Disclaimer: The usual. Paramount owns these folks; they just let me
play with them. There is a small portion of this that is taken
almost verbatim from ST I: TMP.
Rating: R (for m/m sex and profanity)
Summary: How McCoy deals with Spock going to Gol and their reunion
during ST I.
Feedback: Yes, please.
Thanks to Janet for the beta and Birgit for the encouragement.
Note: This doesn't really fit in with anything else I've written in
terms of a Spock/McCoy timeline. It's not consistent with any
history I've suggested in previous stories. It's not AU, really.
Blame the muses.
Oh, and since we've been flirting with musical themes, this is best
accompanied by Sinatra. Say something like "In the Wee Small
Hours,"or "When your lover had gone."
On a Federation transport, headed to Starfleet Earth space dock . . .
He was fuming; he was seething. Hell no. He was royally pissed off,
and he didn't care who knew it or who had to suffer because of it.
Leonard McCoy stood, unusually ramrod straight, at the observation
window and glared out in to space. He'd practically bitten the head
off of the transport steward when she'd offered him a beverage. "Too
damn young to be in space anyway" he said as she'd apologized for
disturbing him and went back behind the counter.
Arrogance, that's what it was, goddam arrogance of Nogura. Oh, and
let's not forget that other monument to ego, Jim Kirk. He had his
hand in this, too. Leonard McCoy knew it, as certainly as he knew
anything in the universe. His Starfleet recall may have been
delivered in Nogura's name, but since he'd been off of Starfleet's
radar for two and half years he knew Jim had a hand in it. Well, he
wasn't going to take this with anything remotely resembling good
grace. Hell no. Admiral Kirk couldn't be bothered to show his brass
when he had been decorated by Fleet Medical, despite the fact that
the recommendation had come from the former Captain; hadn't sent a
word when he had been nominated for the top Federation Medical prize
last year for his Fabrini research either. Comm lines ran in both
directions and Jim hadn't even so much as bothered to send a single
message to him in all this time. Not so much as a "go to hell"
or "kiss my ass."
But now, with rumors of the universe in need of saving again, he gets
drafted back into service. Twenty-four hours to pack up his kit,
turn over his research projects, say goodbye to friends such as they
were, notify Joanna, and get himself on a transport. Hell, if the
universe was going to blow up anyway why the fuck did he have to have
a front row seat? He'd put in his time saving the galaxy with Jim
and Spock . . .
Shit. He let out a deep breath. And then another. He turned and
walked back to the counter and plopped himself down on the vacant
"Can I help you, sir?" Asked the petite, pink haired Auroran.
Best to apologize first, Leonard so she doesn't spit in your
drink. "I'm sorry to take your head off back there" he looked at her
nametag and didn't even try to pronounce it "miss. I didn't mean to
take my bad mood out on you."
"It's okay. You didn't look happy; I should have known better. Can
I get you something?"
"I'm sorry, sir, that's a new one on me. What's in that?"
"Never mind. How about a beer? Terran or Rigellan preferably."
"Cold, hot, or room temperature?"
Jeeze. "Uh, what time do we dock?"
"Less than an hour."
"Make it coffee, hot, black, and strong. And I'll take it over
there," he gestured to a secluded booth in the corner.
He made his way to the booth, grabbing a bowl of star-shaped wafers
from the end of the bar to munch on. Who decided stars looked like
this anyway, he wondered. Well, Spock how the hell are you? Is Gol
everything you thought it be? Did you find you the peace you needed
but wouldn't admit to needing? Guess we'll never know will we.
He paused in his thoughts momentarily as the steward brought his
coffee to him. He nodded his thanks and took a cautious sip of the
steaming liquid. Better than he figured it would be. He wrapped his
hands around the mug despite the burning heat of it and stared into
the black depths.
Your eyes got that dark that night. I remember that, my friend. I
may be long gone from your thoughts, but you're still in mine.
Always will be. That's your revenge isn't it? Oh I know you, you'd
claim that the desire for revenge is an emotion. Illogical. Okay, so
maybe you didn't desire it, but you got it anyway. The world may be
ordered, but it isn't always logical. You'd think a guy with a four-
digit IQ would have the friggin' sense to realize that! God, but you
drove me crazy. Brilliant, analytical, imaginative even if it came
to science, but there were times I didn't think you had the sense God
gave a goose. Or whatever the hell the Vulcan equivalent of goose is.
