The message from Vulcan is simple and completely public. Any single, adult Vulcans left alive must take a mate. That’s all, just that. The Vulcan population is so small they no longer care about the race purity that had once been important. Evidently they don’t care much about ritual or tradition any more either. With the Vulcan population being what it is, they were simply interested in numbers. No one on the Enterprise talks about it officially, especially not Spock but by the end of the shift, everyone right down the last Yeoman knew.
McCoy decides the best way to deal with it is to ignore it completely. He doesn’t mention it, ever. He doesn’t participating in any of the gossip that flies around speculating about whether or not Spock has his eyes on anyone. He doesn’t have anything to do with the betting pools Sulu and Scotty set up about who Spock will choose or if he’ll sever all ties with New Vulcan and simply refuse to choose anyone.
“The latest rumor says he’s going to get back together with Uhura.” Scotty tells Kirk, who seems to find every single piece of gossip regarding Spock’s sex life unendingly fascinating. “But I have it on good authority that if he does try she’s not taking him back.” Scotty looks rather pleased about that, enough to make McCoy wonder, not that he has anything to do with ship gossip.
Instead he frowns at both of them. “I don’t see as how it’s any of our business either way.” He snaps and Scotty looks properly chastised while Kirk just grins.
“Come on, Bones, don’t you find it even the least bit interesting? I mean Spock’s got to choose someone before he goes back to New Vulcan, and out here in deep space it’s got to be someone on the ship.” Kirk idly kicks his feet like a small boy and leers like a lecherous old man. McCoy rolls his eyes and groans.
“No, I’m not interested. Ok? Just leave it alone Jim, Spock’s been through enough without the whole damn ship speculating on his private life.”
Kirk doesn’t say anything, but after lunch he falls into step beside McCoy in the hall. “So what’s up with you and Spock?”
“Me and . . . ?” McCoy would have done a double take if he hadn’t known Kirk for as long as he had. “Nothing, not the way you mean, Jim.”
“Really?” Kirk draws out the word and raises his eyebrows like he highly doubts that. “Because that’s not what it looked like, the way you were so quick to come to his defense. I mean, I thought you two didn’t get along, you certainly spend enough time arguing.” Kirk bounces a little next to McCoy and gives him a speculative sidelong look.
“You were the one who said me and Spock should be friends.” McCoy reminded him, entering sickbay and heading for his office, Kirk right behind him. “As I remember it, in fact, there was a lot of begging and pleading for us three to have dinner together, and for me to sit in on those chess games you two have. Something about us all being ‘destined’ to be friends.” He gives Kirk a long look. “And it worked, ok? Sure the guy is one of the most irritating, infuriating, green blooded . . .”
Kirk cuts him off. “Yeah, yeah, I get the picture. You like him.”
“I like him as a friend.” McCoy stresses the last word. “That’s all. Now go pester someone else or run a Starship or whatever you do in your spare time.”
Kirk only grins at him and spins once in McCoy’s chair before sauntering back out of his office to go run a Starship or whatever it was he did.
Spock has been choosing to eat alone lately. McCoy can’t say he really blames him, not with all the gossip and rumors. McCoy sets his plate down the other end of the table and Spock looks up at him.
“Hello, Doctor.” Spock inclines his head ever so slightly and looks back down at his food.
“So is everything ok?”
Spock’s brows draw together. “I do not understand the question.”
McCoy sighs. “Are you doing alright, Spock?”
“I am physically well.” Spock informs him.
McCoy almost asks if he is all right emotionally, as well as physically, and then remembers who he’s talking to in time. Instead, he nods curtly and turns his attention to his lunch. They sit in silence and McCoy realizes this is one of the things he actually likes about Spock, the fact that he doesn’t feel the need to fill up the space with constant chatter. After a few minutes, though, he looks up and notices Spock watching him. “What?” He asks bluntly, but Spock only raises his eyebrows.
“I believe it is customary to ask if you are also well, Doctor.”
