“I really need to get that project finished in the biology lab,” the yeoman told her friend.
At that moment, the turbo lift door opened, and movement and noise boiled out of it. The yeomen flattened themselves against the wall to get out of the way as Spock carrying McCoy emerged. They seemed to swallow the available space, partly because of the fern that McCoy cradled in his arms. Fronds from the fern tumbled every which way and hid a lot of McCoy. His uniform was dirty and torn, and scrapes and bruises marked him.
The two women glanced at each other. Where had McCoy gotten so injured and why was he clutching a plant in his arms? And why was Commander Spock carrying the both of them?
“Excuse us, ladies,” McCoy said, addressing the startled yeomen who were staring at the bizarre sight before them. “The Vulcan’s in protective mode and won’t listen to reason. He seems to be having problems understanding the English language, too, and won‘t let me down to navigate under my own steam.”
“Give up the plant, Doctor, and I will,” Spock grumbled.
“Give up the Doctor, Vulcan,” McCoy grumbled back.
“Never!” Spock averred as he started down the hallway with McCoy.
“You can have me back!” McCoy yelled. “It’s not like you’re losing me forever!”
“I turned my back once, and you followed a plant into battle. I do not know if I will ever be able to trust you out of my sight again.”
“Well, forgive me for breathing! I was trying to save your plant!”
“By killing yourself? Two wrongs do not make a right, Doctor.”
“I do not need philosophical platitudes right now! I need a gardener!”
“That is where we are going.”
The men disappeared around a corner, but the sounds of arguing continued.
Shirley rolled her eyes. “What was that all about, Connie?”
“It’s hard telling with those two. They go crazy periodically. You never know about them.”
“Why did McCoy have that fern? It looked like a bridal bouquet and Spock was carrying him to their bedchamber.”
“They’ve already had their honeymoon, so it can’t be that.”
“And if it’s a second honeymoon, why take the fern? And why are they on this level? Their quarters are elsewhere.”
“Officers! Who can understand them?” Connie shook her head and entered the turbo lift.
“You may put me down any time now, Vulcan. I am perfectly capable of walking.”
“Give me Fred, and I will.”
“People are going to think you’re crazy, you know.”
“I am not the one with a plant in my arms, Leonard.”
“And that’s where he’s staying!”
“You may be injured. In fact, you look as if you have been. Did enemy soldiers attack you?“
“Some sort of bush did. I landed on it. Fred was the one having trouble with enemy soldiers. He apparently landed in their midst. I managed to get him away from them, but some of his fronds got broken. I expect it came as quite a shock when a plant suddenly appeared amongst those soldiers. He sure had the element of surprise.“ McCoy smiled fondly at Fred. “Good ol’ Fred. He was so heroic.”
“You still should be on your way to sickbay. You may have a concussion.”
“Why do you say that?!” McCoy demanded.
“You are talking oddly.”
“Oddly?! How in the hell do you figure that?!”
“You are talking nicely about Fred.”
“I don’t have to have a concussion to talk nice about Fred!”
They met two red shirts in the hallway.
“Commander?” one of the red shirts asked. “May we assist you?” He looked at the plant in McCoy’s arms. “May I take the plant from you, sir?”
“No!” McCoy roared. “I need no help with this plant! Commander Spock may be in need of assistance. But I don’t, unless you’d get him to put me down!”
“Commander?” the second red shirt asked.
“That is alright, gentlemen. I do not wish to stir Dr. McCoy too much. He may have a possible concussion. He is not speaking rationally.”
“Concussion?! Not speaking rationally?! Now see here, you green blooded--”
“Excuse us, gentlemen. We really need to be going to see Mr. Sulu.”
The two red shirts stepped aside.
“Sickbay isn’t that direction, sir.”
“I know. Dr. McCoy wishes to see to the welfare of this plant.”
The two red shirts looked at the fern as if McCoy was crazy.
“Dr. McCoy.” One of the red shirts stepped forward. “I can take the plant to Mr. Sulu.”
McCoy hugged the Boston fern. “No!”
The red shirts stepped back again, and Spock continued on his way.
“You really need to let me or someone else take Fred, Leonard.”
“I want to see how Fred is doing. We’d gone this far together. I’m not going to desert him now.”
“It is not desertion to let someone else take him.”
“It is to me!”
“Alright, Leonard. Whatever you say.”
“And stop humoring me!”
“I am not humoring you.”
“I ought to know when I am being humored! I am not a child!”
Spock shot an unguarded look at McCoy.
“I saw that look!”
“Leonard, I believe that I could have carried Fred to be seen by Sulu.”
“And I believe that I am going to see what Sulu has to say!”
A door whooshed open.
Sulu looked up and grinned.
“Eloping?” he asked with a grin. “Or just a family outing?”
“Everybody’s a comedian today,” McCoy mumbled.
“What’s the problem?”
“Fred got hurt,” McCoy said, holding out the fern.
“Hmm. I see.”
“Can you help him?”
“I’ll prune him and give him some supplements. Then he can rest here awhile.”
McCoy blanched. “He can’t go with us?”
“You need to care for yourself.”
“Sulu is right, Leonard. We will return, Hikaru.” And Spock carried McCoy out amid protests.
“It will be alright, Fred,” Sulu soothed. “Your stress will go away with me.”
If plants could sigh, Fred would.