That's My Boy

Title: That's My Boy
Author: Tempest
Series: TOS, AU
Paring: S/Mc
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Spock is injured in an away mission. McCoy and Kirk have to
help him cope with it. Mostly McCoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own TOS. I never have, and I never will. Star
Trek and all of its relations are property of Paramount and Viacom. I
only own this story. Anybody who has a problem with the thought of
men in homosexual relationships with each other, please stay away.
Flames and feedback are welcome. Please ask before putting this
Author's Notes: I realize that's probably the worst summary in the
universe. Let me explain why. I can't go into details about how and
what and when and why because then I've ruined the story. It might
not be a good story, but I tried. It's interesting. I blame
overexposure to television and too much time on my hands for this
idea. Bonus points to whoever, after reading this, knows what I'd
been watching that made me think of this. I apologize if this is sad.
I don't think it's sad, but I also live in a cave and fight Romulans
so I don't have to pay for alcohol. Please don't hurt me.
That's My Boy
By Tempest
October 7, 2004

"Standard orbit, Mr. Sulu. Mr. Chekov, keep our shields up."
Captain Kirk leaned forward in his chair, peering at the center
screen. "Status of the planet, Mr. Spock?"

Spock turned towards his library computer and read for a few
minutes, repeating the information to the bridge crew. "Classic M-
class planet, Captain, with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, gravity
98.2% of Earth. The planet has a humanoid population, little is known
about them, aside from that they have evidently not achieved space

"And they stand between our territory and that of the Klingon
Empire," Kirk mused to himself. He sighed and stood up from his
chair, walking to stand beside the bar separating the bridge. "Well,
Mister Spock, our mission is to seek out new life and civilizations.
Do you feel up to leading the away team?"

"As always, Captain."

Kirk nodded at the Vulcan and walked back to his command
chair, engaging the ship-wide intercom. "Lieutenant Jackson and
Ensign Evans from Security please report to the transporter room.
Lieutenant Phillips from Sciences please report to the transporter
room." Kirk looked up at Spock with a smile. "They're all yours, Mr.
Spock. Have fun down there."

Spock walked towards the turbolift, his eyebrow raising as he
retorted. "Fun, Captain? I assure you this is in the name of duty."
The doors open and he entered.

"Just keep saying that-" Kirk sighed, as the doors closed
again, keeping him from his response.


In the transporter room, the away team had assembled
themselves, waiting for their Vulcan leader. Evans tucked his phaser
on his belt and turned to Jackson. "Unknown peoples on this planet,
do you really think we should be beaming down?"

Jackson gave him a friendly pat on the back, and then stepped
up onto one of the transporter pads. "Discovery is our job, remember?
Besides, we have Mister Spock coming with us, and of course, we got
Phillips here to track the biology, isn't that right Aaron?"

Phillips chuckled as he stepped up onto the pad beside
Jackson, calibrating his tricorder with one hand, as he made a muscle
with his other arm. "Oh yeah, certainly. We boys from sciences make
great fighters. If you get scared, just use me as a human shield."

Evans nodded; he couldn't help but grin, and stepped up onto
one of the pads as well. "Thanks."

Phillips nodded, his hands going behind his back. "Sure, what
are mad scientists for?"

The two security officers began to laugh, and at that moment,
Spock walked in, a tricorder slung over his shoulder and a phaser in
his hand. "Prepared, gentlemen?"

Phillips gave a nod of his head, as Evans and Jackson each
chimed in with an "Aye, Sir."

Spock stepped up onto the transporter pad. "Very well.
Energize," He said to the transporter chief. And within seconds,
their forms had dissolved, and they were gone.


Kirk paced the bridge, checking the chronometer
again. "Uhura, is there a response from the away team yet?"

The communications officer shook her head, "I'm sorry, Sir,
nothing yet."

Kirk tried to resist his frustration, but gave in, slamming
his hand down on the back of his chair. "Dammit. They've been down
there four hours without checking in." He sighed and turned to
Chekov, who had taken over Spock's science console. "Get me a reading
on the away team, Mr. Chekov."

"Yes, Captain." The young, navigator's head bent over the
panel as he checked the scanners, only to pop up again a moment
later. "Captain, there's something wrong with the away team's life
signs. I can get a reading, but not a clear one."

Kirk made a low noise of irritation. "You're sure, Chekov?"

"Aye, Sir."

