Chapter 1: The Problem
Bones sat down and sighed, reclining as he took a sip of coffee. Sickbay was empty, silent, peaceful. It was a rare but beautiful sight. It gave him some time to unwind before the next mission, which would inevitably end in injury and probably casualty.
He must have jinxed it, because just as quickly as his smile spread across his face, the door to his office opened. He huffed at his visitor, who was none other than the insufferable Mr. Spock. Although…as he peered closer at the vulcan, he appeared to be a little worse for wear.
"Mr. Spock. Are you alright?" He asked, putting down his now empty cup and sitting upright.
Spock's eyes shifted to the corner of the room, the closest he would get to showing signs of apprehension. McCoy motioned for him to sit, suddenly very interested.
"Doctor, I believe there is something…quite wrong with me," Spock confessed, looking as uncomfortable as a vulcan could look.
"Well, tell me about it, Spock," McCoy kept his tone soft, feeling somewhat concerned. It was true that Spock got on his nerves every once in awhile, but he still considered the first officer a close friend.
"I have been feeling frequent pains in my chest and stomach, as well as my head. I have also been unable to meditate properly to build a tolerance to these pains, and I have noted that my ability to sleep has been compromised."
Bones raised an eyebrow at his friend's confession. Spock didn't come to anyone for anything. He must be in such severe pain that he had no choice but to seek help from the doctor.
"Perhaps you should consult M'Benga? He would know more than I do about what ails you," McCoy said, not
ing how Spock seemed to stiffen at the idea. "No, Doctor...I am afraid that I cannot bring myself to share this with anyone else," he said somewhat regrettably.
McCoy, although confused, nodded his head. "Very well. I'll do my best to help you out, Spock."
Spcok continued without much hesitation. "Doctor...I have noted that this pain, while constant, oddly intensifies when…when I am near Captain Kirk."
Leonard tilted his head to the side, asking for clarification.
"I cannot. Unless…I were to show you?"
"If you're talking about that Vulcan mind mojo then I'm not having it!" Bones exclaimed, moving away from Spock.
"I understand. I would not force you to undergo a meld for my own gain, I assure you."
Bones relaxed, sighing. "I know, Spock. Look, I don't think I can give you any advice for this. Is there anyone else?"
Spock inclined his head. "Yes, Lieutenant Uhura has offered to assist me." He pursed his lips slightly before continuing. "I know I have put you in an unsatisfactory position, but I found it more logical to come to you about the more physical aspects of my situation."
"I understand. I can prescribe something that may help you get back into your regular meditation schedule, but I'm not sure if I can help with your pain. It may be something emotional that you haven't realised yet, Spock."
"I came to the same conclusion, Doctor." Spock sounded somewhat defeated, his shoulders slumping a fraction. "I only hope that the medicine you give me works, so I do not have to experience this while I am on duty."
McCoy nodded his head and stood, grabbing a hypo and filling it with the necessary medicine. His Vulcan friend did not shy away from it, rather, he seemed to welcome it.
As Spock thanked him and left, he stared after him, contemplating what he had just heard and wondering if he was a terrible friend.
Nyota knew something was wrong with Spock as soon as he requested to speak with her. She allowed him to enter almost immediately, motioning for him to sit on the edge of the bed with her.
"Mr. Spock, what troubles you?" She asked softly.
"I seem to be experiencing frequent pain while on and off duty. I have seen Doctor McCoy, however, he suggested I…talk to someone about it." Spock's eyes flicked towards the exit, his features tinged with weariness.
Uhura put her hand on his knee, wondering why he wasn't seeking the Captain's advice. "I am happy to help, Spock, you know that."
"I know. I appreciate it, and I apologize for disturbing you so late."
Uhura gently squeezed his forearm. "You have nothing to apologize for, Spock."
Spock looked regretful. "I did not wish to bother you, for I could have remedied the situation if I were able to meditate. However, the Doctor's hypos were not sufficient in aiding me, and I am…compromised. I do not wish to become a threat to The Enterprise."
"You've been taking them every day this week?"
Spock nodded his head.
"Does the Captain know? Has he noticed?"
"He must not know, Lieutenant." Spock insisted.
"It's okay. I won't say anything, and neither will Doctor McCoy."
"I know," Spock assured her. He stood, bowing his head. "I appreciate your time."
With that, he left the room, leaving Uhura to ponder.
Chapter 2: The Vulcan Flu
Just a quick warning, there's some throwing up in this chapter but it's not described in detail. Just letting you guys know!
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.
Chapter 3: Merely Acquaintances
Tellamallah and Serimallah thrummed with excitement as they awaited to beam aboard the Enterprise. Messah had only just recently joined the federation, and they being the planet's best scientists, and the most joined, were chosen as the representatives to meet the most esteemed of Starfleet's staff.
Serimallah gripped Tellamallah's hand tightly as the sensation of being transported overcame them. Shortly, they were in the transporter room of the Enterprise, standing in front of three men. One of them, the one who looked like he was the Captain, seemed to be agitated about something. He continuously peered over at the man standing next to him, the one with the pointed ears. His mind was carefully guarded, but they could still sense the pain he seemed to be in. The throbbing headache and the stabbing in his chest and abdomen were felt quite clearly by them.
Lastly stood a man in a red uniform, who had made his way over to the other two from behind the transporter.
"Koshhah Vallolah," the one with the pointed ears greeted them. He bowed his head, as was custom when greeting the Messah.
Serimallah and Tellamallah projected how impressed they were with the guarded man, and he seemed to hum with gratitude before closing off his mind once more.
"Thank you very much," Serimallah said, inclining her head in unison with her wife, who continued to hold her hand.
"Yes, we feel most welcome. We are also very excited to be aboard!" Tellamallah exclaimed, bouncing slightly. The light blue markings on her face and arms glowed against her purple skin.
The Captain stepped forward, a grin across his face. "We are honored to have the both of you aboard. My name is James T. Kirk, Captain of this starship," he gestured to the other two men. "This is my first officer, Spock, and my chief engineer, Mr. Scott."
"Koshhah Vallolah!" Serimallah and Tellamallah said in unison.
"I am Serimallah."
"And I am Tellamallah."
"You may call us Seri-"
"-and Tella," Tella finished, smiling at her beloved.
