Trio in Pon Farr

Trio in Pon Farr Disclaimer: The usual. Paramount owns these folks; they just let me play with them. Rating: NC-17 Summary: The first pon farr after the fal tor pan. Feedback: Yes, please. I really appreciate it. Notes: Not beta'ed. Hate the title, so let me know if you have a better one. ********** Leonard McCoy peered up over Spock's bare shoulder to try to look at the ceiling. He was having a hard time focusing on the acoustical panels. Pinned on his back, on top of his own desk, robe opened to reveal his naked and somewhat bruised body, Leonard was trying to remain conscious and that was getting harder and harder to do. Suddenly, he began to chuckle out loud. Spock didn't react to that at all. His thrusts remained fast, hard, and unyielding. His mouth continued to suck, no longer tenderly, along Leonard's neck; his arms holding Leonard to the desk and acting as leverage for thrusting into his mate. Leonard's laughter didn't even earn him a raised eyebrow from Spock. //Gawd, a hickey at my age. What's the Vulcan word for hickey, sweetheart?// He didn't get any response. But he didn't expect to. Spock hadn't said much to him in the last five hours or so. Spock wasn't wasting any energy. Every fiber of his being was focused on the twin tasks of quenching the burning need of pon farr and not killing Leonard in the process. The sheen on Spock's skin a visible sign of the effort. Leonard's labored breathing a sign of his. Neither knew what to expect this time. They had speculated and theorized, but Spock's metabolism had always been unpredictable given his human half and the aborted bond with T'Pring. This time they had the unknown factor of what the death, rebirth and refusion would do to his cycle. But Leonard knew now. Instead of the slow build to raging fire to burn out of before, Spock had had very little warning. There was no way they were ever going to make it to Vulcan or to their home on Earth. So, despite Spock's protests and chagrin, Leonard had been the logical one--going to Jim to say he and Spock were taking an indefinite leave and locking themselves in their cabin. Jim had looked uncomfortable. He had always been supportive of the union of his friends, but his embarrassment of knowledge about their sex life and his apprehension from the memory of Spock's physical strength and lack of mental control during pon farr had him worried. "Bones, I know this isn't the first time you've been through this, but it hasn't been that long since the last time, has it?"" "No, but that seven year cycle is an average not an absolute." "Uh, Bones . . ." "We'll be all right, Jim. As you've said we've been through this before." The Captain merely nodded and wished them luck, but he didn't look pleased that's for sure. Nothing Jim liked less than not being able to control a situation. And this situation left him completely out in the cold--not only couldn't he do anything, he couldn't rely on Spock and McCoy to be available to him if he needed them. No, Jim Kirk was not a happy man when Leonard left his office. Leonard hoped that the "routine" mapping mission they were currently on would for once live up to its billing. Leonard's second stop had been to see Scotty, to have the engineer override the water limit on the shower, change the door lock override to himself and Scotty, and to make the communication system mostly out-going only from the cabin. Scotty, bless him, had asked no questions and had completed the tasks himself in minutes. Leonard and Spock could make contact with the others if needed, but only Scotty would be able to make contact with them. And that was only for two reasons: evacuation of the ship and a medical emergency involving senior staff that his ACMO couldn't handle. It was the second time in his life Leonard had put his Hippocratic oath second to anything. But having just gotten Spock back a few months ago, he was comfortable with it. He was confident in his ACMO, and if an emergency arose that A-Strida couldn't handle or if the ship were being evacuated, he would sedate Spock long enough to handle the situation. He didn't realize at the time that he might not be in any condition to actually help. That was three days ago. The first day, Spock resisted on his own. But the struggle had been clear and frightening. The strength and speed of the on-set had prompted Spock to persuade Leonard to stock up on medical supplies in their cabin and to let him place a transmitter under Leonard's left shoulder blade. Only the ACMO would monitor the signal, but if Leonard's life signs went into the danger zone she would tell Scotty who would contact Len. If no contact was made the lock would be overridden and Leonard would receive medical attention. If Scotty hadn't figured out what was going on before, this certainly clued him in. But again, the engineer had only replied, "aye." Leonard was not happy about the transmitter, but he couldn't deny Spock's fear or the intensity of the burning. Spock's shields were slipping at an alarming rate and Leonard could feel it himself. They wouldn't have needed the precaution