I have this feeling that our guys are the sorts who can carry on conversations for days or weeks at a time, or even longer. You know the type: they start something, stop or get interrupted, then resume right where they left off as if the conversation never stopped. I can't really pinpoint anything canonical to prove this feeling of mine--other than the ever-present logic vs. emotion conversation. But given their history, it works for me. This was born from that feeling (with thanks to some West Wing fanfic inspiration). Oh yeah, the disclaimers. They aren't mine. I just borrowed them for a little while. This is safe to read if you're over 18. You know the drill. Not beta'ed. Wrote itself actually, just looking to share it on a quiet afternoon. Hoping someone out there will give me something to read soon.<g> JB Reasons Leonard McCoy knew well the physical and mental need for exercise. He preferred solitary exercise himself: running, singles gravity ball, and his personal favorite, swimming. Unfortunately, starships weren't the best place for real swimming pools. All that water and the possibility of loss of gravity just wasn't a good combination. Still, he could get the equivalent of swimming laps in the resistance tank. It wasn't quite the same mentally; nothing compared to swimming back and forth across a lake or even a nice clean and scenic pool. But it did the trick. In fact, he'd overdone it this time. He sat in the changing room, rolling his shoulders and stretching his neck, hoping he wouldn't pay too much for the extra resistance he dialed up. He watched Sulu and Chekov go into the steam room just as Spock was emerging from it. Spock nodded his greeting as he grabbed a clean towel and made for the showers. "Problem, Doctor?" He asked at the intense look on Leonard's face. "Just a little too long in the tank and didn't vary my strokes enough. Nothing that a hot shower won't fix." He continued to stare at the steam room door. "I was, Doctor, referring to your interest in that door?" "Oh." He paused for a moment. "Do you think they're sleeping together?" "I assume you are really asking if I think they have engaged in a sexual relationship rather than if they are merely sharing resting accommodations." Leonard turned his attention to Spock and glared. "Really, Doctor, I do not understand the human tendency to use euphemisms." "It's called being polite, Spock." "But in this case, and as a medical professional, I would think you would be more direct." "All right then, do you, Mr. Spock, think that Misters Sulu and Chekov are fornicating?" "I do. Does it present a problem for you?" "Not at all. I hope it works for them." And with that Leonard headed for the showers with Spock in his wake. *********** The monthly poker game had proven quite profitable for Leonard, both monetarily and for the sheer satisfaction of seeing Scotty's face when Leonard laid a straight flush in front of the engineer's straight. The feat of luck had left even Jim with an eat shit grin on his face. As the big loser of the night, Scotty was left to clean up the mess in the rec room, while Leonard, Jim, Sulu, and Uhura got into the turbo lift to head in their respective directions. At the next level, Jim and Uhura got off to go get something to eat and Spock and Chekov entered. Two levels later, Sulu and Chekov exited having not said a single word to one another. When the lift resumed its course, Spock offered, "It appears to be working for them." "Yeah it does. It seems to be good for them too. Chekov seems more focused, less flighty." "And Mr. Sulu is no longer spending all his free time in the botany labs." As the lift reached Leonard's destination, he turned to look at the side of Spock's face. Spock turned to meet his gaze. Leonard turned back and made his way toward the open door. But before crossing the threshold, he spoke softly. "I could never sleep with you. You're too important." And with that the door closed. Leaving one Vulcan with both eyebrows imbedded in his hairline. ********** "How long before those tests are done, Spock?" Leonard asked as he added yet another slide to the growing pile on the lab table. "Fifty-three point four minutes, Doctor." "Okay. I'll finish this, and then I'm going to go get something to eat. You hungry?" "No, thank you, though." Spock continued to stare at the computer screen before him. "It is my current career, but it is not who I am." "Huh?" "Being First Officer." "Okay." "It would be an issue as I am in the command line, but I am not 'too important.' It is my job." "You like being the First Officer?" "I find it satisfying, yes. But I find scientific inquiry even more so." "Still, you're good at both. Besides, that wasn't what I meant." "Please clarify." He couldn't quite meet Spock's eye, but his voice was at least strong. "I meant *you're* too important to me. I couldn't sleep with you because every time I sleep with someone I screw it up." He was met with silence, but surprisingly it was not an uncomfortable one. ****************** Leonard wasn't sure if he hated diplomatic missions more than Jim did, but he knew for certain as he rematerialized in the Enterprise's transporter room that he would be glad to get back to his sick bay. Jim, Spock, and he stepped off the platform and he immediately loosened the collar of his dress tunic. "Well that's over. At least the food was good." "True, but the conversation was less than desirable," Jim added. "Spock, I'll want your report on the satellite malfunction in the morning." "Of course, Captain." Kirk noted that his first officer had also loosened his collar. "Looks like you're picking up Bones' bad habits, Spock," He teased as he pointed at the collar. "After all this time among humans, Jim," Leonard joined, "we're bound to have contaminated him to a degree." He wasn't sure why exactly, but he felt the need to apologize for that fact, so he did: "Sorry about that, Spock. At least you haven't picked up any really bad habits of mine." Leonard waved over his shoulder to them as he left for Sickbay to begin his shift. "What was that all about?" Kirk asked. "It has been a trying week for us all, Jim. And he did spend most of the dinner with the Ambassador's in-laws. I would imagine that being the perfect Southern gentleman and Starfleet officer can get tiring." "Why Mr. Spock, did I just hear you compliment our good Doctor?" "I am not aware of any reason why I should not." "Yeah, right." ************ Spock watched as Leonard made his way to the food dispenser, then to the table with the new recruits. He watched as Leonard made 'small talk' with each, eliciting a laugh from the young Andorian and smile from the Betan. Leonard looked directly at him, nodded, and went to sit at a vacant table with his coffee and data pad. Spock resumed his eating in silent contemplation. Both watched as Sulu and Chekov entered, got their food, and sat down together. Spock rose from his seat, took his tray to the recycler, and paused at the door. Without drawing attention to himself, Leonard rose, got his cup refilled, and left with Spock. They walked in unison the short distance to the Number One lab. They completed the tasks with their usual efficiency and with unusual silence. Spock was called to the Bridge, but before he left the lab he reached across the space separating he and the doctor to touch Leonard on the arm. "I could not sleep with you because you are not Vulcan." Leonard looked at him and smiled slightly, "Neither is your mother, Spock. How about you just own up to the fact that you're not attracted to me. It's okay, really." "Forgive me. I was not clear. My mother has had to make many compromises, many sacrifices. I could not ask that of you." "Wouldn't we each have to make compromises and sacrifices if we both were Vulcan or both were Human? Isn't that the nature of all relationships?" Spock looked at Leonard fervently hoping that Leonard could sense the attraction Spock could not verbalize. "I would not change who you are. You are too important to me." -fin-