Captain Kirk had a soft smile on his face, and a sense of longing seemed to overtake his thoughts. Seri and Tella paid no heed. Their bond was the strongest on Messah, and everyone yearned to be like them. This was no different.
"Scotty, return to the bridge. You have command of the ship. Mr. Spock and I will will take the representatives on a tour," Kirk turned back to the couple, "provided that you would enjoy such a thing."
They glowed with excitement. "Of course! Thank you, Captain!" Seri exclaimed.
Mr. Scott bowed his head and left to return to the bridge. The tour started from the transporter room to the engineering room, the labs, and a room they called Sickbay.
When they walked into that room, they were greeted by a beautiful nurse and lead towards an office, where Seri and Tella heard two doctors in deep discussion behind the door.
"His concussion isn't entirely gone, but enough of it has subsided for him to return to duty."
"And the trance? How did that go?"
"It was hard for him to enter it. He was only out for a few hours before he practically snapped at me to slap him."
The doors opened and the doctors shoved their PADDs behind them, startled by their entrance.
"Seri, Tella. This is Doctor McCoy, the ship's CMO. The man beside him is Doctor M'Benga." Kirk introduced them. "Bones, M'Benga, these are the two representatives from Messah.
"Pleasure to meet you," McCoy said, bowing his head.
Flustered, M'Benga did the same, glancing over Spock when he was finished. Seri and Tella glanced at Spock as well, getting a small trace of anxiety from him. All the attention to Spock brought Kirk to stare as well, his concern flaring up.
"May I ask a question of personal nature?" Tella asked, breaking the awkward silence.
"You two, Kirk and Spock. Are you bonded?"
M'Benga blanched , turning his head away and finding something to busy himself with. McCoy coughed and hid a smirk behind his fist. But Kirk and Spock seemed looked at them with blank looks.
Finally, Kirk chuckled. "No uh, we are not, ma'am."
Seri tilted her head to the side, as confused as Tella was with the arrangement. "Then what, may I ask, are you two to each other?"
"Acquaintances." Kirk said.
"Friends." Spock replied at the moment Kirk did.
Seri and Tella frowned as Spock bit his lip. The amount of shame and shock that broke through Spock's barriers once he realised what the Captain had said was brutal. They glanced at McCoy, whose anger pierced the room. M'Benga stayed silent, sympathetic but not willing to get into it.
"I…apologize," Spock ground out. "We are merely acquaintances."
"No, it is we who apologize," Tella murmured.
"We did not mean to cause this trouble between you two," Seri added.
Kirk, oblivious, motioned for them to continue, but was stopped by M'Benga.
"Captain, Doctor McCoy and I respectfully request that Spock remain here for a moment," he cut in.
Kirk nodded his head. "Very well. Spock, you stay here. I'll take them to the bridge."
Spock looked away, taking a seat in one of the chairs in front of the desk as Kirk lead Seri and Tella towards the bridge.
The couple, hands still entwined, shook their heads at the confusion they felt from the Captain.
Perhaps we can make him see? Seri asked through their bond.
Yes, we should do something to help them reach the bond. Tella replied.
With a smile, they thought out their plan, unbeknownst to both Spock and the Captain.
"Acquaintances? Acquaintances! Acquaintances my ass!"
Spock would be amused if he weren't so embarrassed. He kept his eyes to the corner of the room, keeping his mental barriers in place.
"Doctor McCoy, perhaps you should-" M'Benga started.
"Let me rant, man!" McCoy yelled, pacing back and forth. "What the devil has gotten into him? Acquaintances? As if you two had never met each other before! Ugh, you hear that, Spock? Acquaintances!"
"I heard it when the Captain said it, just as well as I heard the first four times you repeated it," Spock replied, irritation gnawing at his mind. He took a breath to calm himself and turned towards Doctor McCoy. "You should not blame him. I believe my secrecy has caused him to become…agitated with me."
"You should try to refrain from picking up on his emotions, Spock," M'Benga started.
"Well he shouldn't be blaming you! You have the right to your privacy! Demoting you from his closest friend to…acquaintance! Agh!" McCoy yelled.
Spock was beginning to tire of that word.
"Surely this isn't what you kept me for?" He asked with a sigh.
"No, it isn't," M'Benga cut in quickly, glaring briefly at McCoy. "We wanted to check on you."
McCoy, arms crossed, ceased his pacing and grabbed his PADD. "Does your head still hurt, Spock?"
Spock considered lying or simply getting up and leaving, but he decided that is was illogical to ask the doctors for their help only to refuse it when he got it. "Yes, it's most puzzling."
"Has it become worse since your fall yesterday?" M'Benga asked.
Spock thought about it, slipping his control over the pain. He winced. He wasn't one for romantic descriptions, but it certainly felt like a spear had lodged itself into his head. "Yes, I believe it has," he finally answered, blocking out the pain once more.
"Okay...your headache is causing you to lose concentration when you meditate, correct?" M'Benga asked.
"That is correct."
"You had difficulty falling into a healing trance as well."
"Yes, as you explained to Doctor McCoy earlier."
McCoy frowned, putting the PADD down and crossing his arms again. "Have you been experiencing any emotional outbursts as of late?" He asked.
Spock raised an eyebrow.
"He means, have your actions and reactions been influenced more by emotion than pure logic?" M'Benga clarified.
Spock thought to the night he blacked out in the hall. He went to the lab to do some research right after his shift to avoid playing chess with the Captain. Why had he done this? Ah. He remembered feeling hurt, feeling his headache flare with intensity. So he avoided the Captain, and then ended up unconscious in the hall.
"I believe…somewhat. I am not…" he resisted the urge to shudder, "…feral. However, I find myself feeling irritated, anxious, and…melancholy at times."
The Doctors glanced at each other. It was obvious that they were lost. They had no idea what was happening to him.
Spock had an idea, however there was no clear evidence to support it.
Yes there is. After the Doctor Lester incident. He reminded himself. His chest tightened at the thought.
"Okay…we're going to think this over. You may take your leave," M'Benga murmured thoughtfully.
"Before you leave, Spock," McCoy said, walking around the desk to get closer to him. To his surprise, the Doctor put a hand on his shoulder. He could feel the worry and concern seeping into him, but he could not bring himself to block it out. "I just…don't pay any attention to what Jim says."
Spock wanted to point out that Kirk was the Captain, so he would have to pay attention to his words, but he couldn't find the strength to argue, so he merely nodded his head.