"That's it." Kirk tapped the intercom. "Kirk to transporter

"Transporter room, Kyle here," came the immediate reply.

"Mr. Kyle, get a lock on the away team, and beam them up,
now." Kirk could not emphasize the last word enough.

"Yes, Sir." The intercom was cut and Kirk sighed, sinking
back in his chair, his forehead resting in his palm.

The respite was short-lived, for no more than three minutes
later; there came another beep from the intercom. "What is it, Mr.

The voice on the other end of the comm. was shaky. "Sir...the
away team isn't moving. I called for some orderlies to take them to

"I'll be down there in a minute." Kirk slammed the button
down and stood from his chair. "Sulu, you have the con." He walked to
the turbolift and bolted inside when the doors opened.

Sulu and Chekov exchanged a glance, and Uhura set about
listening to comm. chatter from deck five.


The doors to sickbay swooshed open and Kirk entered, looking
for McCoy. "Bones?" he queried, walking towards the surgical area.

"Not now, Jim. I just sent my orderlies out. Kyle said
there's some problem with the away team." The doctor was changing
himself quickly into scrubs and running his hands under the
sterilizer beam.

"Bones, I don't want you to be shocked, but Spock was on the
away team."

McCoy was facing away from Kirk at the time, his expression
unable to be read. "Spock's a big boy, Jim. I'm sure he'll be fine.
Besides, this was just an isolated planet, right? We've seen him
through worse."

"Bones..." Kirk started, but was interrupted with the
orderlies leading four biobeds into sickbay, sheets drawn up on three
of them to cover the faces of the occupants.

McCoy rushed to meet the orderlies, all doctor now.

Kirk moved to McCoy's office, getting out of the way to let
him work.


McCoy tore off his outer scrubs, his emotions threatening to
take control of him. He pinched the bridge of his nose as he made his
way into his office.

Kirk met him with a cup of coffee. "How's it look, Bones?"

McCoy took the cup gratefully and had a sip, falling into his
desk chair. "Not good. Phillips, Jackson, and Evans are dead. Some
sort of brain hemorrhaging as far as I can tell."

Kirk nodded, keeping silent for a moment, the weight of three
dead crewmembers heavy on his shoulders. Finally, he spoke. "And

McCoy did not respond right away. Finally, he took in a deep
breath. "I...I don't rightly know, Jim. He has extensive neurological
injury. Thankfully, the Vulcan construction of his brain kept him
from death, but until he's awake, I can't tell you the extent of the

Kirk sighed. "Will he recover, Bones?"

"We can only hope. I'll take care of him right now. You need
to work on the letters to the families."

That was one of Kirk's least favorite of all his duties. "I
know. Let me know when he wakes up, Bones." Then Kirk turned and left


Kirk made his way back to the bridge. Two distraught spouses
had been notified and a devastated set of parents. He had offered the
sincerest condolences he could and had taken full responsibility for
what happened, had given a full explanation of what had happened and
had sent for two men from ship's stores to box the personal effects
and send them at the next outpost.

He sighed wearily as he took his seat. "Sulu, take us out of
orbit. Set course for Starbase 23, warp factor 4."

"Aye, Captain, warp factor 4." Sulu's fingers flew over his

Kirk could feel the heavy atmosphere of the bridge. Everybody
was concerned but nobody was going to ask questions. There was less
than one hour left in the duty shift; he only needed things to go
smoothly until the end of shift. Then the crew could get the relief
they needed and could all go to sickbay to ask as many questions as
they wanted about Spock and the mission.

The bridge carried on in silence. Kirk stared at the main
screen, Uhura monitored subspace chatter and Sulu and Chekov were
exchanging quiet looks in a silent bet of who was going to ask the
Captain for information first. The whistle of the comm. sliced
through the tension. "Sickbay to Captain Kirk."

That wasn't McCoy's voice. Kirk was growing concerned. "Kirk

"This is Doctor M'Benga, Captain. Doctor McCoy requests your
presence in sickbay. He says make it quick."

"I'm on my way. Tell him to hang on." Kirk punched the "off"
switch and hopped from his chair, heading once more to the turbo
lift. "Sulu, take the bridge." When the closed on him, and the
turbolift set into motion, he let out a sigh. *This better be good

The doors opened again and he strode towards the sickbay.
Upon entering, Kirk made his way to the Intensive Care area when he
felt a restraining hand on his shoulder. He turned his head to meet
the eyes of M'Benga. "Captain, Doctor McCoy told me to stay out here
and keep you from barging in. He'll be out in a minute."

