On Vulcan Genomic Engineering and Love

Title: On Vulcan genomic engineering and love
Author: E. (E.siefert @ wanadoo.fr)
Series: TOS
Pairing: S/Mc
Rating: NR


Three hours into the nightshift, the sickbay should have been empty, but
it wasnt. When Spock entered, he was greeted by Dr. McCoy, whose
current companion was a bottle of whisky.

Spock... I was just reading an article. What brings you here?

Both knew this to be a lie as his console was not even turned on, but
Spock did not care to comment on it.

I needed some supplies from sickbay for an experiment of mine. Ill
come back later.

No, what did you need?

Spock hesitated for a few seconds until he saw the doctor stand up.

A hypospray and a medical tricorder should suffice.

McCoy immediately brought him what he asked for.

Tell me Spock, what kind of experiment are you on this time? I hope it
doesnt involve any strong acids, because the last time you almost
burned away half my sickbay.

No, doctor, nothing of the sort. It is personal project, a hobby if you

You, Spock, a hobby? That stuff Scotty gave me must have been potent,
because Im already hallucinating. Pray tell me what that hobby of yours

Vulcan molecular genetics, doctor. A field you would find, no doubt,
too challenging for your primitive human intellect.

The doctor suddenly had a very bad feeling about all this. Playing with
ones genetic material never was a hobby for anyone, not even for Spock:
he too knew what uncontrolled manipulations could bring. Nevertheless,
the doctor decided to go on with a casual tone.

Fishing, thats a hobby, or three-dimensional chess, if you prefer, but
molecular genetics, thats no hobby! What is it exactly youre

Spock visibly tensed.

As you know, each cell can repair its genome up to a certain degree of
lesions. I devised a method to repair more extensive damage.

As he was talking, he had slowly walked closer to the doctor. He was now
at an arm length of the others neck.

Intuition, premonition, or whatever one wishes to call it, helped the
doctor to elude the raising arm. He hurried to the other end of sickbay,
grabbing on his a way a hypospray he rapidly filled with a strong
sedative. When Spock finally caught up with him and cornered him against
a wall, McCoy put the hypospray between them.

If you move as much as an eyebrow, I will sedate you.

The menacing tone and eyes seemed to achieve the desired effect, for
Spock did not move.

Spock, whats going on?

It is highly illogical to forbid me any movement then to ask me

Dammit, Spock, answer!

As I explained, I was about to attempt an experiment, of which I
suspected you might not approve. I therefore deemed it necessary to
incapacitate you for an instant.

Both knew that even now, Spock could easily dispose of the doctor, but
that he would not risk being sedated unless he was unable to talk
himself out of this situation.

What kind of experiment?

I already explained its aim. I could perhaps show you the protocol, if
you would allow me access to the console?

So you can pinch me into oblivion, no. Lets pretend that Vulcan
genetics are also a hobby of mine: just describe it to me.

Spock considered his options for an instant.

Very well. You asked for it, doctor. I devised a hybrid enzymatic
complex capable of translating human chromosomes into their Vulcan
counterparts. As the in vitro tests went remarkably well, I was about to
proceed to the next step: in vivo testing.

McCoy was not fully sure he understood what was happening to him. Was it
really a hallucination? Or was Spock actually saying what he thought he
had said? He thought of the two glasses he drank and hoped for Spock
that they were the cause of this nightmare. He had been standing still
with his mouth slightly open for a few seconds, when he fell
unconscious, victim of a Vulcan neck grip.

After Spock carefully propped the doctor against the wall, he watched
his face for a few seconds. He kneeled beside him and then slowly
touched his cheek, as if he were not sure himself of what he was doing.
Then even slower, he planted a gentle kiss on the doctors lips. He
thought that he could allow himself one last emotional outburst, that
soon the madness would be over forever, that he would finally be as he
had longed for his whole life long, a very logical, emotionless,
full-blooded Vulcan.

He filled the hypospray with the solution he had brought with him. As he
was setting the dosage, the doctor came back to himself and stood up. He
was now sure this was no dream and that Spock needed to be stopped
before he made the error of a lifetime.

Spock, please dont! I beg you. Do lay down the hypospray. You are who
you are. This will only harm you. Youll regret it

Do not concern yourself over me, doctor, regret is a human emotion: the
enzymes will take care of it.

And what of your mother? By destroying all she transmitted, you will
hurt her beyond any measures.

My mothers feelings are none of your concern. Besides, there is no
need for her to ever know, and even if she were to find out, I am sure
she would understand: she is a very logical woman.

As soon as he had heard the word, McCoy knew how to approach the

And is what youre doing logical?

I agree it might not appear so, but it is, once you consider the whole

Then, could you please explain to me what *the whole situation* is?
Its all I ask for.

Spock glanced at his hypospray. He could inject himself with the
solution and let McCoy deal with it, but he simply could not bring
himself to do so. He did not want to cause so much anger, so much pain,
not now when he would never be able to apologize or make up for it.

Very well.

Spock sat on one of the biobeds and gestured the doctor to do the same.

I will soon enter Pon Farr again; I must therefore find another mate.

And you think you wouldnt find one because youre only half-Vulcan.
Nonsense! That TPring woman was a crazy green-blooded fool. Any half
intelligent woman would want to marry you, if she had a chance.

No doctor, that is not the problem. I am well aware that some women do
find me, for some inexplicable reasons, quite desirable. My problem is
difficult enough to explain without your interruptions. As I said, I
need to find a mate. The logical solution would be to go back to Vulcan
and accept the woman my family chose for me. However, I find it is
precisely that which I cannot do, because...

Spock stopped speaking and stared intently in front of him. They both
remain silent for a moment.

Because, Spock?

Because I noticed I was interested in another... person

The doctor stood up and smiled at Spock, who still wasnt looking at
him. He had noticed the hesitation and hoped he had jumped to the wrong

Its wonderful that you feel this way, but from your behaviour, I can
only suppose you havent broached this delicate subject with this...

Spock turned sharply his head towards the doctor and looked in his eyes.

I know for a fact that he is not interested; I did not even have to
ask. Even with this knowledge, my... interest in him does not decline,
making it impossible for me to bond with someone else: this person would
be aware of my... feelings, it would be unfair to both of us.

And yet, you dont want to die. Therefore, you thought that removing
you human part would take this feeling away, leaving you free to bond
with anyone. Logical, I must admit.

Even more so when one takes in account the fact that there never was a
full-blooded homosexual Vulcan. Only human-Vulcan hybrids seem to be
affected. A genetic change could therefore not miss its purpose

Surely Spock, you cannot think that there is a biological part to this
nonsense. Couldnt it simply be that Vulcan society is highly prejudiced
and that human influence allowed you to be yourself?

Impossible. Vulcan society has no such prejudices, as it would be
illogical to deny a persons true nature. When the tendencies are
detected soon enough, parents engage their children in same-sex bonding:
it is a rare occurrence, but it exists. Furthermore your theory cannot
explain why all half-Vulcans are homosexual.


Yes. They are to this day eighteen of us. Among them, fourteen have
reached adulthood. I contacted them. It is a matter rarely discussed,
but all confessed strong same-sex attraction. I could not speak to the
children, but I learned that when their time comes, they will become two

Fascinating, as youd put it.

Yes indeed, doctor, fascinating.

They both remained silent for a minute or two.

Are you sure this man would not bond with you, if he knew it meant
saving your life?

Vulcan bonding makes each partner aware of the others mind: I could
not live with his pity. Were I to ask, he would do it without
hesitation, for he is a good man, but I wont.

A few seconds of silence.

Its Jim, isnt it?

Spock was surprised for a second but rapidly regained his composure.

Your conclusion is logical, doctor.

Listen Spock, Ill tell him if you cant. Im sure he likes you very
much, he wont--

Spock stood up and felt the need to raise his voice as he spoke.

Under no circumstances are you to mention any part of this conversation
to the captain, is that clear doctor?

He raised the hypospray to his chest. He hoped that soon it would all be
over, that the doctor would not interfere, now that he knew as much of
the truth as Spock was prepared to tell. But he was wrong. As he pressed
the piston, the solution did not penetrate his flesh, but the doctors.
He had put his hand in between, in a desperate attempt to prevent what
he saw as the death of who Spock really was.

The effects were immediately noticeable: the doctor was screaming,
holding his hands between his thighs, vainly trying to minimize the
pain. Spock reached for the hypospray the doctor had let fall earlier,
and gave him a large dosage.

He had expected it to be painful as not only the genome but also the
proteins and cellular structure were rearranged. He saw it spread
through the doctors body. Adjusting the speed had been the most
difficult part: if the blood salts equilibriums were altered too
rapidly, human cells would die without having been transformed, too
slowly, the newly modified Vulcan cells would not survive. Tricorder
readings indicated he had hit it right. The doctor would survive. With
half his DNA altered, the rest of the changes would occur at a more
reasonable rate. Within a week, as his cells would renew themselves, his
ears, his blood, even his brain would be rearranged to meet Vulcan or
rather half-Vulcan standards. The doctor was fast asleep and could
remain so as long as Spock wanted: he thought it best for him to sleep
through most of the process, thus avoiding most of the pain.

Spock was faced with a more urgent problem: he could not explain what
had happened to the doctor without advertising his own problem and the
way he had sought to solve it. This was simply not acceptable: he
therefore decided to slightly disguise the truth. He assembled some
supplies from sickbay and from one of the research labs. He then picked
up sufficient rations and emergency supplies. It was no easy task to
pick up McCoy and carry him while dragging the two heavy boxes he had
prepared. Fortunately, the corridors where still empty and the
shuttlecraft hangar not too far. He had considered for an instant using
the transporter, but that would have involved more computer
falsification than he judged ethically acceptable. Once the doctor
settled on a makeshift cot he had erected at the aft of the shuttle, he
went back to his quarters to download on a microtape all data concerning
his research. He also logged a request for shore leave for McCoy and

The most difficult part of his task was yet still ahead: he needed to
deceive his captain. It wasnt so much the fact that Kirk was a
perceptive man that made Spock most uncomfortable, but the lie itself:
lying to a stranger was something he was just barely able to justify to
his Vulcan ethics, but lying to a friend was something his human side
could hardly accept.

He nevertheless entered the captains quarters to perform what he now
thought of as his duties towards McCoy.

Through his light sleep, Kirk perceived the other mans presence and
opened an eye.

Spock, is something wrong with the ship?

No, captain, the ship is in no danger. I apologize for disturbing you,
but I must inform you that I have to leave now and return to Vulcan.

In an instant, the captain was fully awake. He went to his desk, where
both Spock and he took a seat.

Pon Farr?"

Yes. It is still two weeks away but I must leave now if I want to reach
Vulcan in time to take care of some details.

Very well. The ship should be able to manage without your presence for
some time. When do you expect to return?

In 27 solar days. The ship should be back to this sector by then.

Yes, the cartography mission will be over.

They both were silent for a moment, until Spock felt that the captain
was about to dismiss him.

One other thing, Jim: the doctor wont let me leave the ship unless he
is allowed to come with me. He is under the false impression that I
could willingly harm myself.

Well, it would be safer for you if you were not alone. But if it
bothers you, I can order him to stay.

No, it will be fine. I only regret that you will not be able to attend
this ceremony.

That Spock would accept McCoy presence just like that triggered an alert
of some sort in Kirks brain. He quickly examined the situation and
found only one explanation that could suit all the facts. It was a
madmans idea but he had to be sure.

Me too: I would have loved to meet your wife. Whats her name?

Spock was somewhat at a loss to answer, as he had not expected Jim to
broach this subject. Before he could answer, the captain went on.

Or is there something you and Bones forgot to tell me?

Forgot to tell you? Captain, I fail to understand.

You would tell me if you and he were... engaged, wouldnt you?

Engaged in what, captain?

You know, *engaged*, as in engaged to be married

Something between surprise and horror crossed Spocks features when he
understood what the other meant, informing the captain how wrong he had
been in his supposition.

Captain, if such an unlikely situation was to present itself, I assure
you, you would be the first informed.

Im sorry Spock; I just found it curious that you would accept to be
cramped for some time with Bones in a shuttlecraft, especially before
your... wedding. And as you didnt know your fiancées name, I just
assumed that there was more to it.

I do not have a fiancée yet. This is why I must leave for Vulcan now.
Also, captain, two persons in one shuttlecraft can hardly qualify as
overpopulation. Even though I do not admit to it lightly, I consider the
doctor to be a friend. His presence will be appreciated. "

This open confession further disturbed Kirk, but then he remembered that
Spock had not been quite himself since his last Pon Farr, and hoped that
this trip would do him some good.

Well, Spock, Ill see you in a month.

Spock shaped his hand in a V and bid the captain farewell in the
traditional fashion.

Live long and proper, Jim.

As Spock had almost left the room, he heard the captain calling him.

Spock, why didnt McCoy come with you?

He had some packing to do. I also suspect he wanted to allow me some
privacy, so that we might discuss this matter more easily.

Well, then, good luck Spock.

As he walked out of the cabin and hurried to the shuttlecraft hangar,
Spock thought to himself that, for once, he could do with some luck.

Even though Kirk still felt that something he could not quite pinpoint
was amiss, he informed the officers on duty on the bridge that night
that he had authorised Spocks use of a shuttlecraft.

Once the shuttle far enough from the ship, Spock considered his next
steps. With McCoy asleep during the whole process, he would have a few
days to undertake his research. He could therefore allow himself to
rest: even Vulcan stamina had its limits. He had hardly slept for over
ten weeks, by day, on the bridge, by night completing his project, and
was now extremely tired. He injected the doctor with another dose of
sedative, checked the heading of the shuttle, and then simply fell
asleep in one of the seats.

About 15 hours later, a loud moan woke Spock. As he stood up, he was
surprised to see that the doctors ears were pointed and his complexion
close to his own. A sweep of the tricorder revealed that his whole
anatomy and physiology were now that of a half-Vulcan, with the notable
exception of his brain. Another surprise was that the doctor had wet
himself during his sleep. The strong smell of both urea and rubidine,
its Vulcan equivalent, confirmed Spocks impression that McCoys
transformation was almost over. He computed one more time in his head
the figures, but could not find his mistake: this stage should not have
been reached until at least two more days.

After he removed the doctors pants and tunic, he towelled his thighs
dry. Only then did he notice the double ridge on the doctors penis. A
few glances in the shower room excepted, he had never seen the other
mans penis. He stared at it for what seemed like an eternity, then
carefully lifted it and cleaned its underside and the testicles. Even
though the touch was light, it was enough to arouse the doctor. As he
felt the penis slightly hardening in his hand, Spock dropped it as if it
burned and started frantically looking for some clothes. Until he
realized he hadnt packed any. All he could do at the moment was to
cover the doctor with a blanket. After giving the matter some thoughts,
he cleaned the dirty clothes with a phaser he had recalibrated to emit
sonic waves. When McCoy was clothed again, Spock decided that the best
course would be to wake him: the changes were almost over now, but most
importantly he did not want to have to touch his penis again, which
would be quite impossible, were he to keep the doctor sedated.

It took McCoy a while to emerge from his slumber and sit himself on the
cot. Spock decided it was best to speak with him before he was fully
conscious of his environment.

Doctor, do you remember what happened?

I took a hypo full of something. It hurt like hell, worse than the

It was to be expected. I didnt have time to work one the

Suddenly McCoy seemed remember: he stared at his hand but obviously
couldnt find the answer he was looking for there.

Im sure you going to laugh, Spock. I mean you would if you had the
emotions. Am I a Vulcan?


I told Jim that one of these days I was going to loose it and now I
start seeing things. I could have sworn it was real.

It very probably was. Doctor, you are half Vulcan.

They remained silent for a minute or two. McCoy was lost in his thoughts
until he took notice of his surroundings.

Why are we in a shuttlecraft?

I thought it better for no one to see you in your present condition.
All I need is some time to find a reverse drug. I told the captain we
were going to Vulcan for my Pon Farr. When well get back, the others
will be none the wiser.

McCoy remained uncharacteristically silent: he kept watching his hands.
One of them ventured up to one of his ears. Touching a hard evidence of
what had happened combined with the residual effects of the drug made
him feel so nauseated that he had to run for the toilet.

After he had vomited several times, Spock came to him with a towel and a
glass of water.

Doctor, I must apologize for putting you through this most unpleasant
ordeal. This is all my fault and I--.

The doctor rapidly stood up and faced Spock. He was obviously once again
his normal self.

Youre damn right, its your fault. How could you imagine I would let
you inject yourself with that thing? You must have been out of your
Vulcan mind when you brewed this potion!

I already explained what brought me to this. I thought you had

I understand all right, but that doesnt mean I approve of it.

It is not yours to approve. I do with my life as it pleases me, and if
I wish to modify my genetic structure, you have no right to interfere.

With these words, Spock left the small bathroom and regained his seat at
the bow of the shuttle.

The doctor cleaned himself and went back to the cot. He took the medical
tricorder that lay nearby and scanned himself. It indicated that though
he still was undergoing some changes, he was in better health that he
was before. He took his present situation with a strange serenity: he
wasnt the least worried about it. In fact, his worries were all caused
by Spock. His unusual behaviour, last night and this afternoon, almost
led McCoy to believe he had lost his mind. The fact that he had actually
conceived a way of becoming a full-blooded Vulcan showed the depth of a
pain the existence of which the doctor had only surmised. It wouldnt
surprise him if Spock had finally cracked under such a heavy burden: the
whole Pon Farr situation and his unreturned love for the captain simply
were the last straws. A few tricorder readings on Spock were enough to
confirm another of his suppositions.

Its happening again soon, isnt it?

Spock turned and glanced apprehensively in the doctors eyes.

Yes. I have approximately two weeks left.

Well, Vulcan is only about 4 days away. That leaves you enough time to
arrange something, doesnt it?

Yes, doctor, but first we must revert you to your previous state. I
pulled out all the data I produced during my research: you should better
get acquainted with it, as it might be of use for our purpose.

As he began to read on the console, McCoy noticed his reading speed had
increased. His memory also seemed to be better that before: his brain
was changing. He only hoped it wouldnt affect his emotions, because he
felt that they were what made him who he was.

After he had finished, a question sprang to his mind.

Will I become a telepath?

Ultimately, yes. But this involves major brain rearrangements that
should take some time. If we work swiftly, you should not reach this

Well, wed better get started then.

After a few hours of work, McCoy was subject to violent headaches, on
which painkillers, even at a large dosage, had no effect.

Doctor, I might be able to help: a mind meld could alleviate you pain.

McCoy was reluctant to let Spock meld with him, but he also knew that it
was stupid to go on suffering when there was a solution at hand.

I dont see any other option, Spock. Just do it.

Spock readied himself, and then pressed his fingers on the doctors
temple. After a few seconds, he frowned and removed them.

I cannot initiate the meld. Your mental barriers prevent me from it.

But Spock, you know as well as I do, that I dont have--

Doctor, you do have mental barriers. There can only be one explanation:
you are now a telepath. You were not trained to control you shields, so
perhaps it would be easier for you to lower them if you were to engage
the meld. Put your fingers here and here.

He had grabbed the doctors right hand and placed each finger on his

You should now feel something.

The doctor slightly adjusted the position of his fingers.

A tingling?

Yes. Now try to reach this tingling with your mind. I will have my
shields down.

I dont seem to... Wait, I...

Suddenly he felt he had entered Spocks mind.

// No doctor, this is not my mind, but a mix of both our minds. I will
show you how to ease your pain, and also how to control your mental

He did so, then he felt the doctor was about to retreat.

// I can sense my counterpart from the mirror universe inflicted some
damage. You never mentioned it. Repairs are essential for your mental
health. I could effect them immediately, if you allow me. //

Spock felt a strong feeling of fear coming from the doctor, but was not
aware of its precise cause.

// No, Spock I can manage on my own. //

// I doubt it, but I can understand you reservations about accepting my
help. When we reach Vulcan, I shall contact my familys healer, he will
be able to assist you. //

Then the meld was broken.

The transformation is progressing at an alarming rate, much more
rapidly than I had estimated. I must have done an error in my

Spock fed some data into the computer, but suddenly stopped.

I seem to have made the most stupid error conceivable: I used the human
cell replacement rate instead of the Vulcan one. With this correction, I
estimate that you will be as Vulcan as I am, 34.72 hours after the

But thats in 5 hours."

While McCoy was somewhat stunned by this news, Spock was more agitated:
he stood up and began pacing. After a few minutes, he stopped and simply
remained standing in front of the still seated doctor.

"It is now unavoidable. You will become a Vulcan. There are, therefore,
some facts about the Vulcan mind that you must know. Contrary to what I
always told you, Vulcans do have feelings. Feelings so strong that were
they left uncontrolled, we would all be savage, brutal, uncivilized
creatures, not unlike what we were in Ancient Times. You must learn to
control these feelings; it is a matter of life or death."

The doctor jumped of his chair and went to face Spock.

"And what of *my* feelings, I don't want to control them. You're saying
that I become like you, a green blooded, computerized-- "

"What you do with your human feelings is your concern, doctor, but know
that if you do not master your Vulcan emotions, your human part will be
crushed without mercy."

"That's just nice. At least, it'll make an interesting entry in my death
certificate. 'Crushed by Vulcan emotions': it would certainly be a first
in human history."

"But not in Vulcan history. You must not take this lightly. What I told
you, no outworlder may know, because the true nature of the Vulcan heart
must remain a secret. There is more to being a Vulcan than pointed ears
and logic."

"I know Spock, but I appreciate your warning. I always found Vulcan
culture fascinating."

"I wasn't aware of that."

"Well, my interest started because of you: I wanted to know what made
you tick. But Vulcan refuses to communicate any data to outworlders and
there wasn't much in the Starfleet databases. We have more cultural data
on Gamma Trianguli VI than on Vulcan, all because of that special
derogation. Did you know Vulcan is the only member of the Federation
that does not have the obligation to communicate cultural data?"

"Yes. I was with my father when he negotiated that particular

"I had no idea you had any ambassadorial experience."

"I stayed with him on Earth for two years before I entered Starfleet."

"Now I see why he was pissed off."

"Although 'pissed off' is hardly an appropriate term to describe a
Vulcan, the basic idea is correct. He found my choice most illogical:
the Vulcan Science Academy would have provided better teaching and a
less belligerent life philosophy that Starfleet Academy."

"And yet you chose Starfleet."

"A youthful mistake."

A frown appeared on the doctor's face as he pondered what he was

"I see. So the next logical step after your transformation would have
been to resign and remain on Vulcan."

"Quite correct. During Pon Farr a child would most certainly have been
conceived. I would have stayed to raise it. Also full-time research has
always been what I was meant for, just as you were meant to be a doctor,
and Jim, a starship captain. I could no longer run from this. There
would have been no reason for me to stay in Starfleet. You seem
surprised, but you should not be: I would have returned to my people,
because, I am, as you so forcefully remind me every day, a Vulcan."

"No, Spock, you're wrong. I try to remind you that you're every bit as
human as you are Vulcan."

Spock thought the matter over for a few seconds.

"Doctor, would you consider yourself to be a Vulcan?"

"Well, no, but--"

"And yet you are every bit as Vulcan as you are human. My point, doctor,
is that genetics are insignificant compared with education. And mine was
Vulcan. Now, doctor, I think we ought to get back to our research. Our
time is limited."

The doctor shot a dubitative glance at Spock, but complied.

It had taken Spock nearly six month to come up with a functional
enzymatic complex, but his approach proved to be readily transposable:
in less than two hours, they managed to produce a new complex. They
tested it on an isolated cell, but the complex was destroyed before it
had a chance to modify anything. The next seven hours were spent trying
to solve this one problem. Vulcan genome defence systems are very strong
and when they finally managed to circumvent them, they were confronted
with another problem: the cell could not handle the change back and died
within instants.

