REVELATION McCoy had been missing in the dangerous wilderness for more than a day, and the Vulcans were so concerned about him that they were actually having more than usual difficulty concealing their soft spots for their crusty but vulnerable crewmate and friend. When at last they found him, Spock, accompanied by Spacek, Spencek, Spornak, and Spivak, carried him back to the comparative safety of their cave, pushed the big rock against the entrance to shut out the vicious weather, and laid him down beside their inviting fire. He curled up and cried, in shock and relief. Spock explained to the others, After such an ordeal, humans need to be comforted, both physically and verbally. So saying, he stroked the humans head, neck, and throat. Easy, Leonard. It is all right now. It was only due to Spocks superior familiarity with McCoy, and the doctors present great need, that he was able to put aside his normal reservation in front of his fellow Vulcans. Though they were all beneath him in rank, he still wanted their approval, as he would not have if theyd been humans. McCoy whimpered pitifully, not nearly recovered from his ordeal. Spocks hand caressed his face. Humans need to be touched. It is consoling and soothing to them, he explained. Curious and compassionate, Spencek advanced an experimental hand to McCoys chest, I will help to reassure him. Gradually, McCoys spirits seemed to improve under their patient ministrations. In cooperation, and giving in to their curiosity, Spornak and Spivak each rubbed a leg of the prone human. McCoy sighed happily, contentedly. Then, Spornaks hand strayed up the back of the humans leg to his bottom. McCoy jumped. Spornak! The hand withdrew. Is something wrong? Yes! That place is rathersexual. Is there a problem with that? McCoy stared. Spivaks hand wandered purposefully up the front of McCoys leg and delicately probed his sex organs through the pants, making McCoy gasp. Spivak inquired, Would you object to sex with us Leonard? Completely undone by the unexpected question, the human shrieked. Spock explained, Leonard, Vulcans take homosexuality quite lightly. We see it as a healthy, harmless release, without consequence. We dont! McCoy protested, To us, its a serious life-decision! I am aware of that. But we thought that it might soothe you, Spock replied. Besides, Spivak said, we are curious. Is it really pink? You mean my, McCoy stopped himself. Uh, well, yeah, I guess so. He blushed. As pink as your face is right now? Spornak suggested helpfully. Oh lord! Let us see, Spencek urged hopefully. Uh, well, I. But Spencek had already busied himself with the humans trousers. To McCoys dismay, the waistband proceeded promptly to his ankles. Something pink protruded innocently and daintily before their alien eyes. Even the most reserved, Spacek, leaned forward for a closer look. Oh, it is tiny. Spivak was pleased. And pink, because of your red blood. Spornak was intrigued. As pink as an Earthly rose. Spencek was intrigued. Now whats so unusual about that?! McCoy blurted without thinking. A split second after he said it, he realized that it had been a mistake. Sure enough, Spock rejoined smoothly, Ours is green. Would you like to see? By that time, something large and green and formidable came out to greet him. Oh my god! Spock misunderstood. It is because our blood is green. No, no, thats not whats upsetting me! Then what? Spock wondered mildly. Its too big! Too big for what? Spencek asked in all seriousness. Too big for me!! Naturally, Spornak observed literally, since it is not yours. No! McCoy was frustrated and terrified. I dont want you to hurt me! Spivak was taken aback. Of course not, Leonard. If you recall, our purpose here is to comfort you. McCoy hesitated, suspicious. Exactly what is it you intend to do with me? If of course, we were to actually have any sexual interaction. Spock spoke as if he were stating the obvious, Why, pet you until you reach climax. Why? Nothing else? What else could there be? You mean thats all that your people do in homosexuality? Of course. It was Spocks turn to be suspicious. Do humans do more than that? McCoy stammered, Uhum. Leonard? Spock prompted. Uhno! No. McCoy did not sound convincing. Spock reached a tentative hand toward McCoys head, comfortable enough in their friendship to believe that hed be welcome to probe and take the information directly. He assumed that McCoy was merely uneasy at the prospect of saying it aloud, and could impart the information mentally without embarrassment. No! McCoy pulled away. Please! Spock stopped reluctantly, now realizing the truth. Very well. If you do not wish for us to know, I will not violate your privacy. McCoy sighed in relief. Spock tilted a quizzical brow at him. I am of course curious to know this human secret. But since our purpose after all is to comfort you, and this information, apparently, does not seem to do so. Oh, it wouldnt. Believe me, it wouldnt. Spock nodded. I have no wish to agitate you further. He reached a tender, petting hand to McCoys sexual organs. Spencek suggested, Someday, perhaps, you will share this human secret with us. For now, however, it is irrelevant. McCoy smiled, and in relief and genuine enjoyment of their undeniable physical skills, finally began to relax in their care. A few days after they were rescued by the Enterprise, the Vulcans visited McCoy in his quarters. Spock stated solemnly, We have done some research, and investigated the nature of this secret of yours, regarding human homosexuality. McCoy waited and, knowing the lengths to which Spornak and Spivak in particular would go to tease him, tensed himself to run, even while knowing that escape was hopeless. Our reaction, Spock went on, is best summarized by a human expression. McCoy backed up one step, and against his better judgment, asked, What expression? Spock quoted, Youve got to be kidding. As McCoy blinked in amazement, the Vulcans turned and left.