Kirk opened his mouth to say something, but M'Benga
interrupted him. "Don't make Len any more stressed than he already

Kirk nodded. "All right, I'll wait."

The wait was not a long one, when McCoy came out of the unit,
and sighed. "Well, Jim, he's awake."

Kirk breathed a sigh of relief. "That's great news, Bones."

The doctor gave a shake of his head. "Not exactly." He turned
to M'Benga. "Geoff, can you go make the rounds on the other patients
and remind the nurses that the shift will be over soon, and they
deserve to take a break?"

M'Benga nodded and headed back into the other area of
sickbay, leaving the two men to themselves.

"All right, Bones, what makes it 'not exactly' good?" Kirk
stared down his friend, not willing to take a coddled answer from him.

"He's awake, Jim. His five senses seem to be working well
enough. His sixth sense, however, seems impaired to the point that
his ESPER rating is bouncing back and forth between average human
range and a range that is normal for the average Betazoid. He has no
ability to control it. He has no ability to control his emotions
right now. And his cognitive functions are reminiscent of a small
child, maybe 4 or 5 years old. The good part of this is that he does
recognize the sickbay and can identify people. But it's...well, if he
could fully understand the circumstance, he'd be pretty miserable,
pitiful situation, really Jim. And this is all because he was spared
death by hemorrhaging."

Kirk wanted to react, but he could tell from his friend's
tone just how terrible he was feeling. So he tried to stay in the
role of the Captain. "Can you ask for a Vulcan Mind Healer to come to
the ship to help with therapy? Or maybe send Spock back to Vulcan?"

"I don't think that will help, Jim. This isn't a
psychological cause. It's purely physical and you know how the
Vulcans get about non-psychological medicine. We'll just have to take
his therapy nice and slow and see where it goes from there."

Kirk nodded. There had been a reason he hadn't gone into
medicine. "Can I see him, Bones?"

McCoy shook his head. "Not the way he is now. For him I can't
let anybody see him. When he's a little better I'll allow non-medical
personnel to visit. But not now."

Kirk sighed and forced a tight smile. "I understand, Bones. I
won't ask again. I can tell how this is bothering you. But when shift
ends, how about I get you a cup of Saurian Brandy and you, me,
Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov organize a poker game? M'Benga's welcome

McCoy shook his head again. "Maybe, Jim, I'll see what's what
when everything's settled here. And I'll get you a report on the
incident tomorrow."

"All right, Bones, but don't drive yourself crazy." Kirk
turned around and walked out of sickbay, forcing himself into Captain
mode, knowing the crew would have questions for him when he returned
to the bridge.


McCoy watched as the Captain left, and then walked back into
Spock's room. It was isolated from the rest of sickbay, so he could
hide the Vulcan from the eyes of patients and visitors. His face took
on a gentle smile as he returned to Spock's bed. "Hiya."

Spock lay atop the biobed. The sheet was pulled around his
body and his limbs were tied down with medical restraints. His eyes
were slightly glassy, and his head was bandaged. He tried to move his
hand but couldn't. Instead, he looked up at McCoy. The expression on
his face unmasked, raw emotion in his features and the look itself
was pitiful.

McCoy pulled up a chair and sat next to the Vulcan. He ran
his hand over Spock's cheek, keeping his voice gentle. "I'm sorry,
Spock, but we need to keep you still. I know you're scared and you
want to move, and when you're checked out of sickbay and we're back
in our quarters, you can move all you like."

Spock moved his lips in response, but no sound emerged.

McCoy bent in closer. "What, Spock?"

"Le-Leonard...I'm cold." His voice was meek. Although it was
the same low baritone, it had a tinge of childishness to it.

"I'll get you some more blankets, Spock. Those should warm
you right up." McCoy went to the small closet where linins were kept
and got out a couple of blankets, Starfleet issue for medical
patients, the use of. He spread them out on Spock's form and lovingly
tucked him in. "That better?"

Spock gave a slight nod of his head. "Will you stay?"

McCoy nodded too, the smile on his face growing ever so
slightly. "As long as you want, Spock." He sat back down in the
chair, placing his hand over the bulge in the blankets at Spock's
side, which was one of the Vulcan's hands.

