulcan. His medical file is empty except for his routine quarterly physicals and vaccines. As far as Geoff could tell when he interned on Vulcan, their ailments are mostly congenital. They’re prone to some cardiovascular issues later in life, and Bendi syndrome in their advanced age.” Jim raised a questioning eyebrow. “It’s like dementia in humans...but worse in a way. Traumatic for beings who pride themselves on logic and self control, Geoff says. Not too much is known about it and there’s no cure. Don’t even know if they’re doing research on it or have done any. Damn those secretive Vulcans! Too proud for their own good. And you know the worse thing, darlin?” Bones looked up him fury in his eyes. “Geoff, kind hearted, brilliant Geoff, offered to research Bendi Syndrome while he was on Vulcan, and they shot him down. Told him it was purely a Vulcan matter. Can you believe that?”
Jim shook his head at his angry Bones.
“And after Vulcan was destroyed and we had those survivors we rescued on board? You know how some of them were in real bad shape and we had the worse ones in the Med Bay? Did they let us treat them? No! Most of them refused, they didn’t want to share private information about their mental health and their biology. They wanted their own healers. Wouldn’t say a word about what ailed them. Now after talking to that Vulcan healer, I know that a lot of them were suffering from broken marital or familial bonds, but did they tell us that at the time? Hell no! There was one old Vulcan, the one who came with you and Scotty from Delta Vega, he tried to help as best he could, but there just weren’t enough healers to go around.”
“Selek,” Jim murmured, remembering when Old Spock had been on board. He didn’t like to think too much about Old Spock, Selek, as he was now, or about the mind meld, that dump of memories and grief that Old Spock had poured into him on Delta Vega. It had been overwhelming and terrible, so Jim had done his best to push it all away far from his thoughts and his everyday life. That other universe was not his and he wanted nothing to do with it.
Leonard huffed angrily. “Damn stubborn species!”
“Bones...” Jim rubbed his arm soothingly.
“No, Jim...I mean it! You know we all have our pride. I’m a Southerner, I should know, we’re born with pride in our DNA! Let’s face it though, most of the time it’s just false pride we’re guilty of, we just want to save face. But hell, being too damn proud to live, too proud to accept help that could help your decimated grieving population? For a species who lives by logic, that’s certainly not logical, it’s completely nonsensical.”
Jim sighed. “I know, Bones, and I agree with you, but it’s not our place to try and interfere with their cultural and historical injunctions.”
Leonard slowly pulled himself away from Jim’s warmth and sat up in the bed. “Well all I know is that I’m keepin’ a close eye on whatever goes on down there for Spock’s healin’.”
“I understand, and I would expect no less from you and your staff. Just please,” Jim grinned, “I beg of you, don’t start a diplomatic incident, especially with Sarek, who’s only the New Vulcan’s Ambassador to Earth and the son of one of the founders of the Federation.”
Leonard snorted, “I’ll try my damnedest not to. Come on, lets pick up the mess in this room so your yeoman doesn’t freak out, take a shower then go get some breakfast.”
“Together?” Jim asked hopefully. “Because it would save time and I want to be on the bridge early, way before planet fall.”
Leonard grinned. “Yeah, together, come on, I’ll wash your back, and your front too, if you want.”
“I want, I want! Come on let’s go,” Jim said, pulling him off the bed.
After a bit of picking up and a mutually pleasurable shower, they both reported for duty. Jim told Bones that he wanted him on the bridge as they neared New Vulcan Space Central. Leonard left orders with Christine and Geoff to get Spock ready for transport and he and Jim would join them after they were in their orbit parked directly above New Shikar.
Bones, stood at his usual place by Jim’s left shoulder as he sat in the command chair and looked at the view screen. "This sure is a pretty star system, too bad they chose this planet to be their New Vulcan, because it’s just as hot as old Vulcan or maybe even worse. Jim, I know we’ll be here for a while, maybe even for a few days, so I want us all to take daily Triox pills without fail. From what I understood from Spock, New Vulcan is as near as possible to their destroyed planet, hot, dry, with a denser gravity. The Triox will help us a lot with the heat, low humidity and gravity. It'll be pills every six hours, rather than hypos for you, Geoff, Christine, Ny and me, which I know will make you real happy. I don't wanna’ hear any complaints from you about taking them regularly, you hear? You gotta' be at your best dealing with Sarek and the healers. We all have to,” he added somberly. “We owe it to Spock.”
“I promise, Bones, and you’re right, we all have to stay on our toes and do our best for Spock.” He nodded at the view of the planet. “I have no idea how all this is going to go down with Sarek and the Vulcan healer.” Jim looked over at his helmsman. "What’s our status, Mr. De Paul?"
"We're 20 thousand miles out, Sir. Vulcan Space Central has us scheduled for a standard orbit in 7 minutes."
"Very good. Mr. De Paul, drop us to 1/8 impulse for Vulcan station keeping. Mr. Chekov plot us over to the umbilicals, slowly and carefully, gentlemen.”
“Aye, Sir,” they both responded, and Chekov sent De Paul his vector.
There was silence as De Paul slowly brought the stately ship in for station keeping and they waited for the Space Central robots to attach the enormous umbilicals. The loud thumps were heard even through the ship’s thick hull and assured them they were being attached.
"Umbilicals attached, Captain. Vulcan Space Station has us now, they say “Welcome to New Vulcan”, Sir."
"Return my compliments. Mr. De Paul, Mr. Chekov, we will remain stationary for the duration of our stay. Thank you, gentlemen. Put the ship on auto.”
Jim toggled his comm. “Scotty, I want you to keep her running lights on and her name and registry numbers lit at all times. We want to make sure New Vulcan knows it’s the Fleet’s Flag Ship that’s come to call.”
“Aye, Captain. I’ll make sure they know it’s our lady and the pride of the fleet.”
Jim smiled. He and Scotty shared a mutual love and passion for Enterprise. Not even Pike loved her the way they did, and they knew every beautiful inch of her. For them, no other ship even came close to the beauty and majesty of their beloved girl. He turned to Sulu.
“Mr. Sulu you have the con. You’ll alternate con duties with Mr. Scott and Lt. Toriani for Alpha shift. Beta and Gamma duty schedules will remain as is.”
“Aye, Sir.” Sulu approached the chair. “We all hope Mr. Spock will be all right, Captain.”
Chekov swiveled in his Nav chair. “Ve miss Mr. Spock on the bridge, Keptin.”
“I know, Mr. Chekov. We all do. Thank you for your concern.”
“Mr. Sulu, there will be no shore leave until I scope things out. I have no idea if shore leave is even possible, the settlement is so new. Gentlemen, we’ll keep in touch. Sulu, take good care of my ship,” Jim slapped him lightly on the shoulder. “Don’t get too comfortable in that chair, you hear?”
Sulu grinned. “Wouldn’t dream of it, Captain.”
Jim and Leonard took the lift to the Med Bay. Barrows was at the computer inputting the Gamma reports. “Captain, Doctor, Nurse Chapel and Dr. M’Benga are in Mr. Spock’s room getting him ready for transport. We have no patients right now, but Dr. M’ Benga said he’ll keep in close touch and that I’m in charge,” she dimpled, “of no patients.”
With a great deal of self control, Leonard kept his face serious. “It’ll be great practice for you, Nurse Barrows, workin’ with no patients.” When her outraged face turned to him, he cracked and laughed. “Hope it stays this quiet for you...enjoy it while it lasts.”
Jim, grinning at them, was thankful for this moment of levity in a day he knew would be long, and difficult.
Jim’s comm beeped. “Kirk here.”
“Sir.” It was Uhura’s Alpha relief, Ensign Sanjur. “Ambassador Sarek is on the horn for you.”
“Route him through, Ensign.”
“Captain Kirk. Welcome to New Vulcan. I am transmitting classified coordinates for you and your medical team for beam down. The coordinates are for my home, the Embassy.”
At this Jim and Leonard eyes met in surprise.
“Not the hospital, Ambassador?”
“No, Captain. The healer has agreed to come here for an initial diagnosis of Spock’s condition. Upon consideration, I concluded it would be best not to subject Spock to the ministrations of several Vulcan physicians and healers.”
“I see,” Jim said. He looked up at Bones who mouthed “pride” and rolled his eyes. “Very well, Ambassador.” He glanced at his comm. “I’ve received your coordinates. I’ll signal you when we’re ready to beam down. Kirk out.”
“Well, I guess that’s that. Bones, I’m going to tell Uhura to meet us in the transporter room.”
“Give us 15 minutes, Jim...I want to check Spock’s vitals for myself and decide about his next sedative dose,” Leonard said, striding into Spock’s room.
“Bridge. This is the Captain.”
“Sanjur here, Sir.”
“Ensign, have Lt. Uhura meet us in the transporter room in 15 minutes.”
After a minute of thought, Jim followed Bones into Spock’s room where he was already checking Spock’s vitals. Christine had tidied his hair, put a fresh gown on him and he’d been shaved. To Jim’s non medical eyes, he looked peacefully asleep.
“Just got his dose. He’s got another 4 hours before he’ll need another one, but we’ll have to see if the Vulcan healer agrees. If he doesn’t and Spock becomes violent again, at least there’ll be two super strong Vulcans to help subdue him, although I’d hate for his father to see him so feral.”
“So are ready for transport then?”
“Yeah, were ready. I don’t know why we couldn’t use one of the shuttles, Jim. I don’t like using the transporter with Spock so sick.”
“Sarek sent me a message along with the coordinates that he wants discretion about Spock’s mental deterioration and loss of control. A shuttle would have to go through Vulcan Space Central and land in the public area, and it’s a busy place. I gather, just from the little Spock has shared with me, that the Vulcans think that since he’s half human, he’s more prone to emotionalism. It’s not the Vulcan Way, so his behavior has always been open to Vulcan disdain and criticism. This would be more grist to their mill. Am I right about that, Geoff?”
“Yes, I’m afraid so, Captain. It’s one reason Spock didn’t choose the Vulcan Science Academy. He knew that every thing he said or did would be closely scrutinized, incessantly questioned and openly criticized.”
“Damn foolishness, and for sure not logical,” Leonard muttered angrily under his breath.
Jim spoke into his comm. “Lt. Hendorff?”
“Clear the halls from the Med Bay to the transporter room. Notify Mr. Scott that I want him to do the transport himself. We’ll move Mr. Spock in ten minutes.”
While Jim did the ten minute countdown in his head, Leonard had two orderlies transfer Spock to a hover stretcher. He also grabbed his field med bag. It was well equipped with all the essentials and some heavy duty extras too. Knowing Jim Kirk and his propensity for risk taking and allergic reactions, Leonard had learned the hard way never to go anywhere without it, be it a mission, shore leave, or even a walk in the proverbial park.
Jim saw that Spock was still deeply asleep, that even the transfer to the hover stretcher had not disturbed him. Christine draped a new med bay sheet over him, the restraints on the hover stretcher were enabled and they were ready to go.
“We’re ready, Jim. Christine you guide the front, I’ll take the back. Jim, you and Geoff walk on either side and he’ll ride smooth as silk.”
They left the med bay and walked down the empty hallway to the lift. “Deck 6,” Jim told the computer lift.
Transporter Chief Wyatt was in the room and Uhura was already there waiting for them. “Mr. Scott is on his way, Captain.”
“Thank you, Lt. Wyatt. Go ahead and take a 15 minute break.”
“Aye, Sir. Thank you,” he said.
“Are you ready for this Ny,” Leonard asked the silent Uhura.
“I am, Len. I just want Spock back to his normal self.”
“We all do, Ny. When Spock wakes up he’ll be happy you’re gonna’ be with him.”
Scotty came striding into the transporter room at a fast clip. “Reporting for duty, Sir. How is the poor lad?” He asked jerking his head toward Spock.
“The same, Scotty. No change,” Jim said, handing him a padd. “Here are the coordinates. They’re to Ambassador Sarek’s home. After transport, encrypt them in your padd, and erase them from the transporter pattern buffer, they’re not for public consumption and they’re highly classified. It wouldn’t do for the coordinates to Sarek’s home, which is also the New Vulcan Embassy, to become public information.”
Scotty’s horrified face told its own story. Security for the New Vulcan Embassy would be irrevocably compromised if those coordinates ever got out. New Vulcan had managed to create a few small habitable settlements in prime locations across the planet, but New ShiKar was the center of present Vulcan life and activity, and security was extremely tight in the city, and most particularly the Embassy.
“Aye, Captain. I’ll see to it immediately after transport.”
“Let me give everyone their dose of Triox, Jim. Then we can beam down.”
After their pills, they got the hover stretcher on one transporter padd with Christine and Geoff flanking it. Leonard cast an anxious look over at Spock. In spite of his deeply ingrained distrust of transporters scattering his atoms only God knew where, they were generally extremely safe. Ships’ personnel transporters worked on the quantum level to enable secure transport of most lifeforms. However transporting a seriously injured person was always problematical. Also, when the brain stem in a human was damaged and autonomic functions were failing, transport was only possible with a neural stabilizer attached to the patient’s head, otherwise it was dangerous and could even be fatal. Leonard and Geoff had checked and rechecked Spock’s brain stem before transport to be certain it was functioning properly and it was safe to transport him.
Jim took his place on one side of Bones on the transporter pad, and Uhura on the other. Jim leaned in and their shoulders touched. Leonard threw him a grateful glance. Jim knew about his hatred of transporters and always did his best to mitigate his fears.
They materialized in the middle of a large room, probably an assembly or reception area, furnished with utilitarian light weight furniture, mostly chairs and round tables pushed to the sides of the room. Sarek was standing there, dressed in a simple cream robe, a brown stole over his shoulders and loose pants of the same brown color. An elderly Vulcan stood at his side, dressed similarly. Christine and Geoff stood by the hover stretcher, and Uhura came to stand as close to Spock as she could. Jim and Leonard came forward to greet Ambassador Sarek, who, to Leonard’s doctorly eye, looked drawn. Jim raised his hand in the Ta’al and Leonard tried his best too, with very mixed results. “Ambassador, it’s good to see you again, although I’m sorry it’s under these circumstances.”
Sarek inclined his stately head. “Captain...James, welcome to my home. Dr. McCoy, this is Healer L’Vor, he who will evaluate Spock’s mental condition. L’Vor this is Dr. Leonard McCoy, Chief Medical Officer of the Starship Enterprise. This is Dr. Geoffrey M’Benga, his assistant, you may remember he interned on Vulcan some years past. This is Dr. McCoy’s Head Nurse, Christine Chapel, and Spock’s betrothed, Lt. Nyota Uhura.”
Jim saw that the Vulcan healer was shorter than Sarek, a little stooped with age, his long hair streaked with grey, his face weathered and lined. Healer L’Vor inclined his head a quarter on an inch. “As I am here now, you are all dismissed to return to your ship. I will see to Spock. You are no longer needed.”
Uh oh, Jim thought, glancing at Bones, watching two pink angry spots bloom on his high cheekbones. He stepped closer and reached up to brush a discreet warm hand lightly across his rigid back. Stay calm.
Leonard took a deep calming breath. “Healer L’Vor, you may be a renowned healer here on New Vulcan, but Spock is my patient and I’m his physician of record. His medical file, which he signed when he came on board the ship as First Officer, indicates so. When Spock signed that medical file, in effect, what he was saying was that he put the state of his health in my hands, that he trusted me to take as good care of him as I could. Now then, Sir, I am the Chief Medical Officer on Enterprise. My official title is Doctor, which as you well know also means healer. I have more letters after my title than your Vulcan alphabet, so, no, I’m not leavin’, and neither are Captain Kirk, Lt. Uhura, Nurse Chapel or Dr. M’Benga. Furthermore, if I’m not happy with what you’re gonna’ do to Spock, or if what you’re doing is harming my patient in any way, I'm not the one who is gonna’ be leaving. Have I made myself absolutely clear?” Leonard spoke slowly and clearly, never taking his eyes off the Vulcan healer.
A sudden flush of feeling rose in Jim. This was Bones, his Bones, telling off a supercilious Vulcan elder, and Jim was so proud of him he could burst...and a little turned on too, he had to admit. Bones was the only one who could make him feel this way, steal the breath from his body by his sheer awesomeness.
He kept his face still, glanced sideways at Ny and saw the proud glint in her eyes.
Bones’ stood straight, his stance outwardly calm now that he’d said his piece, but Jim saw that his blue shirt was stretched tight around the bunched muscles of his back.
“Sarek!” The Vulcan Healer sounded affronted. “Are you going to allow this?”
“I’m afraid I have no choice but to do so, Healer. We must abide by the medical laws and ethics of the Federation. As the Vulcan Ambassador to Earth and the President of the Federation Council, I can do nothing else but to do so. It is, after all, only logical to abide by the laws and regulations that I, as a member of the Council, helped to enact.”