"Thank you, both of you. For not only your secrecy and co-operation, but your kindness and…friendship," Spock said quietly. He stood, holding back his emotions and slipping out of sickbay.
Chapter 4: Mistakes
There's some alcohol use in this one, also, kind of accidentally made everyone super gay sooooo
The crew of the Enterprise was invited to a welcoming gala on Messah that night, just a little something to start celebrating the planet's joining with the federation. Some of the crew, including the Captain himself, stayed aboard the ship, but not M'Benga. Certainly not.
He beamed down as soon as he could. He hoped to the stars that a change in scenery would help him out. He couldn't help but feel inadequate. All that time he spent on Vulcan and he still couldn't figure out what was wrong with Spock.
However, he also couldn't help but feel like there was something the First Officer wasn't telling them, something that may make this thing simpler.
M'Benga walked across the red sand on the beach, intent on finding Spock. However, he ran into McCoy instead. Leonard was holding a drink in his hand, dancing to the soft beat that was coming from the hut. Upon seeing him, the CMO grinned.
"Geoffrey! I'm glad to see you down here!" He exclaimed, raising his drink.
"I see you're enjoying yourself," M'Benga mused, smirking at the other doctor.
"I am, I really am! These Mess'n's sure know how to brew some alcohol!"
"I believe they're just called Messah, Leonard," M'Benga corrected him, amused. "You're probably going to regret this in the morning."
McCoy blinked up at him. "Regret my time with you? Never!"
"Please don't tell me you're hitting on me."
Leonard shrugged. "I don't get much action."
M'Benga didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "You're drunk," he finally said, taking Leonard's cup from him. "No more! You're cut off for good."
Leonard patted the side of his face with the coordination of a deer on ice. "Oh Geoffrey, Geoffrey. You underestimate the tolerance of a southern gentleman," McCoy took his drink back with a swift hand and linked his free arm with M'Benga's. "I'm practicin' my skills on the locals. Here, I'll try on you. M'Benga? More like imma-bang-ya!"
M'Benga rolled his eyes, suddenly wishing he never left the Enterprise in the first place.
Seri and Tella loved a good party, but unfortunately they didn't have the time. The Messah spirits that the humans were drinking appeared to be affecting them worse than it would affect a Messah. They felt it their personal duty to wander around and make sure everyone was okay.
At least, that's what they told the bartender. They were actually looking to enact their plan tonight. But first, they had to find the officer.
They found the pointy eared one, Spock, sitting alone in the red sand on the beach. They approached him quietly, hoping he would not find their being there an invasion of privacy.
Seri tentatively sat beside him as Tella sat on the other side of him.
Spock looked at both of them before bowing his head in respect.
"No need for formalities, Mr. Spock!" Seri said cheerfully.
"We come as friends," Tella added.
Spock raised an eyebrow. "I see. I appreciate your company."
"We appreciate yours."
They fell silent, looking out at the turquoise ocean, smelling the salt and hearing the soft crashing of the waves. Their planet was a beautiful one, a peaceful one. They were touch telepaths, and highly empathetic, leaving little to no need for any wars or violence in general.
Seri and Tella leaned back so their hands could touch behind Spock, whose ears twitched at the sudden feelings of love and warmth on either side of him. Seri noticed that he was struggling not to take some of that warmth in for himself.
"You need a drink, Mr. Spock," Tella insisted, moving to stand.
"No, I am quite all right," Spock politely declined.
"Mr. Spock," Seri cut in quickly, "may I ask you a personal question?"
"I shall endeavor to answer any you may have, madam."
"Are you lonely?"
Spock blinked a few times, looking as if his mind malfunctioned. He turned to Tella.
"I believe I will take that drink."
"You know, I was so intimidated by you the first time we met."
Leonard snorted into his seventh drink. "What? I'm not that scary!"
Geoffrey laughed at himself, or at Leonard. At this point, he couldn't tell. He was on drink five, feeling loose and bubbly, like all of his troubles were gone. He hadn't felt this relaxed in awhile. He reached for his glass but found that it wasn't there. Then he realised that it was already in his other hand.
Leonard had a drink in each hand and a goofy smile on his face. Upon looking at him, Geoffrey found that he forgot all about his own drink, and didn't realise that he missed the table until he heard the glass break on the ground.
"Oh shit," he said uselessly.
"Let's get out of here before someone notices," Leonard grinned, discarding his drinks, grabbing Geoffrey's wrist, and pulling him out of the hut. They raced down the beach, laughing hysterically. It was almost as if they were teenagers, getting into trouble wherever they went.
Leonard whipped out his communicator. "McCoy to Enterprise!" He snickered.
"Scotty here, sir."
"Two to beam up!"
The familiar sensation of being transported came over the both of them. They were soon on the Enterprise, grinning and laughing in their elation. Scott stared at them, not quite believing what was happening in front of him.
"Are you two okay?" He asked cautiously.
"Just havin' some fun, Scott," Leonard answered, hastily pulling Geoffrey out of the transporter room.
They went to sickbay and stumbled into the office, smiling and laughing with each other.
"People say I'm too serious, that I'm incapable of friendship and…love," Geoffrey admitted quietly after a fit of laughter. "I hope you consider me a friend…I think I'd be lost if you didn't."
"Now who's been spoutin' that sort of garbage?" Leonard asked softly, gently tapping the other man's cheek. "Of course you're my friend, Geoffrey...you don't have to worry."
As if someone had just turned on a tap, tears spilled from M'Benga's eyes. He sniffled and wiped at them, a smile on his face. "I'm so drunk," he finally blurted out.
Leonard laughed, and for some reason, they began to dance without any music.
Jim was laying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling when the door chimed.
"Come in!" He called absent-mindedly.
The door opened to reveal the silhouette of Spock, standing…no, he was swaying at the entrance. The Vulcan stumbled inside, looking unbelievably sad.
"Spock?" He asked quietly, his heart pounding rapidly in his concern.
Spock came closer, revealing the state he was in. Wide, frightened eyes, pale complexion, and shaking hands. "You do not see us as friends, Jim?" The Vulcan whispered.
Jim's heart sank. He stood, hoping to steady his friend, but the Vulcan shied away from his touch.
"No! I thought you cared! I thought you were different!"
He decided not to reply, to focus on listening to his distraught First Officer.
