Bones looked up from his PADD with an irritated look on his face. "Are you aware of the damn time, Uhura?"
Uhura grabbed the Doctor's wrist, pulling him out of his office and into the hall. "You have to come with me," she insisted. "It's Spock."
"Just come with me!"
McCoy followed her to the lift, concern written on his face. He glanced over at Uhura. She looked worried, but not too worried, which he supposed was a good thing. He figured that Spock was still alive anyway, hopefully not seriously injured.
When the lift stopped, the doors flew open, and he understood why Uhura had got him personally rather than through the intercom.
Spock was sprawled out on the floor in the middle of the hall, one hand reaching for the lift and the other awkwardly placed behind him. Bones knelt beside him, sighing in relief. It appeared that Spock had passed out, likely from lack of sleep.
He grabbed the vulcan's legs as Uhura lifted the upper half of his body. They dragged him into the lift and let out a collective sigh of relief as they started back towards sickbay.
As it was moving, Bones carefully shook Spock, urging him to wake. The vulcan murmured something in protest before his eyes shot open.
"Mornin', sunshine!" Bones teased, helping him on his feet.
Spock swayed slightly, gripping Bones with one hand and clutching his head with the other.
"You must have passed out in the hall, and you probably hit your head when you fell. I'm taking you to get checked on and then you're relieved of duty for the day." Bones told him, leaving no room for negotiation.
To his surprise, Spock didn't even protest. He simply ground out a quiet agreement. McCoy peered at him curiously.
"Let me see your pupils, Spock."
Spock looked into his eyes. Just as Bones had suspected, they were glossy and severely dilated.
"Okay, you can relax now," McCoy murmured as the lift doors opened. He leaned over to Uhura, who was quietly watching the exchange. "He has a concussion. It's probably mild, but I'm going to get M'Benga just in case." He turned back to Spock, a hand at his back to support him. "You took a pretty hard fall, Spock," he said softly.
"Perhaps," Spock replied, sluggish.
McCoy gently sat him on one of the biobeds. "You remember what happened?"
Spock had a blank expression on his face, as if he didn't know what McCoy was saying. "No, I do not," he finally admitted.
"That's okay," McCoy said absent-mindedly, pushing the intercom button to hail M'Benga. He quietly gave the other doctor the details and asked him to come to sickbay as quickly and discreetly as possible. He turned back to his friend, who looked a little queasy.
"Hell no, Spock! You're not hurling on my floor!" Bones grabbed a container and shoved it in the vulcan's arms, wincing when the terrible sound of someone retching assaulted his ears.
Uhura rubbed the vulcan's back, frowning deeply. McCoy had to agree with that expression. This was deeply troubling, more so because the patient happened to be Spock. He found himself extremely grateful that M'Benga was on the ship.
The man in question quietly entered the room as Spock finished emptying his stomach. He frowned at the sight and gently took it out of the first officer's hands.
"Mmm. This doesn't seem very good, Mr. Spock," he murmured. Upon noticing the rather blank look on the vulcan's face, he switched to speaking in Vulcan.
Uhura listened to them attentively, giving McCoy some translation here and there. M'Benga was asking him some standard questions. She fell silent however, when Spock grumbled and glared at M'Benga as he tried to examine his head.
"You could simply use the tricorder," McCoy pointed out.
M'Benga shook his head. "I would like to see his head for myself. I can already tell that this definitely isn't the first time he's hit his head in the past few weeks. Who knows how much damage he's taken?"
McCoy glared at Spock upon being presented this information, crossing his arms like a disgruntled mother. "Why the Hell didn't you come see me about it, Spock?"
When there wasn't an answer, M'Benga pulled him and Uhura aside. "The commander shows signs of severe mental unrest. He must meditate, it's crucial. I can tell he hasn't been because of his mood swings, which haven't been helped any by the concussion," M'Benga looked regretful as he continued. "He hasn't slept in over 10 days, and he's malnourished. Vulcans can survive without sleep for up to two weeks, however, he doesn't need to be resisting sleep like this. He has definitely fainted at least one other time before this. I suggest we notify the Captain."
Uhura and McCoy exchanged glances. "No," Uhura countered softly, "he doesn't want the captain to know."
"They are close friends, are they not?"
McCoy remembered what Uhura had told him the month before. He remembered how they both promised to keep this a secret from the Captain. "That's something you would have to ask him."
M'Benga looked at them curiously before wandering back over to Spock, who was starting to look worse than he had a minute or so ago. They spoke quietly in Vulcan, something about entering a healing trance. Uhura relayed the conversation to him, but he still felt somewhat left out. Perhaps he should take lessons in Vulcan.
