In the Closet

Title: In the Closet

Author: Acidqueen <a.q @>

Series: TOS

Pairing: Spock/McCoy

Rating: PG-13, angst

Summary: Inverted mirrors.

Author's Note: Written for the Ninth Wave of the
SpockMcCoyHaven, challenge was "Write an S/Mc involving
illegal drugs." This is the sequel to my story "In the
Dark". It is recommended to read that one first.

Disclaimer: Paramount/Viacom owns Star Trek, I own my
brain. No infringement is intended, and no money is being

Archive: The SpockMcCoyDen, my own website at , ASCEM, all others ask,

Acknowledgement: Thanks to JB for beta'ing! All remaining
errors are mine.


Spock sat in his chair at the science console on the
bridge of the Enterprise. To every viewer he would give a
picture of maximum concentration, his gaze fixed on one of
the screens where long lists of numbers rolled along,
results of the latest scientific survey.

However, Spock's mind was on something else entirely.

They had returned from Sarpeidon a week ago, had written
their reports and held their final meeting. As if in
unvoiced agreement, both Dr. McCoy and he had omitted some
details about Zarabeth. He had thanked him in a quiet
minute afterwards, but had earned nothing more than the
expected caustic remark. Spock had mourned Zarabeth in a
Vulcan ritual and then meditated until he had re-
established his full control.

Everything was as it should be.

Except the fact that Dr. McCoy, who right after their
return had obviously understood Spock's reaction in the
ice age, had visibly withdrawn shortly after and since
then managed to stay out of Spock's way.

Something Spock found - much to his own surprise -

The captain seemed unaware of this, stuck with his own
thoughts lately. The mission began to drain all of them,
and Spock's estimate was that they would be ordered back
before the originally planned five years. Likely, it would
pose no problem for the press department to sell their
premature return as heroic achievement nevertheless.

However, this was not his actual problem.

Spock laced his fingers together, pressing his forefingers
against his lips in thoughts. Thinking of the last days,
he finally found what had been amiss - he had never
apologized for his behavior. Not one word of regret for
manhandling the doctor, without whom he very likely would
not even have returned to the Enterprise, so deeply stuck
had he been within the violent mind frame and Zarabeth's
intriguing - and admittedly arousing - presence.

But why should Doctor McCoy take it personally this time,
when any other time he would ascribe such behavior to
Spock's Vulcan upbringing, with an underlying note of
being pleased that another expectation was being met?

With a high probability, there was an additional factor.
Unfortunately, it appeared to be nothing that could be
deduced logically, but had to be found out in a talk with
the doctor himself. Spock was not looking forward to an
overly emotional debate, but if this was necessary to
bring their relationship into the former state of relaxed
cooperation, he would do it.

He gave up staring at the scrolling data and instead stood
up. It was the end of his shift and, after giving over his
station to the beta shift, he headed for the lift and left
it seconds later on the Sickbay level, striding to the
doctor's presumed position.

However, McCoy was not there, his staff claiming he had
already left an hour ago. Nor was the doctor in his cabin
or the recreation room. He also did not react to a call.

Finally Spock found McCoy only by having his communicator
localized from the bridge; he was in one of the quarantine
cubicles which were located near Sickbay on the outer
hull. It was not a place Spock would ever go to on his own
accounts, he thought as he walked along a shady corridor
until he stood in front of the small door, which opened
for him instantly.

The cubicles were about 3 x 4 meter and had a bull's eye:
obviously someone had deduced that it would be preferable
for anyone detained here to have a good view at least. The
room was heavily lit and, in the tradition of sterilizable
material, the surfaces shimmered overly white. In the
midst stood most prominently a med bed, on which McCoy
lay, arms folded behind his neck and looking very much
asleep. Spock made another step until the cubicle's door
closed, but reconsidered when the human did not stir at
all. He turned to leave again, but the door stood closed
even against his attempted override. He was locked in.

"Only authorized medical personnel can unlock this door
from the inside," McCoy's voice tuned in. "Which is me and

"As you are awake, Doctor, there is no reason for me to
leave," Spock said, and rotated back to him. McCoy gave
him a glance from half-opened eyes.

"What do you want?"

When McCoy didn't sit up, Spock drew closer and took the
one chair in the room to sit down next to him.

"I wish to speak with you."

"What about?"

"I want to apologize."

"Now that's a new one," McCoy murmured. "You first saved
my life and then you almost broke my neck. I think we're

"If you think we are even, why do you avoid my presence

"Good question. Next question?" McCoy closed his eyes

Spock looked at him nonplussed. "Doctor?"

"I won't answer it."

"You cannot answer it or you do not want to answer it?"
Spock asked slowly.

"Don't want to."

"This is illogical, Doctor. If there is a reason for your
behavior, then why would you not want to speak with me
about it? Maybe I can do something to rectify possible

McCoy slightly lifted one lid upwards. "A) You can't do
anything about it. B) There are no misunderstandings
between us. If anything, I understand you too well." The
lid fell down in place.

If Spock had been human, he would have sighed deeply. As
it was, he forced his face into an example of control and
thought hard - to no avail. And in front of him, the
doctor remained silent.