at their Vulcan or Terra home, but here on the ship without a healer or attendant nearby, they had to rely on other measures. And frankly, their union was already a footnote in Starfleet history; Leonard didn't want to add a second one with the headline "Vulcan kills Human mate with Pon Farr" or worse yet, "Doc dies from too much of a good thing." He wondered about a sub-dermal transmitter for Spock, but only Leonard would be able to decipher the readings and he had a med-scanner and tricorder in the cabin anyway. The second day, Leonard had managed to slow Spock's downward spiral of control with music, natural sedatives from herbal teas, hot showers, and meditating with him. The sex had been frequent, as was to be expected, but it had still been pleasant and mutually satisfying. They were still communicating verbally and mentally, as well as physically. But by this morning, nothing was working. Spock was primal Vulcan and virtually unrecognizable to his human mate. The physical resemblance was there, of course, but the touch of mind and body was that of a stranger. Leonard was still occasionally reaching through the link to Spock, but he found himself drawn in faster and father than he was used to. Worse still was the fact that it was getting harder and harder for him to withdraw from the link. In their previous experience, Leonard had been able to control or at least influence the link, but this time Leonard was not deflecting the plak tow, he was reflecting it, multiplying it. He had to drastically limit his mental contact with Spock. He knew the mental contact was vital but he feared the cycle would become perpetual and they would remain beyond their physical and mental endurance. The balance of mind and body, the physical exertion and the mental exhaustion of shielding against Spock and trying to reach him at the same time were taking its toll. If Spock realized any of this, Leonard could no longer tell. More than once he bemoaned the fact that all of this was supposed to get easier as they got older. Leonard closed his eyes and tried taking a deep breath, but given that Spock was holding him down and that his legs weren't bearing any of the weight being wrapped around Spock's back, breathing was difficult too. Leonard couldn't get his eyes to focus, couldn't get his thoughts in line either. Leonard chuckled some more, //yep, I now know what it's like to be fucked senseless.// Moments later, Leonard passed out. ************* *Mr. Scott. Sickbay to Mr. Scott* Scotty, who had been dining with Uhura, walked to the intercom, hoping to look unconcerned. "Scott here, Doctor. What kin ay do for you?" *Mr. Scott, meet me at Doctor McCoy's cabin, please.* He lowered his voice, "Are ye sure, lassie. The doctor indicated that they were not to be disturbed." *I know Mr. Scott, and we won't unless necessary, but I want to be close just in case. I'll explain it to you there.* "On my way, doctor." Scotty cut the link, gestured to Uhura to continue dinner and strolled out of the mess hall. Turning the corner, he began to sprint. The doctor was waiting for him when he arrived outside his friends' quarters. "Doctor?" "Mr. Scott, how much do you know about what's going on?" He looked down at her. Considering she was barely regulation height, he had no choice, but her gaze up at him clearly revealed her worry. "I have my suspicions, but I dinna need any more of a reason to comply with the Doctor's request than that it was comin' from him." She nodded briefly and then sighed. "Leonard's vitals have been all over the place, Mr. Scott. This isn't unexpected, but there has--up until now--always been a leveling off period. Seventeen minutes ago everything spiked in the wrong direction and then stayed there. I can't tell if he is injured or not. Frankly that wouldn't be uncommon. Given a Vulcan-Human bonding, you could almost bet on some minor injury. Leonard is alive, but I think he's unconscious. And I have no idea why--if it's a head injury--" She couldn't complete that thought, but she added another serious one, "And a Vulcan with no outlet is a danger to himself as well. I need you to try to reach them." Any hesitation Scotty felt dissipated quickly at the thought of Leonard or Spock being in danger. He pulled his communicator from his vest pocket and set it accordingly. "Scott to McCoy. Scott to McCoy. Come in, doctor." He counted to five and tried again, "Leonard? Leonard, please respond." Finally, Scott tried a different track, "Scott to Mr. Spock. Come in Mr. Spock." "I think we have a problem," A-Strida complained pinching the ridges between her eyes. "All right, doctor, I'll override the lock." Scotty pressed the necessary code on the panel next to the door, but before going in he turned to block the doctor. "You stay here until I check things out." "Mr. Scott, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock may . . ." "Doctor," he cut her off, "Leonard gave me authority to make contact and he trusted me to make the right call. This is between them and that's the way it's going to stay if I can help it. Let me assess the situation; I'll