McCoy swallows the last of his sandwich. “I’m fine, Spock.”
“I am most gratified to hear it.” Spock stands smoothly and picks up his tray, moving away from the table, and McCoy watches him go.
It’s not until Spock has moved out of the mess hall that McCoy realizes they’ve just had an entire conversation without fighting. Sure, it hadn’t been much of a conversation, but it was something. He looks up again and realizes Kirk’s been watching them. The Captain meets McCoy’s eyes from across the room and smirks at him. McCoy rolls his eyes and picks up his own plate.
Spock mind melds with something he shouldn’t have on the following away mission, and next thing McCoy knows, Kirk is frantically signaling him as they beam aboard. Spock is limp in the Captain’s arms and McCoy rushes over and scans him, but the scans reveal nothing physically wrong, Spock is merely unconscious. They get him into sickbay and McCoy hooks him up to machines to monitor him. Then all they can do is wait.
Aside from Spock, sickbay is actually not that busy, so after Kirk leaves to see to his ship, McCoy pulls up a chair next to Spock’s bed and settles down to read through some medical journals he hasn’t had time to catch up on. He reads through a journal article or two and then gets distracted watching Spock. The Vulcan is thinner than he should be, McCoy thinks. He knows Spock is still grieving, that might account for some of his weight loss, and who knows, Spock might not be over Uhura either. McCoy has no idea how Vulcan’s deal with rejection, but he has his suspicions that Spock, at least, doesn’t take it well. Spock’s eyelashes are long and dark, against slightly green flushed cheeks. His form on the biobed seems unnervingly small for a man McCoy’s never thought of as vulnerable. He’s thinking that now, though. He’s thinking about what it must feel like to lose your home and your mother on the same day, thinking about what it must feel like to be one of the last of your kind, to be forced into marriage by your own people for the good of the race. He can’t even imagine what it must be like to have rumors regarding your private life spread all over the ship, especially for someone as private as Spock. McCoy doesn’t think he’d ever be able to live with that level of scrutiny and prying, and he’s beginning to think Spock might be a lot more vulnerable then he lets people believe. He pats one of Spock’s hands gently where it lies against the white sheet of the biobed. Several hours later he is shaken awake. He sits up with a start and glances first at Spock. Spock is still unconscious, but the monitors attached to the bed tell McCoy he’s still physically fine.
He looks blearily up at Kirk. “Hey, yourself.”
Kirk nods at Spock. “Is he going to be ok?”
McCoy looks down at the unconscious Vulcan. “I don’t know. I have no idea what you’re supposed to do when one of their mind meld things goes haywire. We just have to wait it out, I guess.”
Kirk nods, running one hand through his already tousled hair. McCoy can tell Kirk’s tired and worried about Spock. Kirk looks down at him again. “You going to stay there all night, Bones?”
McCoy shifts in his chair. “I don’t see why not. Someone’s got to keep an eye on him.”
“And you’re just going to sit there and hold his hand until his wakes up?”
McCoy rolls his eyes. “Give it a rest, Jim. I’m his doctor.”
“Yeah.” Kirk runs his hand through his hair again and looks down at Spock’s still form. He yawns and stretches and then looks back at McCoy this time grinning at him “I’ll leave you to it. Call me when he wakes up.”
“Will do.” McCoy looks pointedly back down at the PADD on his lap, and Kirk slaps him on the shoulder and heads for the door. When it hisses shut behind the young Captain, McCoy looks back over at Spock and sighs.
He must have fallen asleep again, because next thing he knows something is beeping loudly. He jolts upright and then is standing, scanning the biobed readings before he’s even fully conscious that he’s moved at all.
“Doctor.” He looks up at Spock, who’s looking calmly back at him, and scans the Vulcan with a hand scanner.
“Spock.” The readings tell him that Spock’s fine, but then they were telling him that when Spock was unconscious. “How do you feel?”
One of Spock’s eyebrows goes up and McCoy waits for Spock to tell him how illogical the question is. “I am fine.” Spock tells him after a minute. “May I inquire as to the outcome of the away mission?”