"What happened? I thought we had it."

"The tricorder indicates that the chromosomes were translated as we
expected, but that they were dysfunctional."

"A change in the complex might do it, then."

Spock pondered the issue for a few seconds.

"I am afraid we are facing a much more difficult problem. As you know,
Vulcan chromosomes constantly rearrange themselves, modifying their
structure to allow access to one particular gene. Access to each gene is
controlled in this way. This means there are as many different
chromosomal structures as there are genes. As our complex could only
translate one of these conformations, it is very likely that some genes
could not be translated because their access was blocked."

"Couldn't we force the chromosome into a plain linear form?"

"We could but it would not be helpful: part of the information is in the
tertiary structure of the molecule. We might have to consider another

Because the doctor remained silent, obviously troubled by the news,
Spock decided that a break would be welcome.

"Doctor, we have not eaten for almost two days. Would you care for a

Without waiting for an answer, Spock stood up and took two field rations
out of one of the boxes. He handed one to the doctor, who still hadn't

They both ate in silence. Once he had finished, Spock went through the
schematics of the human-Vulcan hybrid cell again, hoping he would find a
way to cure the doctor. He was no geneticist, but had thought that with
McCoy's collaboration, they would manage to cure him. McCoy's voice
stopped this train of thoughts.

"What if we can't turn me back?"

"We have not explored all options yet, doctor."

"And when we have? Will I have to behave like you do or what?"

"You will have the choice. But if you decide not to control your Vulcan
emotions, you will be banned from Vulcan and no Vulcan will be allowed
to speak with you."

"Bastard, you did that to me!"

With these words, the doctor jumped out of his chair and punched Spock's
right eye. Spock, who had fallen on the floor, was able to avoid most of
the next hits. He decided to try to reason McCoy.

"You must control your emotions, doctor. They are now controlling you.
In all the years, during all these arguments, did you ever hit me?"

Both were still for an instant.

"You never did. You must control your rage. Remember what I told you

McCoy was lost in his thoughts for some time, and then helped Spock onto
the chair. He took the medikit that was near the cot.

"Let me help you."

Fortunately, Spock had only suffered a few scratches and bruises that
were soon taken care of.

"I'm sorry, Spock, for this. I don't know if I can hold much longer, the

"With time you will get used to it. Meditation might help."

"I never."

"I am no teacher but I could show you."

McCoy nodded and Spock engaged the meld. He was surprised by the
difference in the doctor's mind.

// I must compliment you: you learn fast. Most of your thoughts are
hidden from me. //

// I saw how you did it. It was easy to copy. //

McCoy sensed Spock hesitate, but didn't know why.

// Then perhaps, if you want, I could show you how I handle my emotions.
It is not perfect, but you could copy my system, until you devise your
own method. //

McCoy was amazed that Spock would let him enter so deeply in his mind,
that he would allow him to watch his most private thoughts, his
emotions, that, despite the shame he knew Spock felt about this part of
himself, he was ready to show it to the man who had so often made fun of
him. He had to compose himself before he could speak.

// Thank you Spock, I know what it means for you, but it would help me.

And then he was taken there, where he perceived how the fear, the shame,
the pain, and even the love Spock felt were all made to obey. Somehow he
had managed to transform these demanding monsters into civilized being,
like a well-trained army that Spock could almost command at will. McCoy
had some difficulties to imitate this. After he failed a few times, he
decided to ask Spock for help.

// Spock, if you could take a look and tell me what I'm doing wrong. //

It was Spock's turn to be surprised as he felt the doctor's emotions for
the first time. McCoy's human emotions were dancing around, like so many
cats that one could pet and hold but never entirely control, while his
Vulcan emotions were frozen, as if a phaser was pointed at them.

// You must force them to obey you, because you cannot keep an eye on
them all the time. //

McCoy tried and failed several times, but each time Spock helped him to
better his technique. When he finally was successful, Spock explained
him how to meditate. They broke the meld and each meditated on his side.

McCoy was the first to end his meditation: he urgently needed to use the
bathroom. After he had urinated, he noticed that his penis had become
larger. He had expected the only difference to be the appearance of a
second ridge, but his penis was about one centimetre longer and somewhat
thicker. Flaccid. He was more than a little curious about its erect
size. Knowing that Spock was still meditating, he decided to give it a
try. It took not much to get fully hard. He was mesmerized by his
erection. It was much larger than usual, but mostly he kept thinking
that Spock's must be just like this. He had never seen his penis erect,
the few glances he had caught during the physicals had not told him
much. But now it was as if he finally had him in his hand. With this
idea, he started to stroke himself frantically until he was about to
come, and then. nothing. He let out a cry of frustration, but his penis
was already softening.

When he came out, Spock was sitting at the command panel of the
shuttlecraft. Something in his demeanour informed McCoy that he knew
what had happened in that bathroom. He cursed Vulcan hearing and
shuttlecraft designers as he sat himself next to Spock, his face green
with shame. But his inability to come still bothered him: he needed to
ask someone if it was normal. The idea of asking Spock made him
uncomfortable, but he felt he had no choice: the only other Vulcan he
knew was Sarek.

"Spock, I'm sorry you heard what I did, I thought you were meditating."

"Curiosity is a perfectly natural reaction, doctor."

"Would you mind if I asked you a question?"

"Go on."

"I didn't manage to. come. Is that normal?"

McCoy was getting more and more embarrassed.

"You forgot that you were in control of your emotions, some of them at
least. You must learn to modulate this control."

"I see."

But the puzzled look on his face clearly showed he didn't.

"I do not know how to explain it differently."

He paused.

"But you will understand that I cannot demonstrate it to you."

Shocked that Spock could even consider showing him, he felt even more
embarrassed that he thought it possible for any man to be.

"Thank you very much; I will try what you suggested next time I find
myself in that situation."

Despite the awkwardness, McCoy was glad they had had this conversation:
he knew now that Spock was masturbating. The Vulcan had always been so
private about his sexual life: he seemed to have none. At each physical,
his answers were always the same. No, he had not had any sexual partner
in the last three month. No, he did not feel the need. The questions,
destined to help determine the person's mood, were mandatory; had it
been otherwise Spock would not even have bothered answering them.
Thinking of Spock masturbating renewed McCoy's excitation, but this was
rapidly overshadowed by jealousy: the object of Spock's masturbatory
fantasies was Jim, not himself. He sat himself in the chair next to
Spock and stared into space, silently pondering his feelings.

Spock had been aroused by the sounds coming from the bathroom. As the
evidence became very visible, he had decided to sit himself near the
panel, where it could best be hidden. Getting rid was going to be
difficult as he would be constantly near the doctor and could obviously
not count on finding any privacy anywhere in the shuttle. He decided to
concentrate on the task ahead: he wanted to search the literature for
any article that might help them. He found none. He then asked the
computer to list all specialists in compared human/Vulcan genomics who
also had an experience in genetic engineering. Three members of the list
were currently on Vulcan. He recognized one of the names and decided to
send him a message requesting for an appointment. He had already
calculated that by using all the ship's energy reserve he would be able
to reach his home planet in little more than one day, but that would
drastically reduce their safety margin: the slightest problem and they
would be drifting in space with barely enough life support for one day.
Nevertheless, it was a risk he was willing to take: his control was
getting weaker and McCoy's presence was not making it easier. Now more
than ever, did he need solitude, time to really meditate. Earlier, he
had not been able to focus on his current condition; instead, he had
ended up searching once again his recently acquired knowledge of genetic
engineering, hoping he had overlooked a fact. Yet even hope and science
combined had not brought him further. He had admitted to himself that he
needed help from a specialist. Now he only hoped he had chosen the right
man. As he stood up to recalibrate the energy flow from the shuttle, he
decided he should inform the doctor of his intentions.

"You will no doubt agree that we must get to Vulcan as fast as possible.
I will modify the shuttlecraft's energy flow to allow us to be there in
27.42 hours."

"Isn't that dangerous?"

"It is, but time is of the essence."

"Surely one day more or less will not change much."

"Our research is leading nowhere. I contacted a scientist on Vulcan who
might be able to help us. Although my presence is not essential, I wish
to see you cured before my time."

"I don't see the relation between the two things."

"After, I will either be a full blooded Vulcan or dead."

McCoy exploded, his features showing an anger, which surprised Spock.

"You can forget about the former: I'll sooner destroy all your research
data that let you go through with it. And I won't let you die. Either
you find someone you like on Vulcan or I call Jim and tell him

"Very well, I shall seek an appropriate mate, but it might take some
time. The shuttle modifications are still necessary."

"Well then. do them."

Spock did do them and the shuttle's speed increased dramatically. Spock
remained near the shuttle's controls, making sure nothing would go

After a while, he noticed McCoy's obvious boredom.

"You should perhaps consider increasing your knowledge of the Vulcan
language. You will no doubt be addressed in it once on the planet."

The doctor simply nodded and sat himself at the console. He ordered the
computer to display the lessons that were in its memory banks and
started reading. Meanwhile, Spock was silently pondering what he had to
do on Vulcan. They did not speak for hours. A call from Vulcan broke the

"Spock, here."

"This is Segor. Would a meeting in 6 hours be convenient?"

"Yes. Could we meet at your laboratory?"

"Yes. Do you have the coordinates?"

"Yes. Spock, out."

The channel was closed.

"Wow that was. tense, even for Vulcans."

"Not at all, doctor. There was no need to discuss anything further on an
open channel, considering we would soon meet face to face."

The doctor cocked an eyebrow: Spock was not telling him everything, but
he would drop it for now, until he had met this Segor.

They spend the rest of the journey practicing what McCoy had learned:
even though Ancient Vulcan was an extremely complicated language, full
of rules and exceptions, most of these difficulties were absent from
Modern Vulcan. Vulcan higher cognitive abilities combined with human
instincts made that McCoy could now understand about as much as a
ten-year-old Vulcan child. His pronunciation, however, still much left
to be desired. It was this that he and Spock had been working on and he
now felt confident that he would rapidly be able to get rid of his
accent. It was impossible for humans, but the fact that he his vocal
chords had now adopted the peculiar Vulcan structure made it possible
for him. The strange sounds that were coming out of his mouth pleased
McCoy to no end: like a child with a brand new toy, he took great
pleasure in discovering what his new body was able to do. There also was
an almost magical feeling about it, like being granted some powers.
Somehow, being able to speak a language that no human could pronounce
correctly seemed to him more surprising and impossible than his new
gained telepathy.

Once in orbit around Vulcan, they docked at an orbital station and
beamed down to Spock's house. As they still had an hour before their
meeting with Segor, they had decided a shower and a change of clothes
would be welcome. With Sarek and Amanda still on their way back from the
Babel conference, they had the house for themselves.

"I supposed it'll have to be a sonic shower."

"No. My mother had a water shower installed. A most illogical waste of

"Well, it's damn better than being cleaned by waves."

"May I remind you that matter also has an undulatory form? To put it
more simply, even water is a wave."

"Shut up Spock and show me the bathroom."

"First I will give you some suitable Vulcan clothing. As you are
somewhat shorter than I am, I will lend you a robe from my youth. Is
that agreeable with you?"

"Why shouldn't it? There's no sign on it that it's a child's cloth, is

"Of course not, I was fifteen when I last wore it."

Spock went upstairs to his room. McCoy accompanied him but stayed
outside: he was curious but Spock had not invited him in, and for once,
he respected the other man's wish.

When he came out, he was carrying two folded robes and two pairs of
sandals. He handed one of each to the doctor and walked with him
downstairs, to a bathroom.

"I will go to the other bathroom upstairs. When you are ready, join me
in to the living room."

Spock left and the doctor entered the room. He immediately noticed that
they were two sinks, each with its own paraphernalia: it was Spock's
parents' private bathroom. He felt like an intruder. He hurriedly took
off his clothes and walked into the shower. When he had cleaned himself,
he considered for an instant masturbating, but he decided against it as
he could almost feel Sarek's presence in the room. McCoy grinned as he
thought of Spock: he would have said it was a highly illogical thought,
because the man was probably light years from here and for once he
agreed. He, nevertheless, exited the shower and dried himself with a
towel that was lying nearby. As he unfolded the robe, something fell on
the floor: he recognised traditional Vulcan underwear. It was similar to
a jockstrap. The idea that Spock had worn it started an erection, which
made him regret his decision not to masturbate. Before he had time to
decide otherwise, he trapped his erection in the underwear, which was
surprisingly large enough to accommodate it without discomfort: Vulcans
had obviously foreseen this situation. He then put on the robe and
sandals, which both were a little too long.

Spock was already in the living room when the doctor got there. They
both look at each other for long seconds, each pleased to see the other
in this unfamiliar clothing. Their robes were of the same burgundy
colour, but the small embroidered patterns were slightly different.
Spock snapped out of his contemplation when he noticed how the clothes
did not fit.

"Once our meeting with Segor over, we will have to provide you with more
suitable garments."

"We'll go shopping?"

"I believe I just said as much."

"I don't know. Vulcan doesn't strike me as the best place in the
universe to go shopping."

"Your ignorance will never cease to amaze me: Vulcan traders are famed
around the galaxy for the quality of their merchandise. There is no
better place than Vulcan to go shopping."

"We'll see about that."

"Now it is time for us to leave. I will ask Sapok to drive us there."


"Yes. He has been is my family's employment for many years."

"You said we were alone in the house."

"We are. He lives next door."

"I suppose he keeps an eye on the house while your parents are away."

"There is no need. Theft does not exist here. Doors are never even

Spock walked out of the house and, as if to demonstrate what he had just
said, entered the neighbouring one without even bothering to ring. The
doctor followed him in hesitantly.

Spock was facing an old man, well over 200 years old, estimated McCoy.
They both had their right hand forming the Vulcan salute.

"Spock, I thought I had heard you. It is a pleasure to see you. So many
years have past since your last visit. I thought I would die without
seeing you again."

Spock was visibly embarrassed by the old man's display of emotion and
did not answer.

"What a strong man you have become. You look much as your father did
when he was your age."

Decided to stop this, Spock gestured McCoy to come nearer and started
speaking in Vulcan as the other man had.

"This is McCoy, a friend from the Enterprise. He is ill and must be
brought to the Academy. Would you accept to drive us there?"

"Of course. I am sure you remember where the vehicle is and how to bring
it out of the garage. I shall join you in a moment."

The old man went upstairs, while the other two took the stairs

McCoy couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the hovercraft. It was an
old model but it was very powerful one. Spock sat himself at the
driver's seat and powered up the engine.

"Are you sure this is a good idea? He said you knew how to drive this
thing, but it seems a dangerous machine."

"My father would not allow me to drive it, but Sapok always let me bring
it out of the garage. I did this exactly 2562 times: I assure you I can
handle this part of the journey."

McCoy jumped into the front passenger seat. The short ride to the street
was not as rough as he had expected. Spock was indeed very proficient
with a steering wheel in his hands.

Sapok was already waiting in the street. Spock left him his seat and sat
himself in one of the backseats. They travelled in silence, until McCoy
started to speak in a hesitant, but nevertheless correct Vulcan.

"Have you known Spock for long?"

McCoy knew the answer but wanted to know more about Spock's childhood:
Amanda had not told him much.

"Yes, I have known him since before he had any teeth."

The doctor glanced at Spock who was acting as if he hadn't heard a

"That must have been a sight."

"Yes. He was a pleasant child. I still have some pictures of this
period, if you are interested."

Spock was somewhat confused: he found it immensely flattering that McCoy
was interested in his childhood, but still was embarrassed to no end. He
remembered the images of him he knew Sapok had kept: on one, he was
running naked through the garden, and worse, on several others, he was
actually smiling. If McCoy were to see them, he would tease him for the
rest of his life.

"He is not interested. McCoy is only a fellow officer. My childhood does
not concern him."

"Very well. I thought I had heard you call him your friend, but my old
ears must be deceiving me."

Neither spoke until they arrived at the Academy.

"Thank you transporting us. We will manage to come back on our own."

"Thank you Mr. Sapok, it was nice meeting you."

The old man's hand waved a Vulcan salute at them, them left. They
started to walk towards one of the buildings.

"I must apologize for his behaviour. He is 268 years old, which is an
advanced age even by Vulcan standards. Great age sometimes makes Vulcans

"I found him nice and. he likes you very much. He was something of a
grand-father to you, wasn't he?"

"He is a member of my family, but not one of my ancestors--"

"You know what I mean: he was nice to you, when your father gave you a
hard time, and so on."

Spock didn't care to answer.

"Segor's lab is over there. We should hurry; we are already 5.84 minutes

"Oh my god! 5.84 minutes? In that case, we'd better hurry."

Although Spock had eluded his question, McCoy knew he had been right
about Sapok: again, he was surprised by how much he didn't know about
Spock, and he found that each new piece of information made him love the
man even more.

Science labs all over the galaxy all looked the same, and Segor's was no
exception. Both McCoy and Spock felt right at home when they entered.

The man who was currently reading on his computer console was about
Spock's age. When he finally stood up, McCoy noticed they were about the
same height and corpulence. Vulcan greetings were exchanged, but the
doctor was still not able to get his fingers to behave properly. Segor
noticed his difficulties and addressed him in Federation Standard.

"You're not Vulcan?"

"Well, at the moment I happen to be half Vulcan, but I. wasn't born this

"I see. How did this happen?"

"It was my doing. I--"

Spock had started to answer, when, suddenly, McCoy had an idea.

"I was infected by the Rigellian red mountain fever. As there is no cure
for humans but one for Vulcans, Spock produced some enzymes that would
change my DNA and allow us to cure me."

McCoy thought he was hallucinating when he saw the faint smile on
Segor's face.

"If you had told me you had had the Denebian snow disease or even the
Klingon scaly rash, I would have believed you, but I just happen to have
read that the Rigellian red mountain fever had been declared
extinguished sometimes last month."

Spock and McCoy were now intently avoiding the other man's gaze.

"But let me guess what happened."

Segor walked towards Spock.

"You wanted to become a full-blooded Vulcan."

He paused in front of him then came nearer to McCoy.

"And you were there to prevent him from achieving his goal."

The doctor stared in Segor's eyes.

"How did you know?"

"For us hybrids, it is very difficult. We belong to neither group. Spock
has always been closer to the Vulcan way, so I thought he might be
tempted by such foolishness. The rest was just logical deductions."

"You're half-Vulcan too?"

"Yes, I am half-human. and so will you probably for the rest of your

"How can you be so sure?"

"I am like Spock, you see. I find being a hybrid not an acceptable
situation. But I was raised on Earth and the half I want to get rid of
is Vulcan. So, I have spent the last ten years searching for a way to
become a full-blooded human, but I found none."

McCoy was silenced by this revelation: it was the idea that he soon
would be human again that had allowed him to remain so serene. Now he
felt like crying. Instead, he firmly held onto his control. He used what
Spock had shown him on this human emotion and it worked: the pain was
still there, but it was not going to take over. He was satisfied by his
skilled handling of the situation, but at the same time, immensely sad,
because he knew he had just lost yet another part of his humanity. While
he was pondering these emotions, Spock had started to speak with Segor.

"I was not aware you were researching this. You did not publish anything
on this topic."

"Do you really think the VSA would let me go on with my research if they
knew I was looking for a way to transform Vulcan chromosomes?"

"Indeed, they would not. Why do you stay on Vulcan, then? Wouldn't Earth
be a more suitable environment?"

Again, Segor smiled.

"How can you ask such a stupid question? Where could I be more human
than among Vulcans, just as where could you be more Vulcan than among

Spock did not answer.

"I am sorry I could not help you out."

He hesitated for an instant.

"Perhaps you would accept to join me for dinner tonight?"

McCoy glanced at Spock, who obviously did not know what to answer.

"Sorry, but we've been up for two days, and I am starting to feel

"Well then, tomorrow perhaps."

Spock answered, before McCoy had time to find an excuse to refuse again

"The doctor and I will gladly accept you invitation."

"Fine. This reminds me that we haven't been introduced. I am Segor and
you are?"

He reached out his right hand, which the doctor shook after he had
assured himself that his mental barriers were holding.

"Doctor Leonard H. McCoy, chief medical officer of the Enterprise."

"I am a doctor too, but Vulcans don't like it to use titles outside of
professional settings. Here I am just Segor, son of Edward."

"Your father was human?"

"Yes. He had a tea plantation near the Himalaya. That's how he met my
mother: she was a trader."

"That reminds me we must go shopping: this robe is too long, and if I'm
going to be a Vulcan all my life I'd better buy a few of them."

The sight of Segor's smile made McCoy wish to see Spock's face
enlightened in such an endearing fashion. His interest in pointed ears
really took another dimension now he had seen them above smiling

"There aren't many shops around here. Perhaps I could drop you off

"It is most kind of you. We would appreciate it if you could bring us to
the Surak Plaza. Once the shopping done, the doctor and I would be close
enough to walk home."

"No problem."

Soon after they were in the centre of ShiKahr. Even though the streets
were crowded, there seemed to be an order of some sort, which surprised
McCoy, used to bustling streets. Here people did not touch one another
and hardly talked. He decided to copy their attitude and silently
followed Spock. They entered one of the larger shops. Spock walked
towards a salesclerk and handed him his ID.

"We need robes."

McCoy was puzzled by Spock's attitude: why would he give this man his

Furthermore, he realized he had left his papers and his credit chip in
his uniform. He came nearer to Spock to tell him, when the other man
spoke again

"And he?"

Spock glanced at McCoy, hesitating for an instant.

"He is also of my family."

"Follow me."

He brought them into a small room full of fabrics and left them.

"What the hell is going on?"

"I would have assumed that it was quite obvious even for you that we are
expected to choose the fabric in which our robes will be made."

The doctor was now fuming and almost shouting.

"Of course that's obvious! But why did you give him your ID and, for god
sake's, since when am I a member of your family?"

"Doctor, on Vulcan, the colour of the clothing indicates the family to
which you belong: this is why I handed him my ID. Outworlders must wear
plain black robes, signalling to all that they do not follow the Vulcan
way. A Vulcan wearing such a robe would bring up questions that I wished
to avoid. If you prefer, you can wear black."

"No. Let's just pick a fabric and get out of here."

All fabric rolls were brown or red, with small non-figurative patterns.
The major difference between them was in texture. Some were silky, some
were closer to cotton, and some were simply unlike anything McCoy knew.

Spock noticed the doctor's puzzlement.

"This is Vulcan linen. The fabric it is made of is one of the few plants
that can grow in the heat of the Forge. It is very resistant and easy to
take care of. A good choice."

"It's also incredibly soft and smooth. It makes silk feel rough against
my skin. Why don't you export this stuff?"

"We prefer to keep it to ourselves: the production is barely sufficient
to cover Vulcan needs, selling it to outworlders would increase its
price by a 564 factor, which would render it inaccessible for most
Vulcans. The council decided it would be a most illogical course of

McCoy smiled.

"This reminds me: I forgot my credit chip in my uniform. You will have
to lend me some credits for the robe."

"There is no need. I will charge it on my family's account."

"I'm not sure your father will appreciate that you pay clothes to
strangers with his credits."

"He won't notice. My father leaves the financial aspects of his life to
an accountant."

"But if he sees that I wear your family's colour, he's bound to be
pissed off."

"I find it rather curious that you attempt once more to describe my
father's mental state with this highly un-Vulcan expression. To answer
your worries, I can assure you that once he will be made aware of the
circumstances, he will agree that my decision was the only logical one."

"You want to tell him?"

"I don't see we have another choice."

McCoy grinned mischievously.