And me? Well I got my revenge too, didn't I? My revenge and my
sweetest fantasy all in one. One night of pure, unadulterated
emotion . . .
On the Starship Enterprise.
He sat at his desk in sickbay and briefly wondered how many times he
had sat here before. He could figure it out he supposed if he really
wanted to. Spock could probably give him an "Estimation with a
ninety-seven point two percent probability." He sighed. He drummed
his fingers on his desktop in frustration. He'd spent most of the
week either arguing with Spock or thinking of arguments to use with
Spock. This wasn't their usual verbal sparring either. Spock had
set his mind to resigning from Starfleet and returning to Vulcan.
Okay, he didn't like that, but he could accept that. Spock had
served well, was undoubtedly the best First Officer in the fleet. If
he didn't want to command or even remain in Starfleet, so be it.
Spock was also a first-rate scientist; what he had learned about
alien cultures would be a great start to furthering Vulcan or
But no. Spock wasn't just dropping out of Starfleet, Spock was
dropping out of civilization as far as he could tell. Spock had
informed Jim and him of his decision to leave Starfleet, return to
Vulcan, and go to Gol to study to be a Kolinahru master. Just walked
up to the two of them at dinner one evening a week ago, requested a
few moments of their time, and wham, bam, thank you sirs, made his
announcement and returned to duty. Jim had sat with his mouth open
like some drunken guppy for few minutes and then retreated behind his
mask--the captain cutting his losses mask not the captain fighting
for his ship mask. Questioning Jim had revealed little: only that 1)
Spock had mentioned such a possibility before, apparently over a
chess game, 2) Spock had asked Jim not to say anything to anyone
until Spock had made his final decision, and 3) Spock had explicitly
told Jim that he was honored to serve Starfleet and the captain, but
that having achieved all he wished to achieve in Starfleet and having
opened the doors for other Vulcans in Starfleet, he was looking to
other options. And Jim let him get away with that!
Of course, then Jim dropped the bombshell about his own likely
promotion by joking that "Spock probably just didn't want to deal
with breaking in a new captain." And he had become convinced the
ship was infected with some strange spores that was causing his two
best friends to lose their minds.
Well he certainly wasn't gonna let Spock get off without a fight.
He'd pumped Spock for information about Gol and about what being a
Kolinahru master meant. Not that he'd gotten much information from
Spock. So he'd turned to the data banks and gotten scarcely more
info. It was sounding more and more like a cross between a monastery
and a penal colony. Purging of emotions, his aunt fanny. Logic as
the ultimate fulfillment. He didn't think that was healthy even for
a full-blooded Vulcan, what was that gonna do with a half-Vulcan.
Then he cornered Spock and asked what Sarek and Amanda thought of
their son's plans. Spock's non-reaction was all the response he
needed and he was on the comm. link to the Vulcan Embassy within the
hour. Amanda had been the dutiful wife of the Vulcan Ambassador and
been reticent in discussing Gol with him, but she had also been an
upset mother and had given him enough information for him to be able
to read between the lines. Amanda did not want this, and he was
pretty sure Sarek wasn't thrilled with the idea either, but neither
would interfere with their son's decision. Amanda hadn't told him to
try to talk Spock out of it, but she hadn't told him not to either.
When she closed the link with "your inquiry is appreciated, Dr.
McCoy" he knew that was her way of saying "do what you can."
So, he'd fought with Spock every step of the way. Spock had resorted
to avoiding him, and when he had started actually harassing Spock,
Jim had told him to cease and desist. He knew instinctively it was a
lost cause. Stubborn Vulcan. Couldn't fight logic with emotional
appeals as that just boosted Spock's argument. Couldn't threaten as
there was nothing to hold over Spock. Couldn't appeal to duty, when
duty had been fulfilled. Couldn't reason that it was a bad decision
when the response was that it was none of his concern and not his
decision to make and that as a human he couldn't understand anyway.
He even tried just stalling by asking Spock to delay his trip to Gol
to take a brief vacation with him. He suggested that they go to New
Yonada and that Spock could just help him get started on some
research, or they could go to Janus VI to see how Horta was doing.
