The Bold Deceiver
by J. Rosemary Moss
"Spock!" the doctor complained. "You—you've got to let me get through the song!"
Spock sighed. The captain had asked him to escort Dr. McCoy to his quarters—but the doctor, thus far, was not proving cooperative. Thanks to the alcohol he had consumed, he could barely stand on his own; and yet he was determined to prove his mastery over the lyrics of an obscure Irish folk song.
"Listen, Spock," McCoy was saying, "I've got them now: As I was a goin' over the far famed Kerry mountains, I—I met with captain Farrell and his money he was counting…"
"Doctor, may I point out that this corridor is not an appropriate venue for your song?" he asked. He did his utmost to prop the doctor up as he spoke. He would prefer that McCoy make it to his cabin on his own two feet; otherwise, he would be forced to carry him.
McCoy, for his part, had an arm loosely around Spock's shoulders. Spock raised no objection to this intimacy—it seemed a necessity at the moment.
"Shhh! Course it's approp—appropro--course it's ok," McCoy insisted. "It's St. Patrick's Day, isn't it?"
"No," Spock answered. "The approximate date of that terran holiday passed several hours ago."
"Shhh," McCoy said. And then he sang out again—not in his Georgia drawl, but in something impressively similar to an Irish brogue. "I first produced my pistol and I then drew my rapier, say—saying, "Stand and deliver for I am a bold deceiver!"
"While I fail to see the point of glorifying a bandit in song, your delivery of the lyrics might be tolerable if you could keep from slurring your words," Spock admitted. "Now start walking, Doctor—"
"Shhhhh!…Musha rig um du rum da, whack for the Daddy-O…whack for the Daddy-O… there's whiskey in the—in the—in the…."
"Jar, Doctor," Spock supplied. "Quite."
"Hey!" McCoy said, his eyebrows shooting up in delight. "You know this song!"
"You and Mr. Scott have been singing it throughout the evening," Spock explained.
"Sing it with me," the doctor pleaded.
"No," Spock said.
"Why not?" The doctor, apparently, was bitterly hurt at his refusal.
"I do not think that I could do justice to lyrics such as 'Whack for the Daddy-O."
The doctor seemed to find that statement inordinately amusing. He laughed so hard that he let go of Spock and—but for the Vulcan's efforts—would have fallen to the floor.
Spock sighed again. Clearly it was time to take matters in hand. He hoisted the doctor over his shoulder and began walking toward his quarters. McCoy, undaunted, merely kept singing.
A few minutes later, Spock stood outside of McCoy's cabin, commanding an override of the doctor's doorlock. Once the computer complied he stepped inside and deposited the doctor onto his bunk.
McCoy tugged at his uniform shirt. "Would you hel—help me off with this?" he asked.
Spock took the shirt off of him, leaving him in the regulation black t-shirt he wore beneath it. He then proceeded to remove the doctors shoes.
"Thanks," McCoy managed.
Spock did not grace that with a response. He turned to leave, but McCoy reached out and grabbed him by the arm. "Stay for a little while?" he asked.
The Vulcan raised an eyebrow at the request but, after due consideration, he sat down on the edge of the doctor's bunk. McCoy, he noticed, did not release his arm. Spock decided to accept the doctor's touch, however. Once, such casual contact would have been unthinkable—but when it came to the captain or the doctor, Spock had grown accustomed to impressions of their thoughts and emotions and could therefore tolerate a surprising degree of familiarity.
McCoy was staring up at him. "I—I'm like the guy in the song," he said.
Spock cocked his head at the doctor, trying to grasp his meaning. "You think of yourself as a bandit?"
The doctor shook his head. "No—deceiver. Not bold, though—cowardly."
Spock frowned. "I have not noticed either deception or cowardice to be among your many faults, Doctor."
McCoy grinned. "You green-blooded h—hobgoblin," he managed. "I'll bet you're ready to list each fault."
"Certainly," Spock agreed.
The doctor laughed outright at that. "I do have a lot of them—but cowardice and de—deception are the worst," he said, slurring the words. "I—I won't remember this in the morning, Spock. So you'll have to decide whether or not to remind me."
He paused and tightened his grip on Spock's arm. "I love you," the doctor said. "And I'm in love with you—pointy ears and all."
Spock inhaled sharply, grasping for a logical response to this declaration.
McCoy, despite his blood alcohol content, seemed to understand the Vulcan's reaction. "There," he said. "It's all on you now, Spock. Told you—told you I was a coward."
With that, he released Spock's arm and rolled over on his side, facing away from the Vulcan. He began snoring a few minutes later.
Spock stared down at him. He was unsure of whether to accept the doctor's words at face value. He had noticed that many humans—Mr. Scott in particular—made a habit of expressing their love for their friends when inebriated. Perhaps Dr. McCoy's declaration was merely an example of the emotional excesses encouraged by alcohol.
Nor did Spock approve of love, as such. The selection of a mate could not safely be based on emotion. Besides which, it would be highly illogical of Spock to bond with a human who had made it his mission in life to encourage emotional responses from him.
And yet, Spock did not entirely dismiss the idea of bonding with McCoy. He was…he paused, searching for a safe term. He was not indifferent to the doctor.
Nor did he believe that the doctor would prove soley a negative influence on him. On the contrary, his debates with McCoy often served to sharpen his logic. Moreover, the doctor himself was capable of behaving with supreme logic when the situation warrented it.
There were, then, logical reasons to explore the possibility of bonding with McCoy. All that remained was to discover the sincerity of the doctor's declaration—did he truly wish to bond with Spock?
Spock frowned as McCoy's snores grew louder. The answer, apparently, would have to wait till morning.