The Healer looked keenly at Sarek’s impassive face, then nodded. “That is so, Sarek. Your logic is sound. Very well, Dr. McCoy and you others. Let us proceed with the examination.”
“All of you, please follow me,” Sarek told them. “I have prepared a room where Spock can be examined in complete privacy.”
An East Wind
“In each of us there is another whom we do not know.”
They followed Sarek down a long corridor which was relentlessly generic, white, barren, and devoid of any decoration or warmth. Other than themselves, there was no indication that anyone else was around. Sarek had obviously made sure their arrival and Spock’s medical condition was kept private, although Jim was sure that his most trusted Embassy staff had to know.
As they walked through the empty long corridor, Jim glanced around. There was absolutely nothing to see. This must be the public area of the Embassy, he thought, somewhat appalled at how cold and barren it all was. Surely Sarek’s actual living quarters would be more comfortable, more homelike. The Embassy hallway felt cool, obviously climate controlled for visitors who didn’t tolerate the outside heat well.
Spock’s hover stretcher, directed by Geoff and Christine, trailed behind Sarek and Healer L’Vor. Jim, Leonard and Nyota, clustered together, walking close behind it.
Sarek stopped outside an imposing double door, floor to ceiling in height. He opened it and ushered them into the room. Inside there were signs that someone lived here. Here were signs of life. The living area, Jim saw, had high ceilings and creamy plastered walls and seemed to be a kind of family room. There was a large fire-place with a simply carved wooden mantle and over it hung a landscape of the majestic Llagon Mountains of Old Vulcan. Two bookcases filled with real paper books flanked each side of the fireplace. There were two large sofas upholstered in soft blues, pale greens, and cream, and two comfortable looking cream and blue armchairs faced the sofas. The end tables placed by the sides of the arm chairs and sofas held held reading lamps made of jade green pottery topped with plain cream shades. The flagstone floor had softly patterned blue rugs overlapping each other to soften the look of the stone floor. There were translucent curtains over the large windows which were closed to block the bright sunlight, making the room dim and cool. It was a peaceful, tranquil room, earth like in its comfort and simplicity. Jim sent a longing glance at the books in the book cases as they kept walking through the room.
Sarek kept going, exiting the living room into another hallway. “We will go into one of the bedrooms. Spock can be placed on a bed there for L’Vor’s initial assessment and diagnosis.”
They went down the short hallway, until Sarek stopped in front of a door which he opened wide. It was a bedroom, not very large, carpeted with a thick cream rug over a wooden floor. There was a comfortable looking bed in the center of the room with a rose coverlet which was faded and looked old. The bed, the chest of drawers, and the two lamp tables were, Jim knew, real oak. They were simply constructed with no excess ornamentation or decoration. The lamps were on and cast a soft light on the bed. There was a rose and green upholstered side chair by the window, and a softly faded pieced quilt lay on the chair. Jim thought, that in fact, everything here looked old, as if they had been bought in antique shops on Earth. His great grandmother, grandmother and mother had furnished the Kirk’s 150 year old farmhouse with similar looking furniture.
After the total destruction of Vulcan, there had been absolutely nothing left on the planet, and only the things that had been taken off planet to Vulcan Embassies or private homes had been saved. It seemed to Jim that everything he’d seen so far, reflected what Spock’s mother would have wanted or treasured in their home before the destruction of Vulcan.
“Please place Spock on the bed,” Sarek said, drawing back the coverlet and sheet.
Geoff and Christine moved the hover stretcher closer, adjacent to the bed. Sarek picked Spock up from the stretcher as easily as if he were a baby, laying him carefully on the bed. Gently, he covered his son with the bed sheet, then, in an un-Vulcan like manner, tenderly smoothed down his ruffled bangs. Spock didn’t even stir at his father’s touch, he was still deeply asleep.
“This is where Healer L’Vor will examine Spock,” Sarek explained. “Once he assesses the extent of the damage to Spock’s memory and to his shields, he will determine the necessary steps to heal him. Then and only then, will he perform the healing meld. Eventually a three way meld will be required where Spock and I will be telepathically linked through L’Vor. In this way, he will be able to act as my guide in the meld as I assist him in reclaiming Spock’s earliest memories.”
“Now just a damn minute here...,” Leonard suddenly interjected. “I have to know a lot more about this procedure before I give the okay. Spock’s in a delicate condition, one wrong move and it might be catastrophic.”
“Bones....” Jim murmured a soft warning.
Sarek shook his stately head at Jim. “It is quite all right, Captain. I know it is Dr. McCoy’s concern for Spock’s well-being which prompts his caution.”
“Damn straight,” Leonard said. “I’m Spock’s physician of record which means I gotta’ be completely sure the Vulcan healer’s mental hoo doo is gonna’ help him. And I’m concerned for you too, Ambassador Sarek. Spock’s mental processes are a complete mess, and I’d hate for you to put yourself mentally at risk.”
“Thank you for your concern, Doctor. I can assure you that my mental shields are quite strong, and Healer L’Vor’s shields are also.” His eyes gleamed with wry amusement. “I’ve had many years of practice in shielding from mentally strident, loud species, Andorians come to mind. We will be cautious, and enter Spock’s mind step by slow step. Healer L’Vor, please explain to Dr. McCoy the process you will follow to heal Spock.”
L’Vor looked as scandalized as it was possible for a Vulcan to look. “Sarek, this procedure is for Vulcans only, it is not for off worlders to acquire knowledge of a healing mind meld.”
“Dr. McCoy is not just any off worlder, L’Vor, he is Spock’s personal physician. While Spock is on the ship, he is responsible for Spock’s health and well being, both physical and mental. You will tell him what we are going to do.”
The healer looked at Sarek’s implacable face and finally nodded. “Very well, Sarek.” He glanced at the still deeply asleep Spock. “For the first part of the meld, which I will undertake alone, it is not necessary for Spock to be awake. First, I will conduct a diagnostic meld. I can only determine the extent of the damage to Spock’s shields and to his memory by probing both his conscious and unconscious mind. After I determine the extent of the damage, I will first attempt to rebuild his shields. It is only after his shields are restored, that we will try to regain his memory. It is then, that Sarek and I will conduct a joint meld linking our minds to Spock’s. Sarek will, as his father, provide direction for me as I attempt to access then restore Spock’s memory. Spock does not need to be awake through the recovery process of his shields, but he does need to be awake to restore his memories. Will you be able to awaken him, Dr. McCoy?”
“Yes, either Dr. M’Benga or I can wake him up, Healer. You just tell me when you need him awake and the appropriate drug will be beamed down.”
L’Vor turned to Uhura. “Sarek has informed me that you are Spock’s betrothed, though not formally bonded as of yet?”
“That’s correct, Healer. Spock and I have not gone through a bonding ceremony, but we are deeply committed to one another.” Her pain was apparent in her face, lurking in her dark eyes as she spoke softly about their love.
“I may have need of you, Lieutenant, during the memory restoration portion of the meld. Are you agreeable?”
“Of course, Healer. I’m willing to do whatever I can to help Spock.”
“I will caution all of you that it will take many hours, perhaps even days to restore Spock’s shields as well as his memories.” He approached Spock’s bed. “And now it is time for me to conduct the diagnostic meld. There must be absolute silence while I am within Spock’s mind, and please do not come too close to the bed. Sarek, you will see to it?”
“Yes, Healer. I will see to it.” Sarek turned to Jim. “Captain, I think it would be best if everyone sits against the far wall.”
“As you wish, Sir.” The group sat down on the carpeted floor, their backs against the wall.
The healer nodded. “That is an acceptable distance. A chair for me, Sarek, as this will be quite fatiguing, and I will begin the diagnostic meld.”
Sarek brought the side chair and placed it adjacent to the bed right next to Spock’s head. The healer sat down, leaned in and placed his hands against Spock’s face and head, then murmured softly, “My mind to your mind, my thoughts to your thoughts....” His eyes closed and his body went rigid.
There was absolute silence in the room as the minutes ticked by. Jim, sitting next to Uhura on the floor, reached over for her cold hand and she wound her fingers tightly around his. He could only imagine what she must be feeling. Sarek stood by the bed, his posture rigid, hands behind his back in a manner, Jim thought with a pang, reminiscent of Spock’s usual stance, never taking his dark eyes away from the healer’s hands at Spock’s meld points. The anxiety in the room was palpable and could have been cut with a knife.
Time crept by; 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, two and a half hours. Jim was beginning to feel the strain of sitting completely immobile for so long. His legs were bent at the knee and they were falling asleep, so he slowly and carefully stretched them out, fearful that if he didn’t he would get a cramp. Jim was never still, except when he was asleep, and even then, he turned often in his bed. Bones looked over to him concerned. Are you alright? He telegraphed with a raised eyebrow. Jim nodded slowly. I’m fine.
Nyota shifted slightly, drew in a deep soft breath and leaned over to put her head on her knees. Christine pushed her head back against the wall and closed her eyes. Bones and Geoff’s eyes were still riveted on the unmoving Sarek and L’Vor. They both sat with their long legs crossed on the floor, and neither seemed to be restless or uncomfortable.
At the three hour mark, there was a faint sigh from L’Vor and he withdrew his hand from Spock’s meld points. Sarek’s body relaxed a tiny bit, as he shifted his rigid stance.
“The diagnostic meld is concluded,” the healer announced. The Enterprise group got slowly to their feet. “It would be best to discuss my findings in another room. However, I would prefer Spock not be left alone while I tell you my findings.”
“Nurse Chapel will stay with Spock, Healer. She has been his primary nurse through all this and Spock is her sole nursing assignment.”
“That is acceptable. Sarek, where can we speak undisturbed?”
“In my office, L’Vor. We will not be disturbed there. Please follow me.”
Everyone walked slowly and only Nyota did it with grace, the rest of them hobbling, trying to get their circulation going again.
“Nurse Chapel, keep a close eye on Mr. Spock,” Leonard called back to her. “We’ll be back soon.”
The three men and Nyota followed Sarek and the healer down the same hallway they had come through previously. Sarek opened another door and ushered everyone in. Jim saw that Sarek’s office was furnished like many offices on earth. There was a desk with his large comm unit on it, two faux leather office chairs facing the desk, and a larger one behind it for Sarek to sit. There was a bookcase behind the desk filled with padds and a few paper books. Again, Jim felt a twinge of envy at the sight. He loved paper books, but they were expensive and so far he only acquired a few and he treasured each one. On one of the shelves there was a framed picture of Amanda, another one of Spock in his Starfleet uniform, and another of an elderly Vulcan woman. This was Spock’s grandmother, T’Pau. She was one of the four original founding members of the Federation and the first signer of the Federation Charter, Jim thought awed. Spock came from Vulcan royalty, if Vulcans even believed in such things as royalty.
“Please sit if you wish,” Sarek told them. No one sat.
“Healer L’Vor,” Sarek turned to the elderly Vulcan. “We will hear your report now.”
“Very well, Sarek. This is my diagnosis of Spock’s condition.” The healer’s voice was flat, devoid of any emotion. “His shields are non existent, they will have to be rebuilt completely. His memory loss is catastrophic, however I have determined that all his memories are safe, dwelling within his Katra, his mind essence,” he explained to the Enterprise officers, “and which is, in the simplest terms, metaphorically speaking, hiding. I could detect only a faint remnant of his Katra, only a flicker that indicates that it, and his memories, are still within him. However even that flicker is a hopeful sign that all is not lost. Spock’s Vulcan identity has likewise receded almost to nothing. His Vulcan selfness has been compartmentalized behind a seemingly impenetrable wall. In my opinion, only you, Sarek, through our joint familial mind meld, will be able to dismantle this mental wall and only then, will I be able to reclaim his Katra, which is what defines Spock’s Vulcan identity. As for his Human identity, it has become his chosen one, perhaps because of his attachment to his human mother and his profound grief and guilt over her untimely death. It is a mental wound that has festered and grown larger since her death and it seems that his head injury was the catalyst that triggered all that you see now. Spock’s mental injuries are quite grave, the worst I have seen in my many years as a healer.”
“Can you help him, Healer?” Leonard asked into the shocked silence.
The healer nodded slowly. “I believe that I can. However, it will be a long process, and may take several days. It cannot be done without Sarek’s assistance, and I will also need you, Lt. Uhura, and you Captain Kirk when we begin to heal his memory loss. The memory of the two of you seems to have remained intact within his unconscious. His memories of you two are deeply hidden, but are still there. His memories of you, Captain, are contentious, but that is not necessarily a negative thing. Any emotion attached to a memory whether positive or negative, makes it simpler to call forth. His memories of you, Lt. Uhura, are all positive and the emotions tied to those memories are happiness and serenity.”
Tears came to Nyota’s eyes and Leonard put his arm around her. Jim lowered his head, uncomfortable with the fact the Spock’s memories of him were rooted in their past animosity.
L’Vor turned his dark eyes to Leonard. “Dr.McCoy, how often are you administering Spock’s sedative?”
“Every four hours. We’ve tried several, this one seems to be working for the full four hours. Spock will be due another dose in about an hour.”
“I would like for you to continue with that dosage. Spock’s mind is more pliable and easier to access while he’s sedated. Otherwise he will fight the healing meld. Later it may be possible to lessen the sedation...after his shields are back in place. Also, Dr. McCoy, I will need you and Dr. M’Benga to monitor Spock’s physical condition, particularly his heart and blood pressure. A healing mind meld of such long duration is difficult and sometimes even dangerous to a full Vulcan. During a prolonged meld vital signs are always monitored. Sometimes it is necessary to interrupt the meld to let the body rest, then begin anew. With Spock’s hybrid constitution I cannot logically predict how his body will tolerate it. We cannot compromise his natural physical responses too heavily, or his body will shut down. There is a prearranged signal that I will share with you doctors to stop the meld. Captain Kirk, are all of you willing to assist me?”
Jim eyed Nyota, Christine, then Geoff. They nodded. Then he looked at Bones, who looked back at him and raised his eyebrow. There was no hesitation in any of them...and Bones? Bones packed an entire irate fool Vulcan Healer, of course we'll help, into that single glance and eyebrow raise.
“We are all willing, Healer L’Vor, all of us present here are fully committed to do anything we can to help Spock.”
“Very well, Captain.” He turned to Sarek. “Lastly, after his memories return, and while still within the meld I will help him reclaim his Vulcan identity, and all that comes with it.”
“When do you wish to begin, L’Vor?” Sarek asked.
“I will begin in two hours. I suggest that you settle your guests in their accommodations first, then return, because I will need both doctors here with me to monitor Spock. The nurse and the other two are excused for this first meld. Meanwhile, I will need some slight nourishment, water, some fruit perhaps, and then I will meditate to prepare myself. I suggest that after your guests are settled, you too eat something Sarek, and meditate. I anticipate our first session will last three perhaps four hours. I do not want to task Spock’s system or my own over much. Later perhaps after we see how he reacts to the healing meld I may be able to extend the time for him and for myself.”
“It will be as you say, L’Vor. We have plenty of room here in the Embassy for guests,” he said. “Come with me.”
“Healer L’Vor, as Spock’s Captain, as his commanding officer, I want to be here to observe. I hope that’s not going to be a problem.”
“If that is your wish, Captain, you may observe. However there will be little to see once the meld begins.”
“What about Nurse Chapel?” Geoffrey asked Sarek.
“Her accommodations will be ready for her once she is relieved from duty.”
Sarek took them down yet another hallway where three doors were already opened. Each room was large and airy, and all three had two beds. “You and Doctor McCoy will be here in this first bedroom, Captain. Next to you, will be yours, Dr. M’Benga, and next to you, will be Nurse Chapel’s and Lieutenant Uhura’s. There are two bathrooms for your use directly across the hall. I suggest that you take this opportunity to refresh yourselves and rest.”
“Thank you, Sarek.” Jim said. “If you don’t mind, I’ll ask Yeoman Rand to gather some clothes and personal items for all of us, and I’ll have Mr. Scott beam them down. We didn’t come prepared to stay overnight.”
“Of course, Captain. Please have everything sent to the same coordinates I gave you. Someone will bring your things to your rooms as soon as they arrive. Now if you’ll excuse me I must see about providing nourishment for Healer L’Vor. Please return to Spock’s bedroom in two hours.”
With a swish of his robe, Sarek closed the door and was gone.
Jim looked at the others. It looked like they were going to be here for a while. “Nyota, how are you doing?”
“I’m relieved that the healer will be able to help Spock, Captain, and more optimistic about his recovery than I was.”
“I think we all are, Ny, and call me Jim while we’re here. We aren’t on duty.” After asking the others what they wanted from the ship, he opened his communicator to arrange for Janice to gather their personal belongings and for Scotty to beam them down. There was a discreet knock at the door and Jim opened it to find a Vulcan standing there holding a large tray laden with fruit, and an assortment of cheeses, crackers, and iced beverages.
