Title: Synchronization
Author: Yami no Kaiba
Beta: Lilbatfacedgirl & Vail_Kagami
Fandom: Star Trek TOS
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Spock/McCoy
Length: 2,100 words

Summary: Movie III AU. No one realized that McCoy was carrying Spock’s katra. Not even McCoy, at first.
Disclaimers: I do not own the characters or the concepts of Star Trek in any of its forms.
Warnings: Forced imprisonment, spoilers for movies II and III, biological death.


Each arts section, the nurse watching over their group has them draw a picture.

His first drawing is of Spock. He starts it by lightly sketching the features that are ingrained so well in his memory, thinking vaguely that he will color the background in gray swaths to simulate the walls of the Enterprise.

But it becomes such a mindless chore, drawing, and he eventually stops paying attention to what he is doing and lets his mind wander. He thinks of the experiments he had started that Chapel must be finishing in his stead; thinks of the various results that could have occurred that he might never be allowed to know.

The chime and hard clap of the nurse startles him out of his thoughts, indicating the end of the session.

But what he finds under his pen isn’t his own creation. There is cross-hatching and intricate shading that he knows he’s too lazy to ever do and the background is a grainy desert with sand dunes and rocky ledges. A moon or planet is hung heavy in the sky, reflecting soft light on the shadowy landscape.

And there in the distance is a mountain, tall and strong, wreathed in ethereal clouds and the soft rays of light.

He doesn’t realize he is keening like a wounded animal until the nurse slaps him.


The walls are white. Pure white, like any other color might cause him to go crazier than he already is. It hurts his eyes when the fluorescents glare off the edges of the paint, and despite his complaints, nobody does anything about it.

Leonard periodically swipes tape from the craft sessions so he can strip the sheets from the bed and cover the walls. But that’s getting harder to do these days; he’s been here in this politically correct ‘corrective institute’ for a month now, and the personnel of the internment camp are getting wise to his ways.

The cell – because goddamn it, if he hasn’t been cooped up in enough of them over the years to know one when he sees it – still smells like fresh paint, because the staff had to cover up the mural he’d woken up to the third day here. The doctors say he drew it in crayon and markers swiped from the same craft sessions as the tape. Say they even have footage of the process, but Leonard doesn’t have the drawing abilities of a three-year-old if it doesn’t pertain to anatomy, let alone the skills of an artisan.

He’d woken up, groggy and disoriented. He’d been flat on his back on the floor with a red marker loosely gripped in his hand. His back was aching from the position, and he’d blinked sleep out of his eyes as he rolled over with a groan and kneeled up.

From that position he’d looked forward, saw the mural for the first time, and the word “Home” had rung so deep in his soul. He’d been shaking for a good five minutes after clapping eyes on the red baked earth, the twin suns high in the sky, and the beautiful majestic mountain off in the distance, alone and perfect in its solidarity and singularity.

He had never seen that particular landscape before except in the picture he drew the first day here, but he has visited the planet once.

It was the desert known as the Forge, and he could remember himself -
not himself - walking under the harsh beating of those twin stars. Undertaking his official kahs-wan, heading for the foot of that very mountain, where his parents - not his parents
- were waiting for him to proudly complete his coming of age ceremony.

His eyes drifted over the cracked earth and scraggly bushes, the prowling lamatya to the right, and were drawn to the mountain. Mount Seleya. He needed to go there, he could feel it in his flesh, in his bones -
wasn’t that his name? - in the deepest part of himself. He needed to climb the wide steps carved from the living stones generations ago from before the time of Surak. He needed to sweep past the statues of the ancestors of his race - were they?
- and into the cool, shaded depths of the Katric Ark.

He needed to go home.

But that had been then, in the beginning, when he had been confused and disoriented, still trying to understand what was what. When he had been trying to figure out why he was here when he felt completely sane, and where the hell Jim had scampered off to this time.

He has had weeks with nothing more to do than bid his time, to calmly lay back and think, and hell, he knows what is going on now.

And of course, it is entirely that pointy-eared bastard’s fault.

He knows because Spock told him it is.


Doctor, your heart rate is approaching triple that of the recommended rate for a person your age. You should desist in this activity.

Leonard grunts in annoyance, eyebrow twitching, but continues to do the pushups he has assigned himself to do each day. The physio sessions here are below par and borderline useless, in his opinion, but then he has decades of military standards of health in his head, and a bit of fuzzy recollection of the softer health standards of civilians.


“Shut up, I know what I’m doing,” he mutters as low under his breath as possible, but he is sure the microphone for his cell still picks it up. He has already gone a rep over his personal best, but he is sick and tired of not being able to do anything important -

While I find your assessment of their physio sessions to be accurate your current nutritional intake does not support this type of strenuous activity.

“Shut up,” he growls, still keeping track. Eighty-six… eighty-seven… eighty-eight -

You’ve begun to hyperventilate. Cease at once -

“Shut up!” he shouts, chest tight and tears stinging at his eyes. He’s nose to the floor, and the biceps and triceps in his arms are aching like a rotted tooth, but he just wants this one more –

I’m sorry. It’s the only warning he gets, before control is wrested from him and he’s rolling to the side instead of pushing himself up to lie sedately on the floor, his heart still racing in his chest. “You should take better care of yourself, Doctor.”

