Obviously, Paramount owns Star Trek.
Note: I'm following a Roddenberry
idea that—with the exception of The Menagerie's
second part—there is no real order to the
By Ellen Smock
KIRK: Chris, do you want to go there? (flash) Mister Spock, would you care to take Captain Pike
to the transporter room, see him off?
SPOCK: Thank you, sir, for both of us. (flash)
KIRK: Er, Mister Spock, when you're
finished, please come back and see me. I want to talk to you. This regret table tendency you've been showing lately towards
SPOCK: I see no reason to insult me, sir. I believe I've been completely logical about the whole
** ** ** **
McCoy listened as Kirk recounted the last moments of the dramatic,
if fake court martial of First Officer Spock.
It was obvious to McCoy that Kirk was hurt and angry over Spock's actions. He remembered Kirk's report of the previous day, after he'd left with Pike. “Do
you know what you're doing? Have you lost your mind? “ Kirk had asked before ordering security to lock Spock in the brig. McCoy
had never heard Kirk question Spock's sanity. The very idea was unthinkable..yet,
Jim said he'd done just that.
McCoy suspected there might be other emotions in play. For Spock to do what he'd done—risking
his career, hell, his life, to save someone he no longer served under—that was beyond any concept of Vulcan loyalty McCoy had ever read about. Could Jim be jealous? Did he think Spock was more loyal
toward his former Captain than he was toward Jim?
Thinking about those images of Spock as a young officer, smiling, engaging
with the crew in ways McCoy had never seen Spock engage with this crew, McCoy couldn't help but feel sad.
He'd always assumed Spock had presented himself as the ultimate Vulcan
since the day he left the planet. He'd viewed Spock as arrogant and aloof. But obviously Spock had not always been that way.
The old record tapes showed Spock to be vulnerable, possessed of charm and enthusiasm.
What had happened? Why
was Spock willing to risk so much just to give Pike a chance at happiness? Happiness
was an emotion Spock shunned, yet he'd put his career, his life on the line to give his former Captain a chance to experience
McCoy realized that he'd become absorbed in his internal musings and
had missed much of what Jim was saying....
“Jim...listen, I'm worried about
Spock. I'm going to check on him.”
“Worried about Spock? Haven't you been listening to what I'm saying? Spock is fine, damnit, he's....”
McCoy didn't learn what Jim thought Spock was... he walked away tossing a
distracted “Later Jim” over his shoulder.
Approaching Spock's quarters, McCoy was unsure what he wanted to say. To be honest, he wasn't even sure that Spock would talk to him.
Touching the pad that would announce his presence, McCoy had to still
the urge to bolt. What would he say? What would he ask? He only knew that it was obvious something had hurt Spock. Hurt
him badly enough that he retreated behind his stoic Vulcan mask.
He heard a quiet “Enter” from the
McCoy didn't know what he'd expected to find. Maybe Spock in front
of his meditation statue, or working at his computer. Whatever he'd expected,
it wasn't this. The high necked formal uniform top had been tossed onto a chair. Spock, in his black trousers and t-shirt had his back to the door, his head down leaning
into the wire room divider. He raised his head and turned as McCoy stepped into
“Do you require something, Doctor?”
Spock often asked that. “Do you require something, Doctor?” McCoy inevitably responded with sarcasm. He wouldn't be coming to Spock if the didn't need something, would he? But now, faced with the knowledge that somewhere, somehow, Spock had been broken, hurt to the point of
retreating into himself...McCoy wondered at the wording. Was Spock just offering
to help him or was Spock expecting to be asked to sacrifice his health, his safety even his life to fulfill the wishes of
another? Suddenly McCoy realized that had been a pattern all along. Sacrifice was needed, Spock would provide it. Kirk needs information
from a molten lava monster, Spock will mind meld with it. Kirk needs to disinfect
a planet, Spock will sacrifice his eyes in pursuit of the cure. Kirk needs to
regain control over his ship, Spock will sacrifice love and happiness.
McCoy must have—once again—been musing
because he realized Spock was trying to get his attention.
“Doctor, are you unwell?”
“No, Spock, I'm fine...I'm sorry,
I was lost in thought.”
“I understand. I find that state of mind rather too easy to achieve myself at the moment.”
McCoy chuckled a bit. “I bet you do, Spock.”
“Do you require something?”
“No, not require really, Spock...it's
more of a desire.”