"Well, I could have contracted the Denebian snow disease and you cured

Spock's features showed an almost-smile.

"I forgot to thank you for your attempt to conceal my actions. Your idea
was a brilliant one. But I do not wish to deceive my father."

"I'll lie to him if that's what's bothering you. You'll just have to
keep quiet."

Spock pondered the idea for some moments.

"I would indeed prefer it this way. But if he questions me directly, I
will tell him the truth."

McCoy nodded.

"We should contact the clerk, so he can take our measurements."

With these words, Spock left the room. McCoy still hadn't chosen when
the two men came back.

"I will take this one."

Spock pointed to one of the fabrics the doctor was hesitating between.
He considered for an instant picking the same as Spock, but decided
against it: they already wore the same clothes the rest of the year. The
other man had pulled out something that looked like a tricorder and was
waving it in front of Spock. Once done, he looked at the doctor, who
answered his silent question by pointing at one of the fabrics. It then
was his turned to be scanned.

"If you would go to the second room down in the corridor, you will find
sandals there. I need to discuss some details with him."

McCoy felt he was being dismissed by Spock but complied: he needed other
shoes, because he couldn't stand anymore the flapping sound he made when
he walked with those. The choice wasn't difficult: the sandals were all
almost identical. He picked one randomly. The other salesclerk scanned
him and brought back the appropriate size. He noticed that he wasn't
expected to try them on: there wasn't even a seat in the room for him to
do so. Spock was where he left him, discussing something with the
salesclerk. When he saw McCoy, he ended his discussion and the other man

"They will deliver everything tomorrow. We may go home now."

"Couldn't we wander a little around? I've never been on Vulcan, apart
from... you know."

Spock did not appreciate being reminded of his failed wedding, but he
said nothing.

They slowly walked out of the store.

"Why doesn't anyone talk?"

"Vulcans value their privacy. The street is no place for conversation
because anyone may overhear what is said. "

"But it's not forbidden?"

"Of course not. Doctor, you sometimes have the strangest ideas."

"Is it true what Segor said, that Vulcans don't like the use of titles?"

"Yes, it is considered rude."

"Then you better call me Leonard."

A huge grin appeared on the doctor's features.

"If you wish. Leonard."

"Good boy."

They had reached the Surak Plaza again. In its middle was a small park.
People were gathered in it, watching something that the doctor couldn't
see yet. They walked toward it and when McCoy finally saw what it was,
he was horrified: there was a man waving a knife at another man. He said
something that the doctor couldn't make out, and then stabbed twice.
McCoy ran to him and hit him, making his nose bleed. He then knelt next
to the injured man: the cuts were deep, but without his tricorder, he
could not say more. Spock was rapidly at his side.

"His injuries are minimal: in two hours he should be walking again."

"And how do *you* know that?"

"I will explain, but please stand back and say nothing while I speak to
the other."

McCoy raised an eyebrow. Spock took this for an agreement and went to
the man McCoy had hit.

"You must forgive my cousin's behaviour."

"I should call the authorities: he is dangerous."

"He meant no disrespect. He wasn't aware: he suffers from amnesia."

The other was silent for an instant.

"I grieve with thee for thy cousin. I shall not report his actions."

"My family is in your debt."

Spock turned and grabbed McCoy's elbow, pushing him out of the crowd and
into one of the streets.

"You interrupted a representation of the life of Surak. Vulcan actors
actually stab each other when such a scene is required, but they are
trained to only stab areas that will cause minimal injuries."

"Don't tell me that's logical: couldn't they just fall on the floor
moaning, like human actors?"

"No, because Vulcans are telepaths. We feel the pain that the actor
experiences when he is stabbed."

The doctor muttered some insult, shaking his head, then went on talking
more clearly.

"First I'm a member of your family. Fine. Then I am a cousin. I mean,
why not. If you want. But why in the name of god, am I an amnesiac? And
why did he react as if you told him I was dead?"

"Amnesia is worse than death, for there is no katra left of the person
that is gone. And in a way, you are an amnesiac: you are a full grown
Vulcan, who has no knowledge of the Vulcan way."

"But amnesiacs can recover their memory. You helped Kirk do just that."

"No, the Vulcan brain and mind do not allow this: it is a whole new
person that must be retrained. The worse part is that amnesia is more
frequent in Vulcan's than in humans: the VSA must even organise special
classes for them."

McCoy let the information sink into his mind, before he spoke.

"In these courses, they learn all what makes a Vulcan who he is?"


A few more seconds silence.

"Could I attend one of them?"

"Are you sure it is what you want? Once back to the Enterprise, no one
will expect you to behave as a Vulcan or to know Vulcan culture."

"It looks like I'm going to be half-Vulcan for some time. Some day I
will be faced with other Vulcans: I can't just ignore them, just as I
can't explain each time how I became a Vulcan and why I don't know a
damn thing about the Vulcan way. We're here for some time, so I might as
well use it to do some catching up. Besides, I already told you I liked
Vulcan culture."

"I will find you a course for tomorrow."


They walked in silence for about twenty minutes.

"I hope we're at least walking in the right direction."

"Yes, we should be there in a moment."

McCoy grinned.

"It's funny that winding streets should be considered more logically
appropriate than straight ones: I'm sure if the opposite had been true,
we would have been home ten minutes ago."

Spock simply raised an eyebrow and answered with a teasing voice.

"The logical road is not always the shortest one."

McCoy's eyes grew wide in disbelief. He glanced at Spock, and simply

Spock had been right: they reached the house only a few minutes later.

"You stated earlier that you were tired. We should perhaps dine lightly
and go to bed."

"I'm not *that* tired, but that's fine with me."

"I will ask Sapok if he can cook something for us."

"I'm sure we'll manage to find something: there's no need to bother

"If you want."

They entered the kitchen and Spock headed for the stasis closet. His
parents had never deemed necessary to install a food synthetizer: the
cooking was done in the traditional way, something he personally never
did, which made him apprehensive. Fortunately for him, McCoy had some
experience, and decided to make a salad with the vegetables they found.
He laughed when he saw how Spock chopped something that looked like
green carrots.

"You never did this?"

"No. I never had the opportunity."

McCoy considered for an instant telling him that he had cut the
vegetable without peeling them.

"You're doing fine. We yet might make a cook of you someday."

"I seriously doubt it, doc-- Leonard, I will not abandon my post as a
science officer so soon."

Suddenly serious, McCoy felt compelled to ask.

"So this nonsense about quitting Starfleet and entering the VSA, it's

A lie would have been easier, but Spock just couldn't.

"I do not know, yet. It will depend on my mate."

Knowing he was threading in dangerous grounds, the doctor took a moment
to formulate his question carefully.

"How do you plan to find a mate?"

"There is a governmental agency specialised in this, but I doubt they
would see it kindly if I were to request a male partner."

"If I believe your theory, he must be a half-Vulcan. Therefore, you just
need to contact each one of them and ask if they're bonded. There
shouldn't be many."

"No, there are only 6 male adult half-Vulcan hybrids, exception made of
you and me."

Although they didn't know it, they both were thinking about the same
things at that moment: how much they would love to be bonded with each
other, how this would solve all their problems, and mostly, how painful
it was to know that the other was not inclined that way.

"What about Segor?"

"He is unbonded."

"But you don't like him, do you?"

"I do not know him. I only met him once, ten years ago, when I tried to
find out if we were all homosexuals. I cannot form an opinion when I
lack the data."

"Poppycock. You're not asked for a rational decision: you must *feel*
whether you like him enough to. be with him. You'll get to know him

"This hardly seems the logical way to proceed: if I were to find out
once bonded that I do not like him, I would not be able to simply
divorce and choose another mate. It is for life."

This pained McCoy more than he thought possible: Spock would not just
fuck this guy once and forget about him. He would be with someone else
for ever, if he did not speak. For an instant, he considered telling
him, but he couldn't: Spock would hate him or worse think it was some
sort of pity on his part and never trust him again.

"Let's eat."

He tossed all the cut vegetables in a bowl and started looking for some

Meanwhile, Spock put dishes and glasses on the kitchen table. He got a
fresh bottle of Altair water and sat down. A minute later, the doctor
brought the salad and sat beside him. Spock noticed he was in a dark
mood, but did not know how to force him out of it. He decided to start a
conversation but had difficulties finding a neutral topic, until he
remembered how the doctor had seemed interested in his childhood.

"I never ate here. We always used the dinning room."


Determined not to let the doctor ignore his attempts at conversation,
Spock went on.

"Yes, but that was not the main reason. My parents had established rules
and one of them was that I was not to enter the kitchen. They perceived
it was a dangerous place for a child. The first time I came into this
room I was 10. Were your parents just as strict?"

McCoy went on eating for a few seconds.

"No. My mother left my father and me when I was 4. I never really knew
her. From then on, my father couldn't refuse me anything. I was
something of a spoiled brat."

"I did not know. I am sorry to have brought up this topic."

"It's nothing Spock, I had quite happy childhood. My father had a second
wife that took good care of me. She was not my mother, but she loved me
more than my real mother ever did."

"That was most fortunate."

"Indeed, it was."

As if all his black thoughts had suddenly disappeared, McCoy laughed.
Spock did not fully comprehend the source of the doctor's amusement, but
was glad that he had managed to lift his spirits. As he had finished
eating, he stood up and put his plate in the sonic sink. At the sight of
the antic, he thought to himself that he would never understand his
parents' choice regarding kitchen equipment: it was rudimentary at best
and certainly not suited to the life they were leading. McCoy came next
to him and put his plate on Spock's.

"How do you operate this thing?"

"I do not know but I shall endeavour to find out."

The doctor watched, a grin on his face, how Spock looked, probed and
tested every corner of the device but was unable to start it. After five
minutes, he grew bored and decided to help Spock. They finally
discovered a safety mechanism under it that prevented the sink from
working: they removed it and were elated to hear a buzzing sound coming
from it.

Once the kitchen cleaned up, they proceeded to the living room. They sat
there for a moment watching the sun set in silence. The room was dark
when Spock finally spoke.

"I should go prepare your room."

Forcing himself out of his reverie, McCoy stood up.

"And I'll go and pick up my uniform. I left it in the bathroom. What
should I do with it?"

"There is a laundry chute in your room."

Each went his way. To Spock this was yet another new experience: he
never had a friend sleep over before. The guest room had only ever
served visiting members of the family. He remembered that once he used
it too, when he had come back in time to save himself that night in the
desert. Poor I'Chaya. He hoped for an instant that the boy he left would
not miss his sole friend too much, but at the same time, knew that he
would. Life had been easier after the Kahs-wan, as he no longer needed
to choose between the human and Vulcan way, but he sometimes had still
needed the comforting presence of his friend. And that would not be
available to this Spock. He felt he had let himself down by letting the
sehlat be killed. He decided not to think of his other self and
concentrated on preparing the room. He had just finished making the bed
when he sensed McCoy's presence. He was examining the room.

"This room is bigger than my quarters."

"Here space is not such a restricted commodity: Vulcan is only sparsely
populated even by human standards. This is partially because the planet
is 2.79 times larger than Earth."

"Spare me the geography, Spock."

He paused unsure of how what he was about to say would be interpreted.

"I like the decoration: it's simple and elegant. But the dark red colour
can be somewhat. oppressive."

"It is the colour of my family."

"I noticed. Like our robes and like your quarters on the Enterprise."


An uncomfortable silence developed as neither knew what to say.

"You stated earlier you were tired. I should perhaps leave you."

He turned to leave.

"You don't have to, if you don't want."

McCoy cringed as he realized what he had just said. He thought that
anyone else would have taken this as a come-on, but not Spock. He was
wrong: even Spock considered the words could be interpreted that way,
but decided his feelings were affecting his perception.

"I cannot stay: I still have to find a suitable class for tomorrow. If
you need anything, my room is the one on your right."

"I know Spock. Thank you."

"Goodnight, Leonard."

"Goodnight, Spock."

He left and went to his room. He logged into his console and found in a
matter of minutes what he was looking for. On the registration form, he
entered Selek: he saw no other option available than to use the name, he
once wore himself. Then, he decided to write a message to his parents,
or more precisely, to his mother informing her of his presence. He
supposed Sapok had already informed her, but thought it would be
improper not to send her a message himself, especially as he had invited
someone to stay in their house. His father might not be very pleased by
his behaviour, but would be forced to accept it. He hoped he would
believe McCoys lie, because if he didnt the ensuing discussion would
be even less pleasant than their last one, 18 years ago.

Meanwhile the doctor had removed his robe and realized he had no
pyjamas. He usually wore one on the ship because he could not predict
what would happen in the middle of the night that would force him out of
bed without letting him time to get dressed. He considered for an
instant keeping his underwear, but finally decided that he would be more
comfortable in the nude. The air was cool against his skin, which made
him smile: during hid last visit he had found it so hot, he had had
trouble breathing. He briefly wondered how Spock could stand to live in
what must be to him the icy air of the Enterprise and then crawled into
bed to get warm. Usually after two days without sleep, he would be
exhausted and fall asleep as soon as he would be allowed to rest, but
now he was only slightly tired and not even remotely sleepy: Vulcan
stamina had its advantages. He thought about the last few days: so many
things had changed since that last night on the ship when all he wanted
was to get drunk and forget. Now he wasnt even sure he could ever get
drunk again, because of Vulcan physiology. Sometimes he thought he would
go berserk if he heard the blasted word again. Not that he didnt like
Vulcans, he even loved one of them. It was the way Spock used this word
that had first made him hate it: whenever he wanted to avoid talking
about something, or elude his concern, he just said he was a Vulcan as
if it meant rules of nature did not apply to him, as if the simple use
of the word gave him powers no human or no Vulcan, for that matter, had.
He laughed as he realized that now *he* could try it on Spock, so he
could experience by himself just how annoying it was to be confronted to
a super-Vulcan. At the same time, he felt he now understood what
Spock meant: in the past McCoy had often wished to be granted the type
of control he had been able to display earlier that day. He could see
how it would make him feel all-powerful, as if he could do as it pleased
him with himself: in comparison, the way in which human handle their
emotions must have appeared very inefficient and somewhat frightening to
Spock. McCoy supposed being a Vulcan meant for him both protection from
oneself and greater strength in adverse situations, and realized his own
attacks against the Vulcan way probably strengthened this belief. Some
of the things Spock had told him in the shuttlecraft now made some
sense. He had often wished to know more about him and felt that he was
now closer than ever: perhaps one day he would really know Spock. This
idea made him feel warm and happy, until he remembered he could never be
with Spock. The unbearable sadness took him over once again and this
time he did nothing to stop it: he let the tears roll and ended up
crying himself into sleep.

From his room, Spock heard the muffled noises and for an instant wished
for things to be different. How he longed to go and ease McCoys sorrow.
But he could not: he was a Vulcan. That McCoy was so pained to be a
Vulcan made Spock feel guilty. He wanted to punish himself, but could
not find a punishment fitting his crime. He simply sat there, horrified
by what he was hearing and forcing himself to think about a less
emotional topic: redesigning the sonic isolation of the house. Once the
sobs had stopped, he decided to meditate. He sat himself on his bed as
was his habit on the Enterprise, and attempted to calm himself. He fell
asleep before he could reach his inner equilibrium.

The next morning the sound of the door ringing woke him. Spock stood up
looking for his clothes before he realized he had slept in them. He
hurried to the door where the delivery boy handed him their purchases.
He put his robe in his room and brought the rest to the guest room. The
doctor was still fast asleep. Spocks internal clock informed him he
should wake if he wanted him to be on time for the class. He put the
boxes on the desk and went to the bed, where he called the doctor. McCoy
immediately woke up and saw Spock. He was about to sit up when he
remembered his state of undress.

Your class begins in 1.42 hours. You should stand up now if you wish to
be on time. Your clothes are on the desk.

Thanks Spock, Ill be up in a minute.

But he didnt move. Spock waited, wanting to be sure that the doctor
would not return to sleep.

You do plan on standing up, Leonard?

McCoy was mildly annoyed by his persistence.

Yes, Spock. Its just that Im somewhat naked and waited for you to

Spock could feel himself blush but was sure it went unnoticed.

I fail to see why that should be a problem: before each quarterly
physical, you tell me, why I do not know, that there is no reason to be
ashamed by nakedness, that we were all born that way.

And he left the room.

McCoy was too startled to laugh, so he simply stood up and went to the
three boxes that were waiting on the desk. He wondered why there should
be three of them, until he discovered one of them was full with
underwear. He blushed and remembered Spock talking to the salesclerk
while he chose the sandals. McCoy was touched by the thoughtful gesture,
even though he was slightly disappointed not to be wearing Spocks own
underwear again. As he was impatient to try his new clothes, he dressed
himself without taking a shower. He found everything fit perfectly, and
began to search for a mirror. There was one in the closet were he could
see himself in full. He noticed his figure hadnt really changed. But it
was the first time that he saw see his face: it was the same, except for
the obvious differences, and yet, he found he seemed more dignified and
severe than before. As dignified and severe as one could be with tousled
hair and sleepy eyes. He combed his hair with his hands, as he usually
did and went to the kitchen.

I made you some tea, as there is no coffee.


He grabbed the cup and took a sip.

Id also like to thank you for the clothes. Everything fits perfectly,
as you can see.

As, for once, it was perfectly acceptable to look, Spock examined the
doctor from head to heel. He even stood up to circle around the other
man. He noticed how the robe made McCoys buttocks look much more
appealing than the uniform ever did. He surmised this was the case
because there was only one layer of fabric and not two: Vulcan underwear
had its advantages, and Spock regretted it wasnt standard Starfleet
issue. Then he remembered the countless number of times he and the
captain had stripped from their uniforms to disguise themselves and was
glad it wasnt.

You should thank the tailor, not me.

McCoy was slightly annoyed by this sentence, but was determined to thank
Spock even against his will, if he had to.

The tailor did a good job, but I also wished to thank you for the rest.
I had forgotten I needed underwear, it was very nice of you to think
about it.

Not at all, it simply was the logical thing to do.

He saw that his answer did not please the doctor.

Youre welcome, Leonard.

McCoy grinned and resumed drinking his tea. He sat himself at the table
and Spock joined him.

I registered you into a course, but I could not use your real name.
Your new name is Selek, son of SSaak. You are my cousin from the RSal
province. An accident while you were travelling to the family shrine
left you suffering from amnesia. You are staying with us until you are
fit enough to travel home. If someone were to ask, you lost your
identification. If the need were to arise, however, I could provide you
with a false identity chip.

McCoy smiled when he heard the name: he had heard the report about
Spocks journey into his own past and was flattered to be shown once
again how much Spock trusted him.

You are a man of many talents, Spock.

Anyone with an A5 computer expert classification can forge an ID.

And you are an A7, so it would be a piece of cake for you, but I dont
think it will be necessary: if theyre too curious, Ill just quit. Is
there anything else I should know? I dont want to commit any other

Spock raised an eyebrow at the choice of words.

As an amnesiac, you are expected to make some mistakes. You should
however remember to speak only in Vulcan. The use of Standard would be
suspicious. Also, if you could avoid excessive emotional displays...

Damn... and I who thought I could just go there and weep all the tears
in my body.

A shadow crossed Spocks face but the doctor did not notice it.

You would no doubt end up in a hospital: nervous breakdowns are not
unheard of, when amnesiacs are concerned.

Well, its understandable: I cant even begin to imagine what it would
be like to forget everything.

Spock did not answer. He had always been scared more by the prospect of
amnesia or madness than by death, even though he knew it was illogical:
were he to suffer from either, it would not be him who would bare the
pain, but someone else, who would just happen to occupy his body. He
finished his cup of tea and stood up.

I cannot provide you with an acceptable breakfast here. If you wish to
eat, it will have to be somewhere else.

Wed better get going then.

They both exited the house and started walking. After a few hundred
metres they were out of the residential district where the house was and
entered a more animated part of town.

The classes are held in here: it is the district school. We have 23.69
minutes to eat something, if you wish to.

I am a little hungry, but I dont think Ill die if I dont eat.

I am sure you wont.

He entered what could best be described as a café. The doctor followed
him in.

Take a seat. I will order.

He went to the counter and came back. A minute later, the waiter was
already bringing them their orders.

What is it?

The most efficient manner to ascertain this is to taste it.

Spock picked up his fork and started eating what looked to McCoy as
blue-coloured mashed potatoes. He could smell the strong cinnamon odour:
as he never liked cinnamon, it did not encourage him to taste the food.
His hunger finally got the better of him and he was pleasantly
surprised: it was very sweet and accommodated with various spices that
harmoniously complemented the cinnamon, making it acceptable.

Youll have to give me the recipe for this stuff.

I doubt it you would find the ingredients anywhere else than on

Then, youll have to program it into the ships food synthesizers, when
were back on the Enterprise.

You seem to appreciate my selection.

Yes, its good, but... Im somewhat doubtful as to its dietetic

You are wrong: it is perfectly balanced: one could live a whole life
with this as only source of nourishment.

Then we should perhaps open up a fabric of this stuff and sell it
throughout the galaxy: wed make a fortune.

Spock simply raised an eyebrow and went on eating. At the same time, he
kept on glanced around, thoroughly examining the room.

You came here when you went to school, didnt you?


From your face, I can see its not a happy memory.

Spock fidgeted and waited a few seconds before he answered.

Quite the contrary, Leonard: this place often was a refuge, when the
more arrogant boys would chase me.

It was that bad?

It certainly was not pleasant.

McCoy found himself at a loss of words: although he felt Spocks pain
and wanted to console him, finding the appropriate actions was beyond
his reach. It was as if the words and the gestures would not come to
him, no matter how much he wanted it. Trapped in that seemingly
insensitive posture, he thought he finally understood what it was like
for Spock to feel emotions. Unable to do anything else, he went on
eating. When he had finished his plate, he stood up and went to the
counter, where he paid the waiter: he was glad he had remembered to take
his credit chip with him. He walked out of the café, still pondering
what had happened. Up to now, he had always *felt* his way through live,
and it was this ability to use his hunches and his gut feelings that
made him a good doctor. What if he had lost this? There was this
vulcan-ness inside of him, which prevented him from doing what he
wanted. What if he could not fight it?

He suddenly realized that he hadnt even checked if Spock had followed
him out. He stopped and looked around. The Vulcan was standing at his
side, obviously disturbed by McCoys behaviour.

Is there a problem, Leonard?

Ill be fine. There is no need to talk about it.

Spock was unsure of the correct way to answer: he was concerned by his
friends behaviour, but did not want to intrude into his privacy. That
some thoughts were not meant to be discussed was something Spock
understood very well. He finally decided he should show his support, but
not in a pressing manner. The words he chose came out with more emotion
than he had intended.

If you ever wish to talk, I will be there.

Ill keep that in mind.

The doctors words were spoken with a coldness that finally allowed
Spock to grasp the full horror of what he had done to him. He had not
realized the transformation had profoundly altered the other mans mind.
His behaviour had remained coherent up to this display of insensitivity:
had it been any other man, it would not have affected Spock, but, while
he had witnessed McCoy displaying the whole spectra of emotions going
from hate to love, he had never seen him insensitive. It was against the
nature of the man, or so he had thought. With a nauseating bitterness,
Spock admitted to himself that he had perhaps solved his problem after
all: he had destroyed the one he loved.

All he wanted now was to sit down and meditate but he kept on walking,
following the frantic pace McCoy had set. When they reached the school,
the doctor finally stopped: he didnt know the number of the room. He
asked Spock, who answered him in Vulcan.

Room 306. Remember to speak in the adequate language.

The doctor nodded and answered in Vulcan.

I wont forget.

They reached the room and McCoy sat himself at one of the table. There
were only four other students and the teacher was not yet there.