"I don't know what I did. I thought we were friends. I thought you regarded me as more than…an acquaintance."
The Vulcan spat the word out as if it were acid. Then, he bowed his head in shame. Kirk winced, having no idea the effect his words had on his First Officer. He felt guilty, ashamed even. He was in a bad mood and took it out on the closest friend he had. It wasnt right, it wasnt fair to Spock.
Kirk was about to explain when Spock suddenly doubled over in pain, groaning loudly. He gripped the edge of Kirk's desk, his eyes clenched shut and his body rigid.
"Spock? Are you okay? Spock!" Kirk called, his panic rising.
Spock seemed to swallow down the pain, turning on Kirk with anger in his eyes. "What do you care? I'm sick of you humans pretending you give a damn!" he stopped himself, his hands flying to his head. With that, he turned and left the Captain's quarters.
Jim pushed the button on his intercom, hailing the Sickbay. "Captain to Sickbay. Bones? Bones!"
When he didn't get an answer He rushed into Stock's quarters through the washroom, only to stop when he found the Vulcan passed out on the floor. Kirk sighed and dragged him to the bed, flopping him up unceremoniously and covering him with blankets.
Spock murmured something in Vulcan as Jim turned away, but he didn't pay attention. He simply went back to his quarters and thought.
Chapter 5: Green
Some slightly gross descriptions of blood and stuff but nothing too major!
Uhura didn't have a good feeling about the day that was ahead of her. Technically they weren't doing anything dangerous, so really, she shouldn't be feeling this way.
It was just...there was something off about the Captain, and Spock seemed about as agitated as a Vulcan could look. Perhaps it was a side-effect of the gala they attended the night before. She only had one drink and found a slight headache form when she woke up. She couldn't imagine how McCoy and M'Benga felt. The last time she saw them they were in the hall by Sickbay, giggling like teenagers.
Most of the crew were still being beamed aboard, only to get ready for the opening ceremony on the planet's surface. The Enterprise needed everyone it could get on board to defend the planet should anything arise.
Uhura glanced at the Captain again, who was in conversation with Spock. She frowned as she saw Spock keep his distance, eyeing the Captain like he was an enemy.
"You don't remember anything at all?" The Captain asked, dismayed.
"The last thing I remember, Captain, is your rather insulting description of our relationship," Spock grumbled back.
The Captain eased off, looking guilty. He nodded his head. "Okay. Carry on, Mr. Spock," he murmured.
Uhura shook his head. If the damn fools would only talk to each other -
There was a loud cough, a small groan.
She looked between the Captain and Spock, who were both in some sort of shocked state. That's when she noticed the green blood oozing from Spock's nose and dripping from the corners of his mouth.
The Vulcan wiped it off with his sleeve, but more soon followed. He looked panicky, holding his sleeve up to his face like he had never had a nosebleed before.
"You've never experienced this before," the Captain said, more of a statement than a question.
"There is something…very wrong with my head, Spock admitted, somewhat muffled behind his sleeve.
The Captain stepped forward, reaching out for him, but Spock stumbled away from him.
"No, Captain. We have no idea what this is. It could be contagious," he said.
The Captain nodded his head and hurriedly called sickbay, the frustration clear on his face when neither McCoy or M'Benga answered him.
"Sickbay, Nurse Chapel here."
"I need Doctor McCoy, or M'Benga on the bridge immediately!"
"I believe they're both in the office, sir. I'll get them for you."
"Hurry. Kirk out."
Uhura stood from her seat and guided Spock towards it, whose sleeve was completely soaked with Vulcan blood. She gently sat him into the seat and looked back at the Captain, sharing an anxious look before gently rubbing Spock's shoulder.
"Lieutenant, you should stay away. Please don't take any offence, I just don't want you to -" he started to cough again, more of the green blood soaking into his sleeve.
Uhura was suddenly handed a yellow uniform, bunched up in the hands of the now shirtless Captain. She hurriedly, but gently, pressed it up against Spock's face, who curiously seemed to lean into the uniform.
"You're a good person, Nyota," Spock murmured.
She barely had time to register what he said before his head completely fell forward and he slipped out of consciousness.
McCoy woke with a start in someone's arms. Blinking rapidly, his vision cleared to reveal his friend's face rather close to his.
"Oh no. Oh no, no, nope."
Geoffrey M'Benga stirred and squinted at him, confused. "Why am I on the floor?" He asked slowly. He suddenly realised what he was doing and snatched his arms away. "Holy…Jesus!" He exclaimed, rushing to his feet.
McCoy joined him, patting himself down. He was relieved to find that he was still wearing clothing. He leaned against the desk, rubbing his face in embarrassment. He didn't remember much from the night before, but what he did remember, he felt mortified over.
"What even happened last night? I don't remember anything!" M'Benga exclaimed, near hysterics.
McCoy cleared his throat. "I think…I hit on you extensively…and I think you cried?" He tried to answer, crossing his arms.
"What was in our drinks?" Geoffrey asked, dismayed.
"I think the alcohol on Messah is more potent than what we're used to," he mused.
Geoffrey shrugged. "I'm also somewhat of a lightweight," he admitted.
McCoy's grin disappeared when the door opened to reveal nurse Chapel. He instantly knew something was wrong.
"It's Spock, isn't it? Where is he, on the bridge?" He asked.
She barely nodded her head before the both of them grabbed what they needed and rushed to the lift. They took it to the bridge, both anxiously awaiting what they would find. Was Spock injured? Did he hit his head again? McCoy didn't think the stubborn hobgoblin could survive one more hit to the head.
The lift opened.
Jim stood with his shirt off, ushering them on the bridge.
"Why do you have your shirt…" he trailed off at the sight.
Uhura held Spock in her arms, whose eyes were wandering lazily around the room. Jim hovered nearby, not once looking away from Spock's form. There was blood on the floor, blood soaked in Spock's uniform, and Jim's shirt was starting to get soaked in it too.
"What the hell happened?" McCoy asked, crouching next to Spock and check it him over.
"I don't know! He just started bleeding!" Jim exclaimed, the worry in his voice evident.
If Spock hadn't been drifting in and out of consciousness, McCoy would have said that it was merely a bad nose bleed. He turned to M'Benga, the question barely on his lips before it was answered.
