Fond Feud

It was almost insulting, decided McCoy. He was after all a highly qualified medical practitioner, and posted as chief medical officer to the flagship of Starfleet. The concept of logic was not one entirely alien to him. Bit difficult to diagnose patients without it. But that didn’t stop Spock from deciding that the doctor didn’t know 1110 from 0111.

And the concept of emotion was not one entirely alien to the science officer. He knew damn well what it was like to feel, decided McCoy. Not that Spock would ever admit that of course. Not openly. Not at all, if he could help it.

And careful use of logic, really, was the way to win these...disagreements with Spock. Logic and emotion mixed together in precisely the right way would let him win every time.

Except it never worked like that. And it was more than a little infuriating. It wasn’t his fault, decided the doctor, it was just that Spock was so damn...logical.

So, a suitable amount of time was set aside and a new set of tactics were prepared. This time the battleground was sickbay; the problem, medical. This wasn’t just the doctor’s territory; this was his castle. And McCoy was practically daring Spock to disagree with him. He kept his arms folded, he looked dubious at each conclusion the other drew, and he left no room for argument with his own findings. He was at his most deliberately irritating, remaining perfectly polite.

It took longer than it should have, but finally:

“Logically, Doctor ---.”

McCoy didn’t bother to listen to the rest. Instead he focussed on the one infuriating adverb and on staying calm. He was going to use emotion, but he’d keep it under check until he had the Vulcan where he wanted him, until he would have to admit that McCoy was right.

“I just as capable of using logic to reach a conclusion as you are,” snapped the doctor. “Except that my logic is better logic.”

A moment later, the Vulcan said, “there is no such thing as ‘better’ logic, doctor.”

“It’s patented Leonard H McCoy brand logic,” retorted McCoy without missing a beat. “Best logic this side of the galactic barrier.”

A raised eyebrow. Good. That was...logical, for lack of a better word, and McCoy had almost begun to worry. He felt that he was due a raised eyebrow by now.

“Is this an attempt to be humorous?”

“No!” he exclaimed a little louder than he meant to. Technically, that was true, he wasn’t trying to be funny. He was trying to wind Spock up. And it wasn’t working. Typical.

“Then I cannot how see this discourse serves a purpose.”

McCoy almost smiled. “So you’re implying that if it had been an attempt at humour, then it would have had a purpose.”

“Certainly. I have observed that a great many humans use humour to relieve stress. Or as a defence mechanism.”

“You’re telling me it’s psychologically beneficial?”

“I am not the medical officer present.”

McCoy ignored that. “So why don’t you laugh more?”

“I don’t laugh at all.”

A sigh, almost unseen, and then. “You don’t suffer enough stress for humour to be beneficial?”

The Vulcan looked at him, his expression still stoic, but the eyes were less guarded. “As I said, I have observed this in humans. You are rather fond of pointing out that I am not human.”

That sounded familiar and inwardly McCoy groaned. This wasn’t what was supposed to happen, damn it. But he had seen the trap in time and he wasn’t going to fall for it, not this time. Be polite, Leonard, be...logical. Right, so no humour, then what? Oh, an answer: ask a question. Well done logic.

“So what do you do?”

“I meditate.” Of course he did. How obvious. How boring. How very logical. Gah! It was enough to make him want to scream.

“Every day?” Why was he asking that? Did he actually care? This was supposed to be discussion of a medical problem, wasn’t it? How had Spock manage to sidetrack him again? Because it was, of course, all Spock’s fault. As usual.

“Most days.”

“What if you can’t?”

“Can’t?” McCoy managed to refrain from rolling his eyes heavenwards.


“Can’t meditate?”

“Yes. What happens then?”

“I die.”

McCoy blinked. That had been deadpan. He hadn’t, had he?

“Spock, are you...” he railed off.

“I’m sorry, doctor, I didn’t hear that.” Implacable.

The doctor took a deep breath, and tried again. “Was that a...joke?” he asked, very quietly. Then, recovering himself, he declared, “And if it was, it wasn’t funny.” Hyperbole being the lowest form of wit, after all.

“I was not trying to be humorous.”

That sounded familiar. Hadn’t he ---? Great – it was just one big repetitive circle, wasn’t it? Fine, he’d join in. Why not?

“And neither was I.”


“So we’re both not trying to be humorous?”

“That would appear to be the situation, doctor.”

“Good.” He paused. “So what do you do when you can’t meditate?”

There was a short pause before Spock kissed him. Briefly and gently on the lips.

“Ah...I see.”

“I’m glad that your sight is not impaired, doctor.”

“And are you feeling stressed just now, Mr Spock.”

“Yes, doctor. Very.”

“Oh, good.”