You will be expected to eat lunch here, but if you prefer I can pick
you up at noon.

No, Ill be fine.

Then, Ill come when the classes are over.

No, I think I can walk home alone. You have a lot of things to do; I
dont want to bother you.

For a second, Spock considered insisting upon being present, but found
no logical argument to support his wish.

Very well.

He handed McCoy a small device.

Usual communicator frequencies are monitored. With this, you can safely
contact me at any moment. If you were to encounter any sort of problem,
do not hesitate using it. I do not plan to be more than a few minutes
away from here.

A faint smile appeared on McCoys features.

Thank you... mother.

Both Spocks eyebrows went up, but the presence of the others did not
allow him to answer as he wished to. More students had arrived, followed
by the teacher.

Spock left just before the class started. As he walked through the empty
corridors, he realized that he had good memories about this place: of
course, there had been the other boys and the incessant teasing, but
here he had also discovered science and the pleasure of learning.
Without these two things, his life would be meaningless. Even though it
was illogical, he was happy to be there where he had performed his first
experiments, where he had solved his first differential equations, where
he had built his first computer. But this happiness was overshadowed by
the strangeness of the doctors behaviour: he could neither explain it
nor do anything about it. He couldnt even ask someone for an advice:
his usual advisor on human behaviour was the doctor himself. At the
moment, he even regretted that his mother was not present: although he
would not have admitted to it, he would welcome some of her highly
illogical, intuitive suggestions. As he could find no solution to his
problem, he forced himself to forget about McCoy for the moment and
focused on what was to come: he was walking towards the Ministry of
Family, where an acceptable mate would be selected for him. It was the
only way. No matter how much he dreaded the prospect of having any form
of intimacy with a woman, the idea of contacting each half-Vulcans and
asking them about their marital status was much more frightening.
Moreover, he had reasoned that a woman could accept his interest in
another man as a by-product of his genetic background, whereas a man,
confronted with Spocks feeling for McCoys, would automatically be
aware of the true nature of the attachment. Something he wished to avoid
at all cost.

As his parents lived in one of the more upscale parts of ShiKahr, many
ministries could be found in that area: the one he was looking for was
one of them. A few minutes of walk brought him at its doorstep. Inside,
he asked for the appropriate service and was given a map of the
building: there were only two floors, but these spread on an impressive
surface: to reach the matchmakers office he walked longer than he did
to cover the distance from the school to the entrance of the ministry.
The conception of the building itself seemed flawed to Spock: there was
only one corridor that snaked through the whole building. After he had
changed floors twelve times, he reached the office he was looking for
and rang. From the map, he deduced that the entrance was only 12.6
metres away. He was slightly annoyed with this fact, wondering why such
an irrational strategy had been adopted by the architect. He still was
lost in his thoughts when a clerk opened the door and gestured him in.

Are you here to begin a mate selection procedure?

Spock nodded.

For yourself or your child?

For myself.

He was handed a paper form and a pen. Sensitive matters were still
handled manually on Vulcan: computers were much more fallible and
corruptible than Vulcan clerks would ever be. He sat himself and filled
the form: it started like most forms with name, name of parents, date of
birth, place of birth... When he came to current address, he briefly
wondered if he should not write down USS Enterprise, but decided
against it and put in his parents address, because that would be the
only home of his, his wife would ever know. Under profession, after
giving the matter some consideration, he wrote scientist. After all,
it was the truth: he was a scientist, and the question did not ask for
the employers name or other details. Then came the more delicate
questions: whether he ever was bonded, and if not, why. There were only
two choices for that last question: death of selected mate or madness
of selected mate. While he distinctly remembered McCoy had said that
the latter could apply to TPring, he doubted she would be certifiable
by Vulcan standards and left both boxes unchecked. The last question on
the form almost brought a smile to his lips: Is there a person with
whom you wish to bond? Spock imagined for an instant writing down the
doctors name McCoy, if only to witness the look on his face, when a
governmental agent would assign him to come to the Ministry of Family to
participate to a bondmate selection procedure. He left it blank and
handed the paper to the clerk, who started reading through it.

Why did you leave item 10 unanswered?

None of the options were accurate.

I fail to understand. You were assigned a bondmate after your Kahs-wan,

Of course.

Then, if she who was to be your bondmate neither died nor suffered from
madness, how come you are not bonded?

She invoked her right to Khalifee.

It was you? I read about it in the newspapers: I almost thought it was
an invention.

It wasnt. Now, what is the next step?

I cannot process you application like that: an answer to item 10 is
mandatory. You should perhaps meet with my supervisor.

Decided not to show his discontent, Spock answered him evenly.

Where can I find him?

Room 96-458. Ill mark it on your map.

The office was not far away, but it took Spock 13 minutes to reach it.
He rang and waited another 24 minutes before he was let in. He presented
his form and explained his situation to the man. Speaking of his failed
Koon-ut-Khalifee twice in the same day made Spock uncomfortable and the
reaction of the clerks did not make it easier. Once again, he felt he
was viewed as a curious creature, different from other Vulcans.

I cannot help you. Form 784H53 must be completed for the procedure to
begin: no derogation is possible.

Do you suggest that I nevertheless check one of the boxes and provide
false information?

The other man was shocked at Spocks suggestion.

No, of course not. You should go to the Paperwork design section, in
room 45-697. They might be able to help you.

Spock left the room without a word. He glanced on his map and discovered
that he would have to cross half the building to find room 45-697. As he
walked, he almost regretted he hadnt attempted to find a mate in
another way. But he knew that would only have delayed the inevitable:
any official bonding ceremony has to be registered by the Ministry of
Family, and similar forms would have been involved. His abnormal
personal history was once again causing him trouble, and yet, he had
done nothing illogical that would warrant such a punishment. The
unfairness of the situation stirred angry feelings in him: he had to
pause for an instant to control them. It was getting more and more
difficult. Each day, his time was drawing nearer, slowly undermining his
control. He knew that, in the past few days, he had shown McCoy more of
himself than he had ever intended and that the Pon Farr was to blame. If
he were to postpone his bonding much longer, he could only imagine what
foolish things he would tell to McCoy. He decided he would wait for four
days and if no other option had presented itself by then, he would make
use of his concoction: it would enrage McCoy, but Spock saw no

He counted on the fact that being a full-blooded Vulcan he would have a
better control of himself and hold a few more days, allowing him to find
someone suitable. There also was the possibility that the transformation
would modify his Pon Farr cycle and buy him a few weeks, months, or even
years. But he didnt want to bring up his hopes: he had promised the
doctor he wouldnt use it, so he had to do his best to succeed in his
present task, even though his heart urged him to more heedless actions.

He finally reached the door he was looking for: there was a sign that
indicated one should enter without ringing, which he did. Inside, he
found two men playing three-dimensional chess. One of them stood up and
went towards Spock. Seeing puzzlement on Spocks face, the employee felt
necessary to explain his behaviour.

With all the forms adequately designed, there is not much work left to
do. How can I help you?

It is about form 784H53. Item 10 is faulty.

He handed him the form he had completed and explained once more his

I see. I will modify it immediately.

Spock was surprised by the mans reaction: a swift decision was not what
he had expected. A bare 4 minutes later, he was presented with form

This should do it: I will send a memo to inform all services of the
change, but for now, you will have to get it approved by the service

Your supervisor or the one in room 96-458?

We dont have a supervisor. I meant the one in charge of the
matchmaking service.


He went to the door and was about to close it when he added:

Thank you.

He knew it was an illogical thing to say, but it felt right: this man
had performed their duty most efficiently and had not treated him as if
he was any different. As McCoy was absent, he felt he could freely
indulge himself without any consequences: no arguments about the
superiority of emotions, no understanding looks, no knowing smiles...

He traced back his steps to the supervisors office, who simply put a
stamp on the new form, then want back to the first clerk, who was
surprised to see Spock back so soon. He filled in the new form and was
given an appointment with the matchmaker for the afternoon, which meant
he now had a little more than 4 hours to occupy. He decided to head
home: he was still wearing the same clothes as yesterday, clothes he had
also slept in. On his way, he purchased some groceries and had them
delivered. When he arrived, he rapidly took a shower and put on his new
robe. As he was not hungry, he decided that he would attempt to
meditate, hoping that his present solitude would help him focus.

At precisely 1209 hours, McCoy left the classroom: he did not know where
he was supposed to eat, so he followed the others. The teaching had been
intense: in the last four hours, he learned more about Vulcan culture
than in his year-long research. And the worst part was that he
remembered everything. Medical school would have been much easier, had
he been a Vulcan. Not that it had been difficult, but rather tedious: he
would have had much more time for parties if he had had Vulcan memory.
But then, Vulcans, as a rule, didn't party. He was drawn out of these
nonsensical considerations by an insistent voice.



The woman searched her list.

"You may enter."

Once inside the cafeteria, he was handed a tray. He was glad that
everything was already on it, because it meant he wouldn't have to
choose among dishes that he knew nothing of. All of the students that
had been in his class had seated themselves at the same table. All
except one who was all by himself in a remote corner of the room. McCoy
thought to himself that he never could stand seeing a lonely Vulcan and
sat himself next to him.

"Hi, I'm Selek. What's your name?"

"My name is Pyran. Why did you come at this table?"

"Well, I thought you might like some company."

"And why would that be?"

McCoy was moderately annoyed by the lack of comprehension.

"Never mind. Why aren't you sitting with the others?"

"My presence would be most distasteful to them, as it will soon to you."

"Why? You seem a nice enough fellow."

Pyran was looking most intently at his plate.

"Sometimes, I cannot control my emotions."

McCoy was again confronted to the same blockage than he had experienced
earlier: he wanted to comfort that man, to tell him that it wasn't that
bad and soon everything would be fine, but he simply couldn't. Words
weren't coming. Pyran was staring at him, waiting for his reaction.

"My prediction was accurate. You should perhaps go with the others now."

Suddenly, McCoy didn't know what overtook him and started rambling.

"No, I'm. sorry, I didn't want to offend you. I have a problem just like
yours. only the reverse. You know, I always liked my emotions. I know
shouldn't say that, but I think it's OK, because I'm. half-human. Since
this thing happened, I don't know what's going on with me, but I'm not
myself anymore: I can't help but control, all the time. I've become some
computerized, heartless, pointed-eared monster. I don't know what to do,
I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

Then he stopped. He felt like crying but somehow he knew that he
wouldn't: it was something he couldn't allow himself to do. The other
man took a long moment to answer.

"You are not amnesiac?"

The question came as a surprise to the doctor.

"Not entirely, I remembered parts of who I was. You don't remember a
thing, do you?"

"No. Sometimes I have flashes of what my wife identified as my life, but
that's all."

"You're married?"

"Yes. Aren't you?"

McCoy hesitated: he could hardly tell he was divorced.

"She died."

"I grieve with thee."

After that, they ate silently. The food was better than McCoy had
expected. Vulcan food had always seemed very bland to him, but now some
of the dishes were almost too spicy: probably yet another change in his
body. They had both finished eating when Pyran started speaking again.

"Have you spoken about this matter with your healer?"

"The problem is I always was my own healer."

"You were a healer?"

"Yes. What was your job?"

"I was an engineer in Starfleet."

The water McCoy was drinking went through his nostrils when he heard

"The Intrepid."

"Yes, it was my ship. I was on Vulcan when it happened."

"And that's why you."

"That is what the healers said."

"How could you feel them over such a distance?"

"I do not know. I don't remember. My wife told me I suddenly grabbed my
head and cried out, before I fell unconscious. I suppose I was affected
by their death because we had often melded and our minds had grown
accustomed. I am only glad that it did not reach my wife."

"I had no idea telepathy could be that dangerous."

Pyran did not speak further. McCoy could see that he was fighting his
emotions, but that he had little success. He buried his face in his
hands, trying to hide it from the others. As before, McCoy was
paralyzed: he wanted to find comforting words, but could not. Then,
suddenly, he had an idea.

"I'm going to meld with you. Is that OK?"

He did not receive an answer, but decided to proceed. He put his fingers
on the other man's hands and located the contact points. Pyran had
obviously agreed to the meld as McCoy found he had lowered his shields.
His assumption proved correct: in the meld, he was free again. He was
able to help the man, to cajole him into a less troubled state of mind.
He had used his human empathy with success and was about to retreat when
he was confronted with the other man's pain itself. He hesitated then
decided to resort to Vulcan control to reduce it. He considered making
it disappear, but it seemed a cruel thing to do. Although it was the
first time he was attempting this, there was an instinct in him that
guided him: it was as if he knew how this had to be done. Suddenly
feeling very bold, he went on deeper in Pyran's mind. Taking example on
what he had felt in Spock's mind he started to separate the thoughts and
the emotions that were meddled with them. He was classifying them when
he found one of them would refuse classification, as if it had a will of
his own. He asked Pyran what it was and was answered it was his bond to
his wife. He let it undisturbed and finished his task, before he broke
the meld.

Pyran was still a little shaken, but one could see he was feeling

"You performed most efficiently. You skills as a healer must have been

McCoy was pleased by his success and allowed himself to smile.

"Thank you. I'm glad to see that I have not lost everything."

An elderly woman came to them.

"I saw you meld. It is not appropriate to do so in public. I will have
to report your conduct to my superior. Please come with me."

They followed her in silence.

"Wait here."

They stood in front of a closed door.

"What'll happen?"

"I do not know."

The door opened.

"I guess we're about to find out."

They entered the room and found a younger woman sitting behind the desk.

"Why did you engage a meld in a public setting?"

As Pyran did not answer, McCoy decided to improvise.

"He had a headache and I tried to help him. I didn't know it was not

The woman was looking at him in horror.

"It is even worse than I thought. It is illegal to practice medicine
without being a healer: what you did is very dangerous, and you deserve
a punishment. But as this offence was caused by your condition, it would
be illogical to deprive you from the teachings that could prevent you
from committing further offences."

"You're saying we're free to go?"

She frowned, thinking that these students had unusual behaviours, even
taking in account their memory loss.

"Yes, you may return to class."

The elderly woman came in the room and brought them to their classroom:
it was still empty, as the class would only begin in a half hour. They
sat down next to each other.

"Why did you lie?"

"You wanted me to tell the truth?"

"Why not?"

"It was the logical thing to do."

McCoy had a smile from ear to ear: to think that he would seriously use
this phrase in an argument...

"There was no need for us to tell her what happened, and besides, it
wasn't a lie, just an omission: you had a headache."

Pyran slowly shook his head.

"You behave strangely, for a Vulcan. Your human side must be very
important to you."

"Yes it is, and that's why I'm not entirely comfortable with this
control thing."

Pyran stared at McCoy in horror.

"You are not thinking about renouncing to all emotional control, are
you? You heard what the teacher told us: you would be an outcast."

"No, of course not. It's just that sometimes I wish it could be less
present, like it was before."

Pyran frowned and was silent for a moment.

"Have you considered that your memories of the time before could be

It was McCoy's turn to frown.


"Perhaps your control level has not changed, only your perception of

McCoy raised an eyebrow. He was surprised that what the other man was
telling actually made some sense, despite the fact that he knew nothing
of his real situation. He decided to ponder that suggestion later, when
he would be alone.

"Perhaps, I don't know. I'll meditate on it."

Neither spoke again until the other students came back to class, closely
followed by their teacher: soon the class started again.

Meanwhile, Spock was back in the long corridor of ministry of Family. He
was waiting for the matchmaker's door to open and the process to
actually start. The fact that he knew nothing of what was about to
happen, only contributed to increase both his anxiety and impatience.
Suddenly the door opened and he was ushered in by the clerk he met
earlier. An older lady was sitting behind the desk. She was reading what
Spock recognised as the form he had filled in.


Spock obeyed and as he sat down heard the door open and close. They were

While the matchmaker still was reading, Spock couldn't help but wonder
why it was taking her so long: there wasn't that much text on the form.
That her sight might be diminishing was the only logical explanation he
managed to find. Then, she put down the sheet and stared into Spock'
eyes. Instinctively, he lowered his gaze: she was his elder and to do
otherwise would be improper.

"Give me your thoughts."

Spock leaned closer and she placed her hands on his face. She engaged a
meld, a very deep meld. He tried to resist, to shield some of his
thoughts, but couldn't: her mind was so much stronger than his. She went
through all of him, scanning his memories. Some of his feelings were
given a closer examination: his affection for his mother, his respect
for his father, his friendship for Jim, his despise for T'Pring and
finally his love for McCoy. When the matchmaker had felt this
attachment, she had visited all of Spock's memories that were related to
the doctor. He felt naked and ashamed of what she could sense in him.
When she was done, she broke the meld.

"You should not have resisted: I may have damaged some of your shields."

"I apologize. I was not prepared."

He still wouldn't meet her eyes.

"Why did you not ask McCoy?"

"He would have refused."

"It is illogical to conclude without evidence. You should ask him."

"I do not wish to. I would prefer another mate."

"Very well. I give you 28 hours, so you might ask him. If you come back
afterwards, I shall find you someone else."

"The matter is well considered. A day will not change anything."

"Perhaps you should consider this to be the punishment you were looking
for, last night."

Ashamed that she had perceived even that foolish idea of his, Spock did
not answer.

"Leave now."

He stood up and left. Once the door was closed, she allowed herself a
faint smile: her little tricks had worked. He had been impressed and
there was a 93.6% probability he would tell the other. From his
memories, it had been obvious to her that the affection was
reciprocated, but she still failed to understand how one who lived so
long among humans, could be so blind. She was pleased with herself: with
the certainty that this was the 34,986sth couple that had been formed
with her help, only 15 were left until she would hold the planetary
record. Once that milestone reached, she would face the prospect of
retirement more serenely.

As Spock walked through the corridor as if in autopilot, he was
strangely grateful for the quaint design of the building: at least he
had not to worry about finding his way out of here. His shields had been
slightly damaged by her forcefulness but Spock thought that a deep
meditation would restore them. He could still feel the echoes of the
woman's mind in his own, could feel her thoughts touching the most
private parts of his being: these sensations caused him to shiver. What
had happened was worse than any scenario he had imagined: not only was
he no closer to finding a mate, but he was faced with a most
uncomfortable decision. Although the prospect of facing that woman again
made the idea of speaking with McCoy seem much more appealing than
before, he still wasn't convinced that he should do so. The odds were
high that he would be rejected, and then would have to face her again.
Imagining the pain, he remembered what the matchmaker had said. She
might be right: he should see that as a punishment. With that in mind,
he simply decided he would talk with McCoy later that evening. He was
amazed at how swiftly he had caught that decision, just as if he had
chosen what he would have for lunch, perhaps even easier than that. His
choice made, he felt as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders:
now he only had to perform his duty and follow his self-imposed orders
to their bitter end. This he knew he could do. Even though he still
dreaded the outcome of the confrontation, the matter was somehow out of
his hands.

At present, all he had to deal with was a headache that was getting
worse by the minute. He hurried home and went directly to his room to
meditate. But the pain was nothing if not persistent. Spock thought that
he soon would have done all that was in his power; that he would have to
call a healer, if it did not improve. All of a sudden, he remembered his
promise to McCoy, about calling a healer to repair what the other had
done. He went to his console and checked his mother's address book. The
new family healer didn't live very far: he would go and see him without
further delay. The house was quickly reached. He rang to signal his
presence and was greeted by a younger man.

"Live long and prosper."

"Peace and long life to you."

"What is your business here?"

"I wish to consult healer Sutok."

"I am Sutok. And who are you?"

"I am Spock."

"It is good we meet at last. Follow me."

Spock was brought into a room with two large sofas. Sutok sat in one and
gestured Spock to take the other. They both remained silent for a
moment. The healer waited for Spock to speak, as was the custom: it was
not a healer's role to request information from his patient, because
this would inevitably lead to the violation of the patient's privacy.

"An ill-prepared meld left some after-effects. I am prepared to accept a
healing meld."

"It is the most appropriate remedy. Very well, I shall proceed then."

Sutok sat himself next to Spock and engaged the meld. Even with his
damaged shields, Spock was able to hide most of his thoughts from the
other. The repairs were swiftly made, leaving only the memory of the
searing pain.

"Your work was acceptable."

"It was my opinion as well."

"Your skills are needed for another patient."

And then, Spock told Sutok an edited version of what had happened to
McCoy. He accepted to see the doctor, which in itself was on the edge of
legality: he was sworn to serve only member Spock's family and
occasionally outworlders, except in the case of an emergency, of course.
McCoy's case fulfilled neither of these conditions, but the strangeness
of the situation had had him agree.

Sutok scheduled an appointment for the next day because he had to do
some research before on the most recent mental techniques used to ease
large-scale mental wounds. That the wound was not too old was a good
point, but the genetic alterations may have had a deleterious effect on

Spock bade his farewells and walked home. He was glad that at least one
of his problems was solved. Even if he could not cure yet what he had
done to Leonard, he had at least found a way to rid him of the pain the
other had inflicted. The other... in his mind, he only called him that.
He was like a brother to him, perhaps even more. Despite all the morally
disputable things the other most certainly did, Spock could not find it
in himself to blame him for them: how could one blame someone for acting
logically? It was the logic of the mirror world that was intrinsically
flawed, not the other. He was just following the rules, no matter how
twisted those might be. Kirk had expected him to change, but Spock
thought it was like hoping that in non-Euclidian mathematics, the
Euclidian axioms would be respected. A very human attitude.

The first time Kirk and McCoy had told him about the beard, he had
almost laughed: years ago, the matter of his facial hair had been what
had started the fight with his father that had resulted in his entrance
in Starfleet Academy. At the end of the fight, he had sworn he would
shave as *true* Vulcans do. The next day, he had sent out his
application. His father *had* been pissed off. He had even spoken with
several members of the committee so they would reject his application.
He had failed only because there was some Boolean who always disliked
Sarek and used this opportunity to revenge himself. So Spock was
accepted and Sarek never spoke to him again until his visit to the
Enterprise, three months ago.

Spock arrived home and went to his console to check his mail and message
Segor to inquire about his exact plans for tonight's dinner.

McCoy's afternoon was much like his morning: very busy but interesting.
At least now, during the breaks he had someone to talk to. When it was
time to go home, Pyran went in one direction and McCoy went to the
other, somewhat displeased to have to walk home alone. His behaviour
this morning had been stupid to say the least, and he now would have
been glad if Spock had taken him home. He wasn't even sure of the way,
but calling Spock would mean showing him more of his weakness than he
was willing to. As he walked, he thought about what Pyran had said: he
had always wanted to be in total control of himself but it was
impossible before he had a Vulcan mind. This meant that it was not his
new gained Vulcan-ness that was to blame for his difficulties, but his
own needs for order and privacy. And now he had let those needs take
control of everything he was, including the goods parts. He had to
control them or he would end up being a green-blooded, unfeeling,
pointed-eared Vulcan. What an irony!

He started thinking about what he could do to prevent that from
happening, when he heard an unfamiliar beeping sound coming from his
pocket. It took him some time to realize what it was and to take out the

"Is that you Spock?"

"Yes, Leonard it is me. Please stay where you are. I am trying to
locate you. There, I have your position. I will pick you up in exactly
28 seconds. Please wait."

The communication was interrupted before McCoy had time to answer, but
he did as he was told and waited. Sapok's hovercraft appeared soon
after, Spock at its wheel.

"Well, I'll be damned."

McCoy jumped in the passenger's seat and Spock resumed his course.

"Segor messaged me that there might be a possibility to return you to
your previous state."

"How come? He sounded pretty affirmative yesterday, when he said it
couldn't be done."

"In fact, it all depends on how well the enzymatic complex performed its
task. I already transmitted him my research data, but he needs to
perform some tests on you."