call you if I need you. Besides if this is as dangerous as you indicate, we can't risk you and Leonard both." She scowled, but backed away. "Can you read this?" She held her scanner. "Aye, I kin." "Okay, take it and this." She held up a dual chamber hypo spray. "Blue is a sedative for Spock; clear is a stimulant to revive Leonard, and don't skimp on the blue. If you're not back in five, I'm following." Scotty palmed the panel and went in. "Dear God in Himmel," he surveyed the room. Even in the low illumination the destruction was evident--furniture overturned, cushions ripped, the carpet scorched where the fire safety system had been activated by the overturned meditation pot. The heat of the cabin and his own anxiety forced him to wipe his forehead with the back of his sleeve. His attention was drawn to the sounds coming from behind the twisted sleeping partition. He held the hypo carefully and made his way calling softly for a 10% increase in the lights. "Oh Spock." There on the bed was Spock, naked, huddled in the corner holding Len fiercely in his arms. Spock was rocking him, making low humming sounds over and over with each rocking motion. What almost brought Scotty to his knees were the tears running down Spock's face. Scotty gathered himself quickly and took a brief reading of Len's vital signs. Scotty couldn't see any physical injuries because of Len's robe. He appeared unconscious but not in any apparent danger. "It'll be all right, Spock. I'll take care of ye both." As he approached them, Spock held Leonard even tighter, gathering him up as if to carry him and make some escape. Scotty began a litany to diffuse the situation: "It's all right, Spock. No one is gonna hurt ye, man. No one is gonna hurt Len either. But I need to check on him, see? Len shouldn't be out of it this way and you need him well, right? So let me help ye both." He slowed his approach and softened his voice, but every movement closer only agitated Spock more. Scotty was afraid Len would be crushed by the grip Spock had on him. Scotty palmed the hypo, switched it to full force blue, and continued approaching. "Spock, I need to help Len. You don't want to hurt him do you? Why don't you put him down?" "NO!" Well that certainly halted Scotty. He didn't move any closer but tried again. "Leonard needs help, Spock." "Mine." "I know that, Spock. Just let me help him." "Cannot help." Scotty knew he was running out of time, and if he didn't do something A-Strida was sure to have security busting through the door. "Spock, do ye know who I am?" Spock's only response was to turn slightly away from Scotty, protecting Len more, and pulling Len's robe tighter around him. "Ach, this is getting me no where." Scotty turned and left the sleeping area to return to the door. "Doctor, you can return to sickbay. I've got it under control." "Len is all right? He's awake?" Okay, bending the truth was one thing, but out right lying to a fellow officer was another. "No. Not yet." "Then you don't have it under control," she spat flattening her ears back in anger. A-Strida moved to get passed him and he physically restrained her. "Ye not be goin' in there, lass." "Mr. Scott!" "No." Leonard and Spock were the two most private people Scotty knew and he was going to make sure this stayed private. Doctor or no doctor. "No, ma'am. Wait here if ye must, but ye don't come in. I'll either bring McCoy out myself or I'll send him out to you." As a doctor, A-Strida was concerned; as a person, she was affronted, and as a Starfleet officer she was out-ranked. Having given Scotty her medscanner she couldn't prove Len's condition and use her medical authority to get in. And she knew Scotty knew that. "Mr. Scott, I will report this." "As is your right." Begrudgingly, she slumped against the wall opposite the door. "I'll wait here. Don't do anything stupid and get yourself hurt in the process." Scotty smiled and stepped back to let the door slide shut. He hit the privacy lock and called for another 15% increase in the lights and returned to the edge of the sleeping area. 'Well, here goes,' he thought. He looked at Spock still holding Len, clutching Len's head to his shoulder. "Mr. Spock. Put Dr. McCoy down." The raised eyebrow would have been comical if not for the low growl that accompanied it. "Mr. Spock, that's an order." Nothing. Very well, time to try something else. "Mr. Spock, the doctor is needed in Sickbay. You must let him go." Spock shifted his gaze from Scotty to Len. "No." A whisper this time, but no less menacing. "Engines I know; Vulcans I don't," he sighed. "Why don't you put him down, Mr. Spock? I'll not hurt him; just put him down." Spock tilted his head as if considering it. Then miracles of miracles, he put Len on the bed. But there the miracles stopped. Spock placed himself between Len and Scotty; so Scotty couldn't get to him. "Well, then, Spock, it looks like it's you and me. Saints help me." Scotty rushed Spock. Predictably, Spock defended Len and threw Scotty against the bulkhead, but when Scotty approached a second time Spock went from defense to offense and leapt off