The Runes (Chapter 30)
Author: T'Prillah
Pairing: S/Mc
Rating: M
Fandom: Star Trek, TOS
This chapter features some dub-con and mention of rape.
Thanks always to McCoySpockLove for the beta/early feedback! All errors are my own.
Disclaimer: As always, I don't own Star Trek.


"20/70 unnassisted," Dr. M'Benga said. Well, that was better than the utter, unnerving darkness I'd suffered though before, and the 20/200 vision I'd been tested at up till now without lenses correcting me to 20/20. My vision without the lenses wouldn't be perfect, but it would suffice. I couldn't wear these things forever. I lay back on the diagnostic table, keeping myself still as M'Benga reached to remove the gel lenses. I tensed at the lingering pain. When he finished he picked up the scanner and hovered it again. "The Glaucoma appears to be entirely irradicated," he added.

"Well done, Doctor." My God I was actually so happy I was beaming for once.

"I am pleased that it was a success." He smiled back.

Along with scanning, there were other tests we performed on my eyes. My vision was still under par and granted, I'd be on the Retinax 5 and I would be for quite some time, maybe even the rest of my life, but it was a very small price to pay. I had very nearly permanently lost my eyesight.

--------

Unbelievably, without a further thought about recent events, not even a passing mention from him about Dr. Bell's suicide, or even a single department head de-briefing regarding the Romulan situation, James T. Kirk had almost too happily moved the Enterprise onto our next mission. We would now be charting a sector very close to Romulan space. Charting meant that we would be simply cruising along for the time being. I felt we were vulnerable alone near the Neutral Zone like this.

I'd relayed my various concerns to Starfleet Medical and so far I hadn't heard back a response. I wasn't involved in any command decisions like I used to be. I couldn't do a damned thing about it. The captain was performing his duties as normal. Tests I'd performed on him kept coming up normal, normal and normal. The crew didn't seem overly concerned about him. More importantly, his first officer was backing him up. My hands were tied.

It was never anything major that stuck out in my mind. Just those tiny little personality details of his that were off. Maybe I was just being paranoid, as Jim kept on telling me...

-------

The yearly Officer's Thanksgiving dinner came and went. Wasn't mandatory to attend so I didn't go. Too many memories. Wasn't even a real turkey served anyway. At least the booze in my quarters was real.

-------

He entered the lift from deck 5 and offered, with all the gravity in the universe: "I grieve with thee."

I nodded back almost imperceptibly, then snorted while I debated on what to say in response. I decided to play it off. "Oh. Well...that's a little slow on the uptake. I'm surprised at you."

"Should I have known sooner, Dr. McCoy?"

"No, my Vulcan friend. Of course you shouldn't." Now, if we were still bonded, he would have known about my Terran divorce of over three days almost immediately, but we weren't. Didn't matter anymore, anyway. "Spock, I'm a free man. It's been a long time since I've been...single. Really single." I sighed as contently as I could manage and looked up at the bulkhead. "You know, freedom never felt... so good--"

"Doctor."

"What?" I asked him innocently. "What, Mr. Sp--"

"The captain relayed the information to me this morning."

"Pillow talk?" I batted my eyelashes at him and pointedly ignored the disapproving stare. Since we'd returned from Delta Vega, I... hadn't noticed the... private looks between Jim and Spock. I also hadn't noticed the way Jim flirted with him, the way their chess matches had increased. I especially hadn't noticed how in the evenings Jim's door often flashed up 'emergency override only'. None of my business. "Whole ship know my delightful news yet?"

"Most likely."

"Beautiful." My smile got wider. "Just abso-fucking-lutely beautiful, Mr. Spock...oh...and who do we have to thank? Uhura?" I pressed my lips together into a grimace.

"I overheard the captain himself relaying the information to both Mr. Scott and Ensign Chekov."

"The captain? That goddamned son-of-a-bitch. Chekov's the biggest gossip on board ship!"

"That was the exact wordage whispered from Miss Uhura," Spock said, giving me a curious glance, "upon hearing the captain's apparently cavalier indiscretion regarding your personal status."