"If I understand you correctly, you're telling me is that if you did a
sloppy job with your engineering, he'll be able to turn me back, right?"


The doctor was silent for a few seconds, pondering this new information.

"Spock, I never thought I'd say that to you, but you're the most
intelligent and efficient scientist I know. There is no way you could
have made a large enough mistake for Segor to exploit."

"You forget I am no specialist. Segor already spotted six such mistakes.
Your presence is needed to check which of those are usable."

McCoy did not know what to say anymore and Spock was not keen on
carrying further conversation without knowing more about the actual
possibilities of mutation reversal. He hoped for the doctor and for
himself that he would go back as before. This would make any punishment
useless, and his secret would be safe.

Segor was in his lab, his equipment ready to analyze the precise
structure of McCoy's genome. When the two other men arrived, the tests
were conducted swiftly, with only a few words exchanged. The tension was
tangible as they waited a few seconds for the results.

"Number 4 and 5 are good, the other I can't use."

There was a large smile on Segor's face as he had said the words.

"What does it mean?"

"You can be turned fully human again, but there are risks. To determine
exactly how much, I need to run some computer simulations. Spock, I
could need your help with these."

They were about to leave the room when McCoy interrupted them.

"What kind of risks?"

"First, you won't look like you did before. In addition, there are
chances that some organs might become dysfunctional, meaning that
surgery might be necessary. And there is always the possibility of

"Yes. You better start the simulations, then."

When they had left for the computer room, the doctor sat down, staring
into the emptiness. What was the point of being human if he would not be
himself anymore? If his body would be changed, his brain would too. And
while he felt that still was himself, a few details excepted, he was not
sure that would still be the case after Segor's intervention. But on the
other hand, was not being human a more crucial part of his identity than
anything else? At the moment, he hated himself for his weakness; he knew
what was the right thing to do, from a logical and medical point of
view: he should stay as he currently was, because he was in perfect
health and taking the risk to be mutilated was just foolish. But he just
couldn't stop thinking about it. He so much wanted everything to be just
like before. And knowing that this was impossible didn't help at all.
Even so, he couldn't find it in himself to blame Spock: it was his own
actions that had leaded him to this situation. Spock was not
responsible, despite the guilt he was sure he now experienced. It was
the feeling that he needed to be strong for Spock that finally decided
him: he would stay as he was, proving to Spock that it wasn't such a bad
thing after all. McCoy stood up and joined the men in the other room.

"I'm starting to get hungry. Let's go and grab something to eat."

Both Vulcan looked up surprised by what they had just heard.

"We thought you would want the research done as fast as possible."

"Yes and we won't be long. I estimate it will take Spock and me an
additional hour to produce the results."

"You know. you don't have to. I decided I'd rather stay just like I am."

They all were silent for a moment. Spock stared in the doctor's eyes.

"Are you sure, Leonard?"

"Yes, Spock, I'm sure." He smiled the best he could to convince them of
his sincerity.

"In fact, I like being a Vulcan. did you really think I would let you
bob off my ears, just like that?"

He emphasized his words by briefly moving his hands over his ears in a
protective gesture.

Spock was still examining McCoy's features for any sign of deception or
madness, when Segor started to talk.

"There is no hurry, you know: you will be able to undergo the procedure
whenever you want. But you must understand that the more you delay, the
more risky it will become."

"Thank you for your efforts, Segor. Can we go now?"

"Yes, of course. Spock, I understood you had a hovercraft. I will leave
mine here and the three of us could ride in yours. Is that agreeable
with you?"

Lost in his thoughts, Spock took a few seconds to realize he was spoken

"Yes. Let us go."

They put away the more sensitive data and locked the lab. Once in the
vehicle, Segor guided Spock to his home. McCoy sat in the back seat and
watched the town. As they drove through parts of ShiKahr he had not
visited yet, he was amazed by the variety of architecture. It seemed
each district had nothing in common with the previous one and this made
the short trip an exotic one. In the front, Spock and Segor chatted
about the recent development of the city, a discussion that was as close
to small talk as two Vulcans could get.

They rapidly arrived at their destination, and as soon as the car was
parked, the two Starfleet officers followed Segor into the kitchen.
There he took some vegetables out of his conservation unit and some
equipment out of a closet.

"As you can see, I prefer the traditional way of cooking. It will take
some time until dinner is ready. You should make yourself comfortable.
The living room is over there."

"Nonsense, how can I help you?"

"You could help me chop the vegetables."

McCoy grabbed a knife and started busying himself with some sort of

"And what should I do?"

"Well, you could grab a knife too."

As discreetly as possible, McCoy shook his head to signify Segor that
this was a bad idea.

"No, it would be better if you would dress the table. Everything is over


When Spock had left with the plates and glasses, McCoy started
whispering near Segor's ear.

"You should see him cut vegetable. It's a massacre."

"Well, I'm glad you saved us."

They went on chopping for a while. Meanwhile, Spock came back and left
again with the forks and knives.

"I noticed you weren't bonded, how come?"

"I was bonded for three years. She died two years ago."

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have--"

"No, it's fine. We weren't close. She helped me through Pon Farr, that's

"She must have known that you were more into males."

Segor made a snorting sound and smiled.

"Of course she knew: we were bonded."

McCoy pondered for an instant, trying to formulate his next question the
best way he could.

"So, what do you plan to do the next time?"

The question embarrassed Segor, for the grin disappeared from his face.

"I don't know yet."

"If Spock's theory is right, there isn't much choice."

Segor frowned, visibly annoyed.

"This is none of your business."

"I'm sorry, I was just chatting. It's a human thing. you wouldn't

Seeing that his weak attempt at humour failed, he decided to try

"I'm really sorry if I embarrassed you. I just tried to find out if you
had plans, because I have a friend who is currently in a similar
situation, if you see what I mean."

Segor slowly shook his head.

"A two year old would understand what you mean. Unfortunately, I don't
think your *friend* would be interested in what you are suggesting."

To McCoy this meant that Segor himself was not adverse to the idea. It
broke his heart but he had to know if there was any chance for Spock's
plight to end swiftly. He was about to ask for a confirmation of the
innuendo when Spock entered again.

"The table is ready. What is the status of the cooking?"

"We finished the slicing and dicing part, now there the grilling left: I
would say we should be ready in about ten minutes."

"Fine. I should perhaps get the water."

"No, I'll do it. You keep an eye on the meal."

Segor disappeared into the cellar.

"Your behaviour back in the lab was peculiar to say the least. Are you
sure you are fine, Leonard?"

"For the third time, YES, I'm fine. Perhaps *you* should have gone to
the amnesiac classes, if you can't even remember a simple thing like

"I didn't ask you if you were fine before. You seem to have developed
some memory problems yourself. Perhaps it's a consequence of your new
love for all things Vulcan."

"You unfeeling, green-blooded, pointed-eared bastard!"

"If I were you, I wouldn't say such things, considering you now are an
unfeeling, green-blooded, pointed-eared bastard yourself."

Segor's words silenced them both for a moment.

"Listen, Segor, I have not been a perfect guest up to now, and I would
perfectly understand if you wanted me to leave. You just have to say the
word and--"

"Why do you say such things? Everything went fine. You and Spock started
fighting like schoolgirls, so what? No big deal."

Segor turned toward the oven, to check on the cooking dish. Spock and
McCoy silently waited for his verdict, both hoping that their meal would
not be delayed much longer.

"Doctor, could you open the wine?"

"Now that's the kind of Vulcan I like."

"May I remind you doctor, that I consider myself to be human more than

"I'm sorry: I forgot. It must be because of the pointed-ears."

Segor smiled as he answered:

"What is it with you and pointed-ears? You keep bringing them up every
two sentences."

McCoy's face turned all green and did not dare to answer. This allowed
Spock to jump into the conversation.

"If you are more human than Vulcan, why do you follow the Vulcan way,

"I simply chose the best of both worlds."

To cut short to this discussion, he went on:

"Let's eat."

A few instant later there were seated in the dining room enjoying in
silence the vegetable casserole that they had prepared.

McCoy, who had always been a fast eater, finished his plate first. While
he watched the others eat, he focused his thoughts on designing a
strategy for the evening: as what he wanted for Spock - and himself -
was not possible, he would make sure that the man would find some kind
of happiness in another man's arms. Segor was a nice, intelligent, and
human enough person: he would be perfect in that part. All McCoy had to
do, was to make Spock realize just that. He had, however, no idea on how
to achieve this purpose, so he decided to simply start the conversation
on a fairly neutral topic and see where it went from there on.

"So, how did you two meet?"

As Spock was currently chewing on a more resistant - or less cooked -
vegetable, Segor answered.

"Spock just came one day to the VSA. After a class, he introduced
himself and asked me out of nothing if I preferred male or female

"Spock, *you* did that?"

"Vulcans are not in the habit of lying: I did exactly what he

"What happened next?"

"Well, I answered and he left. But I wasn't happy with that: I mean, I
was young, I had never met another half-Vulcan and my homosexuality
still was an issue for me - I thought I was the only one on Vulcan - so
I searched for him and finally found him on Earth with his father."

"What did you do?"

"I confronted him and he admitted he was in the same situation as me. He
also explained his theory."

"How did you come up with that idea anyway?"

Spock seemed a little embarrassed. Nevertheless, he cleared his throat
and started talking.

"A friend of my father also had a half-human son. Ours fathers would
often meet to discuss various diplomatic issues, so, for some time, we
saw each other frequently. One day, we started touching each other.
intimately. None of the other young Vulcan I had known were interested
in such things: all they would do was brag about how wonderful the girl
they were to be bonded to was. So I concluded that our both being
half-Vulcan had something to do with what happened and started searching
for other half-Vulcans."

"That's... poppycock! Did you really think others would just tell you
that they had sucked this one's dick or been given a hand job that that
other boy? This kind of things is kept secret: that means you must have
been there to know about it. It may just have been a coincidence that
the other boy in your case was a hybrid."

"I agree that my first deduction my have been faulty, but the data I
collected afterwards proved me right. I don't know why or how this is
possible, but the fact remains: being half-Vulcan implies experiencing
same-sex desires."

The three men stayed in silence for a few minutes, each busy with his
own thoughts.

"I was thinking about it last night and if it's OK with you, I would
like to do some research on the genetic basis of your theory."

"Aren't you afraid that this might be used for eugenic purposes?"

"No. Such things do not exist on Vulcan."

"You are wrong, Segor. The doctor has a point: same-sex bonding is
perfectly accepted nowadays, but because there is nothing that can be
done about it. You know how our people loathe using procreative
techniques when not absolutely necessary: the engineering required for
our birth has always been subject to many controversies. And if in
addition, we could only form bonds which require the use of such
techniques if they are to be fruitful, the government could go as far as
banning human/Vulcan unions to prevent excessive manipulation of the
Vulcan genome, which we all agree, can be a dangerous thing. Moreover,
there have always been many traditional groups for which our existence
itself is an aberration: they would be delighted to learn that we cannot
be normal Vulcans."

"Spock, I do not consider myself to be abnormal."

"But in the strictest sense you are: of the 2 billion inhabitants of
Vulcan, 14 are homosexuals. This means that 99.9999993 percent of the
population is not: we are therefore not part of the norm."

"Fine, I am abnormal. But this does not mean that the research could not
have beneficial repercussions: it would prove that this desire is a
result of genetics, not a fault in our upbringing or an illness. A
difference such as this could then be assimilated to the difference
between dark and fair haired Vulcans, for instance: at first sight,
different, but ultimately the same."

"Perhaps, but the danger is great."

"Spock, you should also bear in mind that what has been discovered can
be discovered again: it would be better that someone like Segor finds
what there is to find than one of those traditional Vulcans. They would
use it as a weapon against you, whereas Segor would simply expose the
facts: he has as much to loose in it as he has to win."

"All your arguments are valid, but I cannot agree with you. Such
knowledge would be an invasion of our privacy: assuming my theory
becomes known, anyone would know what is not theirs to know. Matters of
bonding and desire are a very private subject on Vulcan: we do not talk
of such things. In fact, our whole discussion has only taken place
because we all are humans to some degree: Vulcans would not have spoken
at all of it."

"Spock, I think you have a false image of Vulcans: since I'm on this
planet, I've seen more emotions coming from full-blooded Vulcans than
from you. You would perhaps consider them also as abnormal persons, but
I think you simply set far too high standards of what a true Vulcan is.
I can assure you this: not a single one of them is perfect, not a single
one controls his emotions all the time. I'm sure other Vulcans had
similar conversations before us, and others will have after. What makes
you think you're so different?"

Seeing Spock preparing himself to answer, McCoy went on.

"No, don't answer. It was a rhetorical question. I know that you are
somewhat different from the majority of Vulcans. But like it or not, you
are more the same than you think. That's not even the point here: if
Segor wishes to continue this kind of research, who gives you the right
to prevent him from doing so?"

"I never said I did not want Segor to pursue this research: I merely
pointed out the hazardous path he was considering. Not only for himself,
but for all of us. Ultimately, it will be his choice. I only hope he
will not take his decision lightly."

"Amen to that."

Segor, who had been silent for some time, surprised by the intensity of
the conversation, finally dared to speak again.

"You are right. I'll have to give it some more thought. I believe
however that I will do the research anyway: I want to know, for myself.
Whether I will publish it or not, is another matter. "

This put an end to the heated discussion they were having. McCoy
wondered how an innocent question had led them to such a debate, when
all he had wanted was for Spock and Segor to get to know each other
better. He decided to adopt another strategy. After a minute or so of
silence, he spoke:

"What happens next?"

As the two other did not understand his question, he re-formulated it.

"What do we do now? I mean, we're young, in a beautiful city: there has
to be something interesting to do."

"Well, there is this exhibition of pre-Reform paintings from the
northern Provinces at the Art Museum."

"That was not exactly what I meant. Don't you know someplace more fun?"

"Leonard, pre-Reform paintings can be quite enjoyable."

McCoy sighed as he answered:

"Yes, Spock."

Segor was obviously giving the problem some thought.

"What about a gay bar?"

The doctor was glad that Segor had finally come up with what he hoped
for: his main problem now was not to scare off Spock.

"There are gay bars on Vulcan?"

"Of course, for outworlders. Interesting places, lots of people, lots of
sex going on. The only problem, is, as I don't everyone to notice me, I
have to wear a hat."

McCoy laughed out loud.

"That must be quite a sight. You, in a bar where everyone is half naked,
wearing a hat."

"I can be half naked *and* wear a hat."

More laughs on Segor's and McCoy's part. Only Spock seemed as unmoved as

"Do you manage to pass for a human?"

"Yes, that is until they see me naked."

Again, Spock did not seem to want to be included in the jovial banter:
this posed a problem to the doctor, because it went against his plans.

"Spock, what do you think? I bet you've never even be in a gay bar."

"You are mistaken; I visited exactly 124 gay bars on 35 different
planets. I could probably write a book on them."

McCoy's mouth was open and moved as if he was trying to articulate
something but nothing came out. So, Spock went on:

"I have however, never visited one on Vulcan. Your plans are therefore
perfectly agreeable with me."

"OK. Let's get dressed. Follow me."

They went to Segor's room where each was given a shirt and pants as well
as a hat.

"I doubt it will fit you very well, doctor, but I have nothing else."

"It'll be fine."

Segor simply took off his blue robe and started putting on his pants.
McCoy and Spock did the same. The doctor was somewhat embarrassed to be
there, in his underwear. He paused to look at Spock and realized that
all he wanted was to rip off the jockstrap and give him the best blowjob
he ever had, then, turn him over and fuck him until he would pass out.

It was the latest revelations about Spock that had triggered this need
to claim the body of the man he wanted. He now knew others had touched
Spock the way he wanted to, but he couldn't, and that enraged him. He,
however, rapidly calmed himself thinking that, for the Spock's good, he
would have to let him to yet another man.

But twenty minutes later, in the bar, these feelings were back. He could
have controlled them, but did not want to: he was human after all. He
wished he could get lost in the sweaty crowd, touching and being
touched. He wanted to find the tallest Andorian and verify if what they
say about the length of their cocks and their antennae is true. He
thought about kneeling down, sucking cocks until his lips would be so
swollen, and his throat so sore that he would not be able to go on. At
the same time, he knew he would not do anything like that, not tonight:
Spock was here and the image he had of McCoy still mattered to him.
Therefore, he did what he always did in these cases: as soon as he
managed to get out of the others' sight, he headed for the bar.

"Barkeep, give me something that would make a Vulcan sick."

"That's easy! Anything with alcohol will do that."

"Well, then I'll have a mint julep."

"Always liked that stuff. It reminds me of Vulcan blood."

McCoy couldn't help a cynical smirk as he muttered to himself:

"Well maybe that explains why I like Vulcans so much: they remind me of
mint juleps."

"What did you say?"

"Nothing. How much for the drink?"

"10 creds."

"Here's my chip."

He tasted his drink and grinned.

"You're good at this. You can prepare two more of those."

Meanwhile, Spock and Segor were fighting their way through the crowd: it
was a busy night. It reminded Spock of the conferences he used to attend
with his father, except, of course, for the general state of undress:
every planet in the Federation seemed to have sent one or two delegates
that were discussing with each without apparent order. This was a
surprise for Spock who had only been in bars frequented mostly by
humans: the image of a Tellurite sucking on the antennae of an Andorian
would forever remain engraved in his mind.

"I see McCoy left us. I guess muscles and sweat are not his cup of tea."

"No, I suppose they are not."

Spock was somewhat disappointed: he had read in the doctor's almost
eagerness to come to this bar as a proof of his acceptance of homosexual
behaviours. He even considered the possibility that he might be
bisexual. Such things would have made his task much easier. But he
obviously had been mistaken.

Segor was now leading the way, guiding Spock to the back of the bar,
where there was a small dance floor: it was packed with people. It
looked like a throbbing mass of multicolour flesh. Segor took off his

"Care to dance?"

"One can hardly call rubbing oneself against sweaty bodies dancing."

He nevertheless took off his shirt and entered the crowd. It was not an
unpleasant sensation, but he was glad that his shields were holding. He
wanted to forget himself in that sensation and almost managed, when he
saw a Klingon. He was mildly surprised, but did not really care. The
only problem was that the skin on his back had some ridges whose contact
was mildly painful. As he tried to stir away from him, he found himself
pressed against Segor. For an instant, he considered pulling away. But
the feeling of this warm skin against him made him come closer. It was a
nice sensation. It reminded him of Rutir, of their shy experiences, of
the pleasure they had brought. As if possessed, he started caressing the
other man's chest, his back, his arms, all that was within his grasp.
The other was mimicking the gestures. Soon, they were hugging, slowly
dancing to an inexistent tune. Then, they kissed. It was rapidly over,
not because they did not enjoy it, but because the crowd started to
move. They all went to the front of the bar, where a voice was shouting
in Vulcan.

"No, you blue-blooded moron, you pour me another one of those, or I'll
hit you where it hurts and believe me I know where that is."

Spock and Segor were hurrying towards the source of the voice, hoping
that they had jumped to the wrong conclusion.

The music had been turned down and they could hear the people speaking
of a Vulcan near the bar that had lost his mind. What they saw was even
worse than that: McCoy was holding the Boolean bartender by his collar
and waving a fist near his head. Somehow, in his agitation, he had lost
his hat, revealing two pointed ears to the amazed crowd.

Spock acted swiftly: he run to McCoy's side and neck pinched him. As he
fell down, Segor and him lifted the doctor and carried him to the

During their ride to Segor's house, not a word was spoken. Segor put his
hand on Spock's thigh, and Spock let him. As they arrived to their
destination, he parked and Segor started caressing him more intently,
his hand going higher and higher on his thigh. Spock was enjoying it and
he drew Segor nearer until their bare chests touched. He needed the
contact so much: it was a by-product of his coming Pon Farr. As was his
very hard cock that begged for a rapid release.

Four hands began working on the pants fastenings and then Segor simply
took the freed cock in his mouth. A few seconds later, Spock had already
come. They both sat there, panting for a moment, until Spock decided he
wanted to reciprocate. He put his hand on the other man's belt, but was

"I came in my pants. It's been ages since I've last done that."

"My time is near: it must have influenced you."


Segor observed Spock: the naked chest, the open pants, the soft cock
still exposed, the purple semen on the beige pants. Then he looked at
himself and saw his own semen pouring through the fabric. And he lost
it: he laughed. It was one of those loud and contagious laughs, one to
which even Spock was not immune. When Segor saw him smile and even
chuckle, he couldn't resist kissing Spock.

"You know we could make this work."

"Probably. I don't know."

But the brief glance Spock shot at McCoy told Segor everything he needed
to know.

"You love him, don't you?"

Spock did not care to answer.

"You must tell him."

"I will."

"Good decision."

Segor decided to leave before the situation became awkward. He stepped
out of the vehicle and Spock did the same once his pants fastened. They
walked to the door.

"I will bring you back the clothes once they are cleaned."

"OK, I shall see you then. Live long and prosper, Spock."

"Peace and long life."

"One more thing: if anything should go wrong, you know where to find

"I do indeed have your address. And the address of your lab."


"I won't forget."

Spock went back to the car, where he discovered with horror that McCoy
had awakened and seated himself in the front.

"I wondered where you went."

"I bade my farewells to Segor."

"What did you do with your shirt and why is there raspberry sauce on
your pants?"

"I... spilled a drink."

"You certainly made a big mess. Perhaps you should have sticked to
Altair water tonight."

"As should you."

"I had very little to drink."

"My mistake: I had been under the impression that your behaviour had
been influenced by a large intake of alcohol. I was not aware you had
been hired by the bartender to provide some entertainment to the

"He wouldn't serve me another glass!"

"He probably judged you had had enough."

"Obviously not, because I'm sober again. Bloody Vulcan metabolism."

"Vulcans do eliminate toxic elements far faster than humans. As you were
unconscious, this rate was increased."

McCoy rubbed his neck.

"You really shouldn't make a habit of it."

"I won't... if you behave properly."

Spock turned on the craft and headed home. After what had happened with
Segor, he was uncomfortable, sitting next to McCoy half-naked, with his
semen all over him.

"We should perhaps put on our robes: I must park Sapok's hovercraft in
his garage and there is no need for him to see me like this."

"As you wish."

They pulled over and got out of the car to slip into their robes. Once
done, they resumed their journey. Spock considered for an instant
approaching Leonard now with his feelings. But he deemed the situation
inappropriate: the doctor had just awakened from a nerve pinch and had
been drinking earlier, and he himself was still enjoying the afterglow
of the best blowjob he had received in some time. He was feeling much
more confident: even if it didn't work out with McCoy, there was Segor
who liked him very much and whom he liked. Of course, he was not in love
with him, but perhaps after McCoy's refusal, he would learn to love him.
That the doctor would not be interested made no doubt to him. But he had
decided to tell him, and would do so. Another reason for his joviality
was that the probability of having to face that matchmaker again had
been reduced from 0.982 to 0.047, a much more acceptable level.

As for the doctor, unaware that his plans had been successful, he was
experiencing feelings of shame and guilt: shame because he had made such
of fool of himself, and guilt because he had failed to convince Spock
that Segor was an acceptable mate.

"I arranged a meeting with my family's healer. He shall see you

"Spock, I'm not sure I want him to mess with my mind."

"He will not *mess* with your mind: he will simply repair whatever
damage my counterpart has done. Leave it untreated could lead to serious
problems later on."

"Don't you think I know it? I'm a doctor--"

"Then, what is your professional opinion?"

McCoy didn't care to answer. He decided he would go to see this healer,
if only to stop Spock from worrying about his mental health.