McCoy spoke in quiet whispers to Spock, soothing him into
sleep. Eventually, the Vulcan's eyes closed and then McCoy let
himself relax, recuperating from the harsh events of the day, and
drifted off in the chair beside him.


Spock's eyes fluttered open; his breathing was loud and raspy
to his own ears. He lifted his head slightly to gaze around his
surroundings and quickly found that he could move nothing but his
neck. *Where am I? Why...why can't I move? These aren't my quarters!*
His face contorted into a wince. *My head hurts. And I'm hungry. How
am I going to eat if I can't move?

The sound of a door sliding open interrupted his thoughts and
he turned his head to the side, gazing up to see McCoy. He cleared
his throat. "Leonard...I'm hungry."

McCoy smiled gently at him. "Good morning, Spock. You slept
for a long time. How do you feel?"

Spock stared back at the doctor, confused. *Didn't I just say
I was hungry?* McCoy's smile was reassuring. *Maybe Leonard will get
me some food if I answer his question better.* "My head hurts, and I
can't move."

McCoy moved closer to Spock. He himself had had a restless
night. After waking up after a quick nap at Spock's bedside, M'Benga
had ushered him to get the first set of tests completed on Spock and
then had sent him back to his quarters for bed. He had only time for
his morning coffee when the life sign monitor told him Spock was
awake. "We can take care of all that."

The doctor reached down and pulled back Spock's blankets and
then set about loosening and removing the Vulcan's restraints. After
each was pulled back, he lovingly massaged the skin beneath the strap
to help Spock's muscles. "Let's get you ready for everything. What do
you want for breakfast?"

Spock sat up slowly in the bed, gazing around the room for a
few minutes. He then reached out to grab McCoy's hand, as he slowly
climbed off the bed. "Pla-savas shihvek."

McCoy helped ease the Vulcan to his feet; feeling strange
considering Spock was an inch taller than him and outweighed him by
at least fifteen pounds. He recognized that term. It was a kind of
Vulcan pie. "You can't have that for breakfast, but maybe later
tonight. How does treahk-tor kheh and theris-masu sound?" That was
what Spock usually had when he took the time to actually eat

Spock nodded, keeping his hand within McCoy's fingers.
*Leonard makes good treahk-tor kheh. And he'll give me pla-savas
shihvek tonight. Maybe means yes.*

McCoy smiled a little wider, putting his other hand on
Spock's shoulder. "Great, I'll get that set up for you and get you
taken care of. Come on." McCoy led him into the small patient
restroom and helped him remove the sickbay jumpsuit. He helped the
Vulcan to the small private, water closet and left him to his own
business, while he went about getting him a clean jumpsuit, and
telling the attending nurse to make Spock's breakfast order.

Spock stepped out a few minutes later and McCoy helped the
Vulcan change. He adjusted the collar of the shirt and then led the
Vulcan back to the room. "My head still hurts, Leonard."

McCoy went to one of the medication cabinets and produced a
hypo spray. He placed a calming hand on Spock's arm while he injected
it into the side of his neck. "That should help. Now, let's get you
some breakfast."

Spock nodded and sat down on the edge of the biobed. At that
time, Nurse Chapel walked in with a tray consisting of a bowl of
cereal and a cup of tea. She placed it upon the small table that
folded out onto the biobed and smiled at Spock. His gaze was distant
and a little frightened. She quickly turned her head away. She may
have long since recovered from her romantic intentions for the
Vulcan, but she still could not stand the sight of such a strong,
intelligent man reduced to his current state. With a dismissing nod
from McCoy, she exited back to the main area of sickbay.

McCoy at once returned his attention to Spock, a coaxing grin
on his face. "Spock, eat up, when you're done, we can get a few more
tests in and then go from there."

Spock nodded and dipped his finger into the bowl to have a
taste. McCoy was about to interrupt him and remind him to use his
spoon when Spock grimaced. "This isn't your treahk-tor kheh. You
didn't make this!"

McCoy's expression remained calm as he reached out to place
one hand over Spock's. "I was with you the whole time, Spock. I
didn't have time to make it; you know that. Nurse Chapel worked on
making your breakfast. You don't want to look ungrateful do you?"

Spock gave a shake of his head. "I don't want to eat Nurse
Chapel's cooking. I want yours."