Finally, Spock snapped at the doctor and went to stand, only to nearly fall over when his feet hit the floor.
"Agh! Look, can we just take him to his quarters?" Bones asked, keeping Spock upright.
M'Benga took the Vulcan from McCoy, nodding his head. "I will stay with him to help him enter his healing trance. You will have to come up with some sort of story for the Captain if you wish to keep this all hidden."
Bones and Uhura nodded their heads, beginning the plan for their backstory as soon as their friends left sickbay.
Captain Kirk was agitated. He paced on the bridge, his hands clasped behind his back.
"Bones, please tell me you know where Mr. Spock is," he said, moving towards the intercom on his chair.
There was a small hesitation. "Spock has the, uh, flu. Believe it or not. Vulcan flu."
"The, uh, Vulcan flu?" Jim mocked sourly. "And when will he be back on the bridge?"
"Oh, he's entering a healing trance so, tomorrow's shift, likely."
Kirk sighed in relief. Good. There were representatives from Messah beaming aboard the ship around that time. He didn't think he could make it without the familiar Vulcan presence keeping him grounded.
"Keep me posted, Bones. Kirk out."
For the remainder of the day, Jim sat in his chair and signed some documents on about eight different PADDs, glancing over at the science station ever so often. He sighed dejectedly at the unfamiliar ensign who resided there, wondering about Spock. He hadn't heard an update from Bones since he had asked at the beginning of his shift. Finally, he made a decision.
"Mr. Scott, you have the con. I'm going to sickbay."
"Something the matter, Captain?" Scott asked, always intuitive.
"No, I just need to talk to Doctor McCoy." With that, Kirk entered the lift and took it directly to sickbay.
As he waited for the doors to open once more, he thought about Spock. He knew Bones was lying about this 'Vulcan flu' thing. It only made him wonder what they were keeping from him.
Kirk entered sickbay a minute later, searching for Spock on one of the biobeds. When he wasn't there, he entered McCoy's office, finding him with his feet on the desk, reading something on his PADD.
"Bones. Where's Spock?" Kirk demanded.
Bones lazily looked up at him and rolled his eyes. "He has the damn flu," he replied.
"You told me, but where is he?"
Bones lowered his feet from the desk and leaned towards the Captain. "Look, Jim. Don't take this personally, but he doesn't want to see you. Well, he doesn't want you to see him. You get what I'm saying?"
Kirk frowned. "He doesn't want me to see him in the state he's in?"
"Exactly. He made me promise him not to let you see him."
"It isn't the flu, is it Bones."
The look on McCoy's face confirmed his suspicions, but the doctor merely sighed, not giving any information away.
"Can you at least tell me where he is? I won't see him, I just want to know if he's alright," Kirk murmured.
"He's in his quarters with M'Benga, who's managed to get him into a healing trance. Don't bother going in there and waking him!" He paused, sighing a little. "Look, I told Spock I wouldn't tell you anything, and I won't. But…I'm worried about him," Bones confessed, avoiding eye contact.
That made Kirk even more concerned. Bones and Spock were friends, sure, but they weren't close. It must be bad if he was this worried. He wondered why Spock would want to keep this a secret, and why he refused to see him.
Everything seemed normal on the bridge the day before. He didn't notice any strange behaviour, anything out of place. He felt guilty, wondering if maybe he should have noticed, if maybe he was a bad friend.
Bones put a hand on his shoulder. "Your shift's up, Jim. Go get some rest. He'll be better tomorrow."
Kirk, not wanting Bones to worry about him too, did as he was told. He went back to his quarters to rest, only he didn't rest. He couldn't. All he could think about was Spock in the next room, suffering through whatever it was that plagued him.
Sighing, he rolled off of his bed and entered their shared washroom to clean himself. However, he heard faint voices on the other side of the door that lead to Spock's. Feeling somewhat guilty, he leaned his ear against it to get a better listen.
"Why haven't you been sleeping? You're lucky that McCoy found you in the hall when he did."
Spock's reply was quiet, but Kirk could hear him say something about pain he was feeling. Kirk's heart sank at the thought. Spock was hurting, and he refused to let him know about it.
"I thought you and Kirk were close? Why not go to him?"
"The Captain must not know."
"But he could help you somehow!"
"No. He cannot know. He cannot!"
Kirk frowned at how uncharacteristic Spock was acting. After all these years together, did Spock still feel uncomfortable talking to him? How many other times had this happened?
Dejected, Kirk left the room and decided to just sleep on it. The representatives from Messah would be boarding early in his shift tomorrow.
He stared up at the ceiling, thinking about Spock, before sleep finally overcame him.