His mind returned to the events of the evening. He couldn't stop himself
from thinking about what Spock had admitted: his experience with that
boy and his knowledge of the gay milieu. To think that a few days
before, he was convinced that Spock was something of a blushing virgin,
and now, it turned out he was more experienced than he was himself.
Perhaps he should speak with Spock after all and tell him what he really
felt. At least now, he knew that he would not be as shocked as he had
thought. But to take such a risk still seemed to dangerous at the
moment: McCoy would only take it if there was not other choice, that is
if Spock did not wish to bond with Segor. Suddenly, he had an idea.

"What happened to the boy?"

It took Spock a moment to understand what McCoy meant.

"His name is Rutir. I haven't seen him since his father stopped visiting
mine, but I heard his Koon-ut-Khalifee went well."


This eliminated another potential mate in McCoy's mental list: more and
more he convinced himself that it had to be Segor. For Spock's welfare,
but also for his own sake.

Soon they were in front of Spock's house. As they slowed down, they
distinguished a figure coming out of the darkness. It was lurking near
the front entrance of the house.

"No burglars? And what's that?"

Spock stopped and stepped out of the craft. He walked discreetly towards
the figure, ready to perform a nerve pinch. When he was near enough, he
finally saw the face of the burglar.

"Father? I assumed you and mother were still on Betazed 2."

"We left the conference earlier. There was nothing of interest being

McCoy joined them. Sarek examined him from head to toes.

"Mr Ambassador, it is a pleasure to see you again. As you can see, there
have been some changes since the last time we met."

"Yes. What happened?"

"I think that's a subject for which the privacy of your home would be
more suited."

"Very well."

Sarek went inside the house.

"You should better park the car. I'll tell him what happened."


Spock was glad he did not have to witness to McCoy's lie: it would have
made his situation with his father much more difficult. This way, he
still could say the deception was carried out by the doctor alone. Such
an explanation would be plausible because all that his father knew about
McCoy was that he had tricked T'Pau during the Khalifee and had tricked
Spock into giving the blood for the heart surgery.

He went down to the garage and parked the car. He did not hurry: it
would do no good if he came in during McCoy's explanation.

When he entered the house, he heard McCoy, describing in Vulcan, what
Segor had explained them. He went to the living room and sat next to him
on the sofa.

"I was just telling your parents that I will remain like this until a
more satisfactory solution is found."

"It is unfortunate that my actions caused such long-lasting

"Spock, you shouldn't blame yourself: I am proud of you. Your creative
thinking saved the doctor's life."

Both men were relieved: Amanda had believed what McCoy had told them,
meaning that Sarek had probably also been convinced. But there was no
way of being sure: Spock's father had remained silent during the entire

Sarek stood up, immediately followed by Amanda.

"My wife and I have had a long day. We shall retire to our bedroom."

It was McCoy and Spock's turn to stand.

"Good night, ambassador Sarek, Lady Amanda."

"Good night, mother."

The couple left the living room.

"I see you're still fighting with your father."

"We are not fighting. Simply not speaking."

"What brought this on? On the Enterprise, things seemed to be going

"Last month, he wanted me to marry a desert princess and I refused."

McCoy couldn't help laughing.

"A desert princess?"

"Yes. Her family holds half the northern hemisphere. I would have
inherited that land."

"And I who thought your family was an important one."

"How did you come to that conclusion?"

"Well, T'Pau's presence at you wedding, for instance. And Sarek is not
an unimportant man."

"I see. Our family is important only because it was Surak's family."

"I didn't know."

"You didn't notice that all men have a name starting with S and ending
with K?"

"I did, but I didn't think it was of any import."

"Our name indicates the family to which we belong. It is as simple as
that. With our naming conventions, at least there is no need for a
family name."

"I don't know: I kind of like having a family name. After all this years
spent among humans, don't you miss having one?"

"I do have one."

"You do?"

"Yes. When I entered Starfleet academy, I had to fill in a family name."

"What is it?"

"Grayson, of course. What else?"

"I don't know: I thought you had some sort of secret Vulcan name that
you weren't supposed to tell, but did tell to Starfleet and--"

"You read too many novels."


"Shouldn't we be heading for bed?"

"Yes. We shouldn't forget I'm a student again."

They started walking towards their rooms.

"I forgot to ask you if you found the class interesting."

"As a matter of fact, yes. I learned a lot. I even made a friend. Guess
what his job was?"

"How do you want me to guess? Shouldn't *you* be telling *me*?"

"You're no fun. He was a Starfleet engineer."

"The Intrepid?"

"Exactly. He was on Vulcan when it happened."

"It must have been devastating for him."

"Well, he doesn't remember."

They had arrived in front of the doctor's room.

"If you intend to take a shower, I advise you to wait for the morning:
my parents prefer showering in the evening. Unless you want to use my
sonic shower."

"No, tomorrow's fine."

"Good night, then."

"Good night, Spock."

Again, there was an awkward instant when they had to part. Their moments
together may not have been spent in harmony, but leaving the other, even
for the night, was as painful for Spock as it was for McCoy. Spock
hurried in his room. He took off his robe and looked for a towel. When
he finally found one, he headed for his private bathroom, across the
corridor. Before he dared go out, he checked that it was empty.
Satisfied that it was without risk, he left his room and found himself
face to face with his mother. His face took the deeper shade of green
that was ever seen on a Vulcan. She saw the purple spots, and evidently
understood what they were because she did not mention them.

"Spock, I just came to inquire about your plans for tomorrow."

"The doctor will attend some classes at the VSA and I have some business
in town."

The last part was a lie: until he had discovered his parents' presence,
he had planned to remain at home.

"Fine. So you won't be having lunch here?"

"As far as I can tell, we won't. I will check with McCoy."

"You will, however, be here for dinner."

"Yes, mother. But as I said, it also depends on the doctor's plans."

"OK. Sleep well, my son."

She left and he hurried to the bathroom. He was embarrassed that she had
seen his in such a state and more so because it meant that his father
now also knew: there is little secret between bondmates. He told himself
that he was a grown-up man, who had every right to do as he pleased with
his genitals. In the same time, their opinion still mattered to him:
otherwise, why wouldn't he have told them yet that he preferred men?

He decided to forget about the incident and took a rapid shower. He also
cleaned his pants in it, removing most of the stains: it was a method
that he had often used during his youth. He wrapped himself in his towel
and went back to his room. As he had meditated earlier today, he decided
to go to bed immediately. Sleep eluded him for some time. He thought of
the many events of the day: McCoy's uncharacteristic behaviour, the
administrative odyssey, the horrible matchmaker, the exhausting
discussion, the sex with Segor and, to top it all, his parents' early
return... Some of his shifts on the Enterprise had been more agitated,
but none had been so emotionally demanding. In addition, there was the
tension coming from his continuing battle against his Pon Farr. The
sexual release had had a soothing effect, but soon enough the madness of
the Pon Farr would be on him. His controls were holding, but only
barely: earlier, with Segor, he had all but laughed. He would have to
tell McCoy tomorrow. Later on, he would become too emotional to handle
his refusal with some dignity. He fell asleep, trying to find the least
painful way to tell McCoy.

In the other room, McCoy had also been reflecting on his day. The
knowledge that he most probably would die as a Vulcan did not worry him
anymore, not now that he had more or less understood what he had to do
to retain as much humanity as possible. Moreover, being a Vulcan wasn't
that bad: he was in greater shape and had just been given at least sixty
years of life. Not a bad deal, considering he hadn't lost much. But he
also realized, with some bitterness, that his surprising optimism was
really just his way of coping with something he could do nothing about:
becoming human again just was not an option if it meant he could die or
be seriously hurt. As for his feelings for Spock, he once more tried to
bury them: there was no real hope. If Spock did not find someone within
three days, he would have to call Jim. Only in the unlikely case where
Jim was to turn down Spock, would he talk to Spock. A little part of him
hoped for this to happen. His conscience, however, told him that this
was an awful thing to wish someone you love.

His night was agitated, full of erotic dreams nightmares. As he woke up,
it was still early. He had a painful hard-on. He stood up and decided to
jump on the occasion and test Spock's advices on the matter. He grabbed
a towel and went down to Spock's parents' bathroom. Spock had been
right: they had taken a shower last night. The floor was still wet and
there was some purple shampoo spilled here and there. He rapidly took
off his clothes and went into the cubicle. He let for a few seconds the
water refresh his body, and then started what he came for. He closed his
eyes and thought of Spock. His cock was still hard and it didn't take
much to bring him to the edge of orgasm. Very carefully, he let down his
guard. Suddenly he came. He felt himself ejaculate, but strangely, his
cock did not soften. He went on, stroking himself with more vigour and
came a second time. As he felt the blood leaving his penis, he was
satisfied with himself. Being Vulcan definitely had hidden advantages.
When he opened his eyes and saw the colour of his sperm, he chocked. He
rapidly soaped himself and careful as to avoid the coloured spots on the
floor, he went out of the bathroom, a towel around his waist. As he
walked by Spock's parents' bedroom, he heard loud voices coming from it.
They were obviously fighting, but he couldn't make out what they were
saying. He hurried to his room, where he sat himself on his bed, as if
in some sort of torpor. What had happened in the bathroom he didn't even
want to think about. What really bothered him was the idea that last
night Spock had ejaculated all over himself. The logical conclusion was
that Segor had made him come. McCoy had succeeded with his mission and
should be happy for Spock, but part of him just couldn't. What he really
wanted was to go to his room and ask him why he did that. However,
displays of jealousy just weren't an option here. He calmed himself and
looked for some clothes. He still had some new underwear, but had left
his robe in Sapok's car. He put on the one Spock had lent him. As he
didn't know what else to do and started feeling hungry, he went
downstairs, heading for the kitchen. But on his way, he was intercepted
by Amanda. When she saw his wet hair, she blushed.

"Did you spend a pleasant night?"


What else could he say? Certainly not that he had been plagued all night
by erotic dreams about her son.

"Could you just follow me in here, please?"

She guided him into the living room.

"Is something wrong?"

"Sarek and I thought that, as you're going to be like this for some
time, we should have a little talk with you."

"That's what the two of you were fighting about?"

"Yes. We couldn't agree on who would speak with you: Sarek insisted that
a human was more adapted to this task, but I thought that, given the
topic, a man would be better suited. He is one of the best debaters in
the galaxy, I never stood a chance."

McCoy smiled, slightly embarrassed as he understood what topic she

"I'm a bit old to be told about the birds and the bees, you know."

Amanda smiled.

"Perhaps, but Vulcans are slightly more complicated. I know you helped
Spock during his time, but how much do you actually know about Pon

"I deduced that it was a hormonal imbalance that could only be resolved
through mating."

"Yes. There isn't much more to tell about the physical part. Here comes
the delicate part: during our stay on the Enterprise, you told me you
were currently unattached. That is still the case, isn't it?"

"Yes, but I--"

"This cannot continue: your Pon Farr may begin at any moment and not
having a bondmate means an assured death. If you want, we could help you
to find a wife that would understand the special needs of Vulcan males.
There is a specialized matchmaking service here in--"

"Thank you for the offer, but I'm afraid I cannot accept it."

"But why? I know it is no longer a human custom to resort to such
methods, but--"

McCoy raised his hand in a sign to still her.

"I. Well, I'm gay, so I don't think the matchmaker would find someone
suitable for me."

"I didn't know. You are right: there aren't many homosexual Vulcans.
When I first arrived here, I wondered why it was so, but no one knew."

"Well, Spock's theory is that the genetic structure of full-blooded
Vulcans somehow forces them to be heterosexual."

McCoy only realized too late what he had said: Amanda was an intelligent
woman and with the information he just gave her, she would be able to
deduce Spock's own preferences. She remained silent for a moment, which
confirmed the doctor's suspicions.

"It is an interesting theory which would warrant more research."

"That's Segor's opinion too: he decided to start working on in."

"Segor? That's the man you saw last night."

"Yes. He is a specialist of human and Vulcan genetics. And he's like
us.half-Vulcan, I mean."

"I see."

She paused.

"Doctor, even if you won't need our help, do not wait too long to search
for a mate. There is no way telling when your first Pon Farr will

"I will keep that in mind. Thank you."

McCoy hurried to the kitchen, while Amanda went to her room.

"You were right about Spock."

"I know. What Ronar and I witnessed years ago was no accident: we should
have acted in consequence and bonded them together."

"No, there was not way to affirm with certitude that it would be his
life-long preference. Young adults do experiment with their sexuality."

"Human perhaps, but not Vulcans."

"If you say so. According to McCoy, there probably is a genetic

"I don't see what difference it makes. Spock is what he is. His only
fault was not to tell us. Not even a month ago, when I had finally
convinced Pevik to bond his daughter to him, he refused. I now
understand his reasons, but it he had told me the truth, I could have
found him a more suitable mate. "

"I know."

"His deceiving behaviour is unworthy of a Vulcan."

"Don't say that. Spock behaves more like a Vulcan than many full-blooded
one. Sometimes, he makes mistakes, but doesn't everyone?"

"I know, my wife, I know. But it still pains me to see him like this."

Amanda went to her husband and hugged him: it was not something she
often did, except when they spoke of Spock. His behaviour was one of the
few topics that could bring strong emotions out of Sarek. It lasted a
few seconds until Sarek pushed her back.

"My wife, I must go now. I shall be back for lunch."

He left without waiting for her answer.

She walked to her mirror, put on her make-up, and styled her hair. Then,
she went to the kitchen, where she found McCoy, sitting with a cup of

"Can I offer you some tea?"

"No thank you. I usually have coffee."

She busied herself by preparing the coffee then sat down next to McCoy.

"I envy your command of Vulcan. One would think you were born here."

"If you want, Spock still has the formula: you could be talking like me
in a few days' time."

"I like my ears just the way they are."

"I agree with you: pointed-ears are very overrated."

Small talk was not her forte: probably one of the reasons that had her
marry a Vulcan. Unfortunately, as an ambassador's wife, she spent most
of her time doing small talk with complete strangers.

A few minutes later, the doorbell rang. Amanda went to the front door,
where two policemen were waiting for her.


It had been a long time since anyone had used her Vulcan name.


"Is there a Selek, son of S'Saak staying here?"

"No. Why do you ask?"

The nice thing about the Vulcan police is that they believed they never
questioned the veracity of what Vulcan citizens told them.

"This man used a false name and gave your address to the VSA."

"I hope you find him."

She closed the door and went back to the kitchen.

"You used the name Selek, didn't you?"

"Yes, how do you know?"

"The police are looking after you. What did you do?"

"Nothing criminal, I think. I performed a mind meld in public and was
sent to the school's headmaster. That's the closest thing to a crime I
can think of."

"She must have done some research on you and when she found nothing, she
contacted the police."

"Yes, probably."

"You won't be able to class anymore."

"What a pity: one of today's topics would have been the Pon Farr. But
I'm glad I covered that earlier this morning with my private tutor."

Amanda blushed lightly, and started speaking with the same tone she used
to address small children.

"If you have additional questions, feel free to ask your teacher, Mrs

"I forgot you were a teacher."

"I sometimes forget, too."

"Can't you teach on Vulcan?"

"As Sarek spends most of his time elsewhere, it would mean being
separated from him."

"Yes, of course."

"What was your subject?"

"I taught mathematics."

"Between a Vulcan father and a mother who is a math teacher, I see there
never was any hope for Spock."

"You make it sound as if we had been cruel parents and tortured him."

"Hey, I never said that."

"Besides, you're a scientist too. You know how it is."

"I do indeed."

They both laughed. McCoy decided to reorient the conversation before
Amanda started asking him personal questions.

"What are your plans for today?"

"I spent most of my time here taking care of the garden or shopping.
Today, I had no specific projects."

"We could perhaps do something, the three of us."

"Spock told me he had some business in town."

"We'll have to ask him, then."

Suddenly, McCoy stood up and climbed the stairs. When he entered Spock's
room, he was surprise to find he was not in his bed.

"Good morning, Leonard."

Spock was standing behind him.

"You scared the hell out of me. I was looking for you. Your mother and I
were wondering if you would like for the three of us to do something."

"Aren't you supposed to go to the VSA?"

"To make a long story short: no, I can't. So, what were your plans for

"We must go and see Sutok, our family healer."

"OK. Let's go to the kitchen, you're mother is waiting for us."

They went downstairs.

"Hello Spock. Do you want me to prepare you some breakfast?"

"Yes, mother."

Both men sat down and waited while Amanda busied herself at her stove. A
few minutes later, she served them the same puree they had eaten the
morning before.

"You'll have to give me the recipe."

"It's quite easy, actually."

McCoy shot a dark glance at Spock, who had obviously wanted to keep the
secrets of this dish for himself.

She took a plate of it herself and sat down with them. They ate in

As usually, McCoy was done first.

"Spock and I have an errand to run first, but afterwards, we're all

"Fine. I don't know yet what we could do."

"What did you do with Spock when he was younger?"

She giggled a little, but, as she was about to answer, Spock put down
his fork and stood up, to end the conversation.

"It is time for us to leave."

He left the kitchen and the house, heading for Sapok's

Nonplussed, McCoy followed him. He caught up with him in Sapok's
entrance hall. The old man stood near the stairs: he was handing Spock
the keys to the hovercraft.

"Don't forget to charge the battery: last night you didn't plug it in."

"An unfortunate mistake. I shall endeavour not to repeat it. "

When he saw McCoy, when went to him and saluted him.

"You're also here. It's nice to see you again."

"The feeling is mutual."

Spock was beginning to become slightly irritated by the exchange of
commonalities: he went downstairs and took out the vehicle.

McCoy bade his farewell and ran out to where he had parked.

During their mostly silent trip, Spock was trying to determine, given
the change in plan, when would be the best opportunity to speak with

He would obviously have to wait for his appointment with Sutok to be
over. Then, depending on what his mother would decide, the rest of the
day could very well not feature one remotely appropriate moment. His
only option, at the moment, was to wait for the evening. Then, if McCoy
was not too tired, he would he do what he had to do.

McCoy kept on observing Spock: he remembered, how last night, they had
sat in the exact same position, not a metre from each other, and yet
they had been worlds apart. Most often, he thought he knew more or less,
what went on in Spock's mind. He wondered if he wasn't just being
pretentious: last night, even for one million credits, he wouldn't have
guessed Spock had had sex. The truth was he knew nothing of the man. Yet
even when he had realized that, he still loved him.

As Sutok didn't live far from Spock, their trip was a short one. Spock
parked, but before he exited the car, he felt he had to explain the
doctor some basic aspects of the Vulcan medical system.

"Sutok is receiving you as a favour to me: as a matter of fact, he has
sworn he would not treat any Vulcan who does not belong to this family."

Not knowing what to say, McCoy nodded.

"It is better I do not enter with you. He knows why you are here, but
you will have to ask him explicitly for a meld. It is the tradition."

"Fine. How long do you think it will last?"

"I do not know, but I saw that the damages where relatively extensive.
It should take some time."

"Then, you'd better go home: I'll find the way on my own."

"If you wish, but if you change your mind, just contact me. You do have
the communicator I gave you?"

" Yes, Spock."

They went to the healer's door and were greeted by Sutok.

"Here is McCoy."

"Yes. Come in."

McCoy entered and Spock went back to his car. He was rapidly at home.

When he arrived, his mother was given instructions to the housekeeper.
She insisted that her bathroom was to be given special attention.

"I allowed Leonard to use your water shower. I hope it does not
inconvenience you."

"Not at all. The bathroom just needs cleaning, that's all. Isn't the
doctor with you?"

"No, he shall be back in an hour or so."

"I was about to head for the garden. I could need the help of a strong

Actually, she didn't, but she had always used this pretext to spend some
time with Spock in the garden. It had been pretty much the only activity
they had shared during his youth. Sarek always said that having an
Earth-like garden on Vulcan was a fabulous waste of water. When Spock
began to grow up, started saying the same. But Amanda knew better: Sarek
and her had strolled more than once in that garden and he had enjoyed
it. As for Spock, during his adolescence, she had often caught him
daydreaming on the bench behind the cherry tree. Her conclusion had been
that Vulcan's were the most illogical people on the world, when it came
to feelings. Here they were again, mother and son, working together,
making the Vulcan soil a little less hostile to humanity.

"Spock, could you cut the roses over there?"

"Yes, mother."

"You do remember how it's done, don't you?"

"Yes, mother. Please, if you could just focus on whatever you are

"Can't you see I am planting tulips? Of course not. It would be
undignified for a Vulcan to know such things, wouldn't it?"

Spock decided not to gratify her with an answer. His mother was a
stubborn woman: it often seemed to him, she did everything on purpose,
just to annoy him. The only other person who had that unnerving ability
was McCoy. Even some of the fights that they had on board of the
Enterprise were only replays of what had happened with his mother. At
least he had had the training, which explained perhaps why he won so

Meanwhile, McCoy was having his mind examined by Sutok. The healer was
still quite young and had never melded with an outworlder before. And
yet, he was amazed at how well trained this man's mind was: he could
command his emotions and shield his thought with a mastery he thought
impossible for someone not raised on this planet. The damages the other
Spock had inflicted were not serious, but quite extended. He worked
swiftly, repairing one by one all of the memories that had been touched.
When he was almost done, he encountered a place of such love and desire
that it almost undone him. He asked the doctor what it was and was shown
it was Spock's representation in his mind. He could feel that the other
Spock had laughed when he had seen this part of McCoy, and that the man
had been deeply hurt. He repaired what he could, but left the pain
because it was what the doctor wished. As he was about to break the
meld, he saw, in a corner, the ancient drives gathering. They were still
weak, but he knew that soon they would be strong enough to drive this
man crazy. He didn't tell it to McCoy, because the traditions were quite
explicit on this matter: no outworlder had to know about it. When the
doctor had left, he found a solution with which he had ethically
comfortable. He dialled Sarek's house extension, hoping that Spock had
gone home.

Spock had been cutting rose for more than an hour, wondering why his
mother needed such a large garden, when he was interrupted by a ring
coming from the communication unit in the kitchen.

"Spock, could you get it? It is probably your father."

Not overjoyed that his mother would tell him to speak with Sarek, he
walked slowly to the comm unit.

"Spock, here."

"Sutok speaking."

Amanda's voice was coming from the garden.

"Is it your father?"

"I will put you on hold."

He transferred the call to the unit in his bedroom.

"No, it is... Segor. I shall answer the call in my room."

He hurried to his room.

"I am back."

"McCoy just leaved. There is something I must tell you."

"Go on."

"While I melded with him, I felt his time was nearing. He has one month
at the most. If he really is a friend of yours, you must assist him in
finding a mate."

"Very well. Your concern is appreciated. Spock over."

At the moment, Spock's only thought was that he was tired of surprises:
he had planned over and over, but there always was something that came
and wrecked his carefully made plans. McCoy's Pon Farr. It hadn't even
occurred to him. There only was one thing left to do: forget about his
love and try to find a wife for McCoy. It would not be an easy task,
especially with such little time to go until his own Pon Farr. And it
wasn't as if he could simply send McCoy to the matchmaker and let her do
the job: he wasn't a Vulcan.

Suddenly, he had an idea: he made some rapid research on Vulcan adoption
procedures and found out that all his father had to do was to declare
him a member of their family. Then, McCoy could go and see that horrible
matchmaker. While he was using his console, he had heard McCoy coming
back. He heard him speak with Amanda, then go to his room. He decided
that it would be a good opportunity to inform him of what was coming.
When he entered the guest room, the doctor was sitting at the desk,
holding his head with his two hands.

"I trust everything went well with Sutok."

McCoy turned around.

"Yes, he's been well trained. And he's nice. for a Vulcan."

"He called me, a few minutes ago."

"Did he?"

"Yes. Leonard, did you not notice a small imbalance in your system?"