He should stand up and leave. But for this, he would have
to ask McCoy to unlock the door. And that was something he
did not want to.

In thought he looked up. His secondary lids closed as he
stared into the lights that burned down from above. There
had to be a more comfortable setting for them, but for
this he would have to give a voice command. Which he did
not want to do either.

A small demon rose inside of him, Vulcan pride paired with
all too human emotions. This was a puzzle, and all pieces
lay in front of him. And the man he wanted answers from
was prone to emotional reactions...

"You think you learned something about me which you did
not know before. But you have always known that I have
emotions." Spock stopped, waiting for a reply. None came.

"In every universe and time, doctor. Ours, the other, the
ice age. Did you not want me to explore them? I only
regret that it had to be under these circumstances."

There was still no reaction from the bed.

"I have thought about our encounter in the cave. When
you...kissed me, I could not react. Not in this
universe...not like that. But with Zarabeth, it was on an
instinctual base. As it would be if I took your mirror
persona's drug of which the formula is still in my

Spock had anticipated every reaction, but not this
complete and utter silence.

The demon grew, challenging him. There had to be a way to
destroy the wall that seemed to rise between them like
transparent aluminum. McCoy was undoubtedly awake, he was
listening to Spock's deepest confessions - and ignoring

"I wish to explore the possibilities, doctor. For years I
struggled with and against you, your probing, your
challenges. I realize now that in many aspects my control
is extrinsic, not intrinsic as it should be. My encounter
with Zarabeth clearly shows this. So you are correct that
I have to find my way and to explore my human sides. And I
cannot see anyone more qualified to accompany me than

He reached down in his pocket, pulling out a small, closed
tube which he put on the bed next to McCoy's chest. "I
have synthesized a few grams of the drug. I know that you
are opposed to its usage. But it is as I always thought -
it will free me to my more natural state of mind, not make
something out of me which I am not. I was not ready to use
it before Zarabeth. But now that I have seen the worst of
me" - Spock let a sad smile escape his control - "I have
no doubt I can control whatever it will uncloak."

He was finished. He had shown more of himself than he had
ever intended. He felt naked, laying open wide for the
insulting remarks and sharp accusations that would surely
follow his confession.

But there was only silence for a long time. Then McCoy sat
up and slipped from the bed, sweeping the tube carelessly
down to the floor with his movements. Straightening his
uniform shirt, he turned to the door.

"Doctor," Spock said, half accusingly, half pleadingly,
and quickly stood up to step in his way. "Do you have
nothing to say?"

McCoy looked him right into the eyes. "No," he said


"I didn't ask for your confessions, and I don't owe you
anything for listening to them. Given what you've told me,
I better forget it anyway." He wanted to pass, but Spock
remained in his path.

"You owe me, doctor," Spock said sharply. "That I am what
I am today is partly the result of your behavior toward

"I taught you threatening fellow officers?" McCoy
retorted, but then added seriously, "maybe I am. But
you're an adult, and I'm an adult, and we both should know
what's best for us. So I'll leave through this door now
and we never had this discussion."


Spock listened to the echo of his own voice in fascination
as the word hung between them. McCoy stared at him.

"No, Doctor," he repeated. "I do not want to forget this
discussion, because we did not have a discussion. What
more do you want to hear from me? I apologized. I
explained myself. It is your turn now. Talk to me."

McCoy shook his head. "It doesn't work like that, Spock. I
don't want to talk to you. I don't want to explain myself,
and I'm not interested in your explanations. What's so
hard to understand about me taking a time-out?"

It was like trying to catch the Vulcan eels of his
childhood, Spock realized. They teasingly danced in front
of one's eyes until one ran after them, digging into the
ground a small, unstable hole of which the walls
constantly threatened to collapse. But wherever one
searched, they were gone already. And the only things
gathered in the end were scratched hands and sandy

But that was not enough for him. He wanted an answer from
McCoy, not tomorrow, not in a year, but here and now. For
once determined he reached out, taking hold of his
colleague and pressing him against the wall. The answer
was so close, so reachable behind those blue eyes that
once again showed no fear...never showed fear with him...
With his free hand, Spock reached for the melting points.

The next thing he felt were not McCoy's whirling thoughts,
but a sharp pain in his solar plexus, causing him to
return to reality where he found himself crouched against
the bed, fighting for breath.

"I was surprised then, but I'll be damned if I'm ever
surprised by you or any of your impersonations again,
Spock," McCoy stated icily. "If you've had enough
emotional breakdowns for now - I'd like to leave this
place." He walked to the door and unlocked it. "And you
better get out of here with me." He switched off the
lights and left.

For a second, all Spock could perceive was absolute
darkness. Then he staggered into the doorframe and stared
after the leaving man through the shady corridor. A part
of him wanted to apologize yet again, but all words died
as he realized that - just as it had not been enough last
time - it was not enough this time. This loss of control
was way beyond apologies or rationalizations.

Two weeks later, Spock was on his way to Gol. And McCoy
spent some more nights in the cubicle and many more on
Earth in an apartment that largely resembled it, before he
left for parts unknown.