“The Ambassador sent this for your nourishment,” the Vulcan aide told them, looking curiously at the off worlders. He had not been told why they were here, but he was curious.
“Thank you,” Jim said.
The Vulcan placed the tray on the dresser. “If you require anything else, just ring the bell here.” He showed them an unobtrusive button on the wall, bowed slightly and left them.
“We better eat something,” Leonard said. “I doubt that we’ll have any kind of lunch, so all of you better eat now. Ny, please make sure Christine has something to eat when she gets back to your room.”
“I will, Len.”
They all ate and drank of the refreshing fruit drink on the table, Leonard also made sure they drank water. He was keeping a close eye on their water consumption. Although it was cool inside the Embassy thanks to its climate control, it was still extremely dry, and dehydration was a real possibility. After eating and drinking, Leonard reminded them of the planet’s denser gravity and the need for rest until they were called to go back to Spock.
After Geoff and Ny left, Jim looked at Bones’ furrowed brow. “Is everything okay, Bones?” Jim asked. “You’ve got your frown face on.”
Leonard smiled thinly. “Yeah. I mean, I'm fine, I guess, it's just...,” he sighed. “I'm kinda worried, because I’m just not used to turning over complete care of one of my patients to someone else, Jim. This L’Vor guy, how do we even know what he’s doin’ is goin’ to help Spock? Sarek seems to trust him, but who the hell understands what’s he’s doing? It’s all some sort of Vulcan mystical hoo doo,” he muttered darkly.
“Bones.” Jim murmured, coming up to him and placing soothing hands on his shoulders. This was his Bones, always hyper vigilant, always protective and concerned about his patients. “I know you’re worried about how this meld thing is gonna go, but Geoff seems okay with everything the healer said, right?” He cupped Bones’ cheeks in his two warm hands. Jim didn’t want Bones to worry so much. He was the Captain, and he was determined to take some of the worry off him, not just because it was his job as Captain to care for every one of crew, but because he loved him so damn much. He would love and take care of his Bones like no one else ever had.
Leonard nodded. “He did.”
“And Geoff has a lot more experience with Vulcan healing techniques, right?”
“And Sarek was okay with what the healer was planning, right?”
“Well, then, please stop worrying so much. The healer, Sarek, Geoff, you, all of us, we’re all going to do everything we can to get Spock well again. You’ll see, Spock is going to be himself again.” Jim drew him into his arms. “Now what do you say to making use of one of those beds and getting some rest,” he said, pulling Leonard gently toward the nearest bed.
An East Wind
“Love in all its forms is the most powerful weapon we have.
Because love is a form of hope, and like hope,
love abides in the face of everything.”
They took off their boots and uniform shirt, keeping their socks, pants and black undershirt on. Jim led them to one of the beds. It was big enough for the two of them, and even if it wasn’t, they would have made do. As soon as they lay down, Jim drew Bones tight against him and felt his tense shoulders relax. Bones made a deep sound of comfort and wiggled closer to Jim, wrapping himself around him.
Jim drew in a deep breath, willing his raging libido away. Now was not the time nor the place to be thinking about sex, but there was something about Bones that drove Jim completely nuts with desire. Being this close to him, Jim’s usual control and caution around Bones went right out the proverbial window. Just having Bones touch him raised his heart rate and made his skin feel hot. He’d never been with anyone, not even Gaila with her Orion pheromones, who made him feel so crazed, so out of control.
“Jim,” murmured Bones.
“Love you so much,” Bones told him simply and sleepily.
Jim’s heart clenched at the words. He couldn’t quite believe that this was his reality now, that Bones was in his arms, that he was privileged to hear those words from those lips. He breathed deeply trying to calm his euphoria. He had lost so much in his life, his father, his brother who’d left him, people who had entered his life then left it again, his home, the places he’d been to that he’d never see again, but Bones had, from the beginning, been his lodestone, his fixed point on the compass of his life. “Love you too, Bonesy, more everyday. Go to sleep now, a nap will do us both good.”
In spite of his valiant effort to stay awake, Jim did doze for a while until a discreet knock at the door woke him. He looked down at Leonard. The knock had not disturbed him. Carefully, he pulled away from his arms and padded on his socked feet to the door. Sarek was there. He glanced at the rumpled bed, at Leonard still asleep, then at the other undisturbed one, and raised one eyebrow slightly in surprise. “Healer L’Vor asks that we all convene in Spock’s room. He will begin the meld soon. He requests that Dr. McCoy and Dr. M’Benga bring their medical instruments. They will be monitoring Spock’s physical responses to the meld.”
“Are the others up?”
“Yes. Please join us as soon as possible.”
“We’ll be right there. I’ll have to wake Bones, he’s tired. Since the accident happened, not being able to help Spock has weighed heavily on him, he’s been worried and hasn’t slept well.”
“In his communications to me, Spock has mentioned how conscientious the Doctor is, how diligent he is in his care of all your crew. Spock has told me he’s an exemplary physician.”
Jim kept his surprise at Sarek’s words to himself. He’d have to tell Bones about Spock’s praise of him to his father, maybe that would help their contentious interactions.
He closed the door, and went over to wake Bones by the simple expedient of kissing him softly.
“Bones, wake up now,” Jim said giving him quick little kisses all over his face. “The mind meld is going to begin soon. L’Vor is going to need you, Bonsey, so wake up.”
Leonard opened his kaleidoscope eyes. He looked up at Jim and smiled sweetly, his dimples prominent. “Jim,” he murmured, blinking rapidly. “It’s a mighty fine thing to wake up and the first thing I see is your pretty face, ‘cause I happen to be rather smitten with that face, you know.”
“You think I’m pretty, Bones?” Jim gave him a blinding smile.
“Prettiest thing in the quadrant,” he drawled. “Barring Jojo, of course. You can’t beat my little Jo.”
“‘Course not,” Jim snorted. “No one in the quadrant beats Jojo. Aaand...just so happens I happen to be rather smitten with your face too.” They grinned happily at one another.
Leonard sat up slowly on the bed and stretched his broad shoulders under Jim’s admiring gaze. “Guess it’s time, huh?”
“Yes.” Jim said, getting up and pulling his boots on. “They’re waiting for us. Sarek said to you’ll need your med bag with you, Bones. You and Geoff both.”
“Figured as much, from what that healer said. Got it right here with me,” he patted his bag affectionately. Since getting acquainted with James T. Kirk, he never went anywhere without it. Leonard put his boots on too, and they both pulled their slightly rumpled outer shirts over their heads. “I’m going to the bathroom and wash my face, Jim. I still feel groggy.”
“I’ll wait for you in the hall.” Jim looked after him anxiously. Bones still looked tired. He hoped that tonight they would both sleep soundly after Bones assured himself that Healer L’Vor knew what he was doing with Spock.
The two men found that Nyota and Geoff were already in Spock’s room, both standing against the hall. “I sent Christine to her room to rest. She said if we needed her she’d come right back.” Geoff spoke softly not wanting to disturb Sarek and L’Vor who were speaking quietly to each other. Jim was happy to see that Nyota looked better after her rest.
Sarek came up to them. “We are ready to begin. L’Vor asks that you, Dr. McCoy and Dr. M’Benga take turns monitoring Spock. You are first, Dr. McCoy. You will have your turn this afternoon, Dr. M’Benga. It is quite fatiguing to stand silently and still for several hours while the meld is taking place.”
“That’s mighty considerate of him,” Leonard said.
“Healer L’Vor will be on Spock’s right, with his hand on Spock’s meld points. You will be on his left, Doctor. If Spock’s heart rate and blood pressure begin to rise above the normal Vulcan range, you will tell me and I will communicate this to L’Vor. You are not to touch the healer. With his shields down to conduct the healing meld, any touch other than my own, would fill his mind with your thoughts and emotions. I will shield before I touch him.”
“I understand, Ambassador. Dr. M’Benga and I have Spock’s blood pressure and heart rate base lines stored in our medical tricorders. I’ll keep a close eye on the readouts.”
L’Vor approached the bed. “I will begin with rebuilding Spock’s mental shields. It will take some time, but I can do nothing else to heal him until he can deal with all that will come with the return of his memory.”
“Very well, let us begin.” Sarek nodded to the healer and came to stand directly behind him, close enough to touch should it become necessary.
Healer L’Vor brushed Spock’s bangs off his forehead, then placed his finger tips on Spock’s face tightly against his skull and temples. The group could hear him intone softly, "My mind to your mind, my thoughts to your thoughts," He closed his eyes and the room became still, completely silent.
Jim quietly sat on the floor and Geoff and Nyota followed his lead. He saw that Bones was clutching the tricorder tightly, his eyes never leaving the readouts which were flashing rapidly. The minutes ticked slowly by.r Healer L’Vor never moved his fingers from Spock’s meld points, his body remaining completely relaxed, yet somehow intent.
Jim sighed softly, the healer had been right. The mind meld process was proving to be long and tedious, yet no one twitched a muscle, everyone’s gaze remained fixed on the recumbent Spock. Bones, Jim saw, hadn’t moved a muscle.
Jim stealthy checked his chronometer. They’d now been here over an hour. He stole a look at Uhura. Her head was back against the wall with her eyes closed. Geoff too, had leaned back and closed his eyes, looking completely calm and relaxed. To Jim’s certain knowledge, Geoff, was a man who always exuded calmness and competency. Jim has never seen him lose his cool or get rattled no matter how dire things were in the Med Bay. Leonard, Jim knew, thought the world of him. Geoffrey was, like Bones, a brilliant doctor and the two made a formidable team. Bones, a bundle of excitable, grumpy energy, Geoff, quiet, gentle, serene, yet both committed and focused on doing their absolute best for Jim and the Enterprise crew.
Suddenly Bones stiffened at something he saw on the tricorder. He turned toward the wall. “Geoff,” he mouthed at Jim.
Jim poked Geoffrey, pointed at Bones and Geoff jumped to his feet. Leonard showed him the tricorder, and Geoff pulled out his own to check Spock. The two doctors compared readings, then nodded to each other. Leonard walked over to Sarek, whose dark eyes hadn’t left the healer’s form. He touched Sarek’s arm, leaned in and whispered in his ear. Sarek nodded, stepped up to the healer and tapped him sharply on the shoulder. The healer bent his head, slowly withdrew his hand, blinked once and turned to Leonard.
“Dr.McCoy, what has transpired with Spock?”
“Spock’s heart rate and blood pressure were climbing, Healer L’Vor. Dr. M’Benga concurred it would be best to stop the meld.”
The healer inclined his head. “I expected this would happen. Spock is fighting me. Rebuilding his shields has been more difficult than I anticipated and I must do so slowly in the way Vulcan parents do when the child is young. It is quite taxing to do it in this manner, but to force Spock could be catastrophic. We will take a short break and let him rest. When is he due for his next dose of sedative, Dr. McCoy?”
“He’s almost due.” Leonard looked at his padd...in 27 minutes to be exact.”
“In that case, we will not resume until after his next dose. His mind will be more pliable at that time. Sarek, are you in agreement?”
“I am, Healer. Even as a child, Spock had a strong will as well as a formidable focus. If he is fighting you, then yes, the use of a sedative is appropriate before you resume.”
“Very well. Dr. McCoy, as soon as it is time, please administer his next dose of sedative and I will resume. I will take a short rest.” The healer sat in the side chair and closed his eyes. Sarek sat at the foot of Spock’s bed, put his long fingers on Spock’s leg and also closed his eyes.,
Leonard beckoned to Geoff, Jim and Nyota and they stepped out in the hall.
“How do you think it’s going, Bones?” Jim asked anxiously.
“Who the hell knows, Jim. This Vulcan mind stuff is outside my experience. Geoff?”
“As near as I can tell, from my limited experience of seeing mind melds on Vulcan, it looks like it’s going okay. Lt. Uhura, your opinion?”
“Um...,” Uhura hesitated. “My experience is limited too...I’ve only experienced a mind meld during...um...our...intimate moments, and...um...he explained those were shallow melds. I think this type of healing meld is completely different.”
Jim opened his mouth to comment, but felt a slight pinch to his side, so closed it instead. Uhura glared at him, daring him to say a word.
“I’d say it’s going as well as can be expected,” Geoff said hurriedly. “As I understand it, the most difficult part is still to come, the link with Sarek to regain his memories of life on Vulcan with his parents, his clan, his school mates. I imagine Sarek will fill in the blanks as much as he’s able, and Spock will do the rest once the floodgates to his memories are opened. At least that’s how I understand it.”
“Geoff, how much more do you think Spock can tolerate? I stopped the meld after an hour and a half. It’s obviously stressful for him.”
“We’ll play it conservatively, Len. Maybe an hour, hopefully closer to two hours and no more until we see if Mr. Spock is tolerating it well. Let me take this turn monitoring Spock’s vitals. I know it’s tiring standing still like that completely focused on that tricorder.”
“I agree,” Jim said looking at Bones’ tired face. “You rest this next turn, Bones.”
Leonard sighed...it had been tiring on his back and legs. He wasn’t used to standing still for so long. In the Med Bay even during delicate surgeries he moved constantly. Jim’s worried blue eyes were intent on him. “Yeah, okay. I’ll rest for a while,” Leonard agreed tiredly
The went back in the bedroom. Sarek looked up as they entered. “Doctor?”
“It’s time, Ambassador, I’m going to give him his next sedative dose.”
“I observed that Spock is getting restless, Doctor, his hands have been twitching, and his legs move constantly.”
“Those are his symptoms when the effects of the sedative begins to wear off. It will stop when this dose takes effect.” Leonard pulled out a hypo, gently injected Spock, then put his fingers to his wrist to check Spock’s pulse the old fashioned way. He also pinched Spock’s skin for signs of dehydration. He and Geoff didn’t want to give him a saline IV if they didn’t have to. He double checked Spock’s vitals with his tricorder and nodded satisfied. “The sedative has taken effect, Sir. The healer can begin the meld again.” Leonard went to stand by Jim and Nyota, and Geoffrey moved forward toward the bed to take his place.
Sarek went to L’Vor. “It is time, Healer.”
L’Vor rose immediately. “I will continue.”
“Healer L’Vor,” Geoffrey said respectfully. “Dr. McCoy and I agree that one hour, one hour and a half maximum is all Spock will tolerate in his present condition. Also, for this session, I will be the one monitoring Mr. Spock.”
“I concur about the duration of the meld, Doctor. Spock is fighting me, and the meld is quite mentally and physically taxing for me as well. After this session, I will cease until later this afternoon. I must take time to meditate after our luncheon in order to reinforce my own shields.”
The second session went on as before, Geoff standing perfectly still tricorder in hand, Sarek standing by Spock’s bedside, the Healer with his hands at Spock’s meld points, and Jim, Leonard, and Nyota silent sitting on the floor. Time, Jim thought wearily, looking at the still tableaux, crawled by “silently on little cat feet.” If this was hard on both the participants and the watchers, he could only imagine what it was doing to Nyota. What must she be feeling, he wondered, as she watched the Healer, and waited for the man she loved to come back to her?
Bones long fingered hand was resting on the carpet. Jim carefully placed his right hand beside it, barely touching, but Bones felt it and turned to face Jim, his hazel eyes warm. They exchanged soft smiles.
Geoff shifted on his feet, turned his head toward Leonard and gestured with his head. Leonard stood immediately, coming forward so Geoff could show him the tricorder readings. They exchanged a meaningful look and Leonard came around to get Sarek’s attention.
“Time to stop the meld, Sarek,” he said, voice so soft only Sarek could hear. “Spock’s blood pressure and heart rate are climbing again.”
Sarek immediately tapped the Healer’s back. L’Vor opened his eyes and began to disengage from the meld. “His resistance has lessened, but it is there still. I will stop now and continue late this afternoon. I have been able to rebuild his earliest shields, those he acquired when quite young, before his Kahs Wan trial.”
“So it seems you have made some progress, Healer L’Vor?”
“I have, Sarek. There is still much to be done, but I will persevere.” He inclined his stately head. “I will now return to my room for further meditation, please send food to me there. I will not join you for the mid-day meal, but I will resume the healing meld two hours before sunset, then stop until tomorrow. Do not despair, Sarek, your only child will be himself once more. I am quite determined we will not lose one more Vulcan to the aftermath of Nero.”
“It will be as you say, Healer L’Vor,” Sarek bowed his head.
They watched as the aged L’Vor, dignified and ramrod straight, left the room.
“Nyota, sweetheart, will you go get Christine?” Leonard asked. “I want her to sit with Spock and monitor his vitals.”
“When you return with Nurse Chapel, Nyota, we will have our mid day meal,” Sarek told her. “I will have Nurse Chapel’s meal sent here. Perhaps,” Sarek suggested with a thoughtful look at the departing Uhura, “after lunch all of you would like a short outing, a visit to New Shikhar, since nothing more will be done for Spock until late afternoon.”