"This is…bad, very bad," he admitted, crouching next to McCoy. "If it were a simple nosebleed, he shouldn't be passing out. He must have been trying so hard to keep his emotions at bay that he hurt himself. Or perhaps it's the concussion. Maybe he pushed himself too hard yesterday. Either way, he hasn't meditated in months…I think it's finally catching up to him."
"What did you say? Concussion? He hasn't meditated in months?" Jim asked, the severity of the situation dawning on him.
McCoy was about to answer when Spock stirred and stared up at the two doctors, his eyes wide and glossy. He held out a hand to McCoy's face, making eye contact with him.
"He wants to show you something," M'Benga said quietly.
"With that Vulcan mind mojo? No way!"
Spock made some sort of noise that sounded like he was pleading with him. He fell silent and stared down at his friend, devastated at the state he was in.
"He could be showing us what happened to cause this," M'Benga pushed.
Finally, McCoy nodded his head. "Okay, Spock…it's okay," he murmured quietly. He leaned down to allow the Vulcan to put his hand on his psi points.
And then, he understood.
Chapter 6: An Answer
So now we get to figure out what's been bothering Spock this whole time :)
It started early in their five year mission. Spock didn't have that high of regard for his new crew at first, what with the close bond he shared with Captain Pike and his crew. However, this new Captain had greeted him warmly when everyone else avoided him.
They started to play chess twice a week, and he found it most enjoyable.
That was the start of their close friendship.
"Mind your own business, Mr. Spock! I'm sick of your half-breed influence, do you hear?"
Spock bit his lip at the insult, a habit he really needed to control. But as he was thrown back into childhood memories he would rather forget, he found himself dismayed and…rather hurt. He couldn't care less about his lip biting.
"Yes," he answered steadily, "very well, Captain."
"You look upset, Mr. Spock. Is everything all right up here?"
The relief that overtook him was so strong that it nearly showed on his face.
"No problems here, sir."
"I must say that I'm…surprised at the extent you went to bring Captain Pike to Talos IV."
Spock said nothing, awaiting the coming suspension.
"Relax, Spock. You aren't being penalized, I'm simply having a conversation."
Spock continued to sit up straight in his seat, fighting the urge to start biting his lip. The defense mechanism was highly illogical, but it was a purely instinctive thing.
The Captain sighed and sat in the chair across from him. "I couldn't help but notice that you seemed more…comfortable with Captain Pike's crew. No, no, I'm not calling you out. I was just thinking about it."
Spock gave in. "Permission to speak freely, Captain?"
"Of course, Spock. You don't have to ask."
"While I have no ill will towards anyone on this ship, I have found that many of my colleagues do not find my presence on the ship…acceptable. I…experience a certain amount of hardship here that I did not with Captain Pike's crew."
The Captain nodded his head thoughtfully. "And what did he do when someone provoked you?"
Spock raised an eyebrow. "No one provoked me, Captain. Everyone took a course on Vulcan history and customs before my arrival."
The Captain hummed. "That seems like a good idea," he said.
"Indeed, Captain. Very logical."
After the Romulans, it seemed as though everyone was weary of him. Everyone but the Captain and Doctor M'Benga.
He found that he enjoyed the doctor's company. Spock was in sickbay often, mostly because he was ordered to be there. M'Benga's presence reminded him of home, which warmed him extensively.
Sometimes he missed the hot sands on Vulcan. The Enterprise was an adequate home, but it was cold, very cold.
He sighed inwardly as he walked to his quarters, his ears picking up the jeers and insults that were whispered behind his back. He caught sight of M'Benga however, and allowed himself a small smile towards the doctor.
"Good afternoon, doctor," he said warmly, or as warmly as a Vulcan could speak.
M'Benga inclined his head, replying in Vulcan. Spock stopped him, the thrill of hearing his mother tongue overcoming him.
"You speak very well, Doctor," he said in Vulcan.
"You have my thanks," M'Benga replied, his content filling the air. He smiled once more before continuing on his way.
Feeling much better, Spock continued to his quarters, only to stop upon hearing voices behind him.
"What did you just say?" It was the Captain, waves of anger rolling off of him.
When there was no answer, he asked again. "What did he just say, ensign?"
The ensign murmured it, but Spock, who had now turned around, could hear it from behind the slowly forming crowd.
" He suggested sir, that Commander Spock…er...was a Romulan spy…"
"And…he called him a…soulless, green-blooded…er…half-breed…"
Spock winced at the word, starting to think that he should just leave.
"Are you aware, ensigns, that Mr. Spock has risked his life for everyone on the Enterprise more times than I can count? Are you not aware that he saved my life not only on the last mission, but this mission as well?"
"And what have you done today? Nothing but express your bigotry?"
Spock could see them now, and was somewhat dismayed. He knew these ensigns quite well. They were on his science team, and were always extremely pleasant.
He bit his lip. It seemed as though humans consistently betrayed him, much like how his human half consistently put him in this position.
"You are both to be suspended until further notice," the Captain decided.
Now that didn't seem right.
Everyone turned to look at Spock, who wanted very badly to run away.
"It would be unfair of you to suspend them for such small of an offence. After all, I have not come to you with complaints, nor has there been any sufficient investigation," Spock said, steadying his gaze on the offenders.
Kirk grimaced and turned to the ensigns. "He knows full well what you said, and yet he still defends you. That, ensigns, is a quality that we should all aspire to reach," he stared at them for a moment, and when they said nothing, he scoffed. "Quite frankly, you disgust me. You are to report to me immediately tomorrow. You are dismissed."
The ensigns took off, and the crowd dispersed quickly.
"I'm sorry, about what my friend said about you last week. I wanted to thank you for not getting us suspended."
"I trust the Captain did not penalize you too harshly?"
"He made us take a course on Vulcan."
Warmth and amusement filled his mind.
"Good. Very good."
He sat in his quarters feeling such hatred, such shame, and…overwhelming sorrow. He had killed Jim. His closest of friends…
Take control! Breathe!
He took shaky breaths, closing his eyes against the tears that threatened to fall. He was going to get justice for Jim. He would turn himself in as soon as they were at the nearest starbase. He couldn't leave his quarters until then. He didn't trust himself, he didn't want to face the crew, he couldn't.
The intercom beeped.
"Spock! I need you in sickbay!"
This was the moment he had been dreading. He was likely to prep the Captain's body for…
He whimpered, burying his face in his hands once more.
Control yourself. You cannot act like this. You are a Vulcan!