McCoy sighed softly to himself; he had not dealt with
children in a long time. "Spock, will you eat it for me?"

Spock looked at McCoy for a long moment, before looking down
at the food before him. He nodded slowly. "All right." Then he lifted
his bowl and began to drink it.

McCoy sat down in the chair beside the bed, waiting for Spock
to finish. *This is going to take longer than I thought.*

McCoy sat at his desk looking over the print outs of the test
results. They all said the same thing. With a sigh, he laid his head
in his hands, his elbows resting on the cool metal of the desk.
Irreversible damage. Every single test made that clear.

For the second time in his life, McCoy truly understood why
it was that the Hippocratic Oath prevented one from practicing on
family. He was conflicted, and worse than that, he felt inadequate as
both husband and doctor. He had no way of saving Spock from a fate
that under most circumstances, Vulcans would consider worse than

On the other hand, at least Spock was alive, and himself, in
some capacity.

McCoy would have continued musing, but M'Benga came up behind
him, startling him when a hand came to rest on his shoulder. "Len?"

McCoy's head came up with a start, looking around behind
him. "What is it, Geoff?"

"We've kept him here for five days, testing him, looking for
answers. We've tried all medicine known to Starfleet, the Federation,
and we've tried those healers three times. He hates being stuck back
there. You know what. I think it'd be best if we just let him go back
to his quarters and hope time heals him."

"And we'll have to assign him a caretaker."

M'Benga just stared back at McCoy.

McCoy sighed, nodding. "I can take two shifts, but what do I
do when I have to be in sickbay?"

M'Benga exhaled at that, thinking. Non-medical staff were out
on that, and he had the same shift as McCoy. And McCoy could not just
take a leave indefinitely without him personally being sick. "A
nurse." It was the logical answer.

"Which one? Chapel makes him nervous and he doesn't really
know Burke that well. And Thomson's Esper sensitivity makes her
ineligible for that job."

M'Benga could hear the worry in McCoy's voice and did his
best to reassure him. "What about Harrison?"

"Harrison's an orderly, Geoff."

"He's an orderly who's in the process of finishing up his
nursing training. And it's about as much as we're going to get on
this. Besides, he had a Vulcan roommate back at the Academy."

McCoy sighed softly, pinching the bridge of his nose. "He'll
have to do, I guess. I'm just worried about Spock. He's..."

"I know." M'Benga tried to smile, but it did not quite reach
his eyes. "You go get cleaned up and I'll sign the release orders so
Spock can go back home with you."

McCoy nodded and started for the back of the sickbay, not
sure what else he could do for the Vulcan he loved so dearly.


"All right, Spock, let's get you settled down on the bed and
I'll finish unpacking your stuff before I get some sleep, too."

The Vulcan sat on the bed, much like a young boy trying to
impress his teacher or parent in hopes of getting praise. "Where will
you sleep, Leonard?"

"On the couch right over there." McCoy had a suitcase open on
a nearby table and was unpacking Spock's clothing and some of the
personal effects he had with him in sickbay, including what could
only be described as an arts and crafts project, Vulcan style.

Spock cocked his head to the side. "But that's wrong."

McCoy stopped his task so he could look at the Vulcan. "What
do you mean wrong, Spock? The bed's yours, I'm here to take care of
you, and so I'm sleeping on the couch."

"You used to sleep in the bed, too. I remember." Spock
furrowed his brow in concentration. "You slept on the right side."

McCoy once more felt that odd sensation in the pit of his
stomach. His mind and heart were in conflict. "Off limits," said his
brain, and he could hardly disagree. Ignoring the pull on his heart,
he smiled at the Vulcan, a kind, gentle smile, that of an elder
trying to explain the nature of the universe to a small child wanting
to know why everybody dies. "Now I sleep on the couch, Spock. It's
not that bad, really. I'm only a few feet away, and I can hear if you
call me, so you won't even have to get up."

Spock was about to question further, protest so he could have
a reality like his memories, but he stopped in the process. He had
been told to behave himself, to be a good boy, and then he could have
a treat. Besides, he knew he would make McCoy proud if he behaved,
and he wanted McCoy to be proud of him. He wanted to make McCoy

"All right, Leonard," Spock said as he rose from the bed,
turning around to change into the pajamas that had been laid out
thoughtfully on the side of the bed. He threw his clothing on the
floor, not thinking about using the hamper, and put the trousers on,
forgoing the shirt; it was too warm for it.