“I think a distraction would be good for all of us,” Leonard agreed. Uhura seems stoic to those who didn’t know her well, but they, her friends here, could see how worried and sad she was.
“It would be interesting to see how the resettling is progressing, Ambassador. It can go into my report to Admiral Pike.”
“Captain, and all of you, please call me Sarek. This is not an official occasion, you are here as Spock’s friends and colleagues.”
“Thank you, Sarek.”
“We’d all like to go to New ShiKar, Sarek, but I don’t want to get too far away from Spock, just in case Nurse Chapel needs us,” Leonard told him. “And everyone will need to take a dose of Triox before goin’ outside in the heat.”
“Nothing yet is far from here, Doctor. New Shikar is growing, but still quite a small area, and it is situated close to the Embassy. If need be I can have you beamed back here within seconds from anywhere in New Shiksar, so there is no need for concern.” He looked at their uniforms. “I will also have some light weight clothing brought to your rooms. In our high temperatures, cool, loose trousers and tunics will be much more comfortable than your uniforms. I keep several sets of clothing for visitors who arrive unprepared for the heat.”
“Thank you, Sarek. I have to admit these uniforms are not pleasant to wear in the heat.”
Nyota came back with Christine and in a low voice, Leonard gave instructions for Spock’s care. “He’ll need a nutrient supplement at noon, Chris. Have Barrows mix it up for you and have Mr. Scott beam it down. Is that okay, Sarek?”
“Mr. Scott is the only one who has your coordinates,” Jim assured him.
Sarek nodded. “I will give instructions to my aide to bring it here to Nurse Chapel as soon as it arrives.”
“Monitor his vitals every hour, Chris. Comm me immediately if there’s any change.”
“Your lunch will be brought to you, Nurse Chapel, and if you need anything, just press this button here.” Sarek showed her the unobtrusive button by the door. “I will come periodically to see Spock and to check should you have any concerns.”
“Thank you, Ambassador.”
“Your new clothes should now be in your rooms. After you change, one of my aides will direct you to the dining room. He will be in your hallway in 30 minutes. I will meet you in the dining room.”
Once back in their room the two men stripped quickly and stepped into their cooler clothes. The loose trousers and tunics were lightweight and soft, and Leonard gave a sigh of relief at shedding his hot uniform. He felt cooler already. He folded his uniform neatly and put them in the drawer. Hopefully he wouldn’t wear it again until they were ready to go back to the ship. He looked at Jim in his cream tunic and brown trousers and smiled faintly. “Look at you,” he said, admiring the way the shirt hung off his broad shoulders. “You look a lot cooler; super comfortable clothes aren’t they? Too bad we can’t wear them on the ship,” he added as his hands smoothed down Jim’s shoulders and arms and he leaned in for a soft kiss.
“We’d be too cold, Bones.” Jim grinned, kissing him back. “At least you would be with that thin southern blood of yours. We Iowa boys are made of sterner stuff.”
Leonard smiled but it didn’t reach his eyes. There was tension in his shoulders and that furrow between his brows was back.
“What’s the matter, Bones?” Jim’s voice was soft, his blue eyes concerned.
Leonard sighed. “It’s nothin’, Jim, at least not yet. I’m just sort of antsy about Spock’s physical reactions to the meld. When Geoff showed me Spock’s results, his blood pressure and heart rate readings were even higher than from the first meld. I’m not sure if that’s gonna’ be a pattern with each session, because if it is, the duration of the melds will definitely have to be shortened. I didn’t wanna say anythin’ to Sarek or L’Vor, least not ‘til we had to. I don’t like it Jim, neither does Geoff, so we’ve decided it would be best to give Sarek and L’Vor a heads up about it.”
Jim nibbled at his bottom lip, thinking. “Yeah, I agree, they do need to know.”
“I’ll tell them right after lunch, then.”
“So if Spock’s reactions become a pattern, what then?”
“Geoff and I are gonna confer, we’ll look at some alternates. There are some drugs we might use, but we’ll have to play it by ear. I’m also gonna’ confer with the Healer. Maybe he’s knows about a Vulcan drug or drugs that we can use to mitigate Spock’s symptoms. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
“Alright, sounds like a plan. For now, though, let’s not worry too much, or worry Uhura more than she already is. I have faith that you and Geoff will find something to help Spock if his symptoms become more of a problem. Come on, let’s go have lunch. I’m sure Sarek’s aide is waiting for us in the hall. Some good food and a bit if a distraction will do us all good, especially Ny.” Jim pulled him gently out into the hall and sure enough, Sarek’s aide was standing with Uhura and Geoff waiting for them.
“Captain, Doctor. If you will all follow me, I will take you to the dining room for luncheon.”
“Lead the way,” Jim said.
An East Wind
“There must be something strangely sacred in salt.
It is in our tears and in the sea.”
Lunch was delicious, a variety of grains, breads, salads, and hot vegetables. Everyone ate hungrily except, Jim noticed, Uhura, who idly picked at her food.
Sarek noticed too. “Nyota, do these food selections not appeal to you? Would you like something else?” he asked.
“No, no, thank you, Sarek. The food is delicious. I guess I’m just not hungry.”
“Ny, you’ve got to eat something, your body needs nourishment and you didn’t eat much on the ship either,” Leonard told her quietly.
“The Doctor is correct, Nyota. My son would not be pleased that you are ignoring your body’s nutritional needs, you know he cares deeply about your state of health and well being.”
“Yeah, when Spock gets well, he won’t like it if you’ve wasted away to skin and bones worrying about him, Ny,” Jim added.
“I’ve got a long way to go before that happens,” she snorted, but to everyone’s satisfaction, she picked up her fork and began to eat. Conversation became general and they finished their meal, Bones reminding them to drink all their water.
“T’Sek, please clear the table and then bring in coffee and dessert for my guests.”
“Yes, Ambassador Sarek.”
“Sarek, before our dessert and coffee, Geoff and I would like to speak with you for just a minute. Somewhere private since it’s a medical matter.”
“Of course, Doctors. Let us go into my office. James, Nyota, please excuse us, we will return shortly. Nyota, when T’Sek returns please ask him to prepare a lunch tray to take to Nurse Chapel. Remind him to include a glass of cool water, please.”
“Gentlemen?” He led the two doctors in to his office. “Please sit down.”
Leonard looking around, saw that Sarek’s office was large and well appointed. There was a large comm with a screen sitting on a large beautiful desk. The desk looked quite old and was made of real rosewood which had been polished to a soft glow. Leonard looked at it in admiration.
Sarek saw Leonard’s obvious appreciation of his beautiful desk. “The desk once belonged to Amanda’s great grandfather,” he said. “It was saved because it was in my office on Earth. It was Amanda’s wedding gift to me and for that reason I treasure it greatly. Someday the desk will go to Spock, as most things here will and the few family and personal items I have at the Embassy in San Francisco,” he added, sitting down. “Now what is it you wish to tell me, Leonard.”
“Sarek, Geoffrey and I are concerned about Spock’s vitals. They’ve spiked when he’s deep in the meld and it’s happened twice now. The second time his heart rate and blood pressure rose even higher than in the first meld. We’re concerned that if this becomes a pattern, the healing melds will have to be shortened.”
“Are you saying that it would become dangerous for Spock if the healer keeps him in the meld for too long?”
Geoffrey looked unhappy. “Yes, I’m afraid so, Sir. Spock’s normal Heart rate is 242 bpm and his normal blood pressure is 80/40. His Vulcan blood vessels are normally more dilated than humans and that’s why his blood pressure is always lower than the normal 120/80 in a human. As I mentioned to Dr. McCoy, Vulcans have formidable stamina and great control of their autonomic functions and if Spock was conscious he would be able to control those autonomic functions, keeping his heart rate and blood pressure under control. Being unconscious and sedated he’s not able to do so. Leonard and I are concerned that if his blood pressure and heart rate become greatly elevated there’s a real danger that he could suffer from a stroke or heart attack.”
“Yes, I understand,” Sarek murmured. He permitted himself a small sigh. “As I am sure you know, Dr. M’Benga, Vulcans have a genetic tendency toward cardiovascular weakness. I had hoped that the human red cells in Spock’s blood, and the human strands of his DNA entwined with his Vulcan DNA, would spare him that genetic predisposition. However from the results of your scans, and your present concern about his heart and brain, I see that has not occurred, that the tendency has manifested itself in Spock. Our scientists and healers have been working to correct that for many years, but nothing new has been discovered to countermand our genetic propensity. I will address your concerns with L’Vor, he may be able to mitigate Spock’s symptoms within the meld.”
“Could he really do that”? Leonard’s doubt was palpable.
Sarek nodded. “If he cannot, or does not want to tax himself further while he’s rebuilding Spock’s shields, I can join the meld to do this. It is not an optimum solution, my part in this process was to be a catalyst, to help Spock regain his memories, but first it is imperative that we proceed with the meld so that Spock can regain his shields, else his memories as well as his Vulcan identity will remain lost to him,”
Leonard glanced at Geoff who nodded his agreement. “Very well Ambassador, as long as we have a plan B, to fall back on, then Dr. M’Benga and I will agree to continue the meld, but with due diligence from you, Sir, and the agreement from both you and L’Vor for your direct intervention in case Spock’s vitals become compromised.”
“I am in agreement with your provisos, Doctor. It is highly gratifying to me that you and Dr. M’Benga are so assertive and vigilant about Spock’s health.”
“‘Course we are, Sir. Spock is one of our own, he’s part of the Enterprise family, and all the Medical staff sees him as such.”
Sarek inclined his head. “Please continue with your meal, Doctors. I will return to the dining room after I speak with L’Vor.”
“Is there something wrong?” Nyota asked worriedly as Geoffrey and Leonard returned to the table.
“No, nothing is wrong right now, Ny. Geoff and I are trying to forestall any blood pressure or heart rate problems Spock may have arising from the meld. Just needed to check a few things about Vulcan physiology with Sarek,” Bones assured her. He glanced at Jim. “We’re still on schedule to resume the meld later today.”
True to his word, Sarek returned in time for his dessert and coffee. Jim looked at him bemusedly as he ate his pie with apparent enjoyment. There was a relaxed contented set to Sarek’s face that he’d never seen in Spock’s.
“Do you enjoy sweets, Sarek? On the ship, we can never get Spock to eat desserts, he says sugar doesn’t do it for him.”
“I do,” Sarek said. “Amanda, she who was my wife, always enjoyed dessert after we ate our main meal. She was an excellent baker, so I acquired the habit of eating dessert after a meal because of her. As a child, and later as an adolescent, Spock enjoyed sweets. They seemed to agree with him then. Once he was at the Academy however, he stopped eating desserts, but I do not know why.”
“I know why,” Uhura spoke up. “Spock told me why.”
Sarek looked at her with interest. “What did he tell you, Nyota?”
“Spock said that there was no dessert available at the Academy or on the ship that even came close to Amanda’s baking, so he just stopped eating all desserts. Occasionally Amanda sent him a box of her cakes and cookies, and he did eat those and sometimes shared them with me. We enjoyed them very much.”
“Ah, eminently logical,” Sarek said. “It is quite true that no other baked items I have eaten live up to Amanda’s.”
After everyone finished eating, Leonard passed out the Triox pills, and then Sarek put one of the Embassy shuttles at their disposal. He gave them the coordinates to New ShiKar and Jim piloted them there. He loved to fly, and had too few opportunities to do so since becoming Captain. He landed in the Commons parking area, and the four walked through the town, and in spite of the heat, it was good to be out in the fresh air and away from the tension in the Embassy.
They received many curious glances as they walked through the commercial area. In spite of their Vulcan style clothing it was still evident they were off worlders. Whether they were recognized as Enterprise crew members, the Vulcans were too inherently polite to ask.
It made Leonard uncomfortable. “Jim, why are they all starin’ at us?”
“Guess because we’re strangers,” Jim answered. “Or,” he added mischievously, “because we’re all such attractive humans, they can’t help it.”
Leonard snorted and Nyota giggled, which lightened Jim’s heart. It had been too long since he’d heard Nyota laugh. “Yeah, right, because Vulcans are so enamored of handsome human men and women.”
“Bet they are, Bones, but I bet they cloak it in the guise of “logic dictates that your appearance is esthetically pleasing, therefore it is normal to stare,” Jim intoned solemnly. They all burst out laughing, enjoying the moment of levity even if the laughter caused the Vulcans to stare even more.
They walked on and inspite of their cooler clothing Leonard was sweating and Jim’s face was pink and damp. Nyota and Geoff also looked warm, but everyone walked gamely on. They looked in the shop windows that were already in business until Leonard stopped suddenly and looked inside a gift shop.
“What is it, Bones?”
“Look..it’s a stuffed baby Sehlat. Bet Jojo would love that. I’m gonna’ buy if for her,” he said, hurrying inside the shop.
Jim followed the tall lean figure with tenderness in his eyes. Len was a devoted father. He never missed his weekly comm calls with Jo and there was always a weekly running vid letter that he did in bits and pieces every day until Uhura would send it off to Jo every ship’s Saturdays. That it was sent as a priority communique was a secret shared only by Jim and Nyota. Jim had made it his mission to make absolutely sure that Jocelyn never had any ammunition to question Bones’ devotion to Joanna. Bones adored his daughter and the fact that Jocelyn had been granted full custody of Joanna was a deeply hurtful wound that only Jim knew about. Bones was not a man who gave his love easily. He loved only a few people, but those he loved, he loved deeply, with a true and fervent devotion. It was a short list, the people Bones loved, his father, now gone, his mama, Joanna, and now Jim, who felt giddily privileged that he was now included in that short list.
Browsing in the small, neatly arranged shop, Jim saw a small wooden hand carved box. To his delight, the carving was of a Sehlat. He picked it up to pay for it.
“That’s pretty, Jim.”
“May I help you,” a salesperson came up to them. “That’s quite a nice piece,” she said. She was definitely not Vulcan. There were faint ridges on her forehead and a green tint to her skin which identified her as, at least, part Orion. She smiled brilliantly at Jim, and Leonard suddenly felt the faint waft of Orion pheromones in the air, not strong enough to be sexual, but enough to be enticing. Her glance at Jim, however, was lascivious and difficult to ignore, and Leonard felt a tide of possessiveness surge through him and immediately he felt ashamed. He’d never felt possessive about Jim before, and he trusted him above all others, so his possessive reaction was ridiculous and completely uncalled for.
Jim looked away from the girl and glanced keenly at him. Leonard flushed, sure that Jim could read the jealousy, shame, and love writ plainly on his face.
“It is isn’t it. It’s for my partner’s little girl, for her treasures,” Jim said deliberately, then smiled, his blue eyes bright. “And it matches his gift.” He reached for Bones’ hand and entwined their fingers. At that the girl promptly lost interest in Jim and withdrew, knowing defeat when she saw it.
Nyota came toward them and admired it. “Little girls always need trinket boxes. I know I did when I was Jo’s age.”
“Thanks, Jim, Jo will love it,” Leonard said, turning soft eyes at Jim, grateful for his understanding. “I’m also gettin’ mama this shawl.” He drew the soft material through his long fingers. “For cool Georgia nights. It’s a pretty color, right, Ny?”
“It’s lovely, Len. Your mother will love it. I think I’ll get one for my mother too.”
“What about you, Geoff, are you getting anything?”
“Not for me, but Nurse Barrows gave me credits and asked me to buy her something from here.” He looked anxiously at Uhura. “What would you suggest, Nyota? I don’t have much experience in shopping for ladies.”
“Hmm. I think one of these shawls would look pretty on Tonia, Geoff, and great for chilly Enterprise evenings. She’s a brunette, so that rose colored one over there would look great on her.”
“I agree, Geoff.” Leonard smiled in encouragement. Geoff, he knew, liked Tonia Barrows, but he was shy, and had yet to ask her out. Maybe buying the shawl for her would be a break through. “I think I’ll pick up one for Chris since she’s on duty, and I doubt she’ll be able to shop at all.”
“Good idea, Bones.” Jim’s comm beeped. “Sarek,” he said, letting go of Bones’ hand and flipping open his comm. “Kirk here.”
“James, Healer L’Vor informed me that he will begin the healing meld in one hour. Are you ready to return? Dr.McCoy and Dr. M’Benga will be needed.”
“We’ll be there shortly, Sarek.”
They hurriedly paid for their purchases and headed back to the Embassy. The flight back was silent, everyone preoccupied with their own thoughts.
No one was in the anteroom to greet them, so they went directly to Spock’s bedroom. The lights had been dimmed and Christine was in her chair by Spock’s bedside reading on her padd.
“How is Spock doin’, Chris?” Leonard went straight to the bed, Medical tricorder in hand.
“He’s been sleeping peacefully and his vitals have been stable. My readings show that he’s a little dehydrated, Doctor. He’s going to need fluids soon,” she reported.