The half-breed who killed his closest friend.
He stood and wiped his face, hurrying to sickbay. He had to get this over with. His face remained blank as he reinforced his mental barriers.
When he did arrive at sickbay, endeavoring to explain to Doctor McCoy that he was turning himself in, Jim was there, and he was alive.
His guard was let down completely, broken with the sudden urge to embrace the Captain. He remembered calling out his name, his smile wide. The Captain gave him a soft, warm look, and he felt something he hadn't felt in a very long time.
"Your parents really love each other," Jim murmured as Sarek and Amanda beamed down to Babel.
Spock raised an eyebrow, but didn't get a chance to say anything.
"Don't even start to say that Vulcan's can't love," he teased, putting a hand at Spock's wrist. "You and I both know that's not true."
Jim gave his forearm a gentle squeeze, leaving Spock dazed.
When he arrived to the lab a moment later, his cheeks and the tips of his ears tinted a dark green, his team insisted he visit sickbay.
Spock was at a loss, hopelessly in love with Jim.
When his brain was stolen, and he was cold and alone, the thought of Jim gave him the illusion of warmth and comfort. Much to the dismay of the people on the planet, it was all he could ever think about.
When he finally had his body back, it took everything in him not to grab Jim and hold him close.
And the Captain…he flirted. Alot. He flirted with Spock, but he fell in love with everyone else. Women he had barely met could simply blink at him and he would be theirs.
Spock wondered what he was doing wrong. He gave the Captain gifts, as he learned was custom when humans wanted to show their affection. He spent endless amount of time with him, yet all he received in return were fleeting remarks and kind smiles.
Perhaps it was because he had the wrong…parts.
He became even more confused when Jim found himself in love with an android named Rayna. So deeply in love with her that he had not slept since her death.
When he finally allowed himself sleep, Spock stood next to Doctor McCoy, watching him. He felt a sadness for Jim that he couldn't explain, yet he also felt a deep longing. He had a feeling the Captain cared for him, but he was never to care for him in the way he had for her.
"I wouldn't expect you to understand. Love isn't written in your books."
The assumption churned his stomach, made his chest tight, for all he felt when he looked at Jim was an overwhelming love.
When McCoy left, he initiated a meld with the sleeping Jim, and made him forget.
Spock was the only one on the ship who knew Jim like the back of his hand. He knew how his presence felt, how his mind worked, and he could tell just by looking at him if something was wrong or not.
Looking at him now, Spock felt as if he was seeing a different person.
"There is something wrong with the Captain," he murmured to Doctor McCoy.
"Oh yeah?" McCoy asked. "How would you know? I don't see you with a medical degree."
But even McCoy started to see that the Captain was…off. He ordered tests, physical and mental, but Spock could tell that he wasn't entirely serious about it until the Captain attacked Janice Lester.
Spock decided to pursue this matter himself. He approached Dr. Lester with a curious, open air, making sure she knew he meant no harm. She gave him a look that he had seen on another, but was familiar nonetheless.
He asked her some standard questions, and she tried to convince him that she was not Doctor Lester.
Finally, dismayed, she made him listen. "You are closer to the Captain than anyone in the universe. You know his thoughts. What does your telepathic mind tell you now?"
Spock reluctantly initiated the meld, weary of some sort of trap. However, when his mind touched hers, he felt the familiar presence and it's curious warmth. He fought the urge to take the presence and blend it with his own mind, to have a piece of Jim forever.
He pulled away, his relief apparent. Jim, in the body of Doctor Lester, gave him that look. The look that made his breath catch. No matter where Jim was, whether his essence be in his body, or the body of another, he would always evoke these feelings in him.
"I believe you," Spock finally managed to say. "But my belief isn't evidence. Perhaps Doctor McCoy will be able to help."
After incapacitating the guards that stood by the door, Spock found himself gently holding Jim's wrist, some sort of an instinctual thing. He stood in front of his friend as the real Doctor Lester flagrantly used the Captain's body to order others around.
The next thing they knew, they were in a cell together awaiting trial.
"Spock…am I really going to lose control of the ship?" Jim asked, looking worried.
"No, Captain. Certainly not."
"What if I get left on Benecea?"
Spock restrained himself from grumbling with anger at the thought. "I will see to it that you do not…and if you must, then I will stay with you."
The look he got was almost too much. He wanted to reach out to Jim, hold him. It was irrational. Illogical even.
But the human half demanded to be loved, and on that day, the Vulcan half nearly gave in.
He decided he was going to confess. Tonight.
It only seemed logical.
He had given Jim precisely two weeks after the Janice Lester incident to recuperate, and the Captain was back to his charming, flirtatious self. When he and Spock were alone, he would give him that look, the smirk, the one he usually only used for alien women. He would look him over, use flirtatious language, and sometimes, gently brush his hand against Spock's. Spock, naturally, would blush wildly and pull his hand away, shyly continuing whatever he was doing.
Even in public, on the bridge, the Captain's hands would gently grab his arms, rest at the small of his back, or he would stand so close that Spock could sense his emotions.
So when Spock went over all of his options, he figured that Jim felt the same way about him as he did for Jim.
He politely buzzed to be let in, some replicated tea in his hand. Jim told him to come in, looking happy to see him.
"I…um…brought you tea," Spock said slowly, feeling his nerves catch up to him.
"Ah thank you!" Jim exclaimed, smiling widely as he took the cup of tea from his first officer. He then gave him an amused look. "Something the matter, Spock?"
Spock blinked rapidly, feeling like he was frozen with fear. "I…have something to discuss with you, Captain."
"Jim," Jim corrected softly. He motioned for Spock to sit down and gently ran a hand down the Vulcan's arm. "I'm here for you, Spock."
Spock swallowed thickly. "As of late, I have noticed that we have…grown closer as…friends."
Jim nodded encouragingly.
"I wanted to…I was wondering if perhaps, we could come to the mutual agreement that our relationship become more...romantic."
Jim stared at him for a long time, and he stared back.
That's when the Captain started to laugh, and his heart sank. He felt the shame and embarrassment overcome him, and he was sure his face had turned green.
Jim didn't seem to notice. "I'm surprised you agreed to this, Spock," He said, mirthful.
Spock shook his head. "I do not understand."
"You know, to pretend you wanted a relationship?"
