Opportunities Lost, Opportunities Gained

Title:  Opportunities Lost, Opportunities Gained

Author:  Ster Julie

Codes:  TOS; Spock, McCoy; angst, h/c (?); written for Spiced Peaches

Rating:  PG

Contact: sterjulie@yahoo.com

Summary:  Spock’s world has changed dramatically since his trip to
­koon-ut kali-fee and the visit of his parents. McCoy comes to the rescue.  Not exactly part of the After the Credits series.


A/N:  All Vulcan words come from that wonderful resource, the Vulcan Language Dictionary.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything, least of all Trek.




Like a kite with a broken string

Like a snapped string of beads

Like a sprung harp string

Like an interrupted call

Like an unmoored dinghy on rough waters





It had been roughly a month since the fiasco that should have been Spock’s marriage.  His broken bond made him feel adrift, anchorless.  There was no one with whom Spock could discuss his situation.


Spock discovered that his parents would be among the dignitaries being shuttled to the conference on Babel.  Because of the constraints his father imposed on Spock when he left home, he could not anticipate their reunion with any sort of emotion, save one – extreme apprehension.  No one aboard knew the identity of his parents nor the animosity between father and son.  When Spock left home, he was forbidden to cause his mother any sort of distress, so he could not unburden himself to her either. In deference to his promise to Sarek, Spock kept contact with his mother to the barest minimum.  After neither parent showed up to his failed wedding, Spock felt himself totally cut off from those whom he cherished and who once cherished him, those he needed most.


Spock never felt so alone.




Spock reclined on the sickbay bed feigning sleep.  He listened to the slow, steady breathing of his sleeping father and to the gentle snoring of his captain.  The two were the most important men in his life, and Spock nearly lost them both to the day’s events.  What would Spock do without his father?  Yes, they had not spoken as father and son for eighteen long years.  It would be so unfair to lose Sarek after just finding him again, conversing not only as parent and child but as adults.  And what of his captain?  Kirk was not only his commander but more importantly, he was Spock’s friend, no, his brother, no, more.  What if his shield-mate had been lost as well?


Spock’s fragile control disintegrated as he continued his musings.  Unable to master the emotions which overwhelmed him, Spock rose surreptitiously from his bed and made his way to the lavatory.  A folded bath towel smothered the sobs that besieged him.


Spock never felt so alone.




Spock called himself all kinds of fool.


His father had sufficiently healed from his emergency heart surgery.  Both Sarek and Amanda were planet side at the Babel Conference.


Kirk was sufficiently recovered to move back to his quarters to continue his recuperation.


Only Spock remained in Sickbay; his altered blood chemistry still needed careful monitoring.  Spock had to commend Doctor McCoy and his staff.  They had given the brooding, moody Vulcan a wide berth as well as all the quiet and solitude they could provide in a place as lively as Sickbay by moving him to an isolation room. 


Spock also called himself a coward. 


There had been many opportunities and ample time to speak to Sarek about all that troubled Spock – about his desire to follow the Vulcan way despite his bond-mate’s rejection, to follow c’thia even in an organization as challenging as Starfleet, about his lack of links to family, peers and friends.  But he took no advantage of any of these.  Spock wondered.  Did he really fear being rejected again by his father, or was it the unknown that a reconciliation would bring that he dreaded more?


Spock also passed up opportunities to converse with his mother.  He had wanted to ask his mother to indulge him with one of the many stories she’d compose for him, tailored right to his needs, perhaps to even cook for him some comfort food, but he feared being judged as weak. 


Spock wanted the simpler time of his early childhood before he had begun formal schooling.   He had enjoyed a physical closeness with his father as Sarek sat his small son on his knee and gave Spock his first lessons in computers, science, math and music.  He had wanted Amanda’s stories and piano lessons, those stolen hugs and kisses exchanged when Sarek was not looking.


Spock realized with some surprise that what he wanted most was to be held!


Yes, Spock was afraid of his father’s response to his needs.  He had passed up opportunities to discuss with Sarek the events at ­koon-ut kali-fee, his abject terror at the being without a mate at his next ponn farr, the difficulties he continued to endure as a lone Vulcan among so many humans who want nothing more than to change him into one of them, at the terrible loneliness of being so very far from home and the family he cherished.


Spock never felt so alone.


He sat back from his musings and self-recrimination.  He recognized that he was musings were circling back on themselves.  Spock dared to think that he was homesick.  Oh, how very cliché! he thought.


The doors to Spock’s private cubicle opened.  He looked up from the corner in which he sat as he brooded. 


McCoy didn’t hesitate to lower his slim frame next to the Vulcan.  Spock expected him to mumble something derogatory about a “damn-fool Vulcan hiding in the dark,” or about how uncomfortable the hard decking was “when a perfectly good bed was nearby.”  Instead McCoy made his way directly to Spock’s side, plunked himself down and waited for the Vulcan to make the first move.


It didn’t take long.  Spock turned on his side and rested his head in the doctor’s lap. McCoy curled protectively over Spock and wrapped his arms around the Vulcan.


“Tell me how I can help,” McCoy said gently.


“I’m a coward,” Spock moaned.


“What?” McCoy said in surprise.  “Spock, you’re the bravest person I know!”


“So why can I not find the courage to talk to my father?” he asked with disgust.


McCoy thought of all the items Spock could have on his agenda with his father, from Starfleet to ponn farr to T’Pring to any number of things. “I suppose it depends on what you wanted to discuss with him,” the doctor said quietly.  He paused again, and then he repeated, “Tell me how I can help.”


