“Finally,” Dr. McCoy says as Spock walks up to him. McCoy has a small portable med kit with him. His face wore a look that indicated annoyance with the world at large.
“Doctor, what was so urgent that you required my presence immediately?” Spock was trying to go for an even unaffected tone of voice, but he was tired. His mother’s home planet had been saved; his father’s home planet had been destroyed. Within the space of two days he went from science officer, to Captain, back down to science officer. He wasn’t even sure of his official position on this ship anymore. Too much had happened and too much was still undecided. He wanted to rest and mediated until he could control the pain that was trying to claw its way to the surface. The doctor had called him and in a short clipped message full of annoyance and concern, telling Spock to come down to the Captain’s ready room, immediately.
“Jim’s in there,” McCoy points a thumb behind him in the direction of the ready room, “being stupid and, as much I hate to admit it, I need back up.”
Spock raises an eyebrow, clearly indicating his disbelief. Not at the fact that the Captain was in the ready room but that McCoy would call him. “And you thought to call me?”
“Yeah, I know. But Jim seems to respect you, which is saying something.” McCoy gave a grimace at the thought. Spock could understand the sentiment. Given Jim Kirk’s behavior towards him he wouldn’t say that Kirk respected him, but according to Dr. McCoy he did. Spock had the fleeting thought where he was wondered, what was the difference in Kirk’s behavior when he didn’t respect the other person.
“Look,” McCoy growls out, “I just need you to be a distraction for me really. I can’t go in there with the hypospray because then he’ll see it coming a mile away. Especially after what I had to do to get him up here in the first place. Heck he still might see it coming.”
Spock would have preferred a more thorough explanation of what was going on, and what was expected of him, but the doctor was already opening the door and marching through. Spock had no option but to follow.
Spock found he does not need the Doctor to explain any more once he saw Kirk. The other man is pacing the room while reading information from a PADD, seemingly engrossed. The uniform for male Starfleet Officer’s doesn’t leave much skin exposed, but what is seems covered in cuts and bruises. This explained the need for McCoy’s med kit. If Spock felt the need for rest, surely Kirk must. It seemed written in every muscle in his body, but the other man did not act as though he did. His entire body was tense, but everything about him projected energy. He should be taking this time to unwind himself, rest, so that he is ready for the next encounter whatever it maybe.
“Bones, we talked about this. I’m fine.” Kirk didn’t even look up from what he was reading.
He even sounds tense.
“Even given that fine has variable definitions, you are not, as you say, fine.” Spock replies, even though the statement was not said to him. Beside McCoy said to distract him.
Kirk looks up then, surprise clear on his face. He follows this with a glare at McCoy, “You didn’t have to bring him into it.”
“Dr. McCoy did not ‘bring’ me into anything.” Spock could see that Kirk was annoyed by the situation and pressed his advantage. “May I inquire, to what it so important that it can not wait until you are rested, Captain?” Spock uses the title purposefully.
“Damage reports,” Kirk growls out. An improvement, it would seem, since he is actually talking to Spock this time. All his attention focused on the other man. “I’m telling both of you, I’m fine. I’m sorry if I’m not conforming to what you expect, but I’m fine.” He’s seems to have to forgotten McCoy and is crowding Spock in a way that Spock recognizes as an intimidation technique. Though it seems to be subconscious this time, where as before on the bridge it was very purposeful.
“You should rest Captain. We have all gone through an ordeal over the past few days. There is no logical reason for you to be pushing yourself further now that the danger has passed.”
“Yeah, yeah Bones has already talked my ears off about this. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Kirk says in a flippant way.
“Illogical. You will deprive this ship of another Captain far too quickly with that course of action.”
Kirk opens his mouth to reply, but it quickly changes to an exclamation of surprise when Dr. McCoy jabs him in the neck with a hypospray. “Ow! The fuck, Bones?”
“Relax Jim, it’s a sedative. You won’t have any reaction to it this time. I promise. This is two you owe me, by the way.”
The sedative is already working; Kirk’s blinking heavily trying to keep his eyes open and drops the PADD on to the ground. “I owe you? For this…” Given that Kirk is falling towards him, it’s only logical that Spock gather up the Captain in his arms to keep him from falling face first on to the floor.