He promised he'd behave himself and not try to talk Spock out of
going to Gol. He'd lied, of course, but he was hoping that in time
he could come up with a way to get Spock to decide against Gol. That
tactic hadn't worked either. Though it had, at least, earned him
a "Thank you, and please give my regards to her highness should you
There was just no way to convince Spock not to go. Or was there. . .
Well he hadn't tried *that.* And that's when he decided he had
absolutely nothing to lose. He really didn't expect to gain anything
either, but as Kobayashi Marus went, it was a novel approach to the
no-win scenario. Time was regrettably short. Well maybe not
regrettably short at that. This had the potential to fail in a huge
way. He could be publicly embarrassed; he could be physically
harmed. If he were tossed out of Spock's cabin on his ass, he would
just as soon not have to hide in his office for more than a day or
Okay, so now what? It's not like this was the first time he had
wondered how to seduce his Vulcan. Oh no, this was a recurring theme
over the years. He knew the rumors of Spock and Jim were just that,
rumors. Or at least he was pretty sure. True, he'd never come right
out and asked either one of them. But he'd done enough overt
physicals and enough covert passes with a tricorder to know when
traces of semen and anal penetration were present. He wasn't a
voyeur, and he didn't care who among the crew was sleeping with
whom. But keeping track of his captain's sexual habits and love life
was a part of keeping track of his captain's mental health. And while
he might not personally approve of all of the captain's choices, he
was confident that the captain would never put himself in a
relationship that could compromise the efficient and safe running of
the ship. Screwing any of your officers on a regular basis was
fraught with just such potential; doing it with your first officer
was too foolhardy even for Jim Kirk. Unless of course your first
officer was a fool too, and Spock was anything but that.
But he had wondered from time to time how Jim might go about trying
to get Spock into bed, and he had wondered who or what might catch
Spock's fancy. Once or twice he even imagined that he had caught
Spock eyeing him in that certain way. There had been a few times
when he had wondered if Spock might be subtly flirting with him, but
when he had flirted back Spock had made no further move. He chalked
it up to the Vulcan's insatiable curiosity. So where did that leave
him? He had to have a reason to visit Spock, he had to get passed
the cabin door, he had to convince Spock that he wasn't going to try
to talk him out of or into anything, and then had had to throw
himself at Spock and hope Spock knew how to catch.
[End part I]
He took several deep breaths, grabbed the bottle and specially
replicated snifters, plastered a smile on his face and left his
cabin. Two steps outside his door, he started reciting the medicine
inventory list in his mind. No use telegraphing anything unusual or
suspicious. He always suspected Spock's mental reach stretched
farther than the Vulcan claimed.
He sounded the call button and waited. No answer. He tried again.
And waited. Still no answer. Once more. Finally the door opened for
him. "Thank you," he said as he entered.
"I reasoned you would just use your medical override, Doctor."
"And you'd have reasoned wrong, Spock. I would have sent a message
to your comm link explaining that all I wanted was to say 'Good bye
and Good Luck.'"
"And so you have. Good bye, Doctor."
"Oh, come on. Gimme a break. I brought my very best stash--cognac.
Aged, smooth, from the finest area of France. Been savin' it for a
He was met with silence.
"What do you say? One for the road as it were?"
"Thank you, no."
"Okay, one as a way for me to say I'm sorry for all the times I've
gotten on your case?"
"I would doubt you would mean it, but consider such an apology
"All right then, one as way for you to say 'Thank you' to me."
Spock raised one eyebrow in question but otherwise made no comment.
"For giving you the opportunity to even go to Gol, Spock. If it
weren't for me, your Vulcan butt would be in a Starfleet brig for
killing your Captain."
The eyebrow lowered to its usual spot, then lowered more in what was
a seldom seen but still recognizable scowl. "You have been saving
that comment for quite some time."
"Spock, I'm crushed. You underestimated me," he grinned. "Look
Spock, I'm human. Forgive me my birth, will ya, but I am. And as I
don't like regrets or unfinished business, have one last drink with
me and I'll leave quietly."
"You are in error, Doctor, you are not at all bothered by unfinished
business. If you were, your quarterly reports would be completed on
time. But there is closure in what you suggest. I will have a drink
He brought the bottle and glasses over to the table at which Spock
had seated himself and poured a drink for each of them. "What shall
we drink to, Spock? Galactic Peace and Good Health." He raised his
Spock raised his own. "To those who made it back and those who did
Each sipped, and even Spock was hard pressed to hide his appreciation
of the exquisite drink.