Spock was so still and silent in McCoy’s embrace that the doctor thought he might have gone to sleep.  Then Spock snuggled – snuggled! – closer and murmured, “Remember how, after losing a tooth, your tongue would keep returning to the hole left behind, how you could not keep your tongue from exploring the alien void there?”


McCoy dared to draw a soothing circle on Spock’s back.  “Yes, I remember,” he answered.


“I was used to having a bond with T’Pring,” Spock continued.  “No matter how faint it was, or how far away I was from her, I always felt it there in my mind.  Now it’s gone, and I am terrified of the void that is left.  She said she challenged because I was a legend.”  Spock snorted derisively. 


“I take it that ‘legend’ is a derogatory term on Vulcan,” McCoy deduced.


“Yes,” Spock said bitterly.  “Yet, how could I discuss this with my parents?  They were the ones who chose her for me.  They were the ones who dared to have me.”


“And sharing this pain with your parents would only seem like you were blaming them, right?” McCoy continued.


“Exactly,” Spock concurred.  “Not only that, if I was to complain of my single state to them they would feel obliged to find me a new mate.”


McCoy continued the gentle circles on Spock’s back.  “Don’t you want them to find someone else for you?”


“No!” Spock answered quickly. 


McCoy was a patient man – at times.  He gave Spock time to think before he asked, “So, what kind of spouse do you envision, Spock?”


The Vulcan pondered a while.  “I need someone who accepts me unreservedly,” he said, snuggling even closer, “someone who will not try to mold me into something I am not.  I need someone who will be an intellectual challenge to me, with a similar background so that we can have an understanding of each other’s disciplines.  I want someone with a beautiful soul.”  Spock sat up and looked at McCoy.  “Does that make sense?”


The doctor smiled and nodded.  “You want someone kindhearted,” McCoy observed.  “Anything else?”


Spock looked pointedly at McCoy.  “I want someone I can trust to be faithful.”


The doctor sighed.  He knew what heartache infidelity brought.  He knew a passel of pain thanks to Jocelyn and that jackass she took to their bed.  But this session was for dealing with Spock’s problems and not his own.


“You sound like you have someone in mind,” McCoy commented.  He tried not to sound too desperate when he asked, “Anyone I know?”


Spock lowered his gaze.


“Is it Jim?” McCoy ventured.  “Because Jim will go to hell and back for you, you know.  For all of us.”


“I know,” Spock said quietly. 


McCoy heard Spock’s voice echoing from moments earlier, “I want someone I can trust to be faithful.”  James Kirk could be many things, but the doctor knew that their captain and friend needed many and varied experiences in all departments of his life.  McCoy wondered if Kirk could ever survive being tied down to one person.


It was then that McCoy noticed that Spock had used no pronouns in describing his perfect mate, nor had he protested when the doctor had suggested their very male captain.


A glimmer of hope was born in the heart of one lonesome ship’s doctor.


Nothing ventured, nothing gained, McCoy thought.  And I I’m tired of having nothing, so here it goes. 


“I’m sure you’ve been very lonely since that little trip to Vulcan, eh, Spock?” McCoy asked.


Spock nodded mutely, almost bashfully.


“Do you have anyone in mind?” the doctor asked shyly.


Spock dipped his head to the side noncommittally.


“Because if you don’t,” the doctor said in a rush before his own meager courage ran out, “I’d like to keep you company until you find someone more to your liking.  I like to think I meet at least a few of your requirements.  I know what it’s like to have your wife step out on you, so you can be sure that I also value fidelity.  No one knows more than me that you are Vulcan, but you’re gonna have to help me understand more about your culture and … mpf…”


Spock had placed two fingers across McCoy’s lips.  The doctor backed his face away irritably.  “If you had wanted me to shut up, you could have just said so, Spock.”


The corners of Spock‘s eyes crinkled.  “You wanted to know more about Vulcan culture,” Spock said amusedly.  McCoy was unconvinced.  “This is your first lesson.  This is how Vulcans kiss.”


McCoy opened his mouth to say something, but Spock merely replaced his fingers.  Oh, yeah.  This is nice, the doctor thought.  He had wanted to ask about the two-fingered thing he observed Sarek and Amanda doing. McCoy had supposed that that was a kiss.


“You most certainly fit some of my requirements, Doctor,” Spock continued. “Of everyone on board, you accept me as a Vulcan, even though at times you try to get me to be more human.  You and I already have an understanding of each other’s disciplines.  And I have observed your kind and caring nature.”  Spock moved his fingers over McCoy’s lips.  “I already know that you have a beautiful soul.”


McCoy shuddered at the feeling this simple touch caused to course through his body.  He opened his mouth and nipped gently at Spock’s fingers, which caused the Vulcan to gasp with pleasure.


McCoy jerked back.  What was he thinking?


“What’s wrong?” Spock asked.


McCoy gulped.  This was going to be difficult.  “Two things, Spock,” he began shakily.  “One, I can’t get involved with you while you are my patient.”  At the look of dismay that crossed Spock’s features, the doctor quickly added, “Your father arranged to have another doctor assigned to help me, one that’s studied on Vulcan.  Once he arrives, I’ll hand over your care to him.  Then you and I will be free to pursue a relationship, okay?”


Spock nodded.  He accepted the logic of the situation, but he didn’t have to like it.  He steeled himself while he waited for the other shoe to drop.  “What is the second thing?” he asked warily.


McCoy smiled.  “You’re gonna have to call me ‘Leonard,’ okay?” 


Two lonely men

Drawn together in their lonesomeness

Recognizing in each other

the other half of their soul



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