Meetings and Partings

Title: Meetings and Partings

Author: Tempest

Series: TOS

Paring: S/Mc

Rating: PG

Summary: During and after the events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Spock reenters McCoys life after leaving it abruptly when their five year mission had ended. 

Disclaimer: I don't own TOS. I never have, and I never will. Star Trek and all of its relations are property of Paramount and Viacom. I only own this story. Anybody who has a problem with the thought of men in homosexual relationships with each other, please stay away. Flames and feedback are welcome. Please ask before putting this anywhere.


Meetings and Partings

By Tempest

December 1, 2010



            When Leonard McCoy had put in for retirement, he’d never expected that his commission would be reactivated. He was in his forties now and although in acceptable condition, he’d never been much of a fighter, and there were plenty of competent medical personnel in Starfleet; the medical school payback program couldn’t be beaten. Besides, he had a history of disobeying orders and there was documented evidence of him sedating senior officers when he didn’t agree with them, or when he felt he had a better solution. He was unconventional, he was loud, he complained about having to wear his dress uniform, and he hated transporters so much that on more than one occasion he’d taken shortened leave just to avoid using them.


            No captain in his right mind would request him. No admiral in right mind would approve the request.


            As he’d thought from time to time, and had said to him point blank on the occasion of his retirement and the latter’s promotion, Jim Kirk wasn’t in his right mind.


            He’d been prepared to raise Hell and make life aboard the ship miserable for everyone in the command staff until Jim took him aside and admitted quietly that he needed him. Admitting that had never been easy for his friend, and the fact that he did so readily and shamelessly gave the doctor pause.


            Instead of chewing the other man out – and despite the dire situation, the fact that the doctor had no desire to be here, and the strangeness of hearing Jim Kirk referred to as “Admiral – he found himself settling into a routine. Christine Chapel was a doctor now, and yet she didn’t mind the fact that he’d taken over sickbay and was back to his cranky, bossy self.


            Nothing prepared him for their mysterious guest, someone so intent on coming aboard that he arrived for an unexpected meet up in a small ship. Someone who wanted to meet up with them when it was possible that they might all die due to V’Ger. The doctor didn’t know who to expect, but never in a thousand lifetimes could he have imagined to see Spock step onto the bridge. He hadn’t expected to see the Vulcan ever again.


            Not after their parting shots. Often there was no response to “If you’re so damned set on eradicating yourself, then I guess I’m an idiot for caring about you.”


            Not quite no response, since Spock had given him a hard look and turned his back on him before leaving his quarters. Then there had been the storage container full of everything he’d ever given the Vulcan and anything he’d left in his quarters left on his front door. That had been a clear response, albeit a silent one.


            They hadn’t spoken since. The doctor had watched Spock board the shuttle to Vulcan from across the gate; he’d come independently, planning to ambush the Vulcan before he had a chance to board and to tell him that this was foolish and that they could make a life together, somewhere. Instead, Spock had boarded without a hitch and McCoy had watched him leave.


The next day, Kirk had accepted his promotion to Admiral, and then the doctor tendered his resignation and went off to work at a civilian clinic.


            Here, now, aboard the refitted Enterprise, Spock was barely recognizable. His hair was long, his clothing was unfamiliar, and the lines on his face were harder, more pronounced. He even held himself differently: although his posture had always been rigid, he had a different air about him; rather than a conscious air of confidence, it appeared that Spock simply held himself without thought or stress. And there appeared something off about him, as though there was a hint of doubt or disappointment. His eyes were the worst: cold, bearing little resemblance to what they had once held, as though he had succeeded in snuffing out all of those parts that the doctor had cared for most.


            The Vulcan did not even look at him, instead focusing on Kirk, or on other personnel. McCoy tried to put it behind him; thankfully, the situation gave him more than one channel to vent his frustrations.



            It was only after Spock had tried to meld with V’Ger and nearly died in the process, after he had actually smiled and had recovered in sickbay and returned to duty, after they had learned the nature of V’Ger, after V’Ger had merged with Will Decker and Earth, the Enterprise, and presumably the rest of the Federation were safe that McCoy had time to breath.


            He was tired of computers. He was tired of space probes and machines. He was tired of being in space. He was tired of Starfleet. And he was tired of Vulcans. He was confused by Spock’s behavior: smiling at Jim, refusing to return to Vulcan, managing to find a uniform that still fit him, and still ignoring the doctor.


            Essentially, the only thing he wasn’t tired of was the notion that love conquered all, and even that otherwise heart-warming thought – one that had been reaffirmed on the Bridge of the Enterprise and had saved the world as they knew it – saddened him, since the belief had no place in his life.


            In the midst of a coffee break, he felt a hand on his shoulder and turned around: Jim, of course. “What’s wrong now?”


            “Spock wants to talk to you.”


            McCoy found that hard to believe. Nothing in Spock’s words or actions conveyed the slightest interest in speaking to the doctor; it wasn’t as though he was hard to find or otherwise unapproachable. “If he wants to talk to me so bad, he can come down and tell me himself.”


            “Would you believe I told him that?”


            “Yes.” McCoy sighed then, debating whether or not he would bend to this and seek the Vulcan out. “How did he look when you talked to him?”


