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Comfortable In My Skin

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He had never paid much store to the whole notion of soul mates. He was one of the ones that never had a single damn mark on his body. He’d been told when he was a kid that meant he had choices, he had freedom. Boy, had he made the wrong choice, it turned out, picking his wife. She’d been another Unmarked One, and they’d been thrilled at that. And things had been good for a while, and then they’d had Joanna and it gone to hell. She didn’t want to be a mother, but she didn’t want him to be a father.

So the shrew took his daughter and made it so really, all was left was the stars.

He just hadn’t imagined one day when he was watching Jim get his ass handed to him in a tribunal right before all hell broke loose a mark would suddenly appear, itchy on the underside of his wrist, when he locked eyes with the pointy-eared bastard.

It all had to be so damn complicated, too. He had a thing with Uhura because they had both been Unmarked, but then Spock got the mark, too, on the back of his neck. And before word one could even be said about it, they were tossed in the middle of Nero’s temper tantrum, watching everyone else get blown to smithereens and Kirk was saving their ass and then Vulcan got blown to hell and Spock lost his mother and…

Then wasn’t the time. Even he knew that.

It wasn’t until afterward, when he was at a bar, absently rubbing the underside of his wrist a month after Jim officially became their Captain, that he just knew Spock had entered the room. His mark felt warm and it stopped itching and kind of hummed. Not annoyingly; it was actually kind of pleasant. The closer he got, the more there was a little pulse to it. Spock took a seat next to him and said nothing for a long while, letting him drink in peace.

In a weird way, that was their first date.

Eventually, they talked, haltingly at first, sorting things out. It wasn’t easy for any of them involved in this; feelings didn’t just go away or change, and there was the matter of a spaceship needing to go out and a crew needing to be assembled and close quarters and all that. It wasn’t to say it was easy; there were times Spock missed Uhura, and times he was angry at what he’d had to give up because of the mark. But Spock never took his anger out on him. To be honest, he would have been happy to keep things open, if that was what they wanted. He knew you couldn’t shut off how you felt about someone; even after she’d ripped his heart apart and burned the remnants, a part of him still loved his wife. So he understood.

Slowly, almost achingly slowly, they acclimated. There were moments of tenderness. Occasionally a hand would brush the other. Sometimes there would be a grin at some shared joke. It was strange seeing Spock grin, but somehow that made it even better. There was even laughter, occasionally, which sounded alien coming from either one of them but they cherished it even more. By the time Spock reached for his hand in an open display of “yes, we are together” it had been nearly three years since the day at the Academy, and he knew it was worth every moment in their journey.

And now it was years later. They had peace, thankfully. Between them, between Spock and Uhura, between others who didn’t quite see things as well as they did. Spock’s father had been disappointed, mostly because it was another human his son had bonded with, not so much because it was a male, and he found it easier to deal with that than Spock had. It had taken Spock Prime’s mediation to calm the waters between the two of them, and at times it was still testy. But he and Sarek got along decently enough, and for that he was grateful. He’d do whatever ti took to make Spock happy, he realized.

That was love, and he knew he had it in return, and for that, he was forever grateful.

He entered the bedroom portion of their quarters, seeing Spock getting ready for bed. He always took a minute to appreciate the view. It had taken him some time to get comfortable with the idea, he had to admit, but patience on Spock’s part had come into play, and once old prejudices had been broken down and he’d accepted he was mated to a man, one as handsome as Spock, and he should be thankful for that, it got easier. It helped that the only person he really cared about liked Spock, too.

“Joanna seems to like Yorktown, does she not?” Spock asked as he reached for the sleep shirt he usually wore.

McCoy grinned at his lover mentioning his daughters name so easily, and then he nodded. “She fits right in. Best choice she made was to get as far away from her mother as she could once she was old enough to have a say.”

“And are you planning on staying at Yorktown?” Spock asked, turning to look at him.

McCoy shook his head. “You know Jim would be dead in a week if the two of us left, and I’m not going anywhere without you.” The corner of Spock’s lips quirked upward and McCoy laughed, leaning over and kissing the soul mate mark on his neck. “Have I entered an alternate universe or did you really just crack a smile for me?”

“You always know how to get me to be amused,” Spock said.

“Among other things,” McCoy said.

“That is true.” He looked over at McCoy and grinned more widely. “You should join me.”

“I think I will,” he said. “Love you.”

“I love you as well.”