After the Credits: Bread and Circuses

Title:  AFTER THE CREDITS:  Bread and Circuses

Author:  Ster Julie

Codes: S/Mc; ATC

Genre: Drama

Rating:  PG

Part 1 of 1

Summary:  After their experiences with the pseudo-Romans on Planet 892-IV, Spock has to speak to McCoy of a genuine, warm, decent feeling he is experiencing.


For Janet, because she wanted a Bread and Circuses story…




Spock was doing it again.


McCoy looked up and caught Spock looking at him from across the mess hall.  Of course, the Vulcan averted his eyes a millisecond after locking them with McCoy's baby blues, but the doctor knew that he was the object of Spock's thoughts.  Or at the very least, Spock had a question he was itchin' to ask McCoy, but hadn't yet gotten the nerve up to ask.


Of course, Spock would never admit to having said itch.


So, McCoy checked the time, leaned back with a big mug of coffee, and started counting the minutes until Spock would ask his question.


Eight minutes later, Spock approached McCoy's table. 


"You look like a man with a problem," the doctor said in greeting.


Spock flashed an eyebrow.  "Problem?" he echoed.  "I have no problem, Doctor, but I do have several questions."


"Have a seat and ask away," McCoy invited.


Spock looked around at the crowded mess hall.  "Perhaps we could find a more private setting," Spock suggested.


McCoy spread his arms out wide.   "Your place or mine?" he asked.


"You would be more comfortable in your own quarters," Spock said. 


McCoy rose and disposed of his mug.  "Good," he replied.  "Your room is too damned hot."




McCoy led Spock to his cabin, raised the temperature ten degrees, and poured glasses of water for the two of them.  He had wanted to impress Spock with a proper Vulcan welcome that McCoy had learned in his study of Vulcan culture, but the first officer didn't seem to notice.  He began to pace in McCoy's small work area of his cabin.  The doctor also noticed that Spock had begun to take small, shallow breaths, as if he was panting. 


"I was so  . . . frightened," Spock murmured.

"Of dying?" McCoy asked, red flags going up.  Something was wrong.

"Of seeing you killed," Spock continued.  "I knew I could handle my opponent, but you were going to die in that arena.  I knew you hadn't had much hand to hand battle practice." 


"I'm a surgeon.  I have to protect my hands," McCoy countered, noticing a fine sheen on Spock's face.  Was he sweating?


"Your hands would be of no use to you if you were dead, Doctor," Spock continued.  "I . . . "


McCoy stepped forward quickly as Spock stumbled.


"Spock!" he barked.  "What's wrong?  You're shaking."


"I am suddenly so very cold, Doctor," the Vulcan replied in a small voice. 


McCoy steered Spock to his desk. "Let me get my scanner.  Yep, it's a delayed reaction, but you're going into shock.  Here, get into my bed and I'll raise the heat."


Spock wasted no time removing his outer clothing and boots before crawling between the covers.  He curled into a tight ball and pulled the blanket over his head.


McCoy raised the temp to 100F, then traded his uniform for a light workout shirt and shorts.  Next, he programmed his replicator for two warming pads and an extra firm pillow.  McCoy tucked one of the warming pads under Spock's curled form and placed the other over him.  Rolling Spock to his back, McCoy used the pillow to support the Vulcan's legs so that they were raised higher than his heart.  Soon, Spock stopped shaking, his breathing evened out, his skin felt less clammy, and he finally relaxed.


As McCoy ran his scanner over Spock, he heard the sound of a low chuckle.


"Spock?" he whispered.  "Are you giggling?"  McCoy checked Spock's oxygen level.  It was on the low side of normal, but still acceptable.


"This is not how I intended to get into your bed," Spock chuckled. 


"Pardon me?"


"I said, this is not how I intended to get into your bed," Spock repeated. 


/Okay,/ McCoy thought, /crazy talk is another symptom of shock.  Don't make too much out of this, Leonard./


"Don't you want me in your bed?" Spock asked with smoldering eyes.   He patted the space next to him, inviting the good doctor into his own bed.


Instead, McCoy moved back to replicator and brought back a small canister of oxygen and a nasal cannula.  Spock allowed the doctor to attach the tubing to his face before he caught the doctor's waist and flipped him onto the bed next to him.


"Damn it, Spock!" McCoy started.


"You said that I didn’t know what to do with a genuine, warm, decent feeling," Spock reminded.  "This should prove to you that I do know."


McCoy stopped struggling as he realized what Spock was saying.  "You have a genuine, warm, decent feeling . . . for me?"


"Is that all right with you?" Spock asked timidly.  "You have one for me, correct?  Or did I read you wrong?"


"I thought you preferred women," McCoy blurted.  "You were engaged . . . "


"Don’t remind me."


"And then there was Leila . . . "


"She drugged me with the spores to get what she wanted."  Spock looked into McCoy's eyes.  Did the doctor not realize his own feelings?  "You didn't answer me, Doctor."


McCoy rolled his eyes.  "Look, Spock," he began, "we're in bed.  Call me Leonard."


"You didn't answer me, Leonard." Spock repeated.  "Do you have a genuine, warm, decent feeling for me?"


"What makes you think I do?" McCoy asked nervously.


Spock sighed audibly. Leonard was being deliberately obtuse.  "All of the name-calling, all of the bluster, the arguing, is merely a shield for your true feelings," Spock reasoned.


"What about the anti-fraternization rule?" the doctor rationalized.  "You're in my chain of command."


"In a way, I am over you, yet you are also over me," Spock reasoned.  He snuggled closer to Leonard.  "And I want to be over you," he whispered, "and under you, and inside you, and with you inside me."


Leonard was shocked at what Spock was saying.  No he was shocked that is was Spock who was saying those suggestive things.