The two sat in silence for several long moments. Finally he spoke as
he studied the last of the liquid in his glass. "Here's to those who
come after us. May they avoid our mistakes and surpass our
successes. And thank you, Mr. Spock, for lessening my mistakes and
making my successes that much greater." He caught Spock's eye and
drained his glass.
"A sentiment that I can echo, Doctor." And Spock likewise finished
He stood, capped the bottle, and picked up his glass with the same
hand. He extended his other hand toward Spock for the second glass.
"Doctor . . ." Spock hesitated, visibly fighting for control.
Strangely he felt no victory in that. "It's okay, Spock. No
regrets. No explanations." Then he smoothly leaned forward and
kissed Spock's forehead. Ignoring the questioning gaze he received,
he said, "Be well, my friend." Then he pressed his advantage and
dipped his head to place his lips on Spock's mouth. One kiss, one-
sided. And then a second, longer. Still one-sided but he was
unexpectedly still running the show. He looked into the dark eyes
and smiled, whispering, "well, maybe one regret." He reached with
his free hand and gently traced the upswept ear with his fingertips.
Spock finally reacted by grabbing the wrist and halting the intimate
motion, but Spock did not try to push his hand away from the enticing
He put the bottle and glass back on the table and ran his now free
hand along the firm jaw and over warm lips. "Tell me, Spock," he
bent to kiss the side of the neck, "any regrets?"
When Spock turned his head toward the breath, he began rubbing his
nose up and down the Vulcan's nose. "Always thought Eskimos and
Zenaoshans were on to something." He put one hand at the back of
Spock's neck and let his other run over the broad chest, seeking and
finding hardening nipples. "You haven't answered my question yet.
"Regrets are illogical, Doctor. What is, is."
"Then I should stop."
"I did not say that. But make no mistake, Leonard, I will not change
my decision about Gol."
"I know." And this time the kiss was returned in kind.
Surprisingly neither was in any hurry, nor were they tentative. He
palmed Spock's growing erection and Spock removed his own shirt.
Eventually lips separated and Spock whispered, "If we are going to do
this, I suggest we do so to our greatest mutual advantage."
"Mmmm, what did you have in mind, Spock?"
"Unclothed and on my bed."
"Highly logical, Mr. Spock." He followed Spock to the sleeping area
tugging his own shirt off.
Two pairs of boots mingled on the floor. Two pairs of uniform
trousers somehow landed on a chair. Socks, tee shirts, and briefs
scattered the floor. Eyes, hands, and mouths explored, tasted, and
savored. Breathing became heavier, quicker; a gasp was heard, a low
moan. Sounds a universal translator would not pick up, but sounds for
which no universal translated was needed.
He knew he never wanted anything or anyone more than he wanted the
man writhing in his arms. One night would never be enough, yet it
would be enough to fill his memories. He didn't say anything. He
didn't have to. And he had never felt so eloquent in all his life.
He opened his mind all the way to his heart. Spock would always know
that, at least in this moment, he had been loved, wanted, cherished,
and accepted. He was repaid without words with Spock's passion and
When pulses and breathing returned to normal and sweat had cooled, he
rose and brought a towel from the bathroom to clean them. He tossed
the towel in the recycler and began to sift through clothes to find
his own. He felt Spock's hand on his arm as he reached for his tee
shirt. He looked back at the sublime, reclining figure. He was
pulled back to the side of the bed, and the tee shirt was plucked
from his grasp. Spock sat up, grabbed him around the waist and
pulled him back to bed. Gentle caresses eventually stopped as sleep
overcame them both.
By unspoken mutual agreement, the passion and desire of the night was
sensual comfort in the morning. Reaffirmation, if not promise.
He finished dressing and picked up the bottle and glasses. Spock,
dressed in uniform for a few more hours at least, placed the last of
the gear in a traveling case.
"When do you rendezvous with the shuttle?"
"One point two . . .a little over an hour."
He smiled in appreciation of the imprecision. "How long 'til you get
"We are actually passing quite close. I should reach Vulcan at 19:30
He hesitated, but he realized that his promise about not trying to
talk Spock out of Gol was suddenly very important to him. "Well,
this is it then," he offered lamely.
"Leonard, would you . . . do me a favor?"