Bastard. He seethes in his own head, as Spock moves his body into a meditative position.

They shouldn’t be here. There’s nothing wrong with either of them – except the obvious part of Spock being dead and yet living in his brain.

Damn Vulcan voodoo. A man should at least get a damn warning before someone dumps their entire soul into him. Especially considering what Spock had told him after the fact - that the transfer had had a high probability of driving them both insane.

Leonard doesn’t really get that part. Sure, in the beginning he knows they had shown signs of schizophrenia, but Spock’s stopped taking over his body now except during times like this, when the Vulcan believes it’s for his own good. Leonard himself has stopped having the blackouts that had made Spock’s episodes of control frightening due to their lack of context. If anything, it is this enforced isolation that is going to drive him insane.

“The Captain will figure it out, Doctor. Just give him time.”

I know he will Spock. I’m just tired of waiting.


It’s the arts session again. He’s tired of starting pieces just to have Spock finish them. So he focuses, allows himself to retreat and think of things he would rather be doing, and lets a surprised and grateful Spock take over.

When the chime sounds and the hour is over, Spock relinquishes control with an odd hesitancy that has Leonard’s interest piqued.

He blinks away the odd feeling of rising out of a river and looks at the pad before him, expecting to see the setting Spock always draws – the sandy dunes of the Forge and Mount Seleya in the distance – preparing for the intense heart-wrenching longing the scene always inspires in Spock and bleeds through to him.

But for once, there is no sand, or lamatyas. No twin suns or sister planet. No Mount Seleya in the distance.

Instead, there is Leonard - younger with less lines along the brow and fewer crows feet around the eyes - sitting quietly in a corner of the Enterprise’s rec room. He’s got a drink in one hand and a heavy ancient book of Jim’s in the other, the spine worn thin in a stripe down the middle. There’s a genuine soft smile on those lips as the blue eyes skim the open page. The walls are gun-metal gray and the lighting leaves only the slightest of shadows pooling under the tipped-back chair.

There’s a rush of awe and fondness coupled with the barest of irritation in his chest, and he knows that it isn’t wholly his. It leaves him in a bit of a daze as he’s ushered out of the room.

The detail and care used to create that piece has caught him off guard. There are questions that picture raises, and yet he can’t think of a single one to ask.

He gets the feeling that even if he had found one to ask, Spock wouldn’t know the answer.


Gradually, like the slow weathering of a rock in a stream, the red baked earth of the Forge and the distant looming shadow of Mount Seleya stop appearing in the drawing pad. Leonard thinks he knows why, but he’s too afraid of the ramifications of being right to say it.

Some nights, as he stares up at the gray shadows of the white walls, he gets the feeling that Spock already knows what he thinks.

He’s not sure what it means that neither of them talks about it. Not sure about the meaning behind the now endless portraits of Leonard that Spock draws instead.

It makes him feel both butterfly nervous like a kid with his first crush and infinitely sad for some reason he can’t define.

Some days he thinks maybe that’s what being insane really feels like: having two so diametrically opposite extremes at once.

The other days he’s just angrily frustrated, because you’d think if someone entrusted their damn soul to you they’d be honest enough with themselves to admit privately in the soundless vastness of your mind where no one can overhear that they loved you.


Leonard cranes his head from where he has it cushioned by his laced hands against the wall. He is just in time for the door to swing in and bang against the wall with a resounding thud as Jim tumbles into the room, a phaser in hand and his shirt torn. “Bones!”

“It took you long enough.
Indeed. As the Doctor states, I had estimated your arrival 23.48 standard days ago.
So what kept you? Had to save a princess or three?”

A flummoxed expression spreads across Jim’s face. Hesitantly, he repeats, “Bones?”

“Yeah Jim?”

“I - was that Spock?”

“It was I, Captain.”

Jim’s eyebrows go up. “That’s creepy. Did you know your voice goes all deep when he talks?”

Aggravated, Leonard swings his legs off the cot and stands up with only a slight creak from his old bones. “Jim, just shut up and rescue us already.
It would be advantageous to discuss this development in a less hostile setting.
What he said.”

Brought up sharp by the reminder, Leonard watches Jim nod and gesture them forward as he covertly checks the hall he just came tumbling in from. It’s all mad dashes and phaser fire after that.

It’s just like old times, even down to Jim’s torn shirt. But things will never be the same ever again, he knows, as Spock gently nudges his body into a more efficient running stride.

There are only two bodies where there should be three, two sets of thoughts where there should be one, and Leonard realizes with the force of a hydrospanner hitting him upside the head just why Spock would never admit what’s between them, even now.

There’s no going back from this arrangement, even if Spock’s body were still alive. They’ve grown too close, the call of the mountain has faded.

It has simply been too long. Just as they have simply missed their chance.


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