"Yes, but I thought it was normal.

"No. You have one month until your Pon Farr."

"You're kidding, right?"

"No. We must find you a wife."

"You're the second person today who wants me to get a wife. What is it
with you people? Can't a man do as he pleases with his life?"

"I understand that marrying a Vulcan woman might not be appealing to
you, but returning to Earth and explaining a human wife what is expected
of her would take too long."

"I don't want a wife. It is as simple as that."

"You will die, then."

"Spock, for God's sake, don't you know that I'm gay?"

There, he had said it.

"As a matter of fact, I didn't."

"There, now you know."

That came as a shock to him. Ideas began to become blurred in Spock's

"The task will be slightly more delicate, but it is not impossible. For
instance, you seemed to like Segor."

McCoy laughed sadly: Spock was a most generous man, indeed. He was ready
to abandon the man he would most likely bond to, to save his life.

"No Spock. I can't."

Spock evaluated the problem for a few seconds.

"Did you always present these proclivities or did they appear when you
were transformed?"

"Don't start again with that bloody theory of yours. I was born like
that and I intend to die like that. "

"Very well. The problem remains, then. You must find a mate."

All of a sudden, McCoy couldn't bare it anymore: he had to shut up Spock
once and for all.

"I don't want to find a mate, because I already found one."

This took Spock by surprise, but he rapidly regained his composure.

"Then I can only offer you my congratulations."

"No, you don't understand. I haven't told him yet. You see, I'm in the
same situation as you are."

Spock didn't see what McCoy meant. He thought about their conversation,
on the Enterprise and finally understood.

"You are also in love with Jim."

McCoy would have strangled the man if he hadn't been in love with him.
Instead, he realized that this provided him with an elegant solution to
his more immediate problem: Spock would shut up and stop trying to find
him a mate. As he couldn't bring himself to say the words, he simply

This information devastated Spock, but he did his best not to let it

"I assume you do not wish to tell him."


The room was silent for a long moment. Spock knew he had to say
something or he would break down. He decided that an attempt at humour
would lighten the situation and help him relax.

"If I had emotions, I would be amused."

"Spock, this won't work anymore: I was there, I saw them. You have

The doctor had reacted as he hoped: it was good that some things still
had not changed.

He raised an eyebrow and answered.

"Then, I am amused"

McCoy smiled, but one could see his heart was not at it.

"You have every right to be: what a pair we make!"

"Indeed, Leonard."

Again, they didn't speak for a while, each contemplating what he had
just lost.

Spock suddenly started pacing the room: he realized that in fact, he has
nothing left to lose: there was a high probability that at least one of
them would die from being unbonded. He couldn't let that happen.

"I may have a solution to our problem."

"Well, go on, Spock, I am all ears."

Spock raised an eyebrow, and then went on, serious again.

"Logic dictates that if two parties have a problem that can be solved
through collaboration, whenever it is possible for them to reach a
mutually satisfactory agreement, they should go with it. Would you be
prepared to consider such a possibility?"

The doctor wasn't sure whether he had to thank his new Vulcan ears, his
new Vulcan brain, or a long forgotten deity, but he understood what
Spock meant. His reaction would have been to scream something along the
line 'Yes, Spock, marry me', if he hadn't been sure that this was
another act of pity on Spock's part: Spock obviously liked Segor and
would again be ready to sacrifice himself for his welfare. As he more or
less understood the nature of the bond between spouses, he wouldn't
stand a life sharing his mind with someone who had only married him out
of self-sacrifice.

"Spock, I'm sorry, call me old-fashioned but I cannot marry a man that
does not love me."

Spock closed his eyes, pondering his options.

"Leonard, I'm not asking you to marry such a man."

McCoy was sure his body temperature had instantly risen of at least a
few degrees. He wasn't sure anymore he could trust his new ears or his
new brain.

"I'll gladly become you bondmate, then."

Spock simply smiled: it was the most beautiful thing McCoy had ever

"An excellent decision."

"Spock, I haven't been entirely honest with you."

Spock's face suddenly returned to a more severe expression.

"I'm not in love with Jim."

"You are not?"

"No. My tastes are a little more exotic, you know: pointed ears,
greenish complexion, dark hair."

Relieved, Spock's face softened again.

"I see. Not my personal favourites, but for you I shall accommodate."

"May I remind you that it is your fault, if you have to accommodate:
before your intervention, my ears were perfectly rounded and I had the
most delicate pinkish skin tone. You --- Ahahaha --- what are you

What Spock *was* doing, was slowly licking the top of the doctor's ear.
He was standing behind his chair, letting their bodies touch only in
that single spot.

Suddenly, McCoy turned around and caught Spock's mouth with his own.
When he next caught air, Spock went on with his teasing.

"Vulcans are not supposed to engage in what human call 'making out'."

"Well, let's just indulge our human halves a little. It would be unfair
to deprive them. Besides, if our Vulcan parts were to complain, we could
tell them, it's cultural observation."

"Cultural observation?"

"Yes, Spock."

"Doctor, are you suffering from some sort of multiple personality

"McCoy chuckled.

"Shut up Spock and kiss me."

"I shall endeavour to follow any prescription given by my physician."

"Now you get the attitude."

McCoy stood up and their bodies were now pressed together. When McCoy
felt his penis harden, he remembered the pleasant surprise he had had in
the shuttlecraft and wished to share it with Spock.

"Did you know that my penis became longer and larger because of the

"It was to be expected. Vulcans are generally more generously endowed
than humans are. You should see my father's."

"Spock, I don't this is the best moment to discuss your father's penis."

"And I agree."

They looked around to see who had spoken these last words. Sarek was
standing in the doorstep.

They let go of each other and aligned themselves in front of Sarek as if
standing at attention during an inspection. As they wouldn't speak,
Sarek went on.

"Not that I can imagine many situations that would warrant a discussion
about my genitalia."

He briefly paused.

"Amanda and I will be expecting you in the living room."

He left.

"Reminds me of my teenage years."


McCoy smiled and kissed Spock on the cheek

"Only you can ask such questions. Well, it was the last time I was
caught red handed by my date's father."

"I am glad that you refer to me as your date, but I hope that soon we
will be much more."

The doctor was slightly embarrassed by the straightforward fashion in
which Spock expressed his feelings towards him: he regretted he could
not give him the same.

"You would have married me even if I had not loved you, wouldn't you?"


"But why?"

"Loosing you forever would have been a fate worse than not being loved."

A few tears came to the doctor's eyes as he kissed Spock.

"They are waiting for us."

As they left the room, McCoy took Spock's hand in his own. When they
arrived in the living room, he had expected him to release it. Instead,
Spock pressed it harder, as if to give himself some courage for the
confrontation that was to come.

They sat down on one of the sofas. Amanda was sitting in the other, a
big smile on her face, while Sarek was standing by the window gazing

"Spock, do you wish to bond with this man?"

"Yes, father"

"McCoy, do you wish to bond with Spock?"

"Ambassador, there is nothing I would like more."

"Very well, but you must know that in order to participate to the
traditional ceremony, you must be a member of a Vulcan family. I a
prepared to invite you in ours, if you accept to behave as one expects
from a Vulcan."

McCoy thought about it for a moment.

"I can control my Vulcan emotions and I can keep my human ones in check
when necessary, but I will not just forget that I'm human. This is all
that I can promise."

"And it is all that I ask."

Sarek finally turned around and saw his son's hand around the doctor's.
He raised an eyebrow and exchanged a look with Amanda.

"I will contact T'Pau to decide on a proper date for the wedding."

He simply left the room.

Amanda went to Spock and McCoy, who also stood up.

"Congratulations to both of you. Spock, I'm so glad I'll be able to
attend to your wedding."

While she spoke, she had kissed the men on both cheeks, as if it were
the most natural thing to do on Vulcan.

Then, she followed her husband into his office.

Spock and McCoy stood there, as if they had been hit by a lightning.

"An half hours ago, I was miserable as hell because I thought you were
in love with Jim and about to bond with Segor, and now I'm a member of
you family and we're going to get married."

He chuckled and then started speaking again.

"Reminds me: isn't there a law against that kind of things?"

"No. The human and Vulcan concepts of family greatly differ. My father
forgot to tell you that you had to choose a new name."

"I kind of liked the one I had."

"I explained that all male members of this family were named in honour
to Surak."

"Yes, I remember now. Is there a list from which I could pick?"

"Words of Ancient Vulcan are often used: there should be a dictionary on
your console."

"I'll look at it. Just to be sure: it's not like I'm going to have to
use it back on the Enterprise, is it?"

"No. It will, however, appear in your Starfleet record, along with your
human name. Starfleet will also be informed of your Vulcan citizenship,
but you will also keep your Terran one."

"Just great."

"Does that bother you?"

"No, of course not."

A wicked smile appeared on McCoy's lips.

"Besides, I think I found how I'm going to revenge."

"I wait for your explanation."

"Well, you told me your Starfleet records showed Spock Grayson."


"Don't you think Spock McCoy would sound better?"

Both eyebrows went up but he didn't answer.

"It's just for the records, no-one would know."

"I am sure that within five minutes the entire ship would be informed."

He paused.

"I nevertheless agree: after all, it is only fair that if you have to
change your name, I should also change mine."

"You're simply amazing, Spock. I did not think you would go for it."

"Spock McCoy *does* sound better than my present name."

They began kissing again, their bodies pressed against each other. As
their caresses became more intent and their penises more erect, they
decided that it would be better to get back to one of their rooms,
before anyone walked in on them.

On their way to Spock's room, they met his parents.

"Given the nature of the situation, T'Pau is ready to bond you this
evening. I arranged for the place to be prepared. Transportation from
ShiKahr will leave at four. If you wish to invite someone, tell him or
her to be here on time. Spock, I trust you will inform the doctor of
what he has to do until then."

"Yes, father."

Spock pause for an instant, unsure, then went on.

"You should also order the traditional wedding robes: Nugort has both
our measurements, as we had him do some robes, two days ago."

"Very well."

"I am sure it will be a wonderful ceremony. Oh, I almost forgot. We
thought that lunch would be a good moment to perform the adoption.
Around two o'clock: is that fine with you?"

"I'll do my best to have found a name by then."

They hurried to Spock's room, but bizarrely Spock's wasn't interested
anymore in finishing what they had started.

"Don't tell me you're saving yourself for your wedding night?"

Spock hesitated for an instant.

"It's only a few hours from now and you have much to do."

McCoy chuckled and slowly shook his head.


"I should go now: I wish for Sapok to be present. Do you agree?"

"Of course, but I thought you would help me pick a name."

"No this is a very private task. You must do it by yourself."

Spock headed for the door.

"Spock, you should also invite Segor."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, if it's doesn't bother you, that is."

"No, I shall invite him. Anyone else you wish to be present?"

"You're the one who was brought up here: you should be inviting people,
not me."

"I do not care for anyone's presence at my wedding, except for yours, of

"Get out before I jump on you and forget about waiting for the wedding

Spock left and McCoy sat himself at the console.

"Computer, make a list with all words in Ancient Vulcan starting with S
and ending with K."

"Done. 4582 entries."

It would be a long day.

"Computer, show me the list."

Spock had gone to the laundry room: he wanted to check whether Segor's
clothes had been cleaned. They weren't,; so he put them in the machine
and selected a cleaning and ironing cycle, then decided to see Sapok.
Spock experienced some difficulties finding him: he was neither in his
kitchen, in his room or even in his garage. He decided to explore all
other rooms. When he finally found him, the old man was bending over
something he would not identify.

"Come nearer, Spock. I want to show you something."

Spock did as he was told. He recognized what it was.

"You are building a miniature of Gol."

"Yes. I'm almost done: I only have the doors and window to do. What do
you think?"

"I have never been to the building itself, but from the holo-pictures I
saw, I would say it is a fairly accurate model."

"Indeed." He paused.

"What brings you here, Spock?"

"McCoy and I are going to be bonded tonight. I wish you to attend the

The old man hugged Spock, squeezing him so violently between his arms,
that he thought he had broken him a rib.

"I'm so glad for you."

Suddenly he moved back and looked at Spock with a worried face.

"Your father, does he know?"

"Yes, he does. He arranged the ceremony."

Again, Spock's lungs were crushed by the old man's strong arms. As
delicately as possible, he extracted himself from Sapok's grasp.

"You will come, then?"

"Of course."

"We will leave at four. Meet us in front of my father's house."

"I will be there."

Spock went back to his house and was pleased to see that the clothes
were ready.

He took them and jumped in the hovercraft he had parked in the street.

He rapidly drove to Segor's lab. He wondered if it was such a good idea
to invite him: he thought that if McCoy had known what had happened
between them, he wouldn't have wanted him to be present. He entered the
lab and found him in front of his console.

"Live long and prosper, Segor."

"Hi, Spock. You came to bring me back my clothes."


He handed him the plastic bag.

"I prepared a microtape for McCoy: there's the data from the tests we
conducted and from the simulations. If he ever changes his mind."

Spock took the tape.

"I don't think he ever will."

There was a moment of awkward silent.

"Did you speak with him?"

"Yes. We are getting bonded, later today."

A faint smile appeared on Segor's face.

"Congratulations. I'm sure you will be very happy together."

"We want you to come to the ceremony."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. Do come."


"Meet us at 1600 hours in front of my father's house.

"I'll be there."

He took his leave and went back to the hovercraft.

All had gone well: he hoped McCoy had had the same kind of success as he
had had.

But this wasn't the case: he had started reading in alphabetical order
and was disappointed to see that most of the possible names where either
simply barbaric, like Sacolik, the sound of the blood coming from a
wound, or meant mathematical concepts, like Sak, a triangle. Even in the
pre-reform days, Vulcans were already inclined towards sciences: they
simply were savage barbaric scientists. The images that came up to
McCoy's mind forced him to laugh. A moment later, he went back to his
search. He considered for an instant using a word in Standard instead,
but the only one that sprang to his mind weren't much better: Stork,
Spark, Stock, Slick. Then he saw Sapok among the list. It means the door
to Gol. A strange name: he wondered what his parents had chosen it. He
looked for the other names he knew: Sarek is the abbreviation of 'Saku
wa Murek', the good and the bad. Again, he found Vulcan parents really
had a strange logic when it came to naming their children. He looked for
Spock, prepared to find the same kind of bizarre meaning, but was
surprised: Spock is the mathematical word meaning the midpoint of a
segment. It was a fitting choice that Sarek and Amanda had made probably
because they really wanted Spock to be part of both cultures They hadn't
been entirely successful, but one could still see, when looking at
Spock, that he had been the product of a loving collaboration between a
Vulcan and a human. Many things in Spock's life were a result of this
two-sided origin, and McCoy was glad that he too would not contribute to
it: a human - well, almost - taking part to a Vulcan wedding ceremony
with a half-Vulcan. He wondered what their children would look like.
They would be able to choose from the whole spectrum from full-blooded
Vulcans to full-blooded humans. He would have to ask Spock about it.

He shook himself out of this reverie and focused again on the task
ahead: he still had no name for himself. Suddenly he remembered one of
the words he had read: it fitted perfectly. He stopped his research and
decided to go down and help Amanda in the kitchen.

It was almost 2 o'clock, and the meal was ready: Sarek, Amanda, and
McCoy had seated themselves at the table and waited for Spock in

He came in just on time and sat himself next to McCoy.

"We can begin now."

Sarek stood up. The others did the same.

"McCoy, what do you wish to be called?"


Three frowning faces where looking at him.

"Very well. Sabuk you are now a member of our family. Vulcans will call
you Sabuk, son of Sarek, from now on."

"Thank you."

They sat down and began to eat. The meal consisted of various dishes he
had never seen before. He tasted them all, but found only one of them to
his liking.

Spock was barely eating at all: the prospect of what was going to happen
later on had made disappear the little appetite the Pon Farr had spared.
In addition, he was surprised by McCoy's choice. As soon as his parents
had left the table, each to tend to a different part of the wedding
preparations, he decided to ask him about it.

"Why did you choose that name?"

"Do you know what Sabuk means?"

"Yes, it is the perpendicular bisector of a segment. I don't see what
that has to do with you."

McCoy sighed: Spock could be so dense sometimes.

"Then describe me exactly what the perpendicular bisector of a segment

"It is the line that is perpendicular to that segment and goes
through... its midpoint."

"Now you see. I thought it was fitting. It's like us: we go in totally
different directions, but somehow, we still find each other at the end
of the day."

"I never liked the name my parents gave me: it seemed so pretentious and
inaccurate. It always reminded me of what I was not. Now that your name
is link to it, I think I shall like it a little more."

As they were both still seated and could not press closer, McCoy grabbed
Spock's hand. They sat there simply enjoying the touch of the other for

They were interrupted by Amanda, who was bringing two boxes.

"They delivered the traditional robes. It already three o'clock. You
should perhaps shower and get dressed."


As soon as Amanda had left, McCoy stood up, took the boxes with his free
hand, and dragging Spock behind him, headed for Spock's parents'

"I thought we agreed--"

"Come with me. I know there's enough room. I just want to look at you.
It'll be fun. Besides, I want to check what I buy before it's too late."

Spock raised an eyebrow and followed him in.

They immediately took of their clothes and stared at each other.

Fascinated by the way McCoy observed him, Spock couldn't help but

"You look at me as if you had never seen me naked."

"I never have seen the man I love naked. Examining a patient, it's just
not the same thing."

Spock came closer and took him in his arms. Skin against skin, hair
against hair, penis against penis: it didn't last long until McCoy had
to disentangle himself from Spock's arms.

"This was a bad idea: I can't go on like this. Let's take a shower."

He turned on the water and walked in. Spock followed. They were both
still very erect and very embarrassed about it. McCoy decided he needed
to break the sexually charged atmosphere.

"Let's see who has the longest."

Spock frowned, not sure he understood what the doctor meant.

"Just face me and then we move closer: the first whose penis touches the
other's body has the longest."

Spock was a little perplexed but complied.

"You win. But I'm sure I beat you on the circumference. "

"We will have to measure. I told you I have an excellent genetic

McCoy glanced at the door, to make sure it was closed.

"Yes, I know, your father's penis is huge. Do you think he would show it
to me?"

The absurdity of their discussion made him laugh.

"I do not think the moment is anymore suited that it was this morning to
speak of this."

"I know I just wanted to get rid of this."

He pointed to his already softening erection. Spock's had entirely

"You see: it worked."

"It was a most effective method indeed. We should perhaps get on with
the shower."

"Well, it would be better if each of us washed himself."

"What other possible arrangements are there?"

"You still have a lot to learn when it comes to erotic games."


They rapidly washed and stepped out of the cubicle.

Spock handed McCoy him the box with his name on it. After what Vulcan
fabrics he had seen, he expected the robe to be elegant and lavishly

It turned out to be a black robe with large vertical white stripes.
Spock's was white with black stripes.

"I didn't expect to get married dressed as a referee."

"It is the traditional garb, but if you prefer, you can put on your red

"No, I was just making a joke."

Spock put on his robe and stepped in his sandals. He waited for McCoy to
do the same.

"No underwear?"


"Let me guess: it's the tradition."

"You *are* beginning to understand."

"Well, it's not very convenient: it really isn't pleasant to run without

"You are not supposed to run."

"It was a theoretical question."

"I know."

McCoy rapidly dressed himself and they went out.

Amanda was waiting for them in the living room. She had already changed
her clothes. When she saw them, she smiled and went out, saying:

"Wait an instant, please."

They waited for her, standing at the same exact spot. She came back with
a comb and a holo-camera.

She started to comb Spock.

"Mother, I am a grown man: I have no need for your grooming."

"Yes, you do. You should have seen yourself. There, it's much better

McCoy was laughing, until Amanda started combing his hair.

"Lady Amanda, I can handle this myself."

"No, no, no: you are also my son now, and I can't let you run around as
if they hadn't invented combs on your planet."

When she had finished with his hair, she ordered them to go to the
garden and took a picture of the two of them. Then, she called her
husband. He came, dressed in a dark red robe, with golden patterns.
After taking pictures of the three men, she shot some with Sarek and
each of his sons. Then, she handed the camera over and pictures where
taken of each of the remaining combinations left. They were almost done,
when Sapok arrived. He had to take a picture of the four of them, and
then, Amanda got a hold of the camera again and took him with Spock and
McCoy. She did the same when Segor finally came. The five men where
beginning to be annoyed by Amanda's behaviour.

"I hope the most exhausting part of the wedding is to take the

Two of the Vulcans raised an eyebrow at McCoy's comment, two discreetly

"We should head for the transport now, if we want to be on time."

The chauffeur of the planetary shuttle was waiting for them. When they
all were seated, he took off. Most of the trip was spent in silence, as
all were admiring the beautiful view they had. Sub-atmospheric flights
were not something that was much used in the Federation. Transporters
had replaced them years ago.

When they landed, they were met with T'Pau's party and a cameraman. When
Amanda saw him, she handed him her camera and he took a picture of the
entire group.

When McCoy saw him, he whispered to Spock:

"I hope it's not for the Universal Geographic's special issue on
same-sex weddings across the Federation."

Spock didn't answer but signified him that silence was expected.

They did the one-kilometre-long walk to the ceremonial ground in

Then, the ceremony began. Spock hit the gong with the hammer, then
handed it to McCoy, who did the same.

This was Sarek's cue to go to T'Pau, saying:

"I am Sarek, son of Sentok and I come here for you to unite my two sons,
Spock and Sabuk."

"Spock, come near."

He did as ordered. She put her left hand on his meld points and
initiated a meld with him.

"Sabuk, come near."

He did and she used her right hand to meld with him.

// Spock, do you wish to bond with Sabuk? //

// Yes. //

// Sabuk, do you wish to bond with Spock? //

// Yes. //

Then, she used her mind to weave a connection between the two men's
minds. When she was done, she told the both of them:

// It is time. Go to the gong. //

The melds were broken and Spock and McCoy walked to the gong.

The guards began to play a rhythmic music on their drums. It had a
hypnotic effect on the newly bonded.

When T'Pau saw they were ready, she shouted:


The drums stopped.

"These men pretend they are bonded: let them show us if it is the truth.

The drums started again: McCoy was feeling dizzy. The next thing he knew
he was kissing Spock, mentally begging him to be penetrated. They both
were acting as if in autopilot. As if they had repeated this a dozen
times, Spock and McCoy took of their robes simultaneously. They are both
painfully erect. Without a word, McCoy bent down, holding himself on a
column nearby. In a swift movement, Spock penetrated him. He took him
violently, but McCoy displayed no reaction. Shortly after, they both
came. Spock immediately withdrew. He waited an instant for McCoy to take
the lead. The doctor came to him and putting his hand on Spock's
shoulders, pushed him to the floor. Spock, lying on his back, spread his
legs and with the same swiftness as Spock had displayed before,
penetrated him and made them both come. Then, they both collapsed.

The sand was beginning to scratch McCoy's back. He briefly wondered why
there was sand under his back. When he heard leaving footsteps, he

"Spock, did we just fuck like wild animals in front of your family and a
dozen other Vulcans?"

"Yes, Leonard, we did just that. It is a mandatory part of the ceremony.
If we hadn't done it, we would not have been bonded."

"I'm certainly glad you told me before."

"I feared you would not want to attend, if you knew. There is nothing to
be ashamed of: all went well.

"That's why you didn't want us to have sex before."

"It was one of the reasons, yes."

They remained silent for an instant.

"Spock, if T'Pring hadn't requested the Khalifee, you and her would have
done it in front of us?"

"Yes, Leonard."

"'Boy, am I glad she did. And boy, am I glad Jim wasn't here."

"I concur on both issues."

"But he'll be pissed when he will find out we married without him."