Leonard glanced at Geoffrey who nodded. “I’ll set up a drip,” he said and hurried out to ask Scotty for a beam in of supplies.
“We’ll take over now so you’re off duty, Chris. Did you eat lunch and get a break?”
“Yes, Sarek came in and sat with Spock while I took a short break. The lunch he sent was delicious. Did you enjoy your outing?” Christine asked looking at their packages.
Leonard handed her one of the packages. “Since you couldn’t come with us, we got you this. Hope you like it.”
“For me?” She asked looking around.
“Bones thought of you and bought it,” Jim said, “and Ny was the consultant on the color.”
“Oooh, it’s so soft and beautiful.” And it was. A soft sky blue that matched her eyes and set off her creamy complexion and blond hair.
“Thank you so much for thinking of me, boss. I love it.” She leaned forward and gave Leonard a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “I’m off duty, so I can do this,” she said throwing a mischievous glance at Jim, who was amused to see Bones’ face turn red.
“You’re welcome,” Leonard muttered, face down, embarrassed. “Go rest, take a nap, we may need you later, Chris.”
“You don’t want me to do the dextrose/saline drip, Len?”
“No, Geoff and I will take care of it, we’re going to be here for the meld anyway. Ny, why don’t you go with Chris? One of us will go get you when the meld begins.”
“I’ll go get you,” Jim assured her. “Ny, will you put our packages in our room, please?” He asked handing her the parcels. “And maybe Christine would like to see what we bought,” Jim added, eying Christine, his eyes giving her instructions.
“I’d like that. Come on, Nyota. You can tell me what New Vulcan is like.”
Geoffrey came back with the glucose/saline drip equipment. Even in the 23rd century, there was still only one way to do it. Intravenously.
“Lets start with a 5% dextrorotatory form of glucose and NaCl dissolved in water.” Leonard told Geoff. “We’ll get him started on the drip before the meld. I’ll also be able to administer the sedative, blood pressure or heart meds through the line if we have to.”
Sarek and L’Vor walked in. They had discarded their robes and stoles and were now dressed in simple loose cream pants and tunics.
“We’ll be finished setting up the drip in a moment. My nurse reported that Spock was dehydrated, so were administering a saline glucose drip. I also plan to give him a nutrient supplement later. He’s lost a couple of kilos already, and he can’t afford to lose more weight. He’s normally at the low end of his weight range, so there’s not any cushion on him,” Leonard explained.
Geoff finished setting up the pole with the drip, then handed Leonard the needle. Under the keen eyes of Sarek and the healer, he inserted and taped the needle into the inside of Spock’s elbow, attached the clear drip tube to the needle, turned the valve and looked carefully at the rate of the drip into Spock’s arm. He nodded to the two Vulcans. “He’s ready. Dr. M’Benga will monitor Spock’s vitals first. Sarek, be at the ready to join the meld in case his blood pressure and heart rate spike. Geoffrey will signal you right away.”
“I am prepared.” Sarek moved closer to the bed in case he would have to join in the meld quickly.
Mouth suddenly dry, Leonard stepped aside for Geoff. He was unaccountably nervous. What if Spock couldn’t tolerate the meld? What if L’Vor couldn’t rebuild Spock’s shields, couldn’t bring back his memories. What if Spock didn’t get well enough to resume his duties! What if Nyota lost him forever?
Uhura came back into the room and Leonard pulled himself together. For Nyota’s sake, he had to project confidence and certainty that Spock would come back to himself, that he’d regain his place on the ship as Jim’s First Officer and as her betrothed.
L’Vor placed his hands on Spock’s head and began the meld. Sarek stood still as a statue, never moving his eyes from L’Vor’s hands. Jim and Nyota sat down on the floor to wait. Leonard hovered for a few minutes until Geoffrey gave him a pointed look. Leonard huffed, but went to sit on the floor beside Jim.
After an hour L’Vor withdrew his hands. Geoff looked at him confused. “Spock’s vitals are stable, Healer. His heart rate and blood pressure are steady and normal. Why did you stop the meld?”
Jim, Leonard and Nyota got up from the floor alarmed at the sudden cessation of the meld.
L’Vor looked at them calmly.“Please do not be alarmed. There is no need for me to continue with the meld. I have finished rebuilding Spock’s shields. They are now as strong as they once were.” He glanced at Leonard. “Dr. McCoy, you will find that there is no longer any need to keep Spock deeply unconscious. From this point on, only mild sedation to keep him relaxed and lightly asleep will be all that is required. It would also be beneficial to rehydrate Spock and give him his nutrient supplement first before we proceed with the next phase of the healing meld.”
Leonard cast a dubious glance at Sarek. “Are you sure, Healer? Spock was violent before I sedated him. So violent in fact, that he injured Dr. M’Benga and the Captain before we were able to subdue him.”
“Yes, I am quite sure Doctor. With his shields fully restored, he is now able to shield from what is happening around him, his physical environment will not be so overwhelming and disturbing. I believe that was what caused his agitation, anger and irritability. He was not able to assisimilate so much sensory, visual, and auditory input from you humans and from the ships’ environment without his shields to filter out the sheer abundance of it all. Our Vulcan brains, heightened eyesight, and hearing, take in an enormous amount of sensory data, but our shields filter out what is deemed unnecessary so our brains can deal with it. This happens automatically and without conscious thought. When Spock lost that ability, he was unable to cope.”
Jim listened, utterly bemused by what he was hearing. Spock’s reactions made so much more sense now. Also it was good news that during this meld Spock’s blood pressure and heart rate had remained stable.
“So it’s good news, Healer?” He asked.
“It is good news, Captain. Step one is now complete.”
“Sarek?” Uhura looked at him, not quite daring to believe the Healer.
“It is excellent progress, Nyota,” Sarek responded. “I am pleased that Spock’s physical condition remained stable and we can proceed to the next step in his healing.”
“So please tell us exactly what the next step will be, Healer L’Vor?” Leonard made a small disgruntled noise. No way was he going to allow any next step on Spock unless he was absolutely sure it was safe.
“The next step will be more difficult,” L’Vor told them. “I will strive to access his memories, both positive and negative, bring them to the forefront of his psyche and help Spock deal with both his pain and his happiness, but most particularly the pain he suffered upon the death of his mother. He must accept it, then place that pain behind his shields. Only in that way will he be able to move beyond the pain to a place of serene acceptance.”
Leonard turned to Sarek. “Are you in agreement with this next step, Sarek?”
“I am, Leonard. It is the logical next step.”
“Are you confident that your next mind meld will return Spock’s memories?”
“I am reasonably certain, Captain, because I am confident in my skill as a healer.” He looked at both doctors. “If you will tend to his body, I will tend to his mind. Between us, we will bring Spock back to himself. However, we will not begin until tomorrow morning. Spock’s body must be rested and, as much as possible, he must be in a state of optimum health since this will be a formidable process of the mind and of the body as well.
“Doctors,” he added, “I would like you to lessen his sedative dosage tonight so that in the morning he will only be in a light sleep. In the morning, his body should have have been replenished by the nutrition supplement and requisite fluids, because our next meld will be an onerous one for Spock.”
“Don’t you worry, Healer. Geoff and I will have Spock ready in the morning. Christine, Geoff and I will take turns monitoring him, don’t want any surprises or setbacks for tomorrow, so we’ll each take 4 hour shifts. Nurse Chapel will take the first four hours, then Dr. M’Benga. I’ll take the last shift myself.”
“An excellent idea, Doctor McCoy. Now if you will excuse me, I must leave you to meditate. I must prepare myself for tomorrow. We will meet here at 8:00 am. Sarek please send a light meal to my room at 7:00.”
“Of course, Healer.”
“There is no need for Nurse Chapel to return right now,” Sarek announced. “I will remain here with Spock until the evening meal. I wish to spend time with him.”
“May I sit here with you and Spock for a while, Sarek?” Nyota asked. “I’ll be very quiet.”
“Of course, Nyota. It would please Spock to know you are here.”
“Nurse Chapel will come to relieve you for dinner, Sarek. I’ll send her in at that time to begin her shift.”
“Thank you, Leonard.”
They left Sarek sitting by Spock’s side with Nyota on the chair, holding Spock’s lax hand in her own.
An East Wind
“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places;
but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief,
it grows perhaps the greater.”
“The Fellowship of the Ring”
Once back in their room, Bones went to take a shower. He needed to think he said, and he did his best thinking in the shower. Jim, on the other hand, lay on the bed looking up at the ceiling, because that’s where he always did his best thinking.
As he lay there, he remembered his first real encounter with Spock. The Vulcan had stood beside Jim at his Academy Board disciplinary hearing with the entire student body sitting behind Jim as Spock accused him of cheating on the Kobayashi Maru. Then Spock had brought up his father’s Kelvin’s sacrifice, and the shocked Jim had turned to look for Bones. He had, like a homing pigeon, immediately found him in that sea of red uniforms. Every single cadets’ eyes were riveted on Jim, and Bones’ face had been worried, but when their eyes met Jim had felt the full weight of his rock solid support.
Then had come the call for everyone to deploy and Bones, ignoring rules and regs had somehow managed to smuggle Jim aboard the Enterprise. In quick succession, the fleet had been decimated, then as they watched in horror, Vulcan had been destroyed, and after that, Spock had marooned him on Delta Vega. It was on that frozen wasteland that Jim met up with Old Spock and he’d made the decision to compromise Spock and take over as Acting Captain. After he’d succeeded, Pike had been rescued and finally they had witnessed the end of the Narada and Nero.
Jim purposefully and deliberately had set out to provoke and compromise Spock and take over his command. That was the truth of it, there was no denying it. He had pushed Spock to the edge of his control, knowing full well that Vulcans prided themselves on their ability to control even their deepest emotions, their rage, their fear, their grief.
Jim had pushed him to the very limit of Spock’s control, until Sarek had stepped in and, with one word, stopped Spock from choking the life out of him. Before Sarek’s intervention Jim had seen the uncontrollable rage and hatred in Spock’s face, felt the strength of his long fingers as he tightened his grip around Jim’s neck. Spock’s face had been savage as he bent over Jim.
The moment Sarek had called out his name in reprimand, Spock had released his deadly hold on Jim’s neck. It was in that split second that Jim had seen the dawning horror in Spock’s eyes as he realized what he’d done, and then the Vulcan had rushed off the bridge.
After the Narada’s destruction, the two men had somehow muddled through together as Acting Captain and First Officer while the ship, without its warp drive, slowly crawled back home. They had worked tirelessly together in spite of all that had happened between them. Jim, (if not Bones) had been able to put the choking and Delta Vega incidents behind him, to forgive and forget, and he was positive Spock had too, else they wouldn’t have been able to work so well together as Captain and First Officer.
Jim sighed. Soon he was going to give Spock those memories again in the meld, and this time those memories would be from Jim’s perspective. Spock would see how his hands had felt as they tightened around Jim’s neck, he’d see how Jim looked as he was choking him, Jim’s red face as he tried to breathe, he’d see Jim’s fear as his oxygen was cut off, and he’d also see, through Jim’ eyes, the horrible rage on his own face. He winced at the thought of the fresh pain it would bring to Spock as he recovered those memories.
The door opened and Bones came in interrupting Jim’s introspection, freshly showered and smelling of some exotic scented Vulcan soap. Once again, he was dressed in the cool Vulcan tunic and pants which he’d obviously run through the fresher. He ran his fingers through his wet hair, took one look at Jim’s face, and came to sit by him. “Jim, what’s wrong, what’s the matter?”
Jim looked up at him sorrow on his face. “Bones I’m going to have to give Spock my memories of all our interactions, you and Ny will too. But I’m the one who’s going to remind him what he did on the bridge when he tried to choke me to death.”
Bones face darkened. “He almost succeeded, damn him, and he would have if it hadn’t been for Sarek. I think it’s important that he has that memory from your point of view, Jim, so he can see how much he hurt you, how scary it was for you, and the rest of us,” he added. That’s twice now I’ve seen him go off on you like that, and it’s scary shit. He’s hurt you both times, and that’s not even countin’ marooning you on that ice planet, stupidest decision ever! Who’s to say it won’t happen again?”
“Bones!” Jim protested, eyes wide. “I’m not scared of Spock, of what he might do to me.”
“Well maybe with his history you should be! I know I am,” Leonard muttered. He remembered how he’d felt, how worried, how scared he’d been for Jim.
“No, Bones,” Jim said sternly. “Don’t blame Spock. Everyone has their breaking point and that time on the bridge, it was my fault. I pushed him hard by bringing up his mother, his feelings for her, I pushed him until he snapped. And he wasn’t even aware of what he was doing the second time in the Med Bay. I shouldn’t have gotten so close to him, you did warn me. So in effect, both times it was my fault.”
“Your fault? Your fault?” Leonard’s flushed angrily. “Don’t you give me that bull shit, Jim Kirk! It’s true that Spock lost control of himself, and yes, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and got in his way, but that’s not the point. The point is we can no longer trust that Vulcan control and logic that he’s so proud of. I’ll tell you this right now, when we get back on the ship, I’m gonna’ be keeping a mighty close eye on him whenever he’s around you. He ain’t goin’ touch you ever again!” Leonard drew in a deep breath, trying to get his anger under control. “And I better never see a single bruise on Ny either, or the shit’s gonna’ hit the fan!”
“Bones! Bones! Stop.” Jim looked askance at the agitated, angry Bones. “Bones...no. Come here, baby.”
“What? What, Jim?” Leonard frowned at him.
Jim reached for him and pulled him down on the bed, then rolled on top of him, putting his hand on Bones’ chest, feeling the steady beat of his heart. His Bones, perfect, beautiful, warm in his arms, and it was the best thing he’d ever felt in his life!
Jim,” Leonard groaned, wiggling beneath the weight of Jim’s heavy body. “I’m not finished talkin’ about this yet. Get off me.”
“Shhh, I want to kiss you real bad right now. I find it strangely arousing when you get all protective and shit.” Jim smiled down at him and pressed a lingering kiss on Bones’ lips.
“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” Leonard muttered, returning the kiss in spite of himself. “Don’t you try to distract me, Jim Kirk. I ain’t done with what I was sayin’ about Spock”
“Oh, I think you are,” Jim said, pressing wet, open-mouthed kisses to Leonard’s cheeks, lips, and down the curve of his jaw. “I don’t want to talk about Spock anymore. It just occurred to me that we have plenty of time until dinner, and it’s been too many hours since I’ve told you how amazing you are, how much I love you, how I’ve been itching to get my hands on you, and that’s it’s way past time for us to have more sex.”
Leonard looked at the beguiling blue eyes twinkling above him. “Well now,” he drawled. “I don’t have any real objections to your telling me any of those things, and even less objections filling our time before dinner having sex with you.”
“Is that so, Dr. McCoy?”
“That is most definitely so, Captain Kirk,” Leonard answered, dimples flashing, flipping Jim over and kissing him passionately.
Jim looked at him, momentarily surprised, then smiled at him provocatively. Jim stretched himself further on the bed and looked up at Bones, the usually brilliant blue of his eyes dark with obvious, wanton desire.
Jim’s body came alive with pleasure as Bones, with deft doctor’s hands, quickly stripped them both, prepped him gently yet thoroughly, and then...Bones was inside him. Jim sighed happily, wondering idly through the haze of pleasure, if anyone else in Bones’ past, anyone who had ever experienced this, realized how lucky they were. And, he thought blissfully, from now on only he would have Bones, no one else ever, not if he had anything to say about it! From the beginning, somehow Jim had known they were meant for each other, first together in friendship, then in love, but always together.
“More,” Jim whispered, as he tried to pull himself closer. “More! More, Bones!“ This was what he craved, this closeness, this intimacy, this...this...knowing how to pleasure each other.
Leonard moaned. “Give me a second, you insatiable brat,” he muttered crossly, and thrust harder into Jim.
Jim grinned. Even in the midst of passion and pleasure Bones could be grumpy, and Jim loved it. He pulled Bones closer, threading his fingers lovingly into the spikes of soft dark hair.
Sometime later, a long while later, sated and sticky Jim opened heavy eyes. “That was amazing,” he slurred, his face still smushed into the mattress, his torso flattened by Bones’ body. “You’re amazing.”
“I am,” agreed a smugly satisfied Leonard, voice muffled in Jim’s neck. “You inspire me to do my very best work, but you’re the amazing one, darlin’,” Leonard told him seriously, rolling off him to lie face to face. “I love you,” he whispered. “I love you, Jim.” He moved back, looked into Jim’s shining eyes and used his thumbs to brush away the wetness that gathered there and rolled down his cheeks and nose.