"Name it," He knew he would grant it regardless of what it might be.
"Would you check in with my mother periodically? To see how she is."
He didn't know if this was a genuine concern for Amanda or Spock's
way of praising his skills as a doctor, but he did know that it
really didn't matter. "Don't trust Vulcan physicians?" he teased.
"Vulcan doctors do not always understand Human females, Leonard."
"Hell, Spock. Human doctors don't always understand Human females.
But I would be glad to see how Amanda is from time to time."
He couldn't stall any longer. He had to let go. "Well, let's see.
Vulcans don't shake hands and I never did master that salute thing
you do; so how about I just say 'Good luck, Spock, and if you ever
change your mind, give me a whistle."
Spock nodded once.
And then he left. He was never quite sure how he made it back to his
own cabin. The next thing he knew he was in his shower stall, tears
mixing with the water beating on his face and body. Alternating
between the high of having been with Spock and the low of knowing he
would never see the Vulcan again. He experienced a strange feeling,
almost like when he learned his divorce was final. Sadness at having
failed at something, but relief that it was all over and beyond his
control. God, but he was going to miss that man, that beautiful,
sensual, infuriating man.
[End Part 2]*****
He hid out in Sickbay most of the day, but it didn't take anyone near
his level of training and years of experience to know he was not the
only one feeling the anxiety and loss of the end of the mission and
Spock's unceremonious departure. Scotty had told him that Spock
hadn't said anything but given the order to energize when he
transported over to the shuttle.
"He didna even say good bye, Doctor. Just looked right passed me. I
couldna say good bye either."
"I'm sure it's okay, Scotty."
"I barely managed an 'aye sir' without getting all choked up. I
couldna do that, Doctor; wouldna been a proper tribute to the man.
So I just let him go. But I shoulda said something."
"Scotty, you've given me an idea. Meet me on the bridge at 19:30,
"What do ya have in mind, Doctor?"
"Never mind; just be there."
At 19:25 he stepped off the turbo lift and onto the bridge carrying a
tray with six glasses and one bottle of Romulan Ale.
"Bones? Isn't this against regulation?" Kirk asked with little humor
in his voice.
"Captain, Romulan Ale is indeed against regulation. That's the
point. I thought it best to get rid of this stuff before we reached
"True, but now is hardly the time."
"It's the perfect time, Captain." He lowered his voice so that only
Kirk could hear. "Trust me on this one, Jim." Then back to his
usual drawl, "Besides, it's a small bottle and won't go far with this
A familiar look was exchanged.
"Okay, Bones. I'll consider it 'Doctor's orders' then."
About that time, Scotty stepped on to the bridge. Seeing what was
happening, Scotty helped pour and pass the ale to the Captain, Uhura,
Chekov, and Sulu. Finally the last two glasses were filled.
That there was one missing among them was clearly on everyone's
mind. But he knew what was needed. When he placed the tray and empty
bottle on the chair at the Science station, he was the target of
several curious glances. "I propose a toast, Lady and Gentlemen and
Officers all. To Tribbles and Harcourt Fenton Mudd."
Everyone was surprised, and as he expected, his toast earned caused
quite a commotion.
"Bones, why tribbles and Harry Mudd?"
"Look around you, Jim. Everyone is smiling or grinning. Regardless
of what we thought of them at the time, those were missions that will
always bring a good memory."
Kirk thought, then he laughed. "Okay, Bones, point taken. To
tribbles and Harry Mudd," Jim raised his glass and waited for the
others to do likewise "and may we never cross paths again."
"Captain." Came the lovely voice behind him.
"There's a message coming in from Vulcan, sir."
Kirk rose to go to the communications station and he went as well.
He was not surprised when Jim asked for the message on screen.
"Sorry, sir. No visual, or voice. Text only. And it is to all of
Kirk looked to him then back to his Communications officer. "Then go
He watched Kirk's reaction as she listened intently to the codes
playing in her ear. Finally her hand left the earpiece and she
turned to the center of the bridge. "Vulcan Central Port reports
safe arrival of Commander Spock. Spock cha Sarek of Vulcan sends the
following message: 'To the Captain and Crew of the U.S.S.
Enterprise: It has been an honor to serve with you. Live long and
prosper. To Dr. Leonard McCoy, Chief Medical Officer, U.S.S.