I breathed. "I can't believe it. What the fuck is wrong with that man?" Actually nothing was wrong with him, that's what was the crazy part--but-- Jim had never been known before to be indiscreet, especially with personal matters where his senior officers were concerned. It was damned odd, but, even still, not odd enough. Not enough to prove anything. I couldn't get it out of my head that something had changed about him. His personality had turned callous. I didn't understand it and I was his best friend.

"Doctor," Spock broke through my thoughts in his typical drone when he was reproaching me, "it is illogical to assume one can have a 'private life' on board when one works in close quarters with a ship's manifest of 431. You yourself have monitored other members of this--"

"It is my duty to monitor the crew, dammit," I said tightly. "Have you ever known Jim Kirk to engage in scuttlebutt?"

"Doctor, I do empathize with your irritation, even if I do not understand your predilection to overuse vulgar Human expletives to demonstrate it."

"Oh...and I suppose you don't overuse the vulgar Vulcan expletive: 'Live long and prosper'," I shot back at him.

"That phrase is not an expletive," he argued back. "It is merely a--"

"The hell it isn't! I've... felt you use it as an expletive, before."

He opened his mouth for a tart response, then closed it with a sigh when the lift doors opened and Yeoman Rand entered. "Hi, Dr. McCoy."

"Evening, Yeoman. Haven't seen you in awhile."

"Doctor...I'm so sorry."

"Pardon me?"

"I heard about your divorce. I didn't know you were married."

As Spock cleared his throat, I shifted slightly and raised an eyebrow. "Uh...Nobody knew about it...it was just one of those things--" I made an involuntary squeak as Rand suddenly pulled me into an awkward hug, right here in the lift. I patted her arm as I felt her flurry of sympathetic emotions and patiently waited for her to release me, but she kept on hugging me.

"Yeoman, kindly release the Doctor."

She did, albeit reluctantly. "So are the rumors true, then?"

Now what? "What rumors, Yeoman?" I asked.

"You know." She nodded between Spock and me and said archly: "About you two."

"Miss Rand," Spock said. "Perhaps you would be better served by concentrating on your duties rather than engaging in idle ship's gossip regarding ship's senior officers and the private life of our Chief Medical Officer. If you are finding yourself with a gluttony of time on your hands and require additional assignments, perhaps I shall have a word with the captain--"

"That won't be necessary, Mr. Spock," she said as her face fell. The lift stopped at the next floor. "Sorry sirs." She hastily stepped out.

"I am gonna kick Jim's ass," I muttered as soon as those lift doors shut.

"Indeed."

The lift doors opened up on level 7 and together we exited the lift. "Want to hold him down for me?" I joked softly, then added: "Actually, he might like that if you did." Before Spock could walk away, I ordered out of the side of my mouth: "Come to my office."

He nodded and followed me in there. As the door shut us in I whirled on him. "Jim's not himself."

"We have been through this before."

"Yes, but--"

"He has performed his duties exemplary as usual. Have you not recently examined him?"

"I have, repeatedly. I can't pinpoint anything, Spock...but something...is...I dunno. Did Jim even attend the Thanksgiving dinner the other day?"

"I do not know."

"I'll find out. He never misses it, not in three years. If he didn't go--" I jabbed a finger at him, "there's my proof."

"That is not adequate proof of anything."

"Dammit!" I hit the table. "It is."

"Doctor, I believe you are overly tired. You did just have your lenses removed. Forgive me, I shall--"

"Look, Spock... even if I was exhausted, I can still feel when something isn't right." I scratched my jaw, got myself a glass and opened up the cabinet to retrieve my Saurian brandy bottle.

"You have been drinking alcohol a great deal as of late."

"What's that got to do with anything?"

"Your behavior is quite possibly affecting your judgement. In fact I shall be forced to consult with Dr. M'Benga as to your own ability to function as Chief Medical Officer of this ship--"

"Even blind drunk, I can still feel if something isn't right, Mr. Spock. Even your stubborn Vulcan brain would acknowledge that sometimes--"

"Forgive me, Dr. McCoy. I will take my leave of you. I am now two minutes late for my chess match with the captain."