the bed toward Scotty. As Spock rammed his head into Scotty's chest, it was shear luck that Scotty administered the hypo before being sandwiched between the wall and the Vulcan. Spock let forth with a howl Scotty hoped never to hear again and then collapsed. Making sure Spock was out and catching his breath, Scotty returned to Leonard. Leonard was coming to as Scott took the opportunity to set the partition to rights. "Spock?" "It's me, Len." "Scotty? Scotty, what the hell?" He swung his legs off the bed and started to rise only to have the room spin. "Len, are ye all right?" "I feel like I've been on a binge; what happened?" "You were unconscious." "Unconscious?" Scotty retrieved a glass of water for Leonard and asked, "Len, do ye know what happened? Did Spock knock ye out?" "Of course not! What makes you think that? Damn, where is he?" "Come look if ye kin." Len rose cautiously and Scotty stood close by just in case. Looking at the chaos that was formerly his cabin, Len vented a low whistle followed by a mumbled "Holy Shit." Then he made quickly for Spock's prone body. "What did you use?" "Something A-Strida gave me." "Yellow or blue?" "Blue." "All of it?" "Aye. That's what she said. He'll be all right, won't he?" "Yeah, he'll just be out of it for a while. It shouldn't effect his system, just sort of put everything on hold." "Len, A-Strida is still outside. One of us needs to report." Leonard looked again at the disaster that was their living quarters and at Spock. "Scotty can you get me one of his meditation robes?" He pointed to the closet. When Scotty went to retrieve the robe, Leonard stood struggling to pull Spock up with him and leaned him against his body. "Is this what ye be wantin'?" "Yeah, that's it. Open the clasp at the shoulder and help me get him into it." Spock was dead weight, but the two of them managed to dress Spock in his robe. "Normally I could get him there myself, but I'm not up to it at the moment. You take his shoulders and I'll get his legs. Let's get him to the bed." "Uhff, how can he weigh so much?" Leonard permitted a slight grin. Many an adversary had made mistaken assumptions regarding Spock's trim form. "Vulcan bone and muscle density is heavier than our ours." Depositing Spock on the bed and watching as Len covered him up, Scotty asked, "What are ye going to tell A-Strida?" "The truth, Scotty. I'm not sure what the hell happened, but that I'm fine." "What's the last thing you remember?" "Being //on the desk// uh, being over by the desk. What did you find when you came in? Wait; let me talk to A-Strida first. She's probably chewing the bulkhead by now." Leonard looked at his own state--sweaty, shaky, in a rumpled robe--and opted to use the intercom. "McCoy to A-Strida." *Len, is that you?* Skepticism, not relief he noted. He wondered what had gone on between the Chief Engineer and his ACMO. "It is, Tree; I'm fine." *What happened?* "Not sure. But everything is under control." *Leonard, let me check you over.* "Thanks, Tree, but that won't be necessary. I'm fine. Spock's fine." He noticed Scotty righting some of the overturned furniture. "Scotty's fine, too." Hearing his amusement eased some of her fear. *Okay, Len. What do you want?* "I want a hot shower, a hot meal, and for you to go do what you're paid to do. Go take care of my sickbay! McCoy out." He turned back toward his would-be savior. "Thanks, Scotty, but I can handle it from here." "Len, I heard what ye said. Go take your shower; I'll see about cleaning up some more of this mess." Leonard held Scotty's gaze for a long moment and then replied, "You're a good man, Montgomery Scott." They had known each other a long time. "Then that would be makin' three in this cabin, Dr. McCoy." Leonard checked on his mate, took his shower and dressed, checked his mate again, and took a mild pain reliever for his headache and muscle strain. By the time he was ready to pitch in with cabin clean-up, Scotty had most of it done. "Eat, Len. I've done just about all that can be done. Things were thrown around but not much was actually broken. A few things will have to be replaced from Central Stores, though." "Thank you, Scotty. Can I get you anything?" "Well now, I am off duty," he hinted. "You know where it is," Leonard waved in the opposite direction, "help yourself." "One for you?" "No, we're not through this yet; I need real food." Len went to the food dispenser to get some stew. "Should I leave?" Leonard noticed the uneasiness in Scotty's voice, almost embarrassed and uncertain. "No, stay. At least until he comes to. I'd like to know what brought you here and what happened." As Scotty drank a fine malt whiskey and Leonard ate, Scotty recounted the events that led him to the cabin and described the state in which he had found Spock. "I tell ye, Len, he was not actually threatening me, but he sure dinna want me to get near you." "We're bond mates, Scotty. To a Vulcan that means protecting me is at the top of his list. Something must have happened to make him think I was in danger, and I can only guess that it had to do with my being unconscious." "Do ye know