“Aside from you being knocked unconscious for several hours, it went great.” McCoy scans him again for good measure. There had to be some medical way to understand a Vulcan mind meld, there just had to be. His hand accidentally brushes against Spock’s, and Spock makes a noise somewhere between a gasp and a sigh, and McCoy jerks his hand back fast. Vulcans are touch telepaths and McCoy knows this, which is why he’s always been careful not to touch Spock unless he needs to. They stare at each other for a long moment, and then McCoy turns towards his office. “I need to call Jim.” He doesn’t wait to hear Spock’s response to that.
Spock is leaning against the railing of the observation deck when McCoy finds him. He comes to stand next to Spock and leans against the railing too, his back to the stars, though, because looking at open space still makes him feel sick. He crosses his arms over his chest and looks at Spock.
“Are you planning on getting married?”
Spock raises one eyebrow at him and then turns to look back at space. For a long moment he doesn’t speak, and McCoy begins to think he’s not going to get an answer.
“I have very little choice. My father and the remaining Elders require that I take a mate.” He pauses for a long moment. “The survival of our race demands it.”
“But you don’t want to.”
Again Spock is silent for a long moment. “I had hoped,” he finally says, his voice softer and more subdued than McCoy is used to hearing from him, “that when I made such a commitment,” he stops again, head titled downwards slightly as if this conversation is difficult for him, and McCoy almost feels bad for asking. Spock then continued, “it would be under more favorable circumstances for all parties involved.” Spock straightens up and clasps his hands behind his back, turning slightly to look at McCoy. “I had hoped not to bond with a stranger. However, what the Vulcan Elders require is logical.”
They stand in silence for a long minute as McCoy processes through what he’s just been told, which is so very much, he realizes. Spock has just confided in him more than he had thought possible, and he’s not even sure why. He glances back over at Spock, who’s looking at space again. Why isn’t Spock having this conversation with Jim, McCoy wonders, and then dismisses the thought - maybe Jim hasn’t asked. He thinks about Spock eating alone, week after week, while people gossip behind his back. He thinks of the Vulcan Elders demanding that Spock bond to a stranger although Spock has stated he would prefer not to. He remembers how vulnerable Spock had looked on the biobed a little over a week ago. He remembers the sense of complete devastation that had come off Spock in waves when he had stood stiffly on the bridge minutes after losing both his home and his mother, trying desperately to control himself, to command a Starship, to do what was right.
“I’ll marry you.”
Spock jerks up like he’s been slapped, and turns to stare at McCoy. For a moment, McCoy thinks he’s done the impossible and left Spock speechless. “May I inquire why, Doctor?”
There is something in Spock’s tone that McCoy’s never heard there before, something lurking behind the words. McCoy shrugs. “You have to get married. You don’t want to marry a stranger.”
Spock just stares at him and McCoy crosses his own arms over his chest and frowns. “I’m not looking for anything here, Spock. I’m not expecting love, or romance, or sex. God know I know a marriage doesn’t require any of that. I’m just offering as a friend, to get your father and the other Vulcans off your back. Maybe get rid of some of the rumors flying around the ship. Everything can settle down, go back to normal. It’ll be in name only anyway.”
Spock’s eyes have gone cold and hard. “I thank you for your concern, Doctor, but I assure you I do not need your pity.” Spock moves towards the observation deck door, and McCoy reaches out and grabs him by the arm.
“Spock, wait.” Spock stops and looks at him, and McCoy sighs. “I’m not doing this out of pity, damn it, I’m just trying,” to take care of you. “To help you out. That’s it.”
For a long moment Spock just searches his face, although for what McCoy’s not sure. Then gently Spock removes his arm from McCoy’s grip, and inclines his head slightly towards McCoy.
“I will consider your offer.” He tells him formally, in a voice even more devoid of emotion than usual, and turns. McCoy sighs when the door hisses shut, and closes his eyes, leaning back against the railing, his back to the stars, and hopes he’s doing the right thing.