Spock's eyebrows went up at that. “Desire, Doctor?”
“Yeah, Spock, desire. I desire to have a chat, talk, shoot the breeze...whatever you want to call it. Is that okay?”
Spock seemed to mull this over a moment. He nodded slowly before saying
“Yes, I too find that talking
seems preferable to remaining alone with my thoughts at this time.”
Indicating a chair, Spock continued
“Please, be seated. May I offer you something to drink? I believe it is customary
to consume beverages at during a “chat”...”
McCoy settled himself in the chair, looking up at Spock. “Do you have
anything stronger than tea?”
Spock's lips quirked a bit, though to McCoy, he still looked tired and defeated. With a shock, McCoy realized Spock had accomplished exactly what he'd set out to do
but gained nothing but trouble for the effort. Spock's relationship with Kirk
was damaged, possibly ruined. It would take a miracle—or an even more personal sacrifice—for Star Fleet to ever fully trust him again.
Many in the crew would hold this incident against him regardless of Star Fleet's ruling. One does not commit the last Capital Offense on the books without garnering a few enemies, even if the
higher ups decide to look the other way.
Without even realizing what had happened, McCoy found a small glass of blue
liquid being presented to him. Spock was obviously trying to regain his attention.
“Doctor, are you sure you do
not require medical attention? You seem unusually distracted, even by your normal, prodigious standards of distraction.”
McCoy had to smile. Spock
was obviously trying to distract him from whatever was occupying his thoughts. Reaching
out to take the glass, McCoy looked confused.
“Romulan Ale, Spock? This is contraband, you know that.”
Spock settled himself into another chair.
“Yes, Doctor. I do know that. You requested something stronger than tea,
did you not? This is stronger than tea.”
“Yeah, Spock, but geeze....light
beer would have been stronger than tea.”
“Would light beer have satisfied you, Doctor? I believe you keep a bottle
of this very contraband in your office.”
McCoy smiled. “You got me, Spock....and, thank you, this is exactly what I was looking for.”
McCoy was surprised to see that Spock had poured a somewhat larger
glass of the Ale for himself and was now finishing a substantial sip.
“I believe, Doctor, that even
a chat should have a starting topic. What is it you had in mind?”
McCoy decided not to beat around the bush.
“Those old record tapes. The ones from the early years on the Enterprise.”
Spock had a distinctly resigned look as he responded. “Yes, I assumed
those would be deemed interesting.”
“Well, of course they're interesting!” McCoy started to bluster...but then, remembering
why he was there, pause and took a breath... “They're interesting because I thought you were always the upright super Vulcan
from the day you entered the Academy. Obviously, I was wrong.”
Spock might even have looked relieved at this blunt assault on the obvious
topic. “Yes, Doctor, you were wrong. You might have asked yourself why I would
leave Vulcan to live on Earth if I wanted to adhere strictly to Vulcan principles.”
“I did ask myself that, Spock...I'm
afraid the answer I came up with doesn't seem very charitable now. I thought
maybe you wanted to be in a place you could feel superior. I assumed that Vulcan
was not an easy place for a hybrid to grow up and you thought going to Earth would make you something like that cartoon character,
Superman...able to leap tall buildings with a single bound and all that.”
McCoy was please to see Spock's lip curl up a bit. That hint of a smile meant Spock was at least intrigued if not actually amused.
“I assure you, Doctor, I cannot
leap even a moderate building in any number of bounds.”
Spock paused, taking another fairly substantial drink from his glass. McCoy had barely had two small sips, but Spock was nearing the end of his glass. McCoy reached forward, grabbed the bottle and refilled Spock's glass while he continued.
“I can understand why you would
make that assumption. However, it is inaccurate.
I went to earth hoping to find a home among my human relatives. To find
a place as a half human. Humans are unique in our universe in their acceptance
of those with differences. I assumed I would be welcomed and accepted. As I was.”
While Spock took another, surprisingly substantial, sip of his refreshed
drink, McCoy replied.
“So, in those recordings, when
you're smiling, almost laughing with the crew....that's not pretense? You weren't
just trying to make the humans comfortable?”
“No, Doctor. There was no artifice in the recordings you viewed. I smiled because I was happy, I laughed because I was
“But, now, Spock...now....”
“Now, Doctor, I follow the Vulcan
way. Emotions bring little but trouble to any situation. They are to be controlled, not indulged.”