The pajamas had been purchased on a shore leave to Rigel VII,
one that Spock most likely no longer remembered. They were a silk
byproduct, with the texture of silk but the warmth of flannel. Green
with small red hearts. McCoy had given them to Spock for the High
Holidays that year, and Spock had worn them, either out of comfort or
a desire to humor the doctor. McCoy had never been certain.

While the Vulcan dressed, McCoy busied himself with the rest
of the unpacking. The last thing he needed was to stare at Spock's
nude form before falling asleep on the couch, with the possibility
quite high of never being allowed to touch the Vulcan in the way of
lovers again. He finished putting the clothing away and disappeared
into the head to put away a few of the personal grooming products.

Spock finished with his pajamas and sat down on the bed,
slipping himself under the covers. The lights were already dim and he
tried to close his eyes, so he could sleep. It had been a long day;
he was tired. And yet, he had a feeling he could not explain. It was
wrong to be in bed by himself. He simply did not understand why.

McCoy came back into the main quarters, putting the empty
suitcase in the closet. Turning his head, he noticed Spock; although
his eyes were closed, his body's position told his doctor's instincts
that the Vulcan was not yet asleep. He walked over and sat on the
side of the bed. "Hey, mind if I tuck you in?"

Spock cracked one of his eyes open, the question taking a
moment to settle in. Then he nodded enthusiastically. "Please,

McCoy smiled softly at him and reached out to take hold of
the covers, bringing them up under Spock's chin and helping them form
a warm cocoon around the Vulcan body. He then smoothed the fabric
out, and after feeling, through the covers, Spock's body snuggling
into the warmth, he leaned over to kiss him on the forehead, an act
that was mostly paternal in nature. "Good night, Spock. Sleep well
and sweet dreams."

Spock closed his eyes and yawned, before
whispering, "Goodnight Leonard," and turning onto his side to sleep.

As McCoy walked out into the main area of the quarters, to
take up residence on the couch, he had to ignore the whispered, "I
love you," he heard from the Vulcan. He wanted to return the
sentiment, in more ways than would be ethical.

He put his shirt in the hamper, and then removed his boots
and sat down on the couch, making it up into as comfortable a bed as
he could. He lay down, resting his head on the pillow and looked up
at the ceiling. He longed to be in the bed beside Spock, not even
touching him, just to lie beside him, feeling the warmth of his body.
But he could not. He needed to be the strong one.


It was nearly 0300 hours when the door chime rang, waking him
from a fitful sleep. McCoy had no robe available to him, and deciding
that no crewmember worthy of being on the flagship of Starfleet would
be afraid of a forty-two-year-old man's bare chest, did not bother
fishing out a shirt from Spock's dresser.

He checked quickly to make certain the chime had not woken
Spock; it had not, proving that internal logic was what kept the
Vulcan from being a heavy sleeper; and then he went to the door,
stifling a yawn as he answered it.

Kirk was on the other side. Taking in McCoy's disheveled
appearance, his bare chest and his fatigued mannerisms, not to
mention that the fly on his trousers was half-buttoned, a look of
disapproval settled over his features. "I just got off a double
shift, Bones," he said.

"Want a gold star?"

Kirk sighed softly, moving towards the door. "I would have
come over earlier, I meant, to check on you."

"I'm fine. Spock's asleep; he's very tired, so I suggest not
going in there."

Kirk stopped, bringing his hands to his sides. "Fine. But
that's what I came to talk to you about."

"If it has to do with Spock being tired, you don't need to
worry. After massive trauma like what he's been through, the body
needs a while to adjust. Eventually he'll be back to normal,
physically, anyway. The mentally, emotionally, and telepathically
part is still up in the air, although it's not looking good." McCoy
was rocking on the balls of his feet, a nervous habit he had
developed years ago.

"That's what I came to talk to you about."

"Well, you certainly have a mouthful for three in the
morning, don't you, Jim?"

Kirk sighed, his stern military bearing coming forward so he
could get his point across. "Listen, Bones, I don't mean to pry, but
are you and he..." Kirk paused, trying to put it as delicately as
possible, "Are you and he doing the horizontal tango?"

McCoy simply stared at him for a long moment; somewhere
between offended that Kirk would ask, and depressed that he had to
answer in the negative. "No, Jim. Absolutely not. It's against
medical ethics."