Enterprise: Vulcans do not believe in luck.' That's all of it, sir."
He grinned, honestly, but still had to dig his fingers into his hand
to regain control of his tear ducts.
Uhura looked at the Captain, then at her glass of ale, then at what
had been and always would be Spock's station, and finally at
him. "How did you know, Doctor?"
"How did he know what, Lass?" Scotty asked.
"That Spock would say good bye after all," she wondered.
He put his hand on her shoulder. "Why, Uhura, I'm surprised at you.
I thought you of all people had been paying attention." Then he
looked at his captain and saw recognition. "You tell her, Jim."
"He knew Uhura," Kirk couldn't fight his own smile "because Spock
never--ever--if he can at all help it--lets the doctor have the last
And everyone laughed.
On a Federation transport, headed to Starfleet Earth space dock . . .
Nice memories, he thought. Some of which had sustained him many a
long night. But this time . . .won't be the same. Who was it that
said, "You can't go home again?" And wasn't Chris an MD now. Sure
she deserved it, but he distinctly remembered his granny telling him
too many cooks spoiled the broth. Hell, his thoughts were clearly
cliché ridden today. Oh well, he was a doctor not a philosopher. He
heard the bell indicating the transport had docked. Time to go face
Jim and whatever else Starfleet was throwing at him this time.
[End part iii]
In the main transporter room of the Enterprise.
He stared at Jim from the transporter pad.
"Well, for a man who swore he'd never return to Starfleet..." Kirk
"What happened, Captain, sir, was that your revered Admiral Nogura
invoked a little known -- and seldom used -- reserve activation
clause...... in simpler language, captain,
sir, they drafted me!
"They didn't...!" Kirk offered his hand.
But he wanted nothing of it. Not yet. He was mad all over again
and Jim was gonna know it. "This was your idea! It was your idea,
"Bones, there's a 'thing' out there --"
"Why is any object we don't understand is called a 'thing'?"
"-- headed this way. I need you..."
"Were you behind this?"
"Bones, I need you badly."
He watched as Jim extended his hand again. He took it; he knew he
would. Kirk knew he would. The only one who wasn't sure was
Rand. "Permission to come aboard, Rand?
"Permission granted, sir!" She smiled.
And he learned he'd been wrong. He could go home again. Not exactly
the same, but enough for now.
One week later, Sickbay.
What's the saying? Déjà vu all over again. He hit the comm.
button. "McCoy to Spock."
*Spock here, Doctor.*
"Sorry Spock, but you are officially relieved of duty until you
submit to a full physical. Starfleet regs. Seems your recommission
isn't official until the physical is on file. And before you say
anything, I tried using my examination of you after you melded with
V'ger, but they didn't buy it. I'm here now, Chapel has beta shift,
and Z'sharn has gamma. Take your pick, but you have to be seen by
one of us." And gee, Spock since you're still skittish around Chris
and don't know Z'sharn, I wonder who you'll choose.
*Very well, Doctor. I shall endeavor to be there within the hour.
What a surprise. They had managed to avoid being alone together
until now. Well given the whole V'ger thing and Kirk playing space
cowboy and stealing the ship for a "proper shakedown" avoiding being
alone with each other had been pretty easy. He didn't really want
NOT to be alone with Spock, he just didn't know what to say. The
three of them had managed to get through dinner last night, though.
It was a start. No, it had been a good start. Almost normal, except
for having to keep himself from staring at Spock and then having to
think of things to get his erection to subside. "Come on, Leonard.
You're a professional. And you are the logical choice; you know him
better than anyone else here." Yeah, but doctors aren't suppose to
have carnal knowledge of their patients, he added in his mind.
He finished the updated crew report and his coffee at the same time
Spock appeared at the office door. "Hi, Spock. You know the
routine. Complete, and unfortunately invasive, physical. You'll
find a gown on the last biobed. I've set it for your parameters.
I'll be right in."
"Suppose my parameters have changed, Doctor?"
Was that amusement he heard? "They haven't changed that much,
Spock. You're still the product of a Vulcan father and Human mother,
right?" He resisted a comment about the effects of Gol and V'ger, but
it proved difficult.
Without further comment, Spock went to the examination area.