what caused that? You said he didn't hurt you, but what would make you pass out like that? And what would make him destroy your belongings?" "I'm not sure, though I do have a hunch. I'm gonna have to wait until he gets through this before I run it passed him, though." "Len, I know it's none of my business, but can ye, ye know, can ye handle him? How much longer . . .I don't want to pry, but I" he let the thought die. Leonard refilled Scotty's drink. "It's okay, Scotty. I think today entitles you to know whatever you want to know. As for how much longer, I don't know. Another day or two probably, though I don't think even he can continue at the pace he was." Scotty visibly blushed as what Leonard meant sank in. "Sorry, Scotty. Didn't mean to drag you there." "I asked." "Yes, you did. And I think you're about the only one who hasn't asked about my bond with Spock over the years. You're our friend as well as our crewmate; you know you can." "It never mattered. Nah, that's not what I mean to say. Of course your bond matters to you, and it matters to those of us who are your friends, just as my relationships have mattered to you. I mean that your bond never made a difference in how you treated me or in how you two did your jobs. This is still the finest ship in the fleet, and that's partly because of the two of you as individuals and as members of the crew, not because you're bonded. You've always been discreet. You've always argued like a married couple, but I can only think of two times when you two were *on duty* that I remember thinking 'these lads surely do belong to one another.'" "When was that?" Leonard was both surprised and pleased. "Oh, some time ago. The first time was on the bridge. I was working on the helm. You were standing behind Spock at the Science Station. You put your hand on his shoulder, and that struck me as odd until I realized it was what Spock didn't do that was different?" "Wait a minute, you've lost me. Jim sometimes puts his hand on Spock's shoulder." "Aye, he does. Uhura has; even I have once or twice without thinking. But whenever anyone touched Spock like that, he always turned towards them. Now if you're at my back with your hand on my shoulder and I turn around towards you, what happens?" "I dunno, what happens?" "You have to move your hand, laddie! We all know about not touching Spock, but sometimes when we're not thinking we do it anyway. It comes naturally to us. Spock doesn't tense up, doesn't ask us to stop touching him, but he always moves to look at us. He trades the eye contact for the physical contact. Even with the Captain. But you put your hand on his shoulder to look at his screen, and all he did was lean back in his chair to give you a better view of it. Only when you removed your hand from his shoulder to point at something on the screen did he turn toward you. I don't think the two of you even knew what you did, but it did get me to thinking." "You mentioned two times. What was the other?" "The training cruise before the one that led to Genesis. Exec staff was in the briefing room, it had been a long meeting, and Spock called for lunch to be brought in. You left the room to go check on something in Sickbay and sandwiches were brought in while you were gone." "Yeah, I vaguely remember that. That class hadn't even gotten close to the Kobayashi Maru, having bombed the Corbomite Maneuver twice. We were trying to figure out what to do about it." "Aye, that's the one. The sandwiches were passed out, people were off talking, and you hadn't returned yet. I saw Spock reach over and take the tomato off your sandwich and put it on your plate." "So, he knows I don't like soggy bread." "That's exactly what he said when he noticed me looking at him," Scotty chuckled and shook his head negatively, "but Len I've known Uhura for longer than Spock's known you. There's no way she would have done something like with my food. She won't even snitch a French fry. I have to offer her one. It was an innocent gesture, one of reflex, but one that comes from intimate association of another's habits and preferences." "We do try to keep our professional and personal lives separate, but hasn't always been easy. Especially recently," he added wryly. "Aye, I know." "Thanks for telling me those stories. It's always nice to have the support of ones' friends." "What's not to support. You brought him peace. He brought you contentment. How could I not support that?" Sensing Leonard's growing embarrassment at the praise, Scotty added, "And I have to admit that I have on several occasions taken pleasure in trying to convince some green ensign who is hearing about one of your battles that you two don't despise one another, or in watching a crewman's or a visitor's face when you or Spock is the object of affection and someone tells them that not only are you bonded but whom your bonded to." "You're cruel, Mr. Scott." "On occasion, Dr. McCoy. But seriously, Len, you passed out earlier. Aren't ye concerned that it will happen again?" "I'll take a stimulant, Scotty; I'll wear a wrist monitor so I can see what's happening myself. I