“I love you too, Bones.” Jim sniffed, profoundly moved. He relaxed against him, head dropping to rest against his chest. “Bones.” The eyes looking into Leonard’s were limpid, crystal clear, warm with love and contentment. “I’m happy, Bones, so happy. In spite of Spock’s condition, in spite of Uhura’s sadness, in spite of how things might turn out, I’m happy.” Jim brought up both hands to cup Leonard’s face. “And it’s all because of you, Bonesy.” He smiled that sweet smile that made Leonard feel warm all over.
A faint flush appeared on Leonard’s cheeks as he looked in wonder at Jim, his beautiful Jim. Jim, who was his now, his to love openly and wholly, his to heal and protect, his to hold close. Sappy, he scolded himself. Pure unadulterated sap, but I don’t care. He was happy too, deliriously so. “I’m happy too, darlin’, the happiest I ever been.” He drew Jim closer and murmured against his lips, “you’re so good for me, Jimmy.”
There was a contented silence, then he glanced down at the mess between them, “but...happy or not I think you need a shower, and it looks like I need another one,” he added, ruefully.
“Let’s save time and do it together,” Jim suggested, blue eyes wicked.
“Jim!” Bones sounded scandalized. “We’re on New Vulcan, think how proper Vulcans are,” he hissed. “And weren’t you the one who told me not to start a diplomatic incident?”
“Hmm, yes, yes I did. But...we’ll put on our bathrobes and sneak quietly across the hall,” Jim told him, eyes sparkling. “No one will see us.”
For a minute, Leonard looked at him dubiously, then got off the bed, rummaged through their duffles and found their SF robes that Scotty had beamed down. It had taken only a few seconds for him to decide that he wasn’t going to pass on a shower with a naked Jim because of some misguided sense of propriety or worry about offending some nameless Vulcan.
They donned their robes and Jim cautiously opened their bedroom door and looked up and down the hall. With his hand behind his back, he beckoned for Leonard to come forward. “Let’s go, Bones.” He grasped Leonard’s hand tightly, propelled him across the hall into the bathroom and turned the bathroom doorknob. “Damn, it’s locked. Someone’s in there! Probably Geoff or Christine.”
“Damn it, Jim!” Leonard said aghast. “I can't believe I'm doin’ this," he added faintly.
“Not to worry, Bones,” Jim whispered, moving them to the adjacent bathroom. The door opened and he looked triumphantly at Bones. “Bingo! Now let’s get to the good part.”
It was indeed good, very good, and both men exited the bathroom with flushed faces not entirely due to the plentiful hot water from the shower. It had been bliss to indulge themselves under the shower without their water ration mandate rearing its ugly head. Spock had told them that New Vulcan had a plethora of underground aquifers that supplied the Vulcans with an inexhaustible supply of water. Since water was a huge priority to all Vulcans, their engineers had already designed and built huge cisterns on the surface to hold the water for their use. They were determined not to waste a drop, no matter how plentiful the underground water supply was. It was still put through a recycling process and reused. Throughout their history, Vulcans had been desert people., for millennia the desert planet of Old Vulcan had been barren and dry. To them, water was more precious than dilithium or Latium and their water supply was never taken for granted.
Back in their room, Jim checked his chronometer, it was almost time for dinner.
“Bones, we better tell Christine to relieve Sarek. I wonder if Nyota stayed with Spock this whole time. Sarek seems very willing to have her there with him.”
“I don’t expect her to do anything else, Jim. She loves Spock, wants to be close to him a much as she can. I’ve been there, I know what it feels like,” he added softly, somberly.
“You do know, Bones, and I’m sorry that you do. I don’t do it on purpose, you know. Get hurt. It just happens sometimes. I’ve seen how you look when I wake up, baby, and I hate that I do that to you. It’s always you that keeps a vigil by my bedside when things go south on a mission.” Raw guilt and sorrow was evident in Jim’s blue eyes.
“I do it ‘cause I love you, Jim, or else I wouldn’t have followed you all ‘round this galaxy. Guess I loved you even back then because it used to kill me when you’d come back to our dorm room all beaten up, with black eyes, bleeding from lacerations. I fixed you up then, and I fix you up now. I’ll always be there to do it. Don’t ever want someone else to fix you, wouldn’t trust anyone else. Things are no different on the ship than they were at the Academy, but now at least I know you do it to protect your crew. Just don’t go somewhere I cain’t follow, Jimmy. I don’t think I could bear it.” Leonard whispered, naked pleading in his suddenly shining eyes.
“Hey, hey, it’s okay, Bones....” Jim lunged, wrapping warm arms around him. “I’ll try my damnedest to always come back to you, I promise.” He buried his face in the crook of Leonard’s neck, sounding a little strangled, his feelings for this man overwhelming him. “I love you desperately, you know.”
“I know,” Leonard said gruffly. “I know you do, Jim.”
There was a knock at the door and Jim reluctantly untangled himself from Bones to answer it.
Uhura stood there, her face distressed. “May I come in, Jim?”
“Of course, Nyota.”
Leonard’s clinical eye saw the bleak, dispirited look on her face. “Are you alright, Ny?” He barely restrained himself from running a tricorder down her body.
Nyota let out one heartbreaking sob, took a shuddering breath and wrapped her arms around Bones' waist. Leonard automatically put his arms around her. He could feel hot tears on his neck as she cried softly. “Ny, Ny sweetheart. What’s wrong? Did something happen with Sarek or with Spock?” He looked at Jim worriedly over her head. Nyota never cried. She was the strongest woman Leonard had ever known.
Nyota shook her head, burrowing further into his shoulder. “No,” came her muffled voice. “Nothing happened.”
“Then what is it, Ny?” Jim interjected softly.
Nyota finally raised her head and wiped her streaming eyes. “Nothing! Absolutely nothing happened! I sat with Spock...Sarek and I sat with him all this time, I held his hand, Sarek spoke to him, then I did, Sarek said I could. The healer said his shields have been restored and I hoped that I could get some response from him, even a faint flicker of...of...something.” She wiped her eyes again. “Len, there was nothing, not the slightest response from him. I know he’s in there somewhere, but it’s like he’s dead!”
“Ny! Don’t say that! First of all it’s not true, you know it’s the sedative that we gave him so he couldn’t hurt anyone or himself. If he was awake all you’d see is the confused, angry belligerent Spock. Second, you heard the healer, he will help Spock, he told us he could bring Spock back to the way he was.” Leonard shook her shoulders gently. “This isn’t like you, Nyota. You’re one of the strongest most fearless people I know. You gotta’ pull yourself together. It isn’t helping you or Spock to give way like this. The healer is gonna need you in that meld, and you have to be the strong, loving positive person you’ve always been. Okay?” His hazel eyes were grave as they looked into her dark ones.”
Nyota drew herself up and wiped her eyes again. “Yes, you’re right. I’m sorry, Len, Jim. Sitting there by Spock for those hours, seeing him like that, just about killed me. He’s such a strong, brave, wonderful man, and it was like looking at someone I don’t even know, much less love. He’s like an empty shell and not Spock at all.”
“He’ll come back, Ny. I’m positive he will.” Jim spoke in his most convincing Captain’s voice.
“Yep, he’ll be back to his usual scintillating, hilarious self before we know it,” Leonard assured her deadpan, totally ignoring the blue-eyed glare thrown his way.
That got a faint laugh out of Nyota.
There was another faint knock at the door. When Jim opened it, a Vulcan woman stood there. She looked to be about Spock’s age and was dressed informally in loose blue trousers and a tunic. “I am T’Sunn,” she said. “One of the Ambassador’s aides. Sarek wishes to inform you that dinner will be served in 40 minutes. He asks that you join him in the living room for drinks. I will inform the other doctor too,” she added formally, then bowed slightly and left them.
The three looked at each other.
“Let me go freshen up,” Nyota said. “Comb my hair, wash my face and put on a little makeup and I’ll come right back. I’ll knock on Geoff’s door so we can all go in to dinner together. I think, although he’d never admit it, that Sarek wants some company. I’m sure seeing Spock like this has been extremely difficult for him, and its so soon after Amanda’s death,” Nyota said sadly. “I’m sure he misses her terribly. Spock has told me many times how much Sarek esteemed his wife.” She smiled using her fingers for air quotes. “He never said he “loved” his wife, but that’s what he meant, and Spock certainly loved his mother dearly. At least I’ve gotten to hear those words from him,” she told them, and left.
Jim and Leonard stared at each other.
“Wow, I can’t even imagine Spock saying I love you,” Jim said.
“Well if anyone deserves hearing them it’s Ny, even if he probably said them in that monotone voice he uses most of the time. That woman must have the patience of a saint to put up with all the “it’s not logical shit” that comes out of Spock’s mouth.
Jim’s answer to that was interrupted by yet another knock. Geoff stood at the door also wearing the Vulcan clothes he’d been given. “Uhura will be here in a minute...aaand here she is,” he said as Nyota came up to them.
Jim gave her an assessing look; all traces of tears had banished. She still looked tired, but no longer distraught.
“Shall we go in?” Geoff said, gallantly offering his arm to Nyota.
They retraced their steps, going back through the long hall to the living room. Sarek was already there, standing by a small portable bar. He turned to the group. “Please come in. Let me fix you something to drink, perhaps a cocktail?”
The four nodded their heads in bemused agreement.
Sarek continued as he mixed their cocktails. “I am quite adept at fixing Terran mixed drinks. I was taught by Amanda. As a young college student she worked in a Terran bar to help pay her university expenses. She learned to concoct many different types of mixed drinks. We met when her employer was contracted to serve drinks at one of the Vulcan Embassy functions and she helped behind the bar. I was intrigued by her deftness and quickness in preparing drinks...and she was aesthetically quite pleasing as well. She told me that since I had just been assigned to the Embassy as an aide to the then Ambassador, she thought it would be a valuable skill for me to learn since I was given the assignment to oversee Embassy Vulcan/Terran social functions. She offered to teach me.” He looked placidly at the speechless Enterprise group. “We made an appointment to meet at the Embassy the next week. She gave me a list of what to purchase for our lesson and she spent an afternoon teaching me. I made rapid progress, but when that lesson concluded, I decided I needed additional lessons.” His eyes gleamed. “After I became quite proficient at mixing alcoholic beverages, I would invite her to our functions as my guest, and in due course I asked to be my wife as is the Terran custom. She accepted my proposal and we married. We made our home on Vulcan, but traveled to Earth when necessary. On Vulcan, Amanda taught classes at the Vulcan Science Academy, she was eminently logical and quite brilliant in her chosen field of study, which was linguistics.”
Jim felt a jolt and glanced at Uhura. It was her field of expertise too, and Spock had chosen her. Coincidence or deliberate?
Sarek went on. “We had been married for five years, when with the help of Terran and Vulcan scientists, doctors, and healers, she was finally able to conceive and Spock was born. We had many contented years together before her untimely death.” He handed them their drinks
Jim finally found his tongue. “We grieve with thee, Sarek and with Spock also. I realize words are inadequate, but we all felt great sorrow when Amanda was killed.”
Sarek inclined his head. “Thank you, James. Now then take your drinks with you and let us adjourn to the dining room for dinner.
An East Wind
“Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe:
it gives back life to-those who on longer exists.”
Guy de Maupassant
After dinner, they went back to the living room for coffee and dessert. Geoffrey gulped down two cups in swift succession knowing he needed to stay alert after he relieved Christine. Leonard’s shift would be the longest, from before dawn through early morning, but he was not concerned, being well used to all night vigils.
During dinner Sarek kept the mood light with reminiscences about some of the interesting, strange, and even bizarre incidents that occurred during his long Ambassadorial tenure. He made them laugh with the tale of one diplomat who had been so impressed with Amanda that he’d offered Sarek three of his wives in exchange for her and, here Sarek’s eyes twinkled, he would even allow Sarek visitation privileges as part of the exchange. Sarek had to politely and diplomatically turn down that generous offer without causing offense. Needless to say, Amanda got a lot of mileage out of that incident.
They retired early, knowing the two doctors needed sleep and that tomorrow would be a long and momentous day for Spock and for all of them.
Jim woke early, missing the warmth of Bones next to him in the bed. He wasn’t quite awake yet and for a minute his heart rate picked up, not knowing where he was or where Bones had gone to. Then he remembered. Today was the day Spock would have the healing meld and, hopefully, he’d regain his lost memories. He looked at his chronometer...it was 6:20 ship’s time. At 8 am the meld would begin. Bones had been with Spock since 3:00 am when he’d gone to relieve Geoff. He decided to take a shower, check on Bones to make sure he got breakfast. He’d stay with Spock to give Bones time for a shower, change of clothes and maybe a short nap too. Sarek had kindly ordered his aide to provide them with another set of the much cooler Vulcan attire so they’d have a change of clothes.
Jim took a quick shower, dressed, and went in to the dining room. Breakfast food had already been set out for them by Sarek’s efficient Embassy staff, so he quickly gulped down toast, cereal, juice, and some strong coffee. He was anxious to get to Bones so he walked swiftly to Spock’s room. At the doorway, he stood silently observing Bones. He was sitting on the side chair by Spock’s bed, tricorder in hand, eyes narrowed, lips pursed into a tight line of concentration looking down at the readings. He was so focused he didn’t even notice when Jim came into the room until he stood right beside him.
“ ‘Morning, Bones,” Jim murmured softly, not wanting to disturb Spock, knowing that this morning, Spock’s sedation would be a lighter dose than it had been.
Leonard looked up. “Morning, darlin’. Didn’t hear you come in,” he responded just as softly.
“You were deep in doctor mode,” Jim smiled down at him. “How is Spock doing?”
“He’s been calm and his vitals stable. I gave him the lighter dose of sedative as L’Vor ordered. Tricorder says he’s sleeping normally. There’s been no twitching or restlessness at all. I think he’s ready for the meld.”
“That’s great news. Now then, Dr.McCoy,” Jim said briskly, looking at him sternly. “I want you to go eat breakfast, shower and take a short nap. It’s still early, so you have time. I’ll sit here with Spock, and if there’s any change at all, I’ll comm you immediately.”
“Jim, I don’t think I should leave.” Leonard objected, brow furrowed, eyes worried.
“I think you should, Bones. There’s absolutely nothing going on here with Spock. He’s sleeping peacefully, and you need food and rest. I can handle just sitting here with the tricorder, I promise. Now be gone with you,” Jim made shooing motions with his hands.
Leonard huffed a laugh. “Bossy, aren’t you!” He sighed looking at Spock. “But you’re right, he’s fine. I am hungry and I could use a shower and a short power nap. Okay, I’ll be back at 8:00 on the dot.”
Jim sat in the chair Bones had vacated, tricorder in hand. He glanced at the peacefully sleeping Vulcan and opened the padd he’d brought with him and began to read through the never ending reports waiting for his signature. He was pleased to see that Sulu was keeping on top of his First Officer duties and from her reports, so was Lt. Toriani. The Science department seemed to be galloping along in their usual breakneck speed conducting their experiments. They were brilliant, all of the overachievers in that department, Spock had made sure of that, having hand picked all his Science personnel. Jim had stopped trying to make heads or tails of some of the experiments Spock assigned to them and he depended on his XO to give him executive summaries on most of them. He was pleased to see that Lt. Toriani was continuing in the same vain.
When he’d first taken over as Captain, Jim had tried to keep up with every department on the ship. It had proved to be impossible and frustrating. Bones had put a vocal and definite stop to that as soon as he’d seen how exhausted Jim was. Jim had resisted Bones at first, but now he’d learned to depend on his department heads, on his First Officer’s reports, and on his trusted command crew to bring important issues to his attention. Delegating had been the hardest skill he’d had to learn as Captain, but he was finally getting the hang of it.
He glanced at Spock and the tricorder readings again, and then went back to his reports, skimming the routine ones and carefully reading the not so routine ones. He glanced at his chronometer and saw that it was almost 8:00 am. He stood and stretched, glancing at Spock again. No change, still sleeping peacefully.
Sarek and Healer L’Vor came in followed by Bones, Geoff, Nyota, and Christine. “He’s been sleeping peacefully, no restlessness at all,” Jim reported quickly.
“Very good, Captain, it is an indication that Spock is ready...we will begin. For this session Sarek will be in the meld with me,” L’Vor explained. “As you know Vulcans have eidetic memories, so Sarek will show Spock his earliest memories of him as a child. Of course these memories will all be from Sarek’s fatherly point of view, but nevertheless, they will provide the catalyst for Spock to override Sarek’s memories with his own, to correct his father’s memories so to speak.” He paused. “It is difficult to describe the process that occurs within the two minds,” he added.
“I think I understand,” Jim said. “It’s like computer code. Spock will override Sarek’s code with his own.”
L’Vor looked at him with approval. “That is essentially correct, Captain. His Katra has his every memory stored and it will automatically correct and replace Sarek’s with Spock’s. That is, of course, if all goes well. Come Sarek, sit by Spock’s side on the bed, I will sit on the chair. Once my hand is on his meld points, place your hand over mine. During the meld, you will address him as “my son” thus reenforcing your place in his life and your benign intentions. I will guide your path and proceed slowly, gently, so as not to alarm Spock.” He looked inquiringly at Leonard. “The mild sedation will last how long, Doctor?”