McCoy was not sure what he found most shocking: the fact that Spock had interrupted him, or the sudden insight into what must—he just knew—be at the root of this situation.
“Spock, are you in love with
McCoy was sure that was the answer.
Spock loved Pike...and Pike did not reciprocate, or worse, Pike took offense....it explained everything.
Obviously musing again, McCoy must have missed when Spock got up because
Spock was now, once again, up against the wire room divider, head down.
Standing, McCoy found himself putting out a hand which could not reach
Spock turned and fixed McCoy with his gaze.
“I am impressed with your deductive
ability, Doctor McCoy. Though, your choice of tense is incorrect. I am not in
love with Captain Pike.”
Spock definitely stopped to swallow and steel himself for this next statement.
“However, in the past, I was...
I have...moved on, I believe is the correct term.”
McCoy closed the distance between them, putting a hand on Spock's arm for
only a moment.
“That's why you wanted him to be happy, why you were willing to sacrifice so much for his emotional
“Yes.” The word was clearly spoken,
but McCoy could not read the emotion that was obviously behind it.
“What happened Spock?”
McCoy wasn't entirely sure himself what this question meant, but it
just came out and Spock, interestingly enough, seemed to understand it.
“When our tour of duty was over,
Captain Pike offered me a position as his second in command when he took over as Captain of the Fleet.”
“That's a prestigious position,
Spock. What happened?”
“I told him of my feelings, Doctor. I could not continue to work with him unless he knew.”
“I take it that didn't go well.”
“That, Doctor, is an understatement. Not only did he retract the offer, he ordered me to stay away from him. He said I had dishonored the memory of our years of service together.”
McCoy rolled his eyes and thought...where the hell does Star Fleet
find these people? Did they put up signs inviting the last few homophobes on
earth to join Star Fleet?
“I'm sorry Spock.”
“It was not your doing Doctor. You have no reason to apologize.”
“I'm not apologizing Spock, I'm
just saying I feel bad that you had to go through that. I can understand how
hurt you must have been...”
“Can you Doctor? Can you know how difficult it was for me to admit my feelings to Pike? To risk his rejection?”
“Now, just a goddamn minute Spock....look,
I know that was a big deal for you, I do. But you know what? That's part of being
human. We get rejected. We get told
our attentions are not wanted. Some of us even get told our affections are unnatural
and unhealthy...it sucks, but it happens to lots of us.”
“Lots of you are not Vulcan.”
“You're right, Spock...we're
not Vulcan so we can't hide behind logic to keep us from having to experience those feelings again. We're human and when we get dumped—however ugly it might be—we recover
and go out to find someone else to make a fool out of ourselves over. But we don't hide from love. We can't.”
McCoy found himself breathing somewhat hard...he took a sip of his
glass of ale in an effort to regroup.
Spock, McCoy noticed, had downed the rest of his glass. McCoy stepped back to the table to retrieve the bottle and refill Spock's glass while Spock spoke.
“I do not hide from love, Doctor.”
“Just what I said, Doctor. I do not shy from love. However, as a
Vulcan I now know I do not need to express that emotion. I can experience it,
I can appreciate it, but I do not need to share it.”
“You're saying you love someone.”
Spock took yet another sip of the ale....McCoy had forgotten exactly
how many glasses Spock had consumed...McCoy was about half way through his first glass.
“Yes, Doctor, that is what I
am saying. Does that satisfy you? I am in love.
I do not, however, need to act on that. I am Vulcan, I can control my
McCoy blinked...then sat down on the nearest place. It happened to be Spock's bed.
“You're in love.”
Spock's expression was hard to read.
He was staring at McCoy seated on his bed. He wasn't angry, that was certain...
Spock's voice was low and controlled.
“For crying out loud, Spock,
come over here and sit down so I can look in your eyes...” McCoy seemed unaware that his position was, in any way, unusual.
Spock, slowly, and with extreme good posture, complied; sinking onto
the bed a few inches from McCoy's knees.
“You're in love with someone.”
“Someone on the ship?”
“But, you don't intend to tell
“No, Doctor, I do not intend
to tell him.”
“It's a man?”
“Yes, Doctor, it is a man. Is that a concern for you?”
“No, Spock, of course not. You know me. Love whomever or whatever
you can love, that's my view. I was just wondering about my head nurse...”