McCoy blinks at Spock standing outside his door at an ungodly hour of the morning, still dressed in his uniform, hands clasped behind his back.
“Spock.” McCoy rubs one hand absently across his chin, feeling stubble rasp under his fingers. “Are you alright? Has something happened?” After all, they haven’t spoken in close to a week. Not since the conversation on the observation deck.
“I am well.” Spock informs him. “I have come to tell you that I have considered your proposal and find it surprisingly logical.”
McCoy stares at him and tries to decide whether or not to take offence. He decides he’s just too damn tired to care right now.
Spock unclasps his hands and folds them neatly in front of his body. “I am accepting your offer of marriage.” Spock tells him formally, and McCoy gropes around his still sleep-addled mind for something appropriate to say.
“Well that’s good then.”
They stare at each other for a moment, and McCoy suppresses a yawn. Finally Spock inclines his head again. “Tomorrow I will inform the Captain of our decision. Sleep well, Doctor.” He turns gracefully and makes his way back down the hall, and McCoy watches him go and then ducks back into his quarters.
‘Jim,’ McCoy thinks, as he flops back down on the bed. He obviously hadn’t thought this all the way through, because he’d totally forgotten that sooner or later he’d have to tell Jim he was marrying Spock, even if it was in name only. McCoy flings one arm across his eyes and groans. Jim was going to love this, maybe a little too much.
“You’re marrying Spock?!”
“Jim . . . ” McCoy raises one hand to ward off his best friend and shuts the door to his quarters. He turns back to find Kirk pacing around his room.
“I knew something was up with you two, with all the arguing, and insults, and how defensive and protective you get about him. I just expected you’d end up working it out by either killing each other or having hot sweaty sex, like normal people do, not get married.”
“Jim, it’s not like that.” McCoy sighs and crosses his arms over his chest. “Look, he needs to marry someone to keep all of New Vulcan, not to mention this crew, off his case. I told him I’d do it and he said yes.”
Kirk freezes, then turns and gives McCoy a long hard look. “So you two aren’t . . .”
McCoy rolls his eyes. “Not everyone’s you, Jim.”
“But you asked him to marry you and then he said yes?”
McCoy nods “It’s pure logical convenience, that’s all.”
Kirk stares at him for another long moment, then a slow smile spreads across his face and Kirk actually bounces on his heels. McCoy gives him a long, suspicious look of his own, because Kirk’s wearing that look he gets when he thinks he’s being particularly clever.
“You got something you want to share, Jim?”
“Oh no.” Kirk clasps his hands behind his back much like Spock, grinning like a cat who’d just caught the canary. “I don’t think so, Bones.”
McCoy only sighs.
Two days later Kirk marries them in his office between shifts, grinning like a loon the entire time. Scotty and Sulu witness the marriage, giving each other speculative looks as Spock stands stiffly next to McCoy and McCoy does everything he can not to touch the Vulcan unless it’s absolutely necessary. Afterwards Kirk invites them all back to his quarters for drinks, or in Spock’s case, tea. After half a glass, McCoy and Spock get into a heated argument about Vulcan medical practices verses Starfleet medicine, and Sulu and Scotty both excuse themselves. Kirk just sits back and watches them both, smirking to himself the enter time. Neither Spock nor McCoy feel any need to alert anyone to their new marital status, but by the end of the next shift everyone on the ship knows the happy news anyway.