Kirk seemed to visibly relax after hearing that. "I just had
to check, Bones. Starfleet doesn't have a lot of rules about
fraternization, but if Spock only has the mental capacity of a small

"-It would be considered statutory rape, as well as
molestation. I know, Jim. And I haven't touched him like that since
the accident." *And it's hurting like Hell,* he thought to himself.

"That makes me feel loads better, Bones." Kirk smiled
slightly at him, then seemed to be reminded by the disheveled
appearance, "No offense, Bones, but you look like Hell."

"It's been a kind of long night, Jim. And a long week. And
you didn't exactly give me time to finish my beauty sleep." McCoy
brought his hand up to rub at his face.

Kirk nodded sympathetically, "I know, Bones. And this
probably won't help at all, but the whole crew's praying for the both
of you."

McCoy nodded back, "Thanks, Jim. Now can I go back to sleep?"

"Of course. Try to get some rest, and I'll put you on beta
shift tomorrow to give you some extra time." Kirk reached out,
patting McCoy on the shoulder, before turning away towards his own

McCoy sighed and went back inside Spock's quarters, ordering
them to lock before lying back down on the couch, trying to get back
to sleep in what was his home away from home, and yet, something he
might never adjust to.

Unbeknownst to him, Spock had awoken during the conversation,
and although he remained in bed, he watched McCoy's every move,
sorrow plain on his face.


The next morning, McCoy awoke to a familiar, but unexpected
warmth. Opening his eyes, he quickly realized what it was. Spock had
climbed out of his bed and had joined him on the couch, lying down
beside him and wrapping an arm around the doctor, leaning his head on
against the human's shoulder.

McCoy carefully extracted himself, not trying to wake the
Vulcan. Unfortunately, the movement was more than the Vulcan's
unconscious could ignore and slowly, brown eyes opened to gaze at
him. A lazy smile was on his lips. "Morning Leonard."

McCoy stretched the muscles in his back and neck, not pleased
with the development. "Morning, Spock. Why aren't you in your bed?"

"I wanted to sleep with you. You wouldn't sleep in my bed, so
I came to you." Spock paused in his explanation for a moment, "You
feel cooler than I thought you would."

McCoy sighed softly. He did not want to deal with this right
now. He had to separate their relationship from lovers to a more
familial one. He reached out a hand to help the Vulcan to his
feet. "Let's get you cleaned up and dressed, and then we'll take care
of breakfast. All right?"

The Vulcan took McCoy's offered hand, rising to his
feet. "All right, Leonard." He followed the doctor's lead into the
head and watched as McCoy prepared the bathwater in the wash basin.
Scotty had converted it to allow baths as well as showers while the
Vulcan had been in sickbay, knowing that Spock would need some help

McCoy turned around as Spock stripped off his pajama bottoms
and climbed into the bathtub. McCoy then turned back and soaped up
the washcloth, running it over Spock's body.

He had bathed Spock before the accident. It was something he
always enjoyed doing, a time to relish every part of his lover's
body, while slowly working to arouse them both.

This time, however, like the times in sickbay, was about
efficiency, about need. As a result, he carefully separated his mind
to view Spock as a patient, a brother, a son, rather than his
beloved, so that he could do the task without making an awkward
incident that would break his promise to Kirk and violate his medical

Spock's Esper ability, not controlled by his conscious mind
anymore, picked up on McCoy's distress and he reached out to lay his
hand on the doctor's wrist. "Leonard," he said softly, "You do not
want me?"

McCoy sighed very softly, cupping some water in his hands and
sprinkling it over Spock's hair to clean the soap out. He smiled as
he watched Spock close his eyes and scrunch up his face; very similar
to how his nephew used to behave. "Of course I do. The way you are,
the way we've been. It may be a little difficult to understand, but
just leave it up to me, okay?"

Spock listened to McCoy's words carefully, and then
nodded. "Yes Leonard."

"And we have to sleep in separate beds, so don't sleep on the
couch again, okay?"

Spock was more reluctant to agree, but finally nodded again,
the water from the bath growing a bit colder.

"Good, now let's get you dried off and dressed." McCoy helped Spock
out of the bathtub and gave his body a quick rubdown with his
favorite towel, a black one with a map of the Alpha quadrant.

McCoy then left Spock to finish the rest of his cleaning and
went outside to lay out Spock's clothes for the day. The new
parameters in the relationship would just need some getting used to.