Spock may have flinched...”Miss Chapel is not a concern of mine...Is that really your view, Doctor? Do you not believe some attractions are better left unspoken?”
“No, Spock, I do not. I'm angry with Pike for what he did to you. Even if he didn't
return your feelings there was no reason to make you feel like you'd done something wrong.
Love is a gift, you don't toss it aside like trash.”
Spock seemed to consider these words....”Nevertheless, Doctor, is not the safest course to not allow the emotion to
control my actions? To act logically?”
“Safest? Maybe, but best? Not at all.
Spock, you know from serving on this ship that playing it safe is often the worst alternative.”
“Not for an individual Doctor...
I have studied this (of course he has, thinks McCoy) and playing it safe is the best alternative for an individual 93.45%
of the time. It is only when large groups are involved that taking the “unsafe” option
can prove profitable a significant percentage of the time.”
McCoy decides to jump into the fire.
He is sure he knows the object of Spock's affections and, as much as that might pain him, he cannot stand to see Spock
in this much distress.
“Spock, tell Jim. He's not Pike. I don't know if he can return your love, but
I know he won't condemn you for it or make you feel bad for it. You'll be better
off knowing the truth.”
“Yes, Spock, Jim. That's whom
you are in love with, right? Tell him. You need to do this.”
“Doctor, I assure you, I have
no need to discuss anything with Jim at the moment.”
“It's not Jim.”
“No, it is not.”
McCoy struggles to think of whom it could be...not Jim, but a man...
His ruminations are cut off by a hand on his.
McCoy looks up to Spock's utterly sincere gaze. “No.”
McCoy reaches out to stop him from standing.
“No, Spock. I meant, it couldn't be true, not that I didn't want it. “
Obviously, this has not clarified anything for Spock but he does not
seem to be able to articulate his questions. Spock is now staring at the wall.
“Have you ever gotten something
you really, really wanted but thought you'd never get?” McCoy asks.
Spock turns away from the wall to look at McCoy. “Go on.”
“Well...that's what I meant. I never thought...Spock, I've always....What I mean is....”
McCoy was stopped by warm lips pressing against his.
“Is that what you meant, Leonard?”
Trying not to grin too stupidly, McCoy said “Yes, Spock, that is what I meant.”
After a bit of kissing, McCoy thought it was time to surface for air
“Okay, we've got that established,
Spock, and don't think I'm not terribly happy about it.”
“I find it a very pleasant development
Leonard notices that Spock is smiling while he says this. “Do you always
talk like that?”
“Yes, I am sorry to report that
I will always resort to correct grammar usage...is that going to be a problem for you?”
“No, Spock...I guess I can live
“I am pleased.” Spock said, gathering McCoy back into his arms.
“I am not.”
“Um...yeah, I think you are.”
Spock seemed to seriously consider this....
“I am not, however, perhaps you
are? Perhaps this is merely a drunken indulgence?”
McCoy was not drunk and, given how much skin on skin contact had been
happening, Spock should know that...which just proved to McCoy that Spock was somewhat impaired.
“Spock, it's not a drunken indulgence
on my part. I've felt this way for a long time, but I don't want to take advantage
of you if you are not in control and I'm sure you feel the same about me.”
Spock considered this. In fact, he considered it for long enough that
McCoy thought perhaps he'd gone onto other thoughts....
“Ummm...so, Spock. I guess I should return to my quarters...”
“No? But, like I said....”
“Yes, Leonard...I agree with
you. We should not do take this too far tonight, but...
I find I do not want to be alone. Would you stay with me?”
“You just want to sleep?”
“I assure you, Leonard, I want
to do more than sleep, but for tonight, what I need is to sleep at peace, in the company of one I trust completely and love
with all my heart. Will you do that for me?”
At that moment, Spock seemed the vulnerable child fresh off of Vulcan looking
for comfort among others who “feel”....what else could McCoy say?
“Of course, Spock. I'll stay with you. I could do with a night of feeling safe
and loved myself.”
They dimmed the lights and shrugged out of their remaining uniforms. Sliding into the bed in just t-shirts and underwear should have felt odd or uncomfortable,
but it did not. They were each too concerned about the other to feel uncomfortable
Settling into the pillows, loosely touching each other, they both sighed. “Spock...thank
“For letting me stay.”
“You are most welcome. Leonard...thank you.”