"Look," Leonard explained nervously, "talking out of one's head is a symptom of shock.  You're obviously still feeling its effects.  Why don't you try to get some sleep?  I'll answer your question in the morning."


Spock looked disappointed.  "Promise?" he whispered.


"Cross my heart," Leonard replied.


"Very well," Spock sighed.  He then snuggled down deep into the covers on the doctor's bunk and fell fast asleep. 


Leonard ran his scanner over Spock again and noted that he was resting comfortably.   He gently eased himself away from Spock and moved to his desk.  After keying in a medical report, he lowered the thermostat to a more tolerable 85F and pulled a chair close to the bed.  The doctor hadn't intended to fall asleep, but forty minutes later, with his neck stiff and his leg numb, Leonard gave up.  He doubled the blanket over Spock and crawled under just the sheet.


"Sweet dreams," he wished them both.




The next day began with a comedy of errors.


Spock woke in a strange bed, hunkered down deep under the covers, clutching half-warm heating packs to his chest.  As he stretched, his fist contacted a warm lump under the sheet.


Leonard awoke in pain, screaming like a girl at the contact of a strong fist against his morning erection.  "Spock!" he shrieked as he clutched himself.  "What the hell's wrong with you?"


Spock sat straight up in bed, throwing the covers off of them both.  "Computer," he ordered, "lights at 20 per cent."  He saw that Leonard writhing on the bed, and that both of them were clad in just their underclothing.  Spock had no idea why he was in the doctor's bed or how he came to be there.  The previous evening was a blur.


Leonard nodded toward the replicator.  "Get me a cold pack, will ya?" he grated.


Spock got up, got the requested item, and brought it back to the bunk.  Seeing that Leonard's eyes were still screwed shut, he gingerly draped the cold pack over the doctor's injured appendage.


Leonard screamed again at the sudden icy sensation on his most sensitive part.  He removed the cold pack and reintroduced it more gently to his sore member.  "You okay, little fella?" he crooned.


Spock's eyebrow's reached for the ceiling.  Was Leonard speaking to his penis?


Leonard looked up at his taciturn bedmate.  "How are you feeling this morning, Spock?" he asked.


Spock took a long time in finding his voice.  He had so many questions.


"What happened?" he began.


"Where should I begin?" Leonard mused.


"Did we have . . . relations?" Spock blurted.


Leonard blinked.  "No!" he nearly shouted.  "What makes you think we did?"


"We shared the same bed," Spock counted off.  "We are both in our underclothes, and I awoke face to, um, face with your erection."


"Don't tell me you've never had little Spock there at attention upon awakening!" Leonard declared, gesturing to Spock's groin.  "A little 'morning wood' is a normal occurrence in human males.  Did you inherit nothing from your mother?"


There were so many levels of questions and illogical statements in the doctor's tirade that Spock chose to ignore them.  "What was I supposed to think?" he asked.


"You coulda asked me instead of punching me in the package," Leonard said, tossing aside the cold pack. 


"I am asking," Spock pointed out, "and I apologize for injuring you.  Are you feeling any better?"


Leonard rose carefully from the bed and limped over to the restroom.


"Yeah," he grunted.  "Be right back."


Utilizing his medical training. Leonard was washed, dressed and groomed not five minutes later.  He looked at Spock and thumbed over his shoulder, saying, "You next."


Spock obediently complied, calling up fresh clothing from the replicator on the way into the restroom. 


Leonard was sitting on his freshly made bunk when Spock emerged, hunting for his boots.  The doctor patted the empty space beside him, indicating that Spock should sit next to him.


"I can't believe that I am even gonna suggest this," Leonard began, "but it might be a lot easier if you mind-melded with me.  I don't want any misunderstandings between us."


Spock nodded slowly.  "That is very kind of you, Doctor," he acquiesced.  "Words can be so imprecise." 


Spock began by pressing his palms together, centering himself in preparation for the meld.  Soon enough and ages later, Leonard felt the warm, feather light touch of Spock's fingers, seeming to the doctor like a feverish butterfly had alit on his cheek.


Spock examined Leonard's memories of the previous night.  When he got to the part when he heard himself say those very suggestive things to the physician, Spock's hands nearly pulled back in shock and disbelief. 


Leonard gently showed him that he had been harboring similar thoughts all along.  He, too, had desired more from Spock than mere friendship, and, yes, all of his "blustering" was only to hide and diffuse his deep caring for this irritatingly desirable Vulcan.  He had not wanted to take advantage of Spock in his weakened condition of the night before.  It was unethical, and Leonard was nothing if not a very ethical person.


Spock examined his own feelings for the irascible doctor.  He had to admit to himself that what he had said the night before was true.  He did care for Leonard McCoy, deeply.  The thought of losing him, in the arena or anywhere else, was unbearable.  As for the rest . . .   Spock would have to meditate at length on this.


The two men pulled apart after a while.  Leonard tried to avoid discussing their revelation by handing Spock his boots.


"Where do we go from here?" the doctor asked.


"I suppose you do not mean to breakfast and then to duty," Spock quipped.


Leonard looked long and lovingly at Spock.  "Look, Spock," he began, "you know how I feel about you.  When you are more sure of your feelings --yes, I said feelings-- for me, come and tell me.  Then we'll know where to go from here, uh, there, blast it, you know what I mean.


Spock caressed Leonard's cheek with the back of two fingers.  "I know what you mean, Leonard," he soothed.


"And, hell, if or when we ever do get together, we'll already have the hard part out of the way," McCoy observed as they moved toward the door.


"What part would that be, Leonard?" Spock puzzled.


McCoy clapped Spock on the back.


"We've already slept together!"



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