Spock frowned and stared towards the exit. Perhaps if he stared long enough he would vanish. He considered how to answer. Subject himself to further embarrassment, or play along?
He stood, hands clasped tightly behind his back. "Yes...as you humans say, you…er...got me."
With that, he steadily left the room before rushing into his own quarters and trying to meditate.
He was becoming increasingly irritated. He could not meditate, sleep came very little, and he had this damn headache that wouldn't go away.
Furthermore, every time they were on a mission, the Captain seemed to find someone to make out with.
It was irritating.
Finally, when sleep stopped coming and the rest of his body started to ache, he worked up the courage to visit Doctor McCoy. He also found this experience somewhat irritating.
The hypos he had subjected himself to were not working, so after a week, he talked to Uhura.
It was walking back to his quarters when the first one happened. The hall became blurry, and everything started to move so quickly. He tripped, fell, and was too slow to stop himself from falling on his face.
Trying to get through the pain, Spock scrambled to his feet, wiping a drop of blood from his nose.
Not even a week later, he left the labs, and the same thing happened. Only this time, he must have passed out. He woke to McCoy holding him steady, and soon found himself in Sickbay, speaking in Vulcan with M'Benga.
Everything hurt. Not just physically, but emotionally. He didn't know how much longer he could put up with it. His barrier was weakening, it was driving him crazy.
He realised something then. If nothing was done, he would be driven to insanity.
The next day, his head was still fuzzy, and the pain was still there, but he was fascinated with the Messah. He was interested in them and their culture. He didn't want to miss out on it.
But he gladly opted out when the Captain called him an acquaintance. He had truly ruined their friendship with his confession. It was distressing, it made him panic.
He felt as if he were falling, constantly, so he decided to beam down to Messah with everyone else.
The red sand beaches reminded him of Vulcan. He sat away from the partying, legs crossed, staring out over the ocean. He ran his fingers through the sand, suddenly wishing he was home. He let out a small, sad sigh, but stiffened when the representatives from earlier sat next to him.
"Are you lonely?" One of them asked him.
He requested an alcoholic beverage.
"Yes," he replied quietly, after downing it in one large drink. He looked up at the sky, noticing the Enterprise. "I have always been."
He didn't remember how many drinks he had, he only remembered being in pain.
Vulcans already felt more deeply than humans. This wasn't good, and it was hurting. He vaguely remembered yelling at the Captain, and being dragged into a bed.
He told Jim that he was sorry, but the Captain walked away without answering, and didn't look back.
Chapter 7: Understanding
Hey guys! Sorry for the wait! I finished writing every chapter so now it's just a matter of posting them all!
Everything made sense now.
As Spock's hand slid off of his face, he found that he fully understood.
The feelings he felt in the meld, the sadness, the shame, it lingered with him still.
He looked into Spock's worried eyes and nodded his head, letting him know that he understood.
"Doctor McCoy? Are you okay?" It was M'Benga.
"I'm fine, we need to get Spock to sickbay," Bones replied, standing.
"Leonard, you're crying,"
Bones wiped his face. "Yeah, and Spock's injured! So let's go!"
Jim moved to follow them, but was stopped by McCoy's hand.
"No, you're not coming," he all but growled. He couldn't help but be a little pissed at his friend. He knew that it wasn't really his fault, but in this case, his emotions prevailed over his common sense.
Jim watched them like he was about to murder them as the lift closed, and McCoy held on to his half of Spock a little tighter.
"I'm sorry, Captain, but the doctors don't want you in there!"
Jim practically bulldozed into sickbay, pushing past nurses until he found the private room they set up for Spock. He barely got through the door, however, when Bones pushed him backwards, blocking his way.
"Bones, don't make me pull rank!" Jim snapped, trying to push past him.
The doctor grabbed him by the shoulders, spun him around, and shoved him to the office, barely waiting for the doors to close before he started yelling.
"You wanna know why you're not allowed in there? Spock isn't doing too hot, and you being there will make it worse!"
"What are you talking about?" Jim asked, dismayed. "Bones! Just…tell me what's going on!"
McCoy sat in the chair on his side of the desk, rubbing a hand over his face. "Okay. But you're not gonna like it."
Jim sat in front of him. "Just tell me…please…"
Bones shifted, straightened himself up. "Look, long story short, Spock's been in pain for the last while, and according to him, his pain got worse when he was around you. No, don't say anything yet, just listen. When Spock melded with me on the bridge, he showed me the events that lead to his current condition."
"Well…look, I don't know how you feel. I can't…read your damn mind like Spock! But…if you didn't feel that way about him you should've just told him. He doesn't lack in emotions, Jim. He wouldn't have hurt as badly if you had just told him."
Jim was genuinely confused. "What are you talking about?"
Bones stared at him for a moment before getting angry again. "You don't remember? How about all those times you flirted with him? All those times you lead him on only to push him away? You lead Spock to come into your quarters and…ya know…confess his feelings for you, and when he finally worked up the courage, you laughed at him and accused him of playing some sick joke!"
Jim's heart sank. "So…he was really…?"
Bones grumbled, standing from his seat to pace. "Of course he was. He assessed the situation for years! He finally came to what he thought was a logical conclusion." Bones laughed coldly, glaring at him. "Obviously he was wrong. You know, even I was starting to think he was right until he showed me how you reacted."
"So it's my fault he's dying? That's what you're saying, isn't It?" Jim asked, an edge in his voice.
Bones sighed and shook his head. "No...no, I'm sorry. I'm just…" he paused, sitting back down and rubbing his eyes. "You didn't feel what he was feeling, Jim. You don't know how…how unbelievably sad he Is. He feels hurt, and terribly alone. I'm just so…bitter that you were the one to make him feel that way."
Jim swallowed thickly. "I didn't mean to hurt him. I thought someone had put him up to it."
Bones raised his eyebrows. "Are you out of your mind? We're talking about Spock here!"
"I just didn't think it was possible for him to feel the same about me."
"But you thought it possible for him to lie to you, to trick you?"
Ashamed, Jim ducked his head, as if avoiding McCoy's question. "I don't know, Bones. I think I reacted that way because…I was afraid of my own emotions. I mean…I knew something was off after that, and I did doubt my judgement…I guess I just thought it was too good to be true."