Spock and McCoy are married but they are far from having things under control
McCoy is actually tired enough to walk all the way to his old quarters before remembering he doesn’t live there anymore. With a sigh he turns and makes his way to his new quarters, keying in his lock combination and stepping through the door. The new quarters are one of the suites assigned to married couples. The rooms are spacious with a full kitchen, and McCoy actually likes these better then his old quarters - the shower is bigger in the bathroom for one thing. Spock, it turns out, is a very quiet and tidy roommate too. McCoy makes sure he’s quiet as he makes his way to the bedroom. They still haven’t gotten that figured out yet. They have, after all, only been married for three days, and no one from engineering has gotten around to putting in another bed. Not that it really matters to McCoy. Spock is, as he has been for the last two nights, curled up at the far edge of the bed, in a pair of standard issue pajamas, taking up the minimum possible space. McCoy sighs again, pulls off his clothes in the dark, and pulls on a pair of pajama pants. He’d tried to convince Spock the first night that he didn’t need to sleep so far away from McCoy; it wasn’t like McCoy was going to try and jump him during the night or anything. Spock had only stared at him though, and then gotten into bed, curling up on the edge as far away from McCoy as possible. McCoy slides into bed and lies facing the other man for a long moment. He wonders yet again whether they have done the right thing by getting married like this, wonders if he’s ended up hurting Spock more than helping him. Spock doesn’t seem to be any happier; if anything he seems to have withdrawn further in the last three days, but then again it was hard to tell about these things with Spock.
“You are later then I expected, Doctor.”
McCoy blinks; he hadn’t realized Spock was still awake. “I had some extra paperwork to get done.” He yawns and puts his arms around his pillow. “And I told you to call me Leonard. Now that we’re married and all.” He smiles to himself at that.
“I see.” There is a slight pause. “Sleep well, Doctor.”
McCoy sighs. “Leonard.” He corrects Spock like he’s done every night since they moved in together. “You’re supposed to call a man by his first name when you’re in his bed.”
Spock rolls over to face him in the dark, still careful to keep a large amount of space between them. “Obviously, Doctor, this situation does not apply, seeing as how to have someone in ‘your bed’ within the context of your statement would assume a physical relationship between the two parties that we do not share.”
They stare at each other in the dark, and Spock makes a small movement towards McCoy’s bare chest that is almost immediately aborted. Spock lies very still for a moment, then rolls back over, away from McCoy, to face the wall and curl up on the edge of the bed again.
“Sleep well, Doctor.”
McCoy sighs once more and closes his eyes, “Good night, Spock.”
A couple weeks later McCoy comes back to their quarters to find Spock in a state. Not that most people would be able to tell, but the way Spock sits, even more stiffly than usual, the way he holds his shoulders, tells McCoy something is wrong.
“Spock?” Spock looks up at him and McCoy goes to the kitchen replicator, gets himself a drink of juice and comes back into their main room. “What’s on your mind?”
Spock’s lips thin into a straighter line then usual. “I find your question illogical, Doctor,”
he snaps, and McCoy blinks, upset and pissed off, he crosses his arms over his chest and glares right back at Spock. “I was only asking. If you’re going to be that way . . .”
“I am not being any ‘way’.” Spock gets up from his desk and paces across the room to the window, and presses a button to open it so he can look out at space. McCoy sits on the couch, carefully positioning himself so he can’t see the view. He sips his juice and waits. Spock is going to tell him what’s wrong. If Spock really hadn’t wanted his company he would have gone into his own room. “I received a transmission from New Vulcan.” Spock’s hands are clasped behind his back, after a moment he continues. “It informed me that I must form a mental bond with my chosen mate.”
McCoy takes another sip of his drink, watching Spock’s back carefully. He doesn’t like Vulcan mental bonds, or mind melding or any of that. He doesn’t like the idea of someone else in his head. On the other hand, this was Spock. “Well we should talk about this.”
“No, Doctor, we will not ‘talk about this’. It simply will not happen. I will not form a mental bond with you.” Spock’s tone is harsh, harsher than it’s been in a while actually, and McCoy feels anger rise.
“What, I’m not good enough?”
Spock spins around to face him, and something McCoy can’t quite name moves across the Vulcan’s face. “We will not discuss this,” Spock states flatly and then stalks to his bedroom, the door hissing shut behind him.
McCoy puts his glass down on the coffee table and presses his hands to his face, resting his elbows on his knees. He’s missing something here, he knows it, but he has no idea what it is.