know what to do. And besides, unless you're prepared to offer services above and beyond the call of Chief Engineer, I have no choice but to not let it happen again." Any response to Leonard's statement was cut off by a raspy breath from the sleeping area. Both men moved to the bedside to check Spock. "He's coming to, Scotty. It's probably best if you're not here." "Ye sure?" "Yeah, let's not risk it. I don't know what he'll remember or how he'll react." They began to move toward the door. "Very well. Should I check in with ye periodically to play it safe?" "No. I'll check in with you when I know more." Scotty was not convinced that was enough so he made sure to take A- Strida's medscanner with him to return to the ACMO. He wanted her to continue to monitor Len. "Scotty, thanks. I'll owe you another drink with this is all over." "I'll look forward to it." ************** Leonard keyed the privacy lock as the door shut and immediately returned to Spock. He began to stroke Spock's forehead lightly. "Spock, can you hear me? Spock. Come on, it's time to wake up." Leonard considered striking Spock as if he had been in a healing trance, then remembering Scotty's description of Spock's emotional state thought better of it. "Come on, Sleeping Beauty, that sedative should have worn off by now. Wake up." He began lightly smacking Spock on the side of face. As Spock elicited a slight groan, Leonard moved his hand to Spock's chest. "Spock, come on. Wake up, dammit." Suddenly Leonard was grabbed in an iron grip, lifted and flipped onto his back on the bed before he had time to react. "Uph, Ouch." But upon regaining his breath he was surprised and worried by the look of the face peering over him and the bruising grip that remained on his wrists. On any other face, Leonard would have labeled that look fear. "Spock?" Spock had Leonard by his wrists and had pinned Leonard to the bed with his own body. Slowly Leonard noticed the grip on his wrists ease; the expression of Spock's eyes growing softer. Finally, Spock closed his eyes and rested his forehead on Leonard's shoulder. "Sweetheart, what's wrong? Are you still in plak tow? Is it still bad?" The heat of Spock's body was still higher than normal. Spock released Leonard's wrists and shifted his weight allowing them both to be more comfortable. He turned his head and Leonard felt the warm breath on his neck and face. "Spock, let me get my scanner," he said growing more concerned by the moment. //Stay. I am better.// Leonard took a deep breath of relief that the link was back and closer to normal. He let his hands begin to caress Spock's back and arm. "You are still in the fever, though." He could still feel it himself now that the link was resumed. "Yes, though it wanes." Spock paused before continuing, "I have been medicated?" "Yeah, Scotty had to sedate you. I, uh, passed out. He wanted to check on me." Leonard felt a tension run through Spock's body, a tension with which he was not familiar. //Spock, clue me in here.// //I thought I had killed you.// "What!" Spock took an audible deep breath. "I thought I had killed you. I reached through the link and you were not there. I was receiving no response from you in any manner of speaking. I was not even coming up against your shields. I thought I had killed you." Leonard listened to Spock's despair, touched well beyond his own emotional control. //Oh, sweetheart. I'm so sorry. I was trying to withdraw from the link and then I passed out.// "In my grief, I became . . . destructive." Leonard shifted to try to look at Spock, but Spock only turned his face away from his mate. "It's not your fault, Spock. I was trying to help you through the link like I have before, but I couldn't quite reach you, yet I kept finding it harder and harder to withdraw. So I just stopped trying. I was having to shield pretty hard against the blood fever, too. More so than in the past. I couldn't find you in the fever. I couldn't get away from the fever. I couldn't stay in the link and shield against the emotional turmoil at the same time. I'm sorry, Spock. I was no help at all. I think maybe my body just shut down to try to protect itself, the way a body lapses into a coma when pain becomes too great." "Then did Mr. Scott revive you?" "No, I came to on my own. Apparently right after he knocked you out." "Fascinating." Having regained some of his control and being intrigued by Leonard's speculative explanation, Spock turned on his back and drew Leonard into his arms. "I thought Mr. Scott was attempting to take you away from me." "He was trying to see if I was injured." "Were you?" "No, not physically." Spock would not accept that at face value. He knew his mate, too well. "Leonard." Leonard sighed and gave in. "Nothing beyond a little muscle strain from one of your more creative positions and a hickey. Thank you very much for *that* by the way." Spock let his amusement tickle the link for a moment before asking, "Did I injure Mr. Scott?" "No. Scared the haggis out him perhaps. I think we owe him a nice bottle of Scotch for coming to our rescue." "Indeed." "Spock, do you have any