“Three hours, perhaps a bit more.”
“That will be sufficient for this session.” He placed his fingers on Spock’s meld points. Sarek placed his hand over the Healer’s and closed his eyes. Geoff took his place by Spock’s bedside, tricorder in hand and they heard the healer’s mantra, “my mind to your mind, my thoughts to your thoughts,” as the meld began.
Again they all sat on the floor, and the minutes and hours ticked by. Jim noticed that periodically Spock’s eyelids fluttered. He wanted to ask if this was a result of the lighter dose of sedative, or because his memories were returning, or because it was Sarek within the meld, someone Spock loved and trusted. Since they had been instructed to be silent there was no way to ask and no answers to his questions. He noted that Geoff’ body looked relaxed, so Spock’s vitals must be okay. Surely that was a good sign after almost two hours in the meld.
Suddenly Sarek’s eyes opened and the healer removed his hand from Spock’s head. Both Vulcans stood. Alarmed, the four on the floor stood too.
“We have concluded the first part of the memory recovery, and all is well,” Healer L’Vor reassured them. “Spock did not resist Sarek being in his mind. That is an excellent portent for the next session. All was well, Doctor?” He asked Geoff.
“Yes, Healer. Spock’s vitals remained stable.”
“Excellent! I am pleased that Spock remained tranquil with the lighter dose of the sedative. Sarek, do you agree all went well within the meld?”
“I do,” Sarek agreed. “Spock recognized me immediately as his father and we proceeded without any issues. He addressed me as sa-mekh, Healer L’Vor. I began to implant within his psyche all of my memories of his babyhood, childhood, his school days, and his time with Amanda and I in our home. Spock easily and quickly filled in my recollections with his own version of my memories.” Sarek looked pleased. ”I did not need to force him in any way.”
The healer nodded. “The next session may be more difficult. It will be your turn, Captain Kirk. Your memories will encompass your interactions with Spock at the Academy and on board ship. I saw that the dim recollections Spock has of you are fraught with emotion. I understand from Sarek that there was a serious altercation between you, and that Spock did not behave logically or rationally at that time.”
Jim, glancing at Bones saw his face darken. He gave Bones a quelling glance, don’t say anything.
“Yes, Healer, that’s all true.”
“Those troublesome memories can be a positive thing, Captain. Part of Spock’s recovery will stem from his acceptance of those violent negative emotions, and his ability to deal with them. He must accept the pain he has experienced in his life, accept it and move beyond it.”
“What do I have to do?” Jim’s only experience with a mind meld had been with Old Spock, and that had been traumatic. He’d struggled with the consequences of that mind dump off and on for months, his dreams often populated by faces that were familiar, yet not familiar, relationships that were like, yet unlike his own. Jim knew that meld on Delta Vega had not been the norm, but he was still nervous about this one. It was an experience he didn’t want to repeat.
“You have nothing to fear, Captain. I will be your guide within the meld, you will not do this alone. I will be by your side throughout, and I will monitor you closely while you impart your memories into Spock’s psyche.” He eyed Jim keenly. “Are you prepared?”
“Ready as I’ll ever be, I guess,” Jim responded, trying to hide his nervousness.
“Healer L’Vor,” Leonard interjected. “You have a little over an hour before the next dose of Spock’s sedative.” He looked at Jim anxiously. To Leonard’s doctorly eyes he looked pale, his blue eyes apprehensive. “You all right there, Jim?”
Jim nodded. “‘M fine, Bones. Let’s just get started.”
“Sit here by Spock head, Captain. Place your hand over mine. That is all you have to do.”
Jim sat, closed his eyes and the meld began. Sarek moved forward, and so did Leonard, tricorder in hand. He’d decided that not only would he monitor Spock, he’d also monitor Jim. Having witnessed the aftermath of Jim’s mind meld with Old Spock, he wanted to be sure Jim was alright within the meld.
All of a sudden Jim’s heart rate picked up, Leonard frowned and glanced over at Geoff and saw him frown too. L’Vor pulled his hand away from Spock’s meld point and Jim’s eyes opened, astonishment on his face.
“James, what has happened?” Sarek asked.
“Jim, are you all right?” Leonard aimed the tricorder at him.
“He kicked me out!” Jim told them, sounding outraged, his eyes flashing a brilliant blue. “He kicked me out of the meld!”
“It is true, Sarek. The Captain was doing well, then Spock...,” he stopped momentarily at a loss for words. “Spock balked and pushed the Captain out of the meld, and I along with him. Your son’s mental strength is formidable, Sarek.”
“Yes, it has always been so. James, at what point did Spock push you out?”
Jim pushed the tricorder that Leonard was waving at him out of the way. “Bones, stop that, I’m fine.” Then to Sarek. “I was remembering the disciplinary hearing at the Academy, Spock’s accusation that I cheated during the Kobayashi Maru, and suddenly I was outside the meld. Why would he do that?” Jim still sounded affronted, and Sarek’s lips twitched.
“I suspect it is because Spock feels shame for leveling that accusation at you, James, especially after your heroic efforts against Nero. He was wrong about you, and realizes that now.”
“If he doesn’t want to deal with the Academy hearing, he’s for sure isn’t gonna’ want to remember how he marooned Jim on Delta Vega, and that he almost choked him to death on the bridge.”
“You are correct, Doctor. Spock will not want to remember those events, however the Captain must persevere. Spock must be able to access his memories, both positive and negative. Yours will be the most painful, for they will inevitably lead to the destruction of Vulcan, the attempt to rescue his mother, and her death. Yes,” he told them, “Sarek has told me all that has transpired in order that I may guide the meld through Spock’s most painful moment. That is why he resists, but those memories lies within his Katra, and must be brought to the forefront.”
He turned to Jim. “Are you prepared, Captain, to push forward through Spock’s resistance? I will assist you in your effort to break through and I am confident that the two of us will be successful.”
“Now wait a minute here, Healer. What is the danger to Jim if he does this again.”
“There is a slight danger that Spock, instead of evicting him from the meld, would engage him in a battle of the minds, Doctor McCoy. Such a battle could possibly do damage to the Captain’s mind. However, since I will be with him within the meld, I do not think Spock would be victorious. I am confident of our success.”
“I’m willing to try it again,” Jim told them.
“Jim...may I speak with you outside? Won’t take but a minute. Excuse us please, Healer.”
Leonard closed the bedroom door and turned to Jim, his hazel eyes blazing! “Are you crazy? You heard Sarek and the Healer, Spock’s mind is real strong. He could hurt you psychically, Jim, hurt you in your mind. Who knows what damage he could do to you, and who knows if I could even repair that sort of damage!”
“Bones...,Jim said soothingly. “It won’t come to that. You heard the Healer, he’ll be with me every step of the way, helping me if Spock resists.” He gazed into the worried hazel eyes. “I’ll be all right, Bones. I have to try, I’m the Captain...I have to do everything in my power to help Spock, he’s one of my crew, and my friend.”
“Jim..., Bones murmured, then sighed in defeat. He knew he wouldn’t be able to talk Jim out of doing this.
Bones' hands came up and cupped Jim’s face to give him a fierce kiss. “Alright, darlin’. I know you feel you gotta’ do this, but I’m gonna’ monitor you real close, and if I see any thing goin’ wrong, I’m stopping the meld.”
“I know, Bones. Now let’s get back in there and finish this.”
L’Vor and Jim resumed the meld with Leonard standing close by monitoring Jim, while Geoff aimed his tricorder at Spock. As the meld proceeded, Leonard saw sweat breakout on Jim’s forehead. L’Vor gave a slight grimace and grunted softly. It was obvious Spock was fighting them within the meld.
“Leonard it’s time for the next dose of sedative,” Geoff whispered.
Leonard nodded. ”Go ahead, give it to him. We don’t want Spock to wake up,” he said his anxious eyes never lifting from Jim’s readouts.
Geoff glanced at Christine and she came forward immediately with the drug. “Go ahead, Chris give it to him.” As the sedative hit Spock’s bloodstream they saw an immediate relaxation in his body. The meld continued until at last the healer and Jim withdrew.
“It is done,” L’Vor said. He looked at Jim a faint gleam if admiration in his eyes. “The Captain persevered and with my help, he pushed through Spock’s shields. Captain Kirk has formidable mental strength. I doubt anyone else except for Sarek could have accomplished this.”
“Jim, are you all right?” Leonard looked at him worriedly.
“I’m fine, Bones, just tired.” Jim looked bemused. “This was nothing like the meld I had with Old Spock. It was a strange experience. I’ll tell you about it later.” He grinned at Bones. “He fought me, fought me hard, but I can be a stubborn ass when I want to be.”
“Got that one right,” Leonard muttered.
“I felt Spock’s immediate relaxation when the sedative was administered. It came at an opportune moment. It helped us in our efforts and the Captain was able to impart those memories to him which Spock had resisted at first. The Captain persisted, while I assisted him, and finally I, as the outside observer, saw the Captain’s memories being swiftly overwritten by Spock’s own perspective of the events.“
“Even his mother’s death?” Sarek asked.
“Yes. Even his mother’s death, Sarek. The pain and guilt of that event now resides within him where Spock will access it, process the pain, and then set it aside in logic as all Vulcans must do. He will then reach that state of...Kadiith, of acceptance, what is, is.
He turned to Sarek. “The Captain and I require some refreshment, cold juice or tea would be welcome. It was a fight until the end.”
Sarek pressed the button and his aide appeared immediately. “Refreshments for the Healer and the Captain,” he ordered.
“After I drink, we will proceed with the next session, we must not delay while the sedative is at its peak. Lt. Uhura, are you prepared?”
“Yes, Healer, I’m ready,” she said coming close to Spock’s bedside. “Tell me what I have to do and I’ll do my best to do it,” she added, uncertainly.
“The two most difficult mind melds are now concluded. Spock’s memories of you, of your relationship, still reside within him. I have seen glimpses of them. His regard for you is great. I do not foresee any difficulties at all.”
Sarek handed him the juice and the healer drank deeply. “On the contrary, I believe Spock will welcome you eagerly, Lieutenant, your memories will be happy ones. You must not fear. The Spock who is your betrothed will return to you, and very soon.”
He turned to Sarek and to the others. “Be at Peace, Sarek. Your son will be as he once was. We are almost at the end of the memory reclamation process.”
“Come my child, do not be afraid to enter Spock’s mind,” L’Vor told the nervous Uhura. “Sit here. Place your hand on mine and we will begin.”
The others stood riveted, watching this last meld. This is it, Jim thought. This would either return Spock to his normal self or...or... what? What could they do if this last mind meld didn’t work?
Time seemed to pass impossibly slow, until at last Nyota sighed deeply and the healer removed his and her hands from Spock’s meld points. “It is done,” he announced. “You did well, child.” He pulled her gently away from Spock’s beside, moving her to stand by Spock’s head with her face directly in his field of vision. “Stand here. Now we must wait.”
Spock shifted in the bed and moaned softly. His eyelids fluttered and he slowly opened them. He blinked rapidly, then his eyes focused on Nyota’s face. “Nyota,” he breathed, a soft smile crossing his face.
Sudden tears shone in Nyota’s eyes as she leaned forward to brush Spock’s bangs in a soft caress. “I’m here, ashayam, I’m right here. Welcome back.”
An East Wind
“A life without memory is no life at all.”
Spock raised a hand to his temple looking utterly confused. His gaze focused on Uhura again. A faint frown furrowed his forehead. “Nyota, you appear distressed,” he told her. “What has happened?” Why am I here?”” He looked at the rest of the group around his bed. “Father? Captain? Doctor McCoy?” Why are all of you here?” His usually impassive face took on a tinge of alarm. “Am I still on the ship? Was I injured?” His eyes took in the bedroom and furnishings. “I am not on the ship,” he stated definitely.
Leonard approached the bed, tricorder in hand. “It’s all right, Spock. You're in your own bedroom on New Vulcan.“ Spock’s eyes widened in surprise. Leonard looked down at the tricorder, then back to Spock, face satisfied. “You were injured in the rock slide on the hill of that planet we were surveyin’. A big rock hit your head, and you had a grade 3 concussion. There were some complications, but you’re doing real well now. You’re gonna’ be just fine. You’re still a little dehydrated, but were fixin’ that right up. All your other readings are looking good. In a while we’re going to let you get some rest, but right now your father and Ny are gonna’ stay here with you and tell you all that’s been happin’, ‘cause I know you have lots of questions. The rest of us will be back later, okay?”
Spock nodded slowly, still obviously confused. In an uncharacteristic public gesture, he reached out a hand to Nyota, who grasped it gently.
Leonard pointed to the healer who had been quiet during his conversation with Spock. “Spock, this here is Healer L’Vor, who’s been helpin’ get you better. He’s done an amazing job. He was able to do things for you that neither Geoff nor I could do in the Med Bay. If you have questions for him after Ny and Sarek are finished explainin’ everything to you, Healer L’Vor will answer them for you.”
Spock nodded again. “I remember the rock slide, and a blow to my head, but nothing else.” His voice was raspy, after so long unused.
“All will be made clear my son,” Sarek told him gently. He pulled up the chair and sat down. Nyota sat on the bed as close as she could get still holding Spock’s hand.
Leonard motioned for Jim, Geoff, and Chris to follow him out the door. He closed it gently behind him. They all looked at each other and grinned happily.
“Wow, you guys did it!” Jim clasped Geoff on the shoulder. “You guys and Chris are an amazing team!”
“It was all of us, Captain, but especially Healer L’Vor. He did amazing work.” Geoff’s eyes gleamed in obvious admiration.
“Geoff’s right, Jim. If it hadn’t been for that Vulcan Healer, Spock would still be on the ship, sedated and lost inside his head. I had my doubts about this whole heaalin’ mind meld thing, but L’Vor was amazin’, and I’m goin’ tell him so the first time I have a chance.”
“Wonder what’s going on in there?” Jim gestured to the closed door.
“I’m sure Ny is very happy,” Christine murmured, smiling at the thought.
“Lotta’ catching up about what happened, I’m sure. None of our business, really,” Leonard added.
“You’re right, Bones, it isn’t, so let’s adjourn to the living room. I’m sure we’ll find out more by lunch time. I wouldn’t mind a sit down, that mind meld with Spock sorta took it out of me,” he muttered.
“Are you sure you’re all right Jim?”
“I’m fine, Bones, just tired. Spock is a hell of a stubborn bastard, he fought me all the way.” He smiled grimly. “Wore me out a bit, but between the healer and I we got the best of him. A little rest and relaxation and I’ll be fine.”
“I think we’re all stressed,” Christine said. “Worrying is stressful, and I for one, wondered if we’d get Mr. Spock back the way he was.”
“Let’s go sit then while we wait for an update from Sarek.” Then Jim turned laser sharp blue eyes on Leonard. “And no arguments, Bones. Us standing out here waiting in the hall makes no sense,” he said, using that command tone that Leonard knew brooked no arguments. “You’re tired and don’t try to tell me any different.
Leonard sighed. “I’m not gonna’ argue with you, Jimmy. You’re right, I am worn out with all the worryin’. It’s more mental than physical, though. I’m just glad that Spock is gonna be fine.”
In the living room, they settled in prepared to wait. “Come on, Bones,” Jim patted the space next to him. “You’ve been worrying enough for two people. Let’s relax for a little while. We’ll get a complete debrief from Sarek soon. Right now I’m going to give Admiral Pike an update just to keep him in the loop. He’ll be happy to hear the news that Spock is going to be fine.”
Jim glanced over at Christine and Geoff talking softly on the other sofa and lowered his voice . “Do you think it worked, Bones? Spock will be okay now?”
Leonard nodded, his lips curled into a tired smile. “Stop worryin’ darlin’. It worked.” Leonard’s voice was also soft, but sure. “All his readings were great. He’s gonna be just fine.”
“Good.” Jim breathed out in relief. “I’m going to the dining room to comm Pike, I’ll be right back. Maybe we can all get some coffee. If I see anyone I’ll ask for some.”
Leonard nodded and rested his head back on the sofa. This case was mostly over, thank the good Lord. Spock was obviously going to be back to normal sooner than later. The only question was how he was going to react when he heard about the complete loss of his Vulcan control, of his obvious preference for his human identity, and about the total negation of his Vulcan one. He wondered if Spock would agree to any sort of counseling. Had anyone ever needed counseling on Vulcan? Mostly he wondered if Vulcans even had counseling services. He’d have to speak with the Vulcan Healer about those issues before Spock resumed his duties as First Officer.