"He most certainly will, but we could ask him to perform a Terran
ceremony on the ship."

"That's the best idea you had in--"

He was thoroughly kissed before he could end his sentence.

"We should get up: they are waiting for us."

McCoy tried to go up, but when he felt the pain in his lower back, he
let himself fall down again.

"You did a good job exploding my ass."

"I can assure you your work was as thorough."

"I hope we didn't hurt ourselves too much: I'd hate to have to wait too
long before repeating what we just did."

"Believe me, you won't."

They both stood up and put on their robes. As their started walking with
a pained gait, towards where the guests had gathered, McCoy couldn't
help but tease Spock.

"Now I bet even you would be grateful for underwear."

Annoyed by the attitude of his bondmate, Spock replied in a tired tone.

"Yes, Leonard, I would."

The first to congratulate them was Sarek.

"You both performed adequately. The family is satisfied and will be glad
to welcome any children you may conceive."

Once he was done, he immediately left and McCoy whispered to Spock's

"Perhaps we should tell him that there is no way what we did could
result in the birth of children."

Trying to be discreet, Spock decided to answer him mentally.

// Leonard, would you please refrain from making such remarks: it was
the expected greeting from the leader of the family. //

// I like it when you speak in my mind. //

// I hope you do, because you will have to get used to it. //

"I need a drink. Do you want me to bring you something?"

"A glass of water would be nice. I will go and see my mother,

Even though Amanda was smiling, Spock could see she was not entirely

"Mother, is everything alright?"

"Of course, Spock, I'm so happy for you and McCoy."

"You should call him Leonard."

"Yes. I guess I just miss human weddings: the flowers, the beautiful
clothes, the ceremony."

"Leonard and I were just discussing the possibility to organise a Terran
ceremony on the Enterprise."

"That would be wonderful. I'm sure your father and I could come."

"Where is father?"

"I think he is over there. He is discussing with Segor about that theory
of yours."

A shiver run along Spock's back.

"What theory?"

"The one about the genetic origin of Vulcan sexual behaviour, of

Spock would have strangled McCoy if he hadn't been in love with him.

"I see. I should better go and speak with him, then."

As he was about to leave, she grabbed him at the sleeve.

"Spock, you should have told us. Your father was really hurt by your
lack of honesty."

"My father is a Vulcan and hurt is an emotion. It is un-Vulcan to --"

"Stop this, Spock. To lie is perhaps a more un-Vulcan thing than to have
emotions. What you did was therefore, very un-Vulcan?"

Spock did not answer.

"What did you tell him you preferred to find your own wife instead of
accepting the one he chose?"

"Mother, the past is best forgotten. I cannot change anything about it.
Do you not agree that my own choice of mate was most satisfactory?"

"Yes, I do like Leonard very much. But it changes nothing to the fact
that your actions were not right. You should learn from this mistake,
not repeat it again. Go and see your father now."

He went to his father. When Segor saw him, he offered a traditional
congratulation and left them alone.

"Mother tells me you are taking an interest in biochemical science now."

"Yes. This theory is most interesting. It explains many things."

"Yes, but it is also dangerous."

"I know and I told Segor so."

None of them spoke for an awkward minute. Sarek decided to be blunt and
to confront Spock: he did not wish to be estranged with his son any

"Spock, your mother is of the opinion that your silence concerning this
matter had been caused by my behaviour. Is that true?"

A lie would have been easy. He decided to go for the whole truth: he was
a bonded man, now. The equal of his father. There was nothing left for
him to fear.

"In part, yes. You always wanted me to be Vulcan and I wanted to be
Vulcan. But my homosexuality was always there to remind me that I wasn't
full-blooded. I did not wish to speak of this with you, because I
thought this would make me less Vulcan in your eyes."

"But I--"

"Let me finish. I know you didn't want this to happen. If Mother and you
named me Spock, it wasn't because you wished me to be like a
full-blooded Vulcan, but because you wished me to be the best of both of
you. I understand that. Nevertheless, you made me feel inferior whenever
I displayed the human half I had. Being gay was just the last item in a
long list of human defects I wanted to hide from you."

Sarek was speechless for one of the first time in his life. Spock waited
for him to recover.

"I do not know what to say. Spock, I do not think that humans are
inferior. Would I have married your mother if I did? I thought that as
you had chosen the Vulcan way, it was my role to encourage you to be as
Vulcan as you wished. Many Vulcan, especially children, have treated you
as an inferior because you sometimes displayed emotions. I saw how you
wanted to get rid of your emotions and I provided you with the only
tools I knew: the Vulcan mind techniques. It was my way to protect you
from them. You do understand, don't you?"

"I know, Father. I am glad for your help, even if sometimes the cure
hurt more than the illness. What is important today is that I can be
proud of all that I am: I am proud to be you son, I am proud to be a
Vulcan, I am proud to be a Starfleet officer, I am proud to be gay and
finally, I am proud to be bonded with Leonard. You mustn't blame
yourself for any of these things: you haven't failed your task as a
parent when I entered Starfleet Academy instead of following in your
footsteps. My path was different, that is all."

"I know. This has been between us for many years. We should perhaps
forget about the past."

"My opinion exactly."

Their faces bore as what looked as much to a smile as was permitted by
Vulcan decency.

Seeing that their talk was over, Sapok came nearer. He congratulated
Spock and hugged him, then left.

Even after the long explanation he had with his father, Spock was still
embarrassed to be seen like this by him. He was therefore surprised when
Sarek took him in his arms. It lasted only for a second, but it meant a
great deal to him.

"Thank you, father."

Sarek answered, "There is no need to thank logic", but his eyes were
saying, "You're welcome".

When they both saw the hug from afar, Amanda and McCoy came to stand
beside their respective mates.

"You won't guess what T'Pau just told me. She-"

"Let me try. She told you that your choice of position was an
interesting one, but your rhythmic abilities needed some improvement."

"How do you know?"

"Leonard, I think there are some things that Spock forgot to tell you
about your mental bond. For instance, if you do not shield your
thoughts, he can read them."

"You cheat, you're no fun."

"It would perhaps be time to end the gathering. I will ask T'pau if she
will do us the honour."

Sarek went to T'Pau and whispered something to her ear. Seconds later,
she shouted, "Kroykah!"

Everyone stopped speaking and started walking towards the landing

// Is that all she does the whole day, shouting 'Kroykah" whenever she's
asked to? //

// Leonard, for the last time, could you please stop making fun at my
people's - I should say, our people's - traditions? //

// Hey, my people comes from another planet, where they don't think that
two people having sex on the floor is a wedding ceremony. //

// Sounds like a boring planet. //

The rest of the trip was spent in silence. Once they reached ShiKahr the
shuttle dropped off Segor near his house, then headed for Spock's
parent's house.

Sapok went immediately home, but not without hugging everyone one last

"The poor man must be loosing his mind."

"Exactly my thoughts, father. Hugging someone in public is a definite
sign of senility."

He raised an eyebrow to show his father he was joking and was answered
with another raised eyebrow.

"I guess it's time we try a human tradition for once."

"Which one, Leonard?"

McCoy didn't answer, but when they came near the door, he tried to lift
Spock and carry him over the doorstep. He failed.

"I'll show you how it's done."

Even though McCoy struggled, he was no match for Spock.

Amanda laughed as he was carried through the doorstep, shouting
obscenities, in both Vulcan and Standard.

Once inside, Spock put him down.

"Father, Mother, I think we shall retire, now."

"Spock, Sabuk-"

"For heaven's sake, call me Leonard!"

"Very well. Leonard, Spock. May your night be a fruitful one."

// Really, Spock, we should explain him. We can't have him walk around
like that. //

// Leonard. //

// I know. Tradition. //

They went upstairs. Spock was about to enter the guest room, when McCoy
stopped him.

"The guest room has a large bed."

"Yes, but it's not *your* room."


They went in and immediately took off their robes. Sand fell from them.

"We should perhaps take a shower."

"Yes, but I don't want to run into your parents: let's go to your

"There is a first time for everything: Leonard McCoy preferring a sonic
shower over a water shower."

McCoy didn't answer. He went to the bathroom, stepped into the shower an
activated it. A second later, he was clean.

Spock did the same and they returned to their room.

"Where were we?"

"I think that this would be good start."

Spock took McCoy's hand and kissed it. He made a trail of kisses up to
his neck, then moved to his throat and went down the other arm.

As McCoy seemed to enjoy it, he went on. This time he started with an
ear and went through his face to the other ear. He lingered there,
licking the lobe most intently.

Meanwhile, McCoy was caressing everything that was within his grasp:
Spock's chest, his back, and his arms. He also kissed him in the neck,
but the position proved painful.

He stopped Spock's ministrations by grabbing him by the arms and sitting
him on the bed. He kneeled in front of him and began to kiss his body.
He started with the neck, and following no particular order, touched his
lips, his eyes, his eyes, of course, his nipple, his thighs, his hands,
his feet, his knees.. The only area he avoided was his groin: he did not
wish for this to end so soon. He also discovered that, for each touch,
he could, if he concentrated enough, feel what Spock felt. This allowed
him to find out that Spock had very sensitive neck and ears. For a
moment, he focused on these parts. Spock, then came to kneel near McCoy.
They hugged, caressing each other's back. Then, Spock's hand came nearer
and nearer to McCoy's penis. It stayed for a moment on his thigh, which
he sensed to be a weak spot. He took the two penises in his hands and
moved along their length. His left hand was soon replaced by McCoy's
right one and they went on. They kissed while their common fist was
moving faster and faster. When one of them was about to come but not the
other, they slowed down for an instant. Finally, when they managed to
become more or less synchronised, they decided to let their control go.
They both ejaculated on each other, making a big mess on the floor as

"Looks like we're going to need another sonic shower."

"I don't think so."

Spock had McCoy lay down and licked his semen from the other man's body.
When he was done, McCoy hesitated for an instant to do the same.
Finally, he did it, thinking that he was having raspberry sauce. It
actually tasted more like Gazpacho, which he liked. He cleaned Spock and
teased with his tong the still erect penis. To show him he wanted more,
Spock put his hand on the doctor's head. McCoy sent him the image of a
69. Immediately, Spock moved them into this position.

The sensations of sucking and being sucked were pleasant, but as they
were amplified by the bond, they didn't leave much control to them. In
addition, the knowledge that it was the loved one that was here, not a
faceless stranger made that they came in only a few minutes.

When he had caught his breath again, McCoy started to chuckle.

"What's wrong with this planet? Can't anyone just have sex in a bed,
like normal people?"

"Obviously not."

They stood up and lied themselves in the narrow bed. Spock was looking
around at his room. So much had changed since he lived here. He
sometimes wished the boy he was then knew that everything would be all
right, that he would grow up and be a happy and well-adjusted man. For
an instant, he thought of Rutir, and of what it felt to hold someone
else's naked body in his arms, for the first time. He pressed McCoy

"You were right. Using my room is much better. It reminds me of the
nights I spent here fantasizing about doing what we just did. Even what
I did with Rutir did not erase this need for more. Only now do I feel it
is satisfied."

"I thought you had already been with other men."

"I have, but now I have someone forever."

"I'm not sure can hold on long like this: coming six times a day every
day, forever, that may be a little much."

"Six times? Did you masturbate this morning?

"Yes. I hadn't tried since the shuttlecraft and wanted to know if your
tip worked."

"Obviously it did. But to set your mind to rest, six times is not much
for a Vulcan: my personal best is 22 times in 24 hours."

"Mine is only 9. I was 15 years old and tried to break my cousin's
record.. When did do you do that?"

"Before my last Pon Farr."

"That's why you kept going to the toilets. I though you had some kind of
diarrhoea and I wondered why I couldn't detect anything."

"I didn't think you would notice."

"You know how it is to love someone in secret. You keep watching them,
hoping you're not too obvious."


They both thought about those days on the Enterprise. They exchanged
some painful memories and some joyful ones, which often turned out to be
the same. Once they had done reminiscing, they felt their fatigue
catching up on them.

"Let us sleep now. We can try to better your record tomorrow."

"Wait. I must check something."

McCoy went up and went to his room to take his medikit.

When he came back, he scanned Spock.

"Nothing severe. Turn around. I just need to apply the regenerator."

When he was done, he scanned himself. He diagnosed the same kind of
superficial injuries and applied the same cure.

Only then, could he lie down and sleep in peace. Their sleep lasted
surprisingly long for Vulcans. For the first time, they dreamed a common
dream and did not wish to leave it. They woke up at the same moment.
They were spooned together with Spock on the outside.

"I see you were serious about having me break my personal record today."

Spock moved his hand to McCoy's groin.

"I could say the same of you."

They started by kisses and caresses, but soon McCoy wanted more.

"Well, there's a part of yesterday's lovemaking that I don't remember
very well. It's all blurred in my memory. Perhaps you would like to
refresh my mind."

"Unfortunately, I can't remember very well either. We shall have to do
it again."

"Bright boy. You do understand very rapidly."

Spock stood up and went to his desk. He emptied the bottom drawer and
took out from a secret compartment under it, a tube of lubricant.

"That's a weird place to keep it. I put my in my nightstand."

"I did not wish my parents to find it, because it would have told them
that I had a sexual life."

"Spock, there's nothing wrong with having sex, even when one is only

"I had an early start."

"What do you mean?"

"I was nine when I started. So you can understand why I did not wish my
parents to find out."

"I'm sure they would have understood. They are not prude people."

"How can you say that? You know them only for a few days."

McCoy showed him what he had seen the morning before, in the bathroom.

"I see. But let us not speak about my childhood, my parents or any other
unimportant thing. We have a record to break."

Spock went to the bed and started putting some lubricant on McCoy's

"It has a strange smell. Are you sure it's still good?"

"Yes. I designed the formula and synthesized it myself. It is stable for
about 167 years. "

"You designed your own lubricant?"

"Do you really think a nine year old boy can just walk around on Vulcan
and buy sexual lubricant?"

"On Earth, he could."

"The smell come from the impurities: I haven't been able to filter out
all of them. I left nothing dangerous or irritating."


When Spock was done coating the doctor's penis, he lied down on the bed.

"Give me the tube, I'll prepare you."

By the time he was able to introduce two of his lubricated digits in
Spock's anus, the doctor was barely able to prevent himself from coming.

They decided that it was time to proceed. Spock kneeled on the bed and
McCoy stood up. He slowly penetrated Spock checking through the bond
that he wasn't suffering. When he was sure that no pain had appeared, he
began moving, faster and faster. Spock was contracting rhythmically his
anus, thus enhancing both their pleasures.

McCoy couldn't hold his orgasm much longer, so he grabbed Spock's penis
and masturbated it energetically. McCoy came, closely followed by Spock.
He was about to withdraw, when he heard:

// Don't. Go on. Faster. Deeper. //

Which was exactly what he did.

He lasted much longer this time. He felt that Spock was about to come,
then felt his orgasm, but he still went on. His rhythm was putting him
in a sort of trance. With what little of his mind that was still
thinking clearly, he wondered whether it was that what T'Pau had meant.
This thought broke his trance-like state and he came. They collapsed on
the bed.

After ten minutes without a word, without a thought, McCoy felt he was
hungry. In fact, what he felt was that Spock was hungry, but it didn't

They stood up and they dressed. Spock gave him another one of his old
robes and underwear. McCoy took his to his nose and sniffed it.

"It still smells like you. The last time I had an erection, thinking you
had worn it."

"I also had one, thinking about you in my cloth."

They dressed and went down for breakfast. Amanda was waiting for them.
Sarek had already left for his office. She had prepared something to eat
and some tea.

"Captain Kirk called earlier this morning. You must call him back."

For once, Spock was in no hurry to do so. He went on eating. When he was
finally finished, they went to his room.

Spock sat himself at his console and saw the message from Jim: the
assignment of the Enterprise had been changed and both of them were
needed. The ship was coming back to pick them up later today.

"It seems improving your daily best will have to wait."

"We can still use you technique and go to the bathroom every now and

"Excellent idea. Now I must call Jim. You should better move so he can't
see you."

"We still have to talk about that."

Spock called the Enterprise. He had Uhura who giggled and transmitted
his call to the captain.

"Spock? It's nice to hear you. I trust you read my message."

"Yes, I did."

"We'll be there in about two hours. You should get ready."

"We will be waiting for you in the shuttle."

"OK. Kirk out."

The transmission was over.

"What will we tell him?"

"Well, the same truth we told your father: that I came to Vulcan to
accompany your during your Pon Farr and contracted the Denebian Snow
disease shortly after my arrival, and so on."

"This seems the wisest solution indeed."

"If we both say the same thing, he'll have to believe us."


"Damn, why does it always have to be like this? Every single time I take
a vacation, there's an emergency somewhere and the Enterprise is coming
to pick me up, just when it becomes fun."

"I had not noticed such a pattern."

"That's because you never take shore leave."

"I trust that thanks to your influence, I will change this habit of

"I hope so, or I'll torture you mentally until you give in."

"You would never do that."

"Are you sure?"

McCoy laughed at Spock's perplexed face. He came nearer and hugged him
from behind.

"We should inform your mother. She'll be disappointed."

"I suppose."

They went down. Amanda was reading in the living room.

"The Enterprise will be here in two hours."

"So soon?"

"Yes. We will have to leave earlier and ready the shuttlecraft for

"I will call your father."

She went to the kitchen.

"I sensed your talk with him yesterday. Everything went well, I suppose,
given his reaction."

"One could say that. But it was an isolated act of emotionalism on his
part, caused I think by the ceremony and by what I told him. I am sure
that soon he will be his old self again and the next time we disagree on
something, we will start again to act as we always do."

"Don't be such a pessimist. You never know, perhaps you genuinely
touched him yesterday."

"Perhaps. Only the future will tell."

Amanda came back.

"He'll be here shortly."

"We should change in our uniforms. I will get them."

Spock went to the laundry and picked the clean uniform, underwear, and
shoes. He also took McCoy's robe.

They went to their room and changed clothes.

"I began to get used to the robe."

"I find it more comfortable. It would however be unpractical on the

"That much is sure. The underwear, however."

"I had the same thoughts, but concluded that I did not wish the entire
staff to see my ass every time my pants were ripped open for instance."

"Excellent point."

They were both dressed. Spock began searching in his closet. He took out
a bag, in which he put McCoy's robe and handed it to him.

"You should also take with you your underwear and sandals."

"Yes. I'll go and get them."

He went to the guest room. Spock took out another bag and packed what he
wanted to bring with him on the Enterprise: his new robe, some of his
Vulcan underwear, as the doctor seemed to like them. He took the data
chips with his and Segor's research. He also took the tube of lubricant:
the one he usually bought just wasn't as good as this one.

He shut down his console and left his room. McCoy was also done in his.
They went downstairs, where Amanda was gave McCoy a microchip and a
Tupperware full of something.

"It's the recipe you wanted."

"Thank you."

He put everything in his bag.

"Sarek should be here any minute now. Perhaps you should go and say
goodbye to Sapok."

They went to his house. Again, they found him in front of his miniature

"Sapok, Leonard and I must leave. We wished to bid you farewell."

The old man was visibly saddened by the news.

"Take it with you."


"The model. I finished it. Take it with you. I'll build another."

"Are you sure?"

"I haven't lost my mind, yet. Of course, I am sure."

Spock took the miniature in one hand and saluted him with the other.

"Live long and prosper, Sapok."

"Peace and long life, Spock."

McCoy did his best to shape his hand properly.

They left the elder man.

"You'll have to teach me how to do this. My fingers just won't separate

"All is a matter of practice. I will show you a method to make practice
more enjoyable."

He sent McCoy an image of what he meant through the bond. The doctor was
surprised by the casual way in which Spock usually alluded to sex: he
had expected him to be shyer. It was nevertheless a pleasant surprise.

Meanwhile, Sarek had come home.

"I have asked for your transport to orbital station 2, where you left
the shuttlecraft."

"Thank you, father."

Sarek turned towards McCoy.

"You are a fine addition to our family and a worthy mate to my son. We
shall meet again soon."

He looked at Spock.

"I was honoured to witness your bonding. And I am... proud that you are
my son. You are a good man."

Again, he hugged his son.

"Father, you should not make a habit of this, or people will start
staring at you like they do stare at Sapok."

"I do not care about their opinion."

He paused.

"Live long and prosper, my sons."

"Peace and long life."

He went into the house, obviously troubled by his excessive display of

Amanda hugged them both, then hurried inside to see after her husband.

"The three of you look more and more like a human family."

"There is no need for insults, Doctor."

"So, it's back to 'Doctor', now, *Mister* Spock."

The transport arrived and they climbed inside. A few minutes later, they
were in their shuttle.

They started it after performing the necessary pre-flight checks.

"Enterprise, here is Spock. Do you read me?"

Uhura answered.

"Here is Enterprise. Hello Mr Spock. We should be here in fifteen
minutes from now. Are you ready to depart?"

"Yes. We will come at your encounter."

"I shall inform the captain."

"Spock over."

Eight minutes later and a countless number of kilometres away from
Vulcan, Uhura contacted them.

"Mr Spock, your shuttle is in visual range. As soon as you are close
enough, we will open the shuttle craft hangar."

"I will prepare the manoeuvre."

Another minute went by before they actually could start the landing

As soon as they were secure in the hangar, they felt themselves

They rematerialised in an unknown quarter, which obviously contained
both their effects.

Kirk was standing in front of them.

Without even a greeting, he started:

"Spock. You're a liar."

Four eyebrows went up. Kirk went on.

"I am disappointed by your behaviour. You assured me I would be the
first one to know."

The two men were watching their shoes.

"Fortunately, Sarek was a little more forthcoming."

Spock and McCoy were now staring at Kirk.

"He was kind enough to provide us with a live broadcast of your wedding

"And you showed it to the entire crew?"

"Well, yes. How was I supposed to know? I thought a wedding would bring
their spirits up, not their... well. I have had trouble controlling them
since then."

"You're joking, right? You're making us pay for not letting you marry
us, isn't it?"

"No, Bones. No joke."

Seeing that his little prank was really distressing them, Kirk decided
to stop.

"You're right, Bones, M'Benga told me what to expect. Only Scotty,
Uhura, Chekov, Sulu, and I have seen it. But I kept a tape. So, if
you're not letting me perform a ceremony of some sort, I'll show it to
the rest of them."

"It's a deal."

"I'll leave you two now. Briefing is tomorrow morning at 0600 hours.
Don't be late."

"Hey, is that a way to speak to someone who's on a honeymoon?"

Kirk shook his head slowly and went out, saying:

"Stop it, Bones, it won't work. In my mind, you're not married until *I*
married you."

Once Kirk had left them, they started to explore their new quarters.
Apart from the obvious - it had a very large bed - there wasn't much
difference. They also had a bathroom for themselves. Spock went out and
checked to see where they actually were.

"We're on deck 5, corridor H. Jim still lives next door, exactly as my
former quarters."

"There was a storage facility for medical supplies next to your
quarters. They seem to have taken that out."

"And they redesigned the partitions between the areas."

"That must have been Scotty's work."

McCoy saw the flowers.

"And Uhura's."

"We will have to thank them."

"A few years ago you told me, 'one does not thank logic'."

"Yes, but I was wrong."

"Must be my lucky day: you're admitting that you have made a mistake."

"It would be illogical to deny the evidence."

"Now that's more like the man I love."

McCoy took Spock in his arms. Together, they thought about the long way
they travelled since they had left the ship a week ago. They had finally
found each other.

As he stood there, holding McCoy in his arms, he couldn't but be glad
that he had had such a stupid idea weeks ago. Because his potion may not
have made a full-blooded Vulcan out of him, but it gave him everything
he ever wished for.