idea what happened?" "I believe your theory is accurate, at least to a point. Our bond is stronger since the fal tor pan. We have both noticed that. Your shielding has always been strong, but it too has seemed stronger. Mine, on the other hand, is no longer as strong as it was--at least where you are concerned. And it has been at its weakest given the blood fever. In searching for you and in trying to burn out the fever, I forced you to 'overload' your shields. I continued to try to re-establish the link. When I could no longer do that to due to the sedation, you were, in essence, released. I should have anticipated this." Spock began absently caressing Leonard. "Huh? Why?" "There are records of this with two Vulcan males drawing each other into the pon farr." "Like when a house full of human females ends up on the same menstrual cycle?" Leonard mused. "That is more biological. Our connection is mental." "And enhanced because of carrying your katra?" "In all probability." "What do we do now?" Leonard shifted his body to snuggle closer to Spock's warmth. "I can teach you to withdraw from the link differently without putting up shields, much as when I withdraw from a mind meld. And we can consult a healer if you wish to lessen our bond." "No, I don't want that." He added softly, "unless you do." Spock answered that by turning to brush his lips against his mates. "No, but a healer should be consulted before we must deal with this again, so that you are not as affected by the fever the next time. I believe, however, that the fever has abated enough that I should not endanger you again during this cycle." "Nevertheless, you still have that fever. And I believe it is my duty as a physician to see if I can appropriately treat that fever," Leonard teased. Spock let the intensity of the fever reach his mate to reinforce his words. "Your skills would be appreciated, doctor." And with that Leonard began ministrations that were not taught to him in med school. ********* Leonard was in his office in Sickbay when he felt a familiar presence. He looked up from his journal to await the arrival of his mate. He did not have to wait long before Spock appeared at his door. "Doctor, may I interrupt you?" "Of course, Mr. Spock. I was just reading the latest volume of 'Xeno Quarterly.' Wanna see the centerfold?" It was a long-running and long past amusing joke, but Leonard was trying to get a rise out of the scientist that was his mate. Spock had been unusually reserved and stoic since resuming active duty. Predictably, however, Spock ignored the remark and merely stepped inside the office and stood to the side of the desk. Leonard shut the computer display off and asked, "What can I do for, Spock?" Spock extended his arm and held two fingers out to Leonard. It was a gesture Leonard had come to relish over the years, but it was a gesture Spock rarely offered in public and had *never* offered while they were on duty. But Leonard would not deny him. He touched his fingers to Spock and began a slow caress. //Spock?// "I have felt your grief at my death." Leonard wondered where this was coming from and what it was all about. "I know. And I have felt your regret at causing that grief. But we both know there was no other way. And I'm just eternally grateful that I got you back. So, what's the reason for bringing this up now?" "I thought I understood. I did not." Sensing Leonard's confusion, Spock sat down on the corner of Leonard's desk. But he did not relinquish the contact of their fingers. "I have felt your grief. But, I did not understand it fully until I experienced my own. The belief that I had killed you, the belief that you were dead has . . . haunted . . . me for the last few days. Meditation has not sufficiently rectified the situation." "Ah, Sweetheart," Leonard whispered. "I'm alive and I'm well and I intend to be both of those things for quite some time. One day, one of us is gonna have to face that feeling again. And I'm sorry to say that it will probably be you. But until then, we have this," he directed his gaze at their touching fingers. "And this." He maneuvered his hand so that he could intertwine all of his fingers with Spock's. He squeezed hard, making his point felt physically and mentally. Spock nodded, but he did not let go. "I am cognizant of that fact. And I anticipated your response, but I hoped my confession would . . . " "Exorcise the demon?" Leonard finished for him. "I'll make you a deal, Mr. Spock." Leonard began as he released his mate's hand and flipped the computer display back on. "Let's finish our shift. And when we get back to our quarters, I'll show just how alive I am. Maybe we can find some way other than meditation to put that little episode behind us." Spock let his smile show in his eyes if not his lips. He turned to leave and was almost out the door when Leonard called to him. "Besides, Spock, if I gotta go, I can't think of a better way than with a smile on my face and your cock up my ass." Leonard's reward was all he hoped for--one absolutely shocked, totally embarrassed, and completely flustered Vulcan. [The End.]