Bones was silent for a moment. He sighed deeply and rolled his shoulders. "You two are a pair of fools. Listen, Jim. The love he feels for you is…it's more than I've ever felt in my life. It's intense, warm. He's been running on autopilot since he confessed. Jim, he's so ashamed of how he feels for you that I'm surprised he even did it."
Jim nodded his head, suddenly very interested in his hands. He fiddled a bit before looking back up at Bones. "What do you think caused this?" He asked, referring to Spock's current situation.
"The Messah we met yesterday…they gave him something. Whatever it was manipulated Spock's emotions, his rationality."
"That makes sense. He was acting rather strange when he came into my quarters."
"Yeah…I saw that. He told you he was sorry by the way. When you put him to bed."
Jim frowned. The Vulcan muttering had been an apology. But Spock didn't have anything to apologize for. Finally, he gently tapped the table and stood.
"I guess we should find Seri and Tella then," he said.
Bones stood as well. "I'm going to get back to Spock. I'll...I'll tell him you stopped by."
They both knew the Vulcan probably wouldn't be able to hear him anyway, but it was comforting to know that Bones was looking after them both.
Jim nodded his head sharply and exited sickbay, intent on getting an answer out of the Messah.
Chapter 8: An Antidote
Alright! Things are gonna get wack!
"Look, I don't know what you thought you were doing, and honestly, I could really care less. My friend is in my sickbay, dying because of you two!"
Seri gave Tella a look. That look someone gets when they're in deep shit.
"How was I supposed to know?" Tella whispered, "it's not like I'm an expert on Vulcans!"
"You could've done some research before you just poured it in!"
"Well excuse me! If I remember correctly, you were hasty to get it done too!"
"Would the two of you just explain to me what happened?" Kirk cut in, already exasperated.
The pair rolled their eyes in unison. "We thought it would be a good idea to give Spock a…potion of sorts," Tella explained.
"Yeah, because you two were so emotionally constipated around each other. We thought that if we gave Spock the potion, he'd go to you and tell you how he feels," Seri added.
"Well…it's mostly used between lovers as a way to communicate effectively and feel each other's emotions more vividly."
Kirk sighed, feeling a headache coming on. "You realise that Vulcans don't tap into their emotions like the Messah do, right?"
"Yeah but-" Seri started.
"Why might you think that is?" Jim cut her off, growing agitated.
The couple glanced at each other, unsure.
"There's years and years of Vulcan history here that you'd have to know to truly understand. But I'll give you a hint. If a Vulcan has lived all of their life guarding their emotions, keeping that mental barrier up, what do you think would happen if it was suddenly tore down, taken away by some potion?" Jim paused, trying not to think of Spock's condition. "Well, I'd imagine some would go insane. Maybe some would revert back to the time before Surak, but they'd never be the same. Even if they did live through the transition they wouldn't recognize themselves."
Seri and Tella started to look remorseful. "We apologize," Seri said sincerely.
"Yes, we'll send up a vial of the antidote right away." Tella added.
They nodded their heads and the communication ended.
Jim sighed and leaned back in his chair, closing his eyes tightly. Spock was already having a problem with keeping his emotions in check. The strain of keeping it together would be horrendous. No wonder he was so fragile, so beat up.
Jim frowned deeply, his guilt building. Spock was acting distant, but he just thought it was Spock being…well, a Vulcan. He only introduced him as an acquaintance because he thought that's what Spock would have preferred. Knowing what he knew now, however…
Hang in there, Spock, he thought to himself, there's still hope...and I need to make it up to you.
Fenrimelluk knew of their plan. After all, he was privy to the thoughts of most of the people in the village. He made sure he gave them the most potent of the potions and sat back, waiting for his time to move in.
He wasn't surprised that the Vulcan took badly to it, and he wasn't surprised when Seri and Tella showed up for an antidote.
Nothing surprised Fenri, but he was very good at feigning it.
He stood in front of the empty shelf, working the emotion up from his core. Then, he returned to the counter, looking shocked.
"I…think I was robbed!" He exclaimed, motioning for them to come look. He lead them back to the shelf where he kept the antidote, his pleasure at their despair hidden deep behind his mental barrier.
"Who could have done this?" Tella asked, enraged.
Fenri shook his head. "I do not know. It must have been recent. I swear the antidotes were there last night!"
"What are we supposed to do now?" Seri whispered to her partner.
That's when he had the idea.
"I could probably take a look at whoever needs this antidote. Maybe I can reverse the effects some other way." He offered, knowing they wouldn't turn him down.
"They already have doctors aboard the Enterprise," Tella murmured.
"But they don't know anything about our medicines," Seri reminded her.
They stared at each other for a moment before nodding their heads once and turning back to him.
"Okay, we'll take you to the Enterprise."
M'Benga didn't like this new doctor the Messah had brought aboard. There was something very odd about him. He figured it was probably just the way he carried himself.
But when the new guest asked to be left alone with Spock, he saw red flags everywhere.
"I don't know if that's wise…" he started, glancing to McCoy for help.
"I agree with Doctor M'Benga. You don't know anything about Spock!" Bones added, crossing his arms.
"Gentlemen. I know you're both very protective of him right now, and normally, I'd be inclined to agree with you. But Fenri knows of this potion and has a greater chance of reversing its effects than you two."
The statement came from the Captain, who had been sitting in a chair with an antique book, moping outside of Spock's room for the better part of 24 hours. M'Benga bit back a remark, turning to McCoy to avoid confrontation.
Unfortunately, Leonard wasn't particularly known for letting things slide.
"You'd really let this stranger, a friend of those who did this to Spock, be in there alone with him?" When he didn't get an answer right away, he sneered. "Are you out of your damn mind?"
Kirk sighed and set the book aside, standing to meet McCoy's piercing glare. "Perhaps you are a little too…personally involved in this case, doctor," he implied with an edge.
M'Benga swallowed thickly, waiting for McCoy's reply.
"No, sir. I am perfectly fine on this case," Leonard bit out. "Doctor Fenrimelluk may proceed." With that, he turned and swiftly exited the room.
M'Benga hurried after him, catching him in the corridor with a gentle tug of the sleeve. "Do you trust that Doctor?" He asked quietly.
"No, he's as shady as they come," McCoy answered, slowing his pace for M'Benga. "I don't understand why Jim would allow this."
M'Benga frowned. "The Captain probably feels desperate…maybe even a bit useless."
McCoy nodded his head solemnly. "Don't we all," he murmured. "Don't we all…"