“Was this course of action really necessary Doctor?” Spock asks once he’s got a grip on the other man.
“Yeah, Jim wasn’t going quit until he collapsed,” McCoy took Kirk’s other arm so that they both were supporting him.
“So your solution was to hasten that outcome.”
McCoy can’t tell if Spock’s being sarcastic or asking a question, so he ignores it. “Come on, lets move him to couch.”
“You could have taken him off duty. It is the Chief Medical Officers prerogative to relieve an officer of duty--“
“I know dammit.” Kirk’s lying across the couch dead to world. McCoy didn’t miss a beat as he opens his med kit and starts going over Kirk’s injuries, starting from the head and working down. “But I couldn’t do that to him. He hasn’t even had the ship for a full 48 hours yet-- heck hardly a full day even. Do you know what Starfleet would think if I took him off for fatigue so soon after that? Jim would never forgive me.”
“If it is in his best interest, I do not understand why he would hold it against you?” Spock’s genuinely confused.
“Because a ship of his own is what Jim wants. Every time he joked about in the Academy, he wasn’t really joking about it. Bruised ribs, should have known.” McCoy starts efficiently and carefully removing Kirk’s shirt, Spock realizes it would go easier with his help and moves to do so. He finds himself the doctor’s assistant as he patches up the younger man. He uses this time to silently study the sleeping man and the doctor.
McCoy doesn’t bother looking at him as he works on Kirk. “I didn’t make a mistake calling you in on this, did I? You aren’t going to mess things up for him.” The first is question, but the second is a statement, that could easily be read as a threat. Spock finds that he can’t help but wonder at the strong loyalty inspired by James T. Kirk. It is fascinating.
“No. I will endeavor not to ‘mess things up’. I do not believe it would be good for ship morale to change its Captain this often.”
McCoy snorts in dry amusement in this. He isn’t buying what Spock’s selling, but he’ll let it go, ‘cause there’s no reason to keep pushing when he’s got what he wants. “Good. He doesn’t deserve to loose the ship over this. He’d be a good Captain. He’d look after the ship and her crew and get the job done. He just doesn’t know how to look after himself.”
“Then it is fortunate he has subordinates who are willing and able to look after him.” Spock replies.
“Yeah,” McCoy says and turns his head to give a full force glare at Spock. “You ever tell him I said that, I’ll snip your ears off personally. Got it. He’s got a big enough head as it is.”
The doctor is one of the most emotional men Spock has ever had the misfortune of interacting with.
McCoy finishes up and packs his supplies up in his kit. Spock moves to get up, but the doctor stays kneeling near the couch and moves to remove Kirk’s shoes before getting up. Spock busies himself by picking up the falling data PADD and depositing on the desk.
The room’s temperature is comfortable for humans, but McCoy grabs the throw blanket that is hanging over the back of the couch and spreads it over Kirk. The throw belongs to Captain Pike (who is currently down at a medical facility on Earth), just like everything else in this room and the captain’s quarters is Pike’s. But given that Kirk was never assigned quarters on the Enterprise and is now her Captain, also given Captain Pike’s general good regard for Kirk, Spock doesn’t think that Pike would mind. McCoy doesn’t care if Pike would mind or not.
“How long will he sleep?” Spock asks as they are about to leave the room.
“The sedative itself would only last about 2 hours, but I don’t expect Jim to wake up for at least 8. And if he does I’ll just put him under again, if I have too. Hell, I’d really feel better if he slept 10 hours or more but I don’t expect it.” McCoy speaks in a whisper even though it isn’t necessary.
Spock nods, “Contact me if you are in need of further assistance.”
McCoy blinks in surprise and gapes at Spock before he finds his voice again, “Yeah, alright. We’ll probably have to think of a new strategy. Jim Kirk rarely falls for the same gag twice.”
They are about to head in separate directions outside the ready room, when McCoy stops him and says, “Thanks for the help. You might not be so cold blooded after all.”
Spock raises an eyebrow and watches as the other man heads down the corridor. He wonders what he has done to give the good doctor such an impression.