“What is up with you and Spock?”
“That’s your favorite question now isn’t it, Jim?”
Kirk pushes his drink away and leans back against the couch in the front room of his quarters. “I’m only asking because after marrying you, he’s been more moody and unhappy than normal, and it’s not like he’s ever been particularly cheery.”
McCoy raises his eyebrows at Kirk. “How can you tell if a Vulcan’s ‘moody’?”
“You know what I mean.” Kirk looks up at McCoy, suddenly very serious. “Look, Bones, do you know what your doing here? I mean really? You’re married to Spock but you keep claiming you aren’t in love with him, you don’t want anything, even just sex, with him, and have you thought maybe that’s not what Spock needs?”
McCoy blinks at him for several minutes. “Wait, let me get this straight. I am getting a lecture on not breaking someone’s heart from you? Not to mention the fact that I can’t break Spock heart, having never been given it in the first place.”
Kirk looks at him for a long minute. “Do you have any idea what you want from this, Bones? Any at all?”
“Jim . . . ”
Kirk sighs and holds up one hand, “Fine. We can drop it, just be careful will you? You two are my First Officer and my CMO for God’s sake.”
“Ok.” McCoy’s not sure what’s going on here, but Kirk seems serious about this, and that in and of itself is something to think about.
Spock hasn’t eaten or slept in almost a week – not since they found the wreckage of the Defiant VI. They don’t know what caused the ship to explode, but Spock hasn’t given up looking for an answer yet. McCoy understands why, the ship was transporting a small group of Vulcan doctors from Earth to New Vulcan, and what would have been a tragedy before Vulcan was destroyed is now almost unthinkable.
“Spock.” Spock doesn’t look up from where he’s bent over a long panel of computers in of the Enterprise’s science labs. “Spock, you have to eat.”
“Not now, Doctor. I do not have the time.” Spock still hasn’t even looked up.
“Damn it, Spock.” McCoy grabs him by the arm and spins him around. “It’s been days. I won’t pretend to understand what you’re going through, but I’m your doctor and this is bordering on suicidal.”
Spock stares at him like he’s gone mad and McCoy sighs, “I’m taking you back to our rooms and making sure you eat something before you starve to death in this lab.”
Surprisingly Spock doesn’t resist when McCoy pulls him out of the lab and through the halls to their shared quarters. McCoy drags him into the rooms and through to the kitchen. “Sit.” Spock collapses into a chair and McCoy’s frown deepens. He orders the first vegetarian dish with the highest nutrition he can think of, and sets it in front of Spock. “Eat.”
Spock stares at his plate for a long minute and then picks up his fork. McCoy turns back to the replicater and orders himself coffee. He sits down at the table across from Spock and watches Spock eat with an automatic precision that makes McCoy think of sleepwalking. McCoy sips his coffee and closes his eyes; it’s been a long couple of days for everyone. The loss of the Defiant has shaken the entire crew, maybe not as much as Spock, but still. McCoy’s also worried about Kirk and Uhura, who have both been pushing themselves harder then they really need to, trying to figure this out. There is a dull sense of loss at the back of his own mind; he’d been at the Academy at the same time as the Defiant’s medical head of staff.
He opens his eyes and sees that Spock has slumped forward over the table. McCoy stands and moves swiftly around the table to scan Spock, and the other man’s eyes flutter open. Just exhaustion, McCoy realizes with relief. “Come on, Spock,” he reaches out for the other man, taking him by the shoulders, “time to get you to bed.”
Spock looks up at him blearily, his hand reaches out and McCoy jerks back in surprise. Spock’s fingers brush against his cheek, light and unnaturally hot. Spock sighs softly, his hand slipping away, and McCoy pulls him up into a standing position. “Spock?” Spock teeters slightly, falling against McCoy, who holds him up and a little away from his body, “Come on.”
They make their way across the common room, and McCoy keys the door to Spock’s bedroom open, “Alright, Spock, there you go.”