The days passed into weeks, and although Spock's attitude was
enthusiastic, he was eager to assist the medical staff and especially
McCoy in any way he could, the damage to his brain was proving
irreversible. It seems that he would be stuck as a young child on the
inside, a shell around those best parts of the Vulcan, while his body
served as a constant reminder of what he once was.

However, he was improving with many of his habits and social
interactions and not only was he allowed visiting with non-medical
personnel, but as long as he was assisted, he had free run of the
ship. He was especially fond of the recreation room, especially when
Uhura was in there, singing. She was attempting to re-teach him to
play his ka'athaira. The process was taking longer than she had
originally expected, but he had just learned to play "Mary had a
little lamb," and it was certainly better than nothing.

McCoy, after being relieved of his shift, went back to
Spock's quarters to change clothing and clean up a bit. Noticing that
Spock was absent from the living residence, he went out, doing a
quick search. He found him in the mess hall, surrounded by a group of
junior officers, and Harrison, looking probably half as tired as he
really was.

McCoy approached them, overhearing the conversation. They
were telling Spock stories of his past, without making him feel
badly, by using the stories of "The Best Vulcan in Starfleet" rather
than his name. However, Chekov, who had been in the middle of
recounting the tale of The Doomsday Machine, quickly shut his mouth
when he saw McCoy approach. "I think that's enough story for one
day," he said.

McCoy waved at the group of officers, walking around to speak
with Harrison for a moment, updating himself on Spock's status.
Apparently, the Vulcan had not eaten yet, even though he should have.
He had refused, waiting for McCoy to show up to help him out.
Although he knew that all hopes of their romantic life were
shattered, a warm feeling spread throughout his chest, knowing that
no matter what, the Vulcan did love him.

The doctor made his way to the replicator to get their meals
for the evening, vegetable sandwiches and salad. He needed to keep
Spock's vitamin level up, since the Vulcan could no longer keep count
himself. Afterwards, he decided, as he also took two cups of tea for
them, he would get some of those cookies that Rand had made; they
would make a good treat for the Vulcan.

He brought the food trays back over to Spock, the group of
officers having dissipated, all but Uhura, who had decided to stay
for the meal. "He's doing much better with the ka'athaira today, Len.
You'd be proud."

McCoy set the trays down on the nearby table, sitting beside
the Vulcan and moving his chair closer. "I can't wait to hear what
he's learned," he turned to face Spock, getting the food ready, "When
will you play for me?"

"Miss Uhura says I'm not allowed to play for anybody until
the recital." The recital was a reference to the quarterly talent
show Uhura and McCoy had started more than two years ago. It was
coming up in less than three weeks.

McCoy handed Spock his glass of tea, making certain it was
firmly in the Vulcan's hands, before taking up his own
sandwich. "I'll just have to wait, then, but I look forward to
hearing it." He took a bite of the sandwich, wishing he had
replicated some ham instead.

Spock took a few sips of his tea, feeling a bit self-
conscience. He was not very sure of his ability to play the
instrument; Uhura made it look easy, but for some reason, most of the
music eluded him. Not saying anything, he carefully placed his mug
back down on the tray, and picked up a sandwich.

As he went to bite into it, the vegetables leaked out the
side, falling into his lap. He only got a mouthful of the rye bread,
and he stood up quickly, to get the vegetables off. They fell to the
floor, leaving behind a stain on his trousers.

Uhura was somewhat surprised and stood up to help pick up the
fallen food, but McCoy seemed unphased. He put a hand on Spock's
shoulder to get him to sit down and then began to wipe at his
trousers with a napkin, getting most of the juices off.

He then picked up another one of the sandwiches and, moving
closer so that he was practically sitting on Spock's chair, held it
up to the Vulcan so he could take a bite.

Without any indication of the embarrassment one might
normally feel at being fed publicly, Spock took a bite, enjoying the
taste of the vegetables. McCoy slid his arm around Spock's back to
keep him steady in the chair as he finished off the sandwich.

Uhura had gone back to her seat during the display and was
watching with a sad smile on her face. "You make a good father, Len,"
she said softly.

McCoy nodded, handing Spock his tea mug once the sandwich was
finished, and then gave the Vulcan's shoulder a squeeze. He knew that
he would be able to adapt to their new relationship, because Spock
needed him. "That's my boy."