One of the kitchen staff came wheeling in a trolley with coffee cups, sugar, cream and a couple of carafes of coffee. Obviously Jim had been successful. The Vulcan served them, passed the cups around and quietly left the living room. The three milled around the room drinking and talking, as they waited impatiently for an update from Spock’s room. Leonard looked a question at Jim when he came hurrying back into the room.
“Admiral Pike was relieved to say the least. I told him I’d have a final update on Spock after speaking with Sarek. We’ve already received our next mission orders, but if Spock has to stay here for a while, he’d grant him medical leave as needed. Pike also said we can’t stay here much longer, a couple of days at the most,” he added pouring himself some coffee.
“I figured,” Leonard said. “The Admiral has been very understanding through all this.”
“Well,” Jim added dryly, closing his eyes briefly in appreciation as the hot brew hit his palete. “it sure helps that Spock is the son of the Vulcan Ambassador to Earth. Wouldn’t do to offend him or the remaining Vulcan population.”
Leonard opened his mouth to snort, but turned in time to see Sarek and L’Vor come in. There was a satisfied look on their faces.
“All is well,” L’Vor stated. “Sarek and Lt. Uhura, in turn, told Spock all that transpired after his injury. There was an initial shock to be sure, as I expected, but his shields are firmly in place and he accepted the information readily. He responded appropriately and logically to all that he heard.”
Sarek continued. “After we told Spock about his injury and subsequent complications, I spoke to him about my failure as a father, when after Amanda’s death, Spock did not receive the benefit of the familial healing meld. I assumed complete responsibility for my parental lapse, but Spock declared that he could find no fault in me. He said that I too, had suffered an incalculable loss. I lost my planet, most of my clan, and my wife. The cause was sufficient, my son stated most emphatically.”
“I’m no expert by any means, Sir, but I also have known loss, all of us here have, certainly not in the magnitude of yours and of your people, but I agree with Spock on this one,” Leonard assured him.
He turned to the elderly Vulcan. “Healer L’Vor, the Captain, Dr. M’Benga and I would like to address Spock’s psychological state with you. Is he fit enough to return to the ship and resume his position as First Officer? I’m sure you are aware that we had to report Spock’s injury and subsequent symptoms to Star Fleet Medical and the Admiralty. As a result, Spock must pass psychological fitness tests in order to return to active duty. Do you think he can pass those tests and that he’s ready to resume his duties on the ship? Will he need any rehab or counseling?”
“I am certain he is ready, Doctor. He only needs a day of rest to integrate all his new found memories, and, after doing so, he will be ready to return to the ship. In my opinion counseling will not be necessary. Although I know that sometimes after a trauma it is necessary for humans to avail themselves of a counselor, it is not the same for Vulcans.”
“Well now, that’s good to hear.” Leonard was pleased, his doctorly heart satisfied.
“It is great news,” Jim agreed. “I’ll let Admiral Pike know, Sarek. I just spoke with him to give him an update, he was relieved to hear about Spock’s recovery. We’ve also received orders for our next mission. We’ll have to leave in a day or so. We could return to the ship this afternoon, Sir, now that Spock is better, we don’t want to impose on your hospitality.” Jim looked dubiously at Sarek.
“James it is not the slightest imposition to have all of you here. Also, I think that since Spock must have repose for one more day, he would prefer for all of you to remain here until he can leave with you.”
“Then if you’re sure, we’ll stay. Thank you, Sir. Well stay until we can all go back to the ship together.”
“Where is Nyota, Ambassador?” Christine asked, suddenly missing her.
“Spock asked her to remain with him, and she was happy to comply,” Sarek answered, a pleased gleam in his dark eyes. “She will join us for mid-meal. Spock’s mid-meal will be in his bedroom, Healer L’Vor has stated Spock must rest this afternoon.”
“I think that today I will join all of you for mid-meal, Sarek,” Healer L’Vor told him. “I would speak with Dr. McCoy and Dr. M’Benga about Spock’s aftercare aboard the ship.”
Uhura came in at lunch time looking happy and relieved. She sat at the table and beamed at everyone. “Spock is sleeping, now. He was alert and he wanted to know how things were on the ship and what he missed. I gave him an abbreviated account of things, Jim. He was “gratified” that Sulu and Toriani took over for him since, as he said, they are exemplary officers.”
Lunch was, as Jim now knew to expect, delicious, and he was happy to see that Nyota ate with a good appetite for the first time in days. The two doctors and the healer sat across from each other and engaged in doctorly talk. The three, Jim noted, seemed satisfied with their aftercare plan for Spock. He, Nyota, and Christine were kept busy answering questions from Sarek about Spock’s duties on the ship and some of their more interesting missions he was a part of.
“Captain Kirk, we have decided it would be beneficial for Spock to have visitors this afternoon. I anticipate that he will be able to sit up for a time this afternoon and eat his dinner in his chair. He will be ambulatory by tomorrow morning, and he will be able to join us for meals and may return to your ship in the evening. I advice only light duty for two or three days then he can resume his customary duties.”
Jim smiled widely. “That’s great news, Healer L’Vor. I’ll notify Mr. Scott to be ready to transport us after dinner tomorrow. The crew will be delighted to have Mr. Spock back on the bridge. He’s highly respected by all my crew.”
After lunch they all returned to their rooms. The two doctors, to write up their separate reports which would be sent to Dr. Boyce at SFM and to Admiral Pike, and Jim, to send in his own final report to Admiral Pike. He also had to speak with Sulu and Lt. Toriani and inform them that Spock would resume light duties the day after tomorrow and that they would continue in their roles until Spock could resume his duties completely when Dr. McCoy’s said so.
Sulu and Toriani expressed their delight that Spock was coming “home.” Jim also told them that a commendation would be attached to their personnel files for their exemplary work taking over Spock’s many duties. That done, Jim felt as if a weight had dropped from his shoulders. The bridge was the heart of the ship, and with Spock gone, there had been a hole left in the tight knit group that was the Command crew.
Leonard too, was finished with his report. He was profoundly grateful that Spock was going to be all right. He’d felt helpless and frustrated that he and Geoff hadn’t been able to help him more than they had, but professional pride aside, it was his need to fix people that had been frustrated.
Now they were all free until they took a turn visiting Spock. Christine would be first, then Geoff, then Jim, and lastly Leonard. He’d give Spock one last checkup before bed.
“Bones,” Jim murmured softly. “We have more than an hour until its my turn to visit Spock.” He looked meaningfully at the doctor.”
“And...?” Leonard asked, eyebrow quirked. “Oh,” he grinned.
He hurriedly stripped off his loose shirt and pants and watched appreciatively as Jim did the same. Jim dropped his on the floor, but Leonard always Doctor Neat put his in the room fresher for cleaning.The two men slid under the cool sheets and sighed at the cool clean feel of the linen under them.
As Jim reached for him, he inhaled softly with pleasure lifting one hand to cup Bones' cheek. He tilted his head, and his lips met Bones’ in a heated kiss. Leonard kissed him back, deepening the kiss, then pulled him closer, closer, feeling Jim’s long body against him. For a minute they just held on to one another, Bones' tongue lightly tracing the inside of Jim's lip. Jim’s fingertips stroked his face gently, enjoying the feel of the warm smooth flesh under his fingers, then he carded his fingers through the soft dark hair. He buried his face in Len’s shoulder, nuzzling him, then pulled back, “Bones, Bones, the things you do to me.”
“No, darlin’ it’s the things we do to each other. Cain’t get enough of you. Love you, darlin’, love you so much.”
The more emotional and passionate Bones got, the thicker his Georgia drawl became. It had been years since he’d left Georgia, and his drawl had mostly disappeared unless he was tired, stressed, or his emotions were stirred. Jim loved the sound of it, loved to hear the softened vowels and syllables as Bones whispered words of passion, praise, and love in his ears. They made out like teenagers for a while, kissing, nibbling, grinning like fools, their mouths in constant contact with each other. Jim mumbled encouragement, and bit Bones’ bottom lip for the sheer pleasure of hearing him moan.
McCoy nibbled at Jim's earlobe, swirled and nipped at it, and Jim gave his own soft moan of bliss. Then suddenly the playfulness was over, and it became something else. Something wilder, more intense, more passionate and desperate. It was sex the way nature intended it to be. Two people perfectly attuned to each other, giving and taking pleasure, indulging their mutual desire, a simple, unambiguous act of love and desire. “Jim...Jim, darlin.” Bones’ voice was husky with love, with tenderness.
They came together, reveling in their physical union. Here were two hearts, two souls, two bodies, two separate broken people made whole by their profound connection. Afterward, they lay sated and blissful, content on the bed, uncaring of the mess between them, holding each other for a while, neither of them wanting to move, until Jim snorted and giggled giddily.
“Jim! What’s so funny?” Bones looked at him in bewilderment.
“Look at us, Bones, we’re a mess!”
Leonard looked down. They were indeed a mess, a big mess; lube, semen, and sweat, were smeared all over their stomachs and chests. “We are definitely a mess, but that’s nothin’ new, darlin’.”
“Bones...the bathroom and shower are across the hall!”
Leonard’s eyes widened in dismay! “Oh Lordy! What the hell are we gonna do now, Jim?” He looked helplessly at Jim. “I put all my clothes in the fresher! His face took on a mutinous look. “And I’m certainly not puttin’ on my clean underwear, shirt and tunic over this mess. Where are our robes?”
Jim got up and looked around. He opened the closet door where they’d been hanging, then the chest of drawers and the two duffles. No robes. “Looks like whoever came to clean the room and make the beds took them to be cleaned.”
There was a pregnant silence, then finally Jim sighed. “Well...one of us has to get dressed, sticky mess or not...and go out in the hall to open the bathroom door. The other one will have to stand at this door, holding all our clean clothes ready to run across the hall. We both better hope both bathrooms are not in use.” He looked meaningfully at Leonard.
Leonard looked back at him just as meaningfully. “As our Captain and fearless leader, I think you have to be the one to go out in the hall to try them doors, you’ve at least got clothes. Damn it, Jim! I don’t have a stitch to wear. I’m stark naked!”
Jim looked affronted, then he groaned at the realization that indeed Leonard had no clothes. “Fine! You’re right, it’ll have to be me, but if I get caught, Bones McCoy, naked or not, I’m taking you down with me. I’m not braving Vulcan disdain and disgust by myself!”
“Jim Kirk, you wound me, you really do. As if I would ever let you hang by yourself.”
Jim threw on his clothes, wiping ineffectually at the dried sticky mess. He grimmiced balefully as his clothes slid over the gummy mess on his chest and stomach. “Ugh! It feels totally gross, Bones,” he whined pitifully.
Leonard ignored the whine. Frowning fiercely, he grabbed the two sets of underwear, clean pants and tunics. He held them carefully away from his body and stood there in all his naked glory. Jim eyed him appreciately before he quietly opened the bedroom door and carefully peeked out looking down the long hall. Thankfully the hall was empty and quiet, no one seemed to be around. He tip toed out into the hall, went across to the nearest door, turned the knob and glory hallelujah it opened! He held the door wide open and gave Leonard a thumbs up! All clear! Leonard ran across the hallway and into the bathroom as if the hounds of Hell were after him and Jim flung himself in right after him. He slammed the door, locked it, then leaned against it. He looked at the naked Bones arms held straight out clutching their clothes away from himself, and started giggling. He bent over laughing hysterically until the tears ran down his face.
“Jim! Stop it! This ain’t funny!” Leonard looked at him askance, then recognizing the ridiculousness of their plight, he started laughing too. Somehow, in between bouts of giggles, they managed to get themselves into the shower and scrub themselves off.
“Oh my God! What if Sarek or the healer had seen us!” Jim shuddered dramatically. Leonard’s mouth opened, but no words came out. It was too horrible to contemplate the possible humiliation.
Finally, dressed and clean they stepped back into the hall. “Okay, this whole fiasco took it outta me,” Leonard declared. “I’m goin’ to the living room ‘cause I sure need a stiff drink before dinner. Jim, you go on and visit with Spock.”
“All right, Bonsey, I’ll join you soon, then it’ll be your turn after dinner,” said the still grinning Jim.
Leonard gave him a look. How had his life come to this, running down a Vulcan Embassy hallway buck naked? Things like this never happened to him before he’d met Jim Kirk. He pulled himself together. “Go on then, Jim. When its my turn to visit, I’m going to give him a thorough goin’ over and Geoff will do the same in the morning. We’re taking no chances. L’Vor said he’ll meld with him one last time tomorrow, a shallow meld, he said, just a quick check. Having the three of us give Spock a clean bill of health should satisfy the brass that he’s fit for duty again.”
Jim entered Spock’s room to find him sitting up in bed. Nyota was sitting in a chair beside him, looking relaxed and happy.
“Spock!” Jim grinned in delight. “Look at you!”
“Captain, I am pleased to see you.”
“Jim, Spock. Call me Jim. We’re not on duty.”
“Cap...J..Jim, I am pleased you are here.”
“Sit here, Jim.” Uhura said, rolling her eyes at Spock. “I’ll be back in a few minutes. I know it’s almost time for dinner and I’d like to change and freshen up.” She rose with her usual grace and smiled at both of them. As she left them, Jim’s eyes followed her. He saw how much better she looked and rejoiced.
“She was terribly worried about you, Spock,” Jim told him sitting down. “It’s great to see you back to your usual self. Nyota wasn’t the only one, we were all worried about you.”
“I thank you for your concern, Jim. I was told by Nyota all that transpired since my accident on the hill. I will also express my gratitude to Dr. McCoy, Dr. M’Benga and Nurse Chapel for their exemplary care of my person. I also understand that during my illness, I injured you...again.” Spock’s dark eyes were remorseful as they looked at his Captain. “I’m deeply grieved and shamed to have done so, Sir.”
Jim waved a dismissive hand. “Spock, forget it. You were ill and completely unaware of what you were doing. Don’t worry anymore about it. Put it behind you, because I sure have. It’s all forgotten. Now let’s get to the way more interesting topics of conversation.” Jim settled back in the chair and smiled brilliantly at Spock. “Let me tell you what you missed on the ship while you were unconscious.”
The next morning Spock was up early, finally out of his Med Bay gown and dressed in his uniform. Geoff checked him over and to the crew’s delight, he joined them for breakfast. The previous evening, Jim had asked Scotty to beam down Spock’s uniform and it was good to see his First Officer sitting at the table looking his usual pristine self again.
The previous evening, Leonard had given Spock a final, thorough going over and declared him healthy and fit for duty. Afterward, Jim had given Scotty the order for their beam out for the next evening. He’d also sent in his report to Admiral Pike with his final update on Spock’s medical status. Jim had gotten an instant ping back with Pike’s hurrah couched in discreet Admiralty rhetoric.
The crew spent most of their last day with Sarek, who in his subdued Vulcan way, looked content and happy. Uhura never strayed far from Spock’s side, as if she were afraid to have him out of her sight. After a celebratory and delicious dinner, with all of the crew back in their uniforms, they assembled in the foyer for their beam out.
The two doctors and the healer drew apart from the others for their final goodbyes. “I gotta’ admit I had my doubts about you, Healer,” Leonard confessed to the serene old man. “I wasn’t at all willing to put Spock’s mental health in your hands, seriously doubted what you could do for him. But I can admit when I’m wrong, Sir, and I was dead wrong ‘bout you. You accomplished an amazin’ thing here with Spock, and I’m real sorry I doubted your skills.”
The healer inclined his stately head. “You were not alone in your doubts, Doctor McCoy. I too, doubted your medical ability, and yours too, Dr. M’Benga. Logic dictates that acquiring knowledge is a life long endeavor, and I suffered a severe lapse of logic by assuming I could learn nothing from two human physicians. My life has been quite long and I have acquired a vast amount of knowledge, but it seems as if I am still learning.” There was a gleam of amusement in the wise old eyes.
Leonard smiled. “Seem we all learned a thing or two, Sir.”
Jim’s comm beeped and Scotty’s voice came over loud and clear. “Ready when you are, Sir.”
“Two minutes, Scotty. Mark.”
“Sa-meh,” Spock told his father. “The time has come for us to leave. Live long and prosper, Father. I will see you next when I have leave.” He gave his father the traditional Vulcan family leave taking, crossing his hands at the wrist, his palms facing out toward his father.
“My son, I will await your visit,” Sarek said, returning the gesture. “I am deeply gratified that you are in full health once more.” He turned to Uhura. “My child, it is my hope you will accompany Spock on his next visit.”
Uhura leaned in and gave the pleased Sarek a butterfly soft kiss on the cheek. “I promise, Sarek.”
Spock approached the healer. “Healer L’Vor, I thank thee for thine efforts in my healing,” he told him formally and raised his hand in the ta’al. “Live long and proper.”
“Likewise, S’chn T’gai Spock.” The Healer replied, equally formal, inclining his head.
“Scotty, five to beam up,” Jim ordered into his communicator. And, in the familiar misty chime of the transporter, they were gone.