Spock’s hand reaches up again, tracing across McCoy’s cheek, almost stroking, sliding down his neck. “Doctor.”
McCoy turns to look at him; they are very close, so close, too close. Spock’s breath is hot against his own lips; Spock’s fingers are resting at the edge of McCoy’s collar.
“Go to bed, Spock.”
“Of course, Doctor.” Spock lets go of him and moves slowly and slightly awkwardly into his room. McCoy stands there staring at Spock’s closed door for a long time after.
McCoy struggles to sit up and fails. He feels sluggish, and parts of him feel numb. His head is still trying to catch up with what just happened, process the fact that there’s a bloody hole in his chest. He struggles to breathe but he can’t, Spock. He wants to say it but he can’t force the words out. Spock is there, looming over him, looking far too big and far too far away. Spock needs to put pressure on the wound, McCoy will bleed out if he doesn’t, but he can’t breathe, can’t tell Spock to do that.
“Doctor McCoy.” Spock is bending over him, must be kneeling next to him. Then there’s pain, far too much. McCoy struggles not to black out, he’d vomit if he could. “Doctor, look at me, you must not lose consciousness. Doctor? Doctor, look at me.”
Spock’s right, he can’t lose consciousness, but he can’t breathe, can’t move, can’t think. Spock is so close, his hand covered in blood, McCoy’s blood, on McCoy’s shoulder, against his face, “Doctor.” Spock.
McCoy blacks out.
He comes to in sickbay, hooked up to monitors. “Chapel,” he’s surprised his voice comes out in a croak.
“I’ll get her.” His eyes slide sideways to see Jim standing up from a chair next to his bed. After a few minutes he’s back, with Chapel at his heels.
“How am I doing?”
Chapel raises her eyebrows at McCoy, “Very well, considering you crashed twice before we got you stabilized.”
She checks the biobed readouts and McCoy looks back over at Kirk. “You’ve been here for a while?”
“Most of the time since Spock brought you back.” Kirk looks grim, and sits back down in his chair. McCoy wants to ask where Spock is after saving his life and all, but he’s drifting already, and he knows better then to fight it now.
When he wakes up again Spock is standing looking down at him, hands clasped behind his back.
“Spock,” McCoy reaches up towards the other man and Spock doesn’t flinch away, just lets McCoy’s hand come to rest on his arm, “you saved my life.”
“Yes,” Spock looks down at him, “that does appear to be the case.”
McCoy can’t help but smile as he drifts off again.
Chapel releases him back to his own quarters several days later, but Kirk forbids him from going back on duty for a few days. Spock comes back early that evening and makes them both dinner, and McCoy doesn’t really have the energy to complain. They eat, and McCoy asks questions about the latest away mission and other goings-on around the ship. Spock gives him very formal reports on the crew’s activities since he’s been in sickbay. They finish and Spock starts clearing the table.
“Spock,” Spock turns to look at where McCoy is leaning against the kitchen doorway, “come here.”
Spock sets the last dish aside and comes to stand in front of McCoy, who looks at the other man for a long moment. Then very purposefully he reaches up and brushes his fingers against Spock’s face and doesn’t miss the shiver that goes through Spock when he does it.
McCoy’s hand drops, and Spock reaches out and catches it, tangling their fingers together, and McCoy’s thumb rubs against Spock’s. “I’m sorry,” McCoy tells him honestly. “I was an idiot.”
“No.” Spock braids their fingers together and strokes across McCoy’s palm with his thumb. “There is nothing wrong with your level of intelligence. In fact it is quite high.”
McCoy smiles and Spock’s hand slides around the back of his head, drawing them close, and then they’re kissing. McCoy closes his eyes and leans into the kiss; he lets Spock dominate, letting himself actually feel Spock for the first time. They break the kiss and McCoy presses his face against Spock’s shoulder, feels the heat coming off the other man. “Spock I want . . .”
Their fingers twist together and Spock lets out a little noise almost like a gasp. “Yes, Leonard,” Spock agrees.
