A Long Hard Climb

Title: A Long Hard Climb
                  Author: Qzeebrella
                  Fandom: Star Trek the Original Series
                  Disclaimer: the show and its characters are Paramount's, no profit is 
                  being made by this story.
                  Pairing: Spock/McCoy
                  Rating: G
                  Warning: angst, and Len's dad's death mentioned.
                  Note: some dialogue is lifted directly from Star Trek V, The Final 
                  Frontier. No infringement is intended. Brief mention is made of a 
                  medical directive, this is a legal document one gets a lawyer to make 
                  that lists various procedures you will allow, those that you won't 
                  and is legally enforceable. If it says "No cardiopumonary 
                  resuscitation" then no one can use that to try to revive you, 
                  provided they know of the document. A Living Will on the other hand 
                  does not enforce your wishes, whomever is in the room can ignore it, 
                  they however can not ignore a Medical Directive without severe legal 
                  The following: *~*~* denotes time passing, I hope I've made it fairly 
                  obvious what time frame each scene comes from.
                  Leonard walked hand in hand with his dad, each having a fishing pole 
                  in hand and his dad carrying the rest of the fishing gear. Being with 
                  his dad was the greatest thing in the world, especially when they 
                  could be alone. His dad would answer all his questions if they were 
                  alone and tell him stories, stories his mother would glare at his dad 
                  for telling him. 
                  His dad was so brave and strong, nothing would dare hurt him with his 
                  dad around. His dad could do anything and he knew his dad would 
                  always be there for him. His dad was the smartest person he knew. 
                  Always willing to tell him all kinds of stories and teaching him 
                  Leonard saw his father stumble once again, feet failing him. It hurt 
                  so much to see him ashamed of how his body was failing him. It hurt 
                  to see how each movement his father made hurt him. With every day, 
                  his father's memory got worse. He sometimes couldn't remember what 
                  day it was, the name of people he'd seen every day of the year, and 
                  sometimes wasn't sure who Leonard was. 
                  His father, who had been so strong, his memory so very meticulous, 
                  and never showing fear, now was bent and looking physically week, 
                  always confused and always looking worried and scared. There were 
                  still times he seemed to look like his old self but they were growing 
                  fewer with each day, further apart. Leonard was loosing his father 
                  slowly and nothing he tried to do helped.
                  His doctor had changed his father's medication several times, tried 
                  delaying the slow deterioration, but nothing they tried work. Leonard 
                  knew the disease always ended in death, he knew what each stage of 
                  the disease would do to his father, and he knew it would be a slow, 
                  lingering, painful death.
                  His father was now bed ridden, no longer knowing who he was. He had 
                  no idea why he was in pain, only that each moment was full of pain 
                  that nothing else existed. Leonard knew there was nothing else he 
                  could do for his dad, no hypo that would relieve the pain, no 
                  medication that would delay or prevent his father's death. 
                  His father's doctor had told him that the only way to prolong his 
                  father's life would be an Esophagotomy Tube as his dad could no 
                  longer swallow. He also knew the terms of his dad's medical 
                  directive, a document that outlined just what his father would allow 
                  to prolong his life and what he wouldn't. His father had had it 
                  written up the day he had been diagnosed. He knew that his father 
                  didn't want to be tube fed, but he could live for weeks, possibly 
                  even months on just the IV drip of water the biobed gave him. Given 
                  the way his body was deteriorating, his father had only a matter of a 
                  few months before the biobed couldn't prolong death alone. He didn't 
                  want to have to watch his dad in pain any more. Didn't want to see 
                  the confusion, the eyes empty of all knowledge, the only thing in his 
                  dad's eyes pain.
                  He knew the biobed was keeping his dad's heart beating and that all 
                  he'd have to do to spare his dad further days or even weeks of pain 
                  would be to turn off the biobed. But could he do it? If he did, would 
                  it be murder or compassion? He wanted only to heal the pain, just 
                  take it away.
                  He looked at his dad, so skinny balding, in the thin white hospital 
                  gown, a white blanket covering him. 
                  "I'm here, I'm with you dad." He whispered, and yet the eyes did not 
                  light up with the love dad always had for him. His dad looked at him, 
                  no hint of recognition in his eyes, his eyes just hollow, already 
                  His dad could only whisper, "The pain, stop the pain." Voice tired,  
                  as if resigned to the fact there was only pain. Nodding as he spoke 
                  as if to give him permission.
                  "I'm doing everything I can do." Voice as comforting as 
                  possible. "You've got to hang on."
                  "I can't stand the pain." He whimpers. "Help me."
                  Turning to the nurse, he says, "All of my knowledge and I can't save 
                  "You've done all you can, the support system will keep him alive." He 
                  "You call this alive?" Leonard let anger and frustration tinge his 
                  voice slightly. 
                  For a moment there is recognition in those eyes. "Son, release me." 
                  His father pleads, clasping his hand.
                  "I can't do that dad." Leonard whispers, "But how...how can I watch 
                  him suffer like this?"
