Turn It Off

Title: Turn It Off

Author: Tempest

Series: TOS

Paring: S/Mc

Rating: PG for mentions of death and mental illness

Summary: McCoy has trouble coping with Spock’s death and the visions that come from it. He wishes he could turn it all off.  

Disclaimer: I don't own TOS. I never have, and I never will. Star Trek and all of its relations are property of Paramount and Viacom. I only own this story. Anybody who has a problem with the thought of men in homosexual relationships with each other, please stay away. Flames and feedback are welcome. Please ask before putting this anywhere.

Authors Note: This song comes from “The Book of Mormon” and is about coping mechanisms. I thought it fitting to turn on its head.  

Turn It Off

By Tempest

December 1, 2011



Sleep eluded him.


Every time Leonard McCoy closed his eyes, he was plagued by terrible visions, haunted by memories that refused to leave him in peace. The position on bed mattered not: on his stomach, on his side, on his back, he could never get comfortable and could never banish the images. He tried taking one of those little red pills but to no effect. He refused to risk taking more than one, since that could cause a severe reaction, and as miserable as he felt, the skeleton crew needed him alive and well.


Jim needed him alive and well.


The waking realm did little to bring McCoy comfort. Days after the explosions, the corridors still smelled like smoke. The ship still tasted like death. His quarters felt of loss.


To the best of their ability, the others tried to give him a wide berth, tried to give him peace and quiet. Tried to give him time alone with his thoughts.


McCoy didn’t want time alone with his thoughts. His thoughts were depressing, traumatic, confusing, and terrifying. His thoughts were filled with colors that constantly warred with each other and clashed: red and brown clashed with blue and green. Mountains he had never visited sprang up from the familiar oceans of home.


His thoughts were filled with a familiar baritone speaking a language that he did not understand. He recognized some of the words, of course: t’hy’la (brother, friend, lover), ashaya (love), skan (family), let’theiri (peace). Most of the words were meaningless to him, and yet he felt a yearning stronger than he had ever felt before. A yearning to simply move, to go somewhere. But he didn’t know where.


It frightened him. These feelings, these images, Spock’s voice.


He needed reassurance. Reassurance that he wasn’t going completely insane. He knew that there was a risk of insanity to a surviving partner whenever a mental bond was broken. Spock had warned him, M’Benga had warned him, Spock’s matriarch had warned him, and he had taken all of that into consideration before the bonding, over a decade ago. But who had seriously expected him to outlive Spock?


McCoy tried to do research into the matter, tried to consult the library files into what the symptoms of a telepathically-induced mental breakdown were. But every time he accessed the files about Vulcan culture and history, he ended up staring at a map of the desert. McCoy didn’t know why, and he was worried about the lapses in time.


The lapses in time came with increasing frequency. For the most part, the time lapses were negligible: only a few minutes each time. And while at first he had shrugged them off and attributed it to grieving and to the trauma of watching his own spouse die without being able to touch him, without as much as a goodbye, he inwardly knew better. It was more difficult to pretend otherwise with the lapses coming more rapidly and without warning.


The worst of it was also the one silver lining: since the funeral, his duties were mostly routine. The time lapses didn’t affect his work because he could do his work in his sleep. At the same time, he wished that he had something else to distract him from the grief and the loneliness, because he felt that he might drown at times.


He was so tired. He hadn’t slept well since Spock’s death, had barely slept at all. He had once tried to sleep in Spock’s quarters, but the visions were so intense that he had felt as though his skin was on fire. He had woken drenched in sweat, and a ten minute sonic shower had done nothing to ease the feelings of heat and pain.


The next day, he had asked Jim to seal Spock’s quarters. The admiral had given him a perplexed look, but he had complied with the request. McCoy felt terrible every time he passed the quarters, but he felt better knowing that they were untouchable. It helped the yearning a bit, knowing it was out of his control.


Sometimes when he passed Spock’s quarters on his way somewhere else, he would experience a flash. It caused him to walk a little quicker. McCoy never lingered outside the Vulcan’s quarters.


He found that the ship was different at night, when all but the makeshift Gamma shift were supposed to be asleep, preparing for Alpha shift the next morning. Scotty and Jim were undoubtedly tired of his restless and bizarre behavior, and truth told, often the doctor wanted to be alone. He spent countless hours looking at holo-photos of the life he had shared with Spock.


He was only fifty-eight years old. He was too young to be a widower.


The last time that he had looked at holo-photos, he could have sworn that one of the holos of Spock spoke to him. “Bring me peace, Leonard.”


He had stared for a long moment, and then put the holo discs back into the drawer where he usually kept them.


The problem with that course of action is that he was running out of ways to keep himself occupied. That meant that his thoughts would wander and the lapses in time would only grow worse. Or that he would eventually have to sleep because he would have nothing else to keep him awake.


Leonard McCoy didn’t want to close his eyes and have those visions play out in his brain. Even the echo of Spock’s voice reassuring him that everything would be fine did nothing to ease the anxiety that plagued him. He couldn’t do this. He would surely go mad, if he wasn’t already, and a madman couldn’t be the CMO of a ship. And if he was discharged for medical reasons, then what? He would be forced to wander the home he shared with Spock, alone, filled with nostalgia and flashbacks...he couldn’t do that. It hurt too much. It was too much to handle. How could he possibly...?


McCoy wanted it to stop. He wanted the anxiety and the visions and all of the other hallucinations to simply go away. He wished that there was a way to turn his brain off for a few hours, to let him rest and to help him cope.


There is.


Spock’s voice. It was always Spock’s voice. “If there is, then how do I do it?” He spoke aloud to differentiate between the hallucinations of Spock’s voice and the reality of his own.


Let me show you.


McCoy felt panic grip him, but it was forced away by the warmth of the memory of Spock’s presence. That made it easier, and he nodded his assent. “All right. Show me.”


He felt warmer.


And it stopped.




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