            The other man understood the hidden meaning in the question. Spreading his hands to convey that he didn’t know quite how to respond, he replied, “A little like his old self, I guess. It’s harder to read him than it used to be.”


            That was an understatement. Nodding, McCoy said, “Well, thanks for letting me know.”




            In the end, he caved. He had always been the conciliator, and if Spock had actually wanted to speak with him, then the doctor was unwilling to be the reason that whatever needed to be said remained unspoken. Unwilling to spend the rest of the day searching every room – and having a bad taste in his mouth when even contemplating using the ship computer to locate him – the doctor made a list of the five rooms that Spock was most likely to go to and resolved to look no further.


            Fortunately, Spock was in room number four. More fortunate than that, the laboratories were otherwise unoccupied.


            “Jim said you had something to say.” The doctor was careful not to put any expectations into the conversation; he didn’t know what Spock would say, and he was making this clear that this was a favor to the Vulcan that he had come. And yet he was willing to listen. 


            “Yes.” Perhaps Spock understood the subtle conveyance in his phrasing. Whatever his understanding, he was not subtle himself; one could always trust a Vulcan to speak bluntly. “You were at the transit authority when I left for Vulcan.”


            “You knew I was there?”




            Irritation rose in the doctor’s chest. “And you didn’t bother to talk to me?”


            “I had to depart for Vulcan. There was no purpose in speaking to you, because it would have led to another argument and you would have only been more upset. The most compassionate and most logical course of action was to board without creating additional entanglements.”


            That explanation was more reminiscent of how Spock had once been, rather than the strange entity that had boarded the Enterprise days ago. McCoy also raised his eyebrow at the Vulcan’s consideration of “compassion,” given his behavior at the time and presently. At the same time, the explanation did little to resolve what had already been done. “Is that all you wanted to say?”


            “I do not intend to return to Vulcan.”


            “I know that. What does that have to do with me?”


            “I was incorrect, and I wish to apologize.”


            “What?” Hardly the most eloquent response, but McCoy had difficulty believing that he’d heard Spock correctly.


            “I was incorrect,” Spock repeated slowly, “and I wish to apologize.”


            “For what, exactly?” So he had heard the other man correctly. That didn’t meant that they were on the same page – years of association had taught the doctor that – and he wanted clarification.


            “For the distress I caused you. I was incorrect in thinking that my path was through self-obliteration, and in doing so I unsettled your future.”


            It was a more astute apology than the doctor had expected; more than that, he didn’t doubt that the Vulcan was actually sincere. Mulling it over for a long moment, McCoy then sighed and partially capitulated, letting go of some of his anger from moments before.  “Can we talk about this somewhere more private? I don’t like the idea of any crewman being able to barge in here and interrupt.”


            “As you wish.” With that, Spock walked toward the door. McCoy was on his heels, and he directed them toward his quarters, more comfortable there. It was his territory, temporary as it was.


            As they crossed the threshold, Spock glanced around and then remarked with what passed for surprise in his tone, “You kept the Rigellian virility statue.”


            “It’s not the type of thing I’d throw away.”


            “Granted. Yet you chose to bring it aboard with you.”


            “Let’s not talk about my choice of décor,” the doctor replied gruffly. He moved to take one of the chairs by his desk and offered the other to Spock, who sat down. Once seated, he decided to go for broke. “Why aren’t you going back to Vulcan?”


            “Kohlinahr proved ineffective. The Priestess informed me that my purpose is elsewhere.”


            “Ah.” McCoy didn’t quite know how to respond to that, since he could not honestly say that he was sorry that Spock had failed to extinguish his human half. “What now?”


            “I accompany the Enterprise back to Earth and possibly resume my commission. I have already spoken to my parents.”


            “Possibly resume your commission?”


            “Jim informed me that you had resigned yours.”


            “He’s right, but I don’t see why that matters.” Rather, the doctor could see how it might, theoretically, but he was unwilling to pursue that train of thought in any detail. Not when this was his first conversation with the Vulcan in two years.


            Spock didn’t quite look ashamed – or the Vulcan version thereof; rather, he had a mild expression of patience with the merest shade of contrition. “My meld with V’Ger has made me reexamine my past choices and my potential future. If possible, I would like our lives to intersect again, in whatever capacity you are willing to allow.”


            McCoy looked at the Vulcan in disbelief. Spock had actually said that, hadn’t he? That he wanted to pick up where they had left off – or rather pick up before they had left off, when they were still speaking to one another and enjoyed one another’s company. That he also acknowledged the reasons why the human could be reluctant to agree and that he accepted those reasons. Those understandings indicated an emotional awareness that Spock had previously lacked. And in some ways, it gave the doctor hope.


            In other ways, this was moving quickly, and he was a bit overwhelmed. Of course he still had feelings for Spock, but he also had portions of a life back on Earth, and Starfleet hadn’t been in his plans. Then again, he didn’t have plans in the traditional sense, and he now had motivation to reassess.


            “We can’t work through everything that happened right now. Not in one talk.” Why did he sound apologetic? Objectively, this was reasonable; McCoy reminded himself of that.


            “It is all right, Leonard. I am willing to wait.” It was the least he could do.


                                                The Beginning?

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