                  The nurse says, "You're a doctor." Words that seemed to condemn 
                  Leonard to fighting against hope, keeping his father alive regardless 
                  of the pain. His breath so ragged and each one drawn in pain.
                  "I'm his son." Words spoken with determination and resolve. Leonard 
                  stands, straightens, right hand on his dad's shoulder, inserts a 
                  control box into the biobed. Presses a button to connect, looking at 
                  his father, the tears in those eyes. The fear and the pain and empty 
                  again of any memory. Pressing another button to stop the biobed, thus 
                  stopping life support. Death is instantaneous. Leonard immediately 
                  places his hands on either side of his father's face, knowing he is 
                  "Why did you do it?" The nurse asks.
                  "To preserve his dignity." Bitter, ugly words. 
                  Not long after he "pulled the plug" they found a cure, a goddamn cure 
                  for his father's disease. A cure.
                  The knowledge ate him alive. If he hadn't cured him, could he have 
                  lived? It made him so angry and frustrated. He loved his father, he 
                  released him from pain, he had done what he thought was right, hadn't 
                  Why did the pain always nip at Leonard's heels? Why was there no 
                  relief to his pain? Why was there no cure for him?
                  He knew he was growing older with each day that passed, would he 
                  suffer the same fate as his father. A slow, painful death, where he 
                  lost all sense of who he was? 
                  He had only friends to rely on now, his daughter all grown up and off 
                  planet. So he'd actually agreed to go with camping with them. He and 
                  Spock having grown closer due to the Fal Tor Pan and making tentative 
                  steps toward a relationship. But right now, his friend Jim seemed to 
                  be set on driving him insane.
                  He was supposed to be relaxed. Here in the middle of nature, no sign 
                  of Starfleet, no sickbay, just trees and mountains and birds. He was 
                  wearing a pair of comfortable jeans, one of his favorite shirts, a 
                  bandanna that Spock gave him one Christmas tied around his neck, a 
                  warm sheep-skinned jean jacket, birds were singing, but was he 
                  relaxed? No! And it was all Jim's fault he wasn't.
                  Jim did this on purpose, he knew it. There was no other Earthly 
                  reason he'd go about trying to kill himself. Climbing up a mountain 
                  side, no safety line clipped to it, just his hands and climbing 
                  boots. He was going to kill himself with stubborness. 
                  Leonard watched him through the binoculars, saw how little kept him 
                  from plunging to his death. The idiot! "You'll have a great time 
                  Bones. You'll enjoy your shore leave. You'll be able to relax." Jim 
                  had said. "You call this relaxing? I'm a nervous wreck. If I'm not 
                  careful I'll end up talking to myself." 
                  Of course, just a few moment later Spock goes and distracts 
                  Jim. "What in the hell is that green blooded Vulcan think he is 
                  Spock has to know he wasn't very happy with this, heck, considering 
                  the link between them. Heck, Leonard wouldn't be surprised if Spock 
                  knew what he was thinking. Especially when he was thinking so loudly, 
                  you'd almost swear he was talking out loud. "Goddamn 
                  irresponsible...playing games with life."
                  Oh my God! Jim! He's going to be just a spot on the face of the 
                  ground. Leonard ran toward the mountain, seeing Spock dive after Jim 
                  and save him with just inches to spare from making a mark on the 
                  Why did he put up with these two again? Looking at Spock's face 
                  illuminated by the fire, he remembered. He put up with them because 
                  he loved Spock and Jim was his best friend. They could drive a man to 
                  drink, Jim pisses him off by risking his life on petty stunts and 
                  Spock, well he could never admit to having feelings of any kind. He 
                  might tease Spock about being immortal due to coming back from the 
                  death. All he knew was he was drawn to Spock for some strange reason. 
                  Maybe he was just masochistic.
                  Well, now Spock knew of what he did to his father. His friends knew 
                  what he was capable of, how he had failed his father. Could Spock 
                  ever come to understand and accept him? Could he ever come to admit 
                  to having feelings? Or would he be condemned to always liking Spock 
                  before he died?
                  He enters the room, he must have gotten things all in order now. 
                  Sybok's gone, the ambassador's back on Nimbus III and headed back to 
                  Earth to pick up the interrupted shore leave. "Leonard," no 
                  inflection in that voice. "You have no reason to be ashamed, you did 
                  what you thought was right. It was the logical thing to do."
                  "Damn it Spock, is that all you think of logic?" 
                  "No, Leonard." He comes over and actually hugs him. "I also think of 
                  comfort from time to time. It has been a long time since I thought of 
                  comforting you."
                  "You remember."
                  "Finally." Spock says, regretting the time lost to them due to his 
                  death. Remembering now how close they were to cementing their bond 
                  before the death and only now fully recovered from the Fal Tor 
                  Pan. "I finally remember." Holding Leonard closely. It would take 
                  time before they were ready to cement the bond again, but soon, soon 
                  he and Leonard would be one. 
                  The end.