“You do realize that was our wedding night?” McCoy looks over at Spock, who’s holding one of McCoy’s hands between his own.
“I believe that happened several weeks ago,” Spock tells him, and then kisses each of McCoy’s fingers in turn before kissing the palm of his captured hand, totally derailing any thought McCoy might have. McCoy reaches over and pulls Spock close, kissing his mouth, his jaw and down his throat, listening to Spock’s breath catch.
“Your father’s going to be unhappy,” McCoy points out, kissing along Spock’s collarbone, licking at the hollow where he can feel Spock’s pulse.
“My father is Vulcan - therefore incapable of feeling unhappiness.” Spock’s eyes are shut and he rakes through McCoy’s hair with one hand. “However I agree with you, this will not be what he expected.”
McCoy pulls away enough to look up at Spock, suddenly serious, “Is this what you want? You do know we could still get divorced, right?”
“Leonard,” Spock pulls him up slightly and kisses McCoy soundly, “I agreed to marry you because that was what I wanted.”
“And the Vulcan Elders will just have to figure it out on their own?”
Spock raises one eyebrow at him. “Indeed.”
“Will you mentally bond with me now?” McCoy tilts his head to one side and strokes one hand down Spock’s chest, drawing his fingers through dark hair as he goes.
“Yes,” Spock tells him, “if you also wish it.”
“We’ll talk about it,” McCoy’s fingers stroke across the inside of one of Spock’s thighs, “just not right now.”
He grasps Spock’s erection firmly, strokes him with slow, lazy movements and watches Spock fall part so easily, so beautifully, under his hands.
“Spock? McCoy?” Kirk’s voice comes across the intercom, filling the room, several hours later. “Where are you two?”
There is no one in the main room to answer it, but the bathroom door is open and the whole suite is filled with the sound of running water. McCoy is pressed against the shower tiles, trying to get a handhold on anything that isn’t Spock kneeling in front of him. After a long moment Spock draws back slightly, “I suppose the Captain would appreciate an answer.” He kisses the curve of McCoy’s hip and McCoy groans.
“Well tough, he’s not getting one.”
“He may come here to investigate. The Captain is a very inquisitive individual.”
“Then he’s in for one hell of a surprise.”
Vulcans do not smile, Spock has never smiled, but his eyelashes flutter at that, and he presses his face into McCoy’s thigh, kissing him sloppily and openmouthed there. McCoy groans and gives into temptation, grabbing hold of one of Spock’s shoulders as Spock takes McCoy’s erection back into his mouth.
Out in the main room Kirk gets sick of yelling at nothing and the comm goes dead.
“You ready for this?”
McCoy touches Spock’s hand lightly and Spock only nods. “Of course, Leonard.”
“You did exactly what they asked, down to the letter, remember that.” Spock looks at him and McCoy squints against the harsh sun of New Vulcan. "Tell them we're working on the whole kid thing, and remember I’ll be right here when you get back.”
Spock reaches up and touches his face, just a light brush of fingers against his cheek. “Be well, Leonard.”
“Yeah.” McCoy catches Spock’s fingers in his own, “I love you.”
Spock presses their palms flat together and raises their clasped hands, holds them there for a moment. Then he straightens his back and walks out into the unforgiving sun to face his father and the remaining Vulcan Elders.
“It’ll be ok,” Kirk pats McCoy on the back and McCoy nods.
“Hey,” Kirk loops his arm through McCoy’s, “I haven’t decided what to get you two as a wedding present yet.”
McCoy glances over at his Captain, “Just don’t go with your first instincts and we’ll all be fine.”
Kirk gives him his most innocent, wide-eyed expression, “Well in that case maybe I should take it back.”
McCoy throws him a horrified look and Kirk bursts out laughing. “I’ll tell you what, I’ll take it back and buy you guys fancy china or something, if you promise to name the first baby after me.”
Kirk, being no fool, has the presence of mind to take off running before McCoy’s done processing that one.