He managed to get through the examination quickly and with as minimal
a hands on approach as he could. One because he didn't want to make
this more uncomfortable for Spock than it already was, and two
because he wasn't sure how touching Spock would leave him. Spock had
surprised him by attempting small talk. Congratulating him on
research, asking about Natira . . .
"No we didn't remarry. We're good friends, but I'm more comfortable
being her guidance counselor or advisor than her consort in every
sense of the word. Marriage is hard enough without having to deal
with an entire race looking over your shoulder. She doesn't have
time for marriage anyway. I found out that not dying sort of puts a
different perspective on things, too." He hoped Spock knew he was
making fun of himself.
"I believe I understand. I have spoken with my parents since my
"Oh, how are the folks?" he asked as he ran the neurological tests.
"The folks" Spock noted with mild annoyance at the word "are well.
They are preparing to leave for Earth for a short stay."
"Perhaps you'll get a chance to see them, then."
"Perhaps. We have been invited to dine with them."
"My mother insists that the invitation be extended to you, Doctor.
You are under no obligation, of course. But, you would be welcome.
And it would be a way for me to offer my gratitude for keeping in
contact with my mother."
And he had fulfilled that promise. Every three or four months, he
had composed a long message to Amanda. They never said much, but he
hoped she knew what he was really trying to say. Amanda had
responded to every message in much the same way.
"Here," He handed a cup toward Spock. "Fill it."
"You *are* joking, Doctor." Spock didn't even take the cup from his
hand. This was clearly beyond his Vulcan dignity.
"Nope. 'Fraid not. Despite all the medical advancement these days,
there are still some things that are best detected through bodily
fluids. You blood, however, is tricky; so I need another fluid too."
He was met by more silence. "Look, I had to fill one too to be
officially reinstated, and I wasn't even given a choice about *being*
reinstated at first."
The glare softened somewhat. "What if I am unable to 'fill it' at
"Oh. Then take it and bring it back I guess. For security it's
supposed to be done here, but in your case I'll make an exception."
And that had been that. Spock went to dress and he went back to his
office. He got called away briefly to engineering to check on a
couple of ensigns who had gotten a little too eager and had been
shocked by a conduit. When he returned to his office Earll greeted
"Hey Doc. Mr. Spock left a little package for you on your desk."
What the hell. "Earll, couldn't you tell what it was; why didn't you
take it?" he asked over his shoulder as he went to his office. But
it wasn't what he thought. There in the center of his desk was not
the urine sample he expected but a small silver box. He looked
back. Earll clearly hadn't heard him. So he shut the door and went
to the box.
Well open it, you fool. Vulcans don't give gifts every day. It's
not like it's gonna blow up. He couldn't be that mad at you for
making him pee in a cup.
He picked up the box and opened it. And stared, puzzled. A whistle.
Then, finally, it dawned on him. "If you change your mind, give me a
whistle." Son of a gun. Inside the silver, velvet lined box, was a
silver whistle on a black cord. Not a boson's whistle, or the old
long whistles that transportation folks used. No, it was the rounded
type used in sports about a couple of hundred years ago. And it was
perfect. He wrapped the cord around his hand so that the whistle
hung in the center of his palm.
"Earll!" He hollered. "I need to leave early. Get Chris, tell her
I'll make it up to her." And he ran out the door and headed toward
the officers' quarters.
When he got to Spock's cabin door he didn't stop. It opened and he
went in, standing just over the threshold. Spock was sitting at his
computer. He held up his hand. "You gave me a whistle."
"I did." Spock's expression was neutral, but the voice was warm.
"Does this mean what I think this means?" He was having a hard time
keeping the tremble out of his.
Spock stood up but did not move toward him. "Why not try it and see
what it means?" A pause and then one eyebrow raised in challenge.
He licked his lips, put the whistle to his mouth, and gave a short
but satisfying blow. A pleasant sound resulted. As did the locking
of the door behind him, the lowering of the lights, the playing of
soft music, and one Vulcan coming to stand scant inches from him.
"Spock, you need to understand something." He held up his hand with
the whistle once again resting in his palm. "You better be damn sure
about this because I have no intention of giving this back."
Spock placed one hand against his so that they were both holding the
whistle and placed the other hand under his chin. "Leonard, as I,
too, wish no regrets, I have no intention of asking for its return."
And somehow, as his mouth was otherwise engaged, he managed to think
that this gives whole new meaning to 'whistling the day away.'
The beginning . . .