"Oh, is that what you kids are calling it these days?" I snapped. It was unfair of me to do so but right now I didn't care. "A chess match?"

"Doctor--"

"Spock." I held up my hand. "Please. Do me a favor and pay attention tonight. See if you notice anything odd in the way he plays."

"Good evening, Doctor."

I waved him off. "Live long and prosper, Mr. Spock." He raised an eyebrow, turned on his heel and left my office.

--------

I'll get by,
as long as I
have you,
though there be rain and darkness too,
I'll not complain,
I'll see it through.

Poverty,
may come to me
it's cruel,
but what care I,
say I'll get by
as long as I
have you-- *

"Computer! Shut up!" The music immediately ceased and the cabin was shrouded in silence. It was a stupid song anyway. As long as I have you? Stupid.

I looked up from where I was sprawled out on my bunk, over at my monitor silently playing: 'It's a Wonderful Life' on the screen. It had reached the part where George was about to jump off the bridge. I turned the sound up and watched it for a few moments. Oh yeah, the angel jumps in instead. How 'bout that.

My door chimed for the third time in a row. Ignoring that hateful chime wasn't working-- the stalker wasn't giving up. I couldn't pretend to be asleep. He or she could probably hear that I was in here, watching a movie. Another chime. Goddammit. Just for one day they couldn't even leave the Goddamned CMO alone in peace--to wallow in his own self pity--somebody better be dead. I yelled out: "Come in, dammit," hitting the door release beside my bunk.

"Hello." Dr. Gulley, our ship's dentist, swanned in with a bottle tucked under his arm.

I looked over to find him searching for a couple of glasses, generally making himself at home in my quarters. That booze had better not be from my sickbay stash. "Get out, Gulley."

"These glasses clean or dirty?"

"Out."

"C'mon, Leonard. Thought we'd have a drink. Oh, I like that movie. Reminds me of home."

"Computer. Picture off." My monitor immediately went to grey and I jumped up from my bunk. "I'm Dr. McCoy to you. And I'm headed to sickbay, Doctor. Medical emergency."

"I didn't hear any summons."

"It's a private summons," I lied. "It's only for my ears."

"Want assistance?"

"From a dentist? No. You will not be here when I get back, understand, kid?"

"Got something against dentists?" I heard him mutter before my doors swooshed behind me.

In my office, once again blissfully alone, I poured myself a glass of the blue stuff. Yes, the strong stuff, Romulan Ale. Hardly any of it was left in the bottle, being as it was used for...medicinal purposes, and I hadn't been able to acquire any while planet-side anytime soon. When was that last medicinal purpose? I remember. When that cute little brunette yeoman with the tiny waist and huge tits transferred off-ship and Jim was a little...irritated by her sudden departure. I knocked it back--coughed a little. It was damned strong. First time I'd drunk this alone.

Without Jim.

That reminded me. I reached over to my monitor and flipped it on. "Computer."

"Working."

"I need the complete attendance figures from Rec Room 12. All who attended the Officer's Thanksgiving Dinner."

"Acknowledged." She gave me a rundown of all who were there. Most of the bridge officers. Scotty of course was there. The big eater wasn't about to pass up a huge meal and lots of booze, even if it was Thanksgiving and he did hail from Edinburgh, Scotland. As usual, Spock and I were conspicuous with our absence.

Apparently (I noticed as I kept looking at the screen) Jim Kirk did attend. Alright. So he was there. What did he eat? I asked the computer and she gave me a rundown. It was all junk food. He ate no turkey that night, or rather, reconstituted 'turkey'. No mashed potatoes, no stuffing, nothing like that. Just pie, cake, other various items with sugar.

That was odd. "Computer, give me the current body weight of Kirk, James T. Captain."

"Body mass?" The computer asked in her pretty monotone.

"Affirmativ--" I cut myself off, realizing that I sounded too much like that damned pointy-eared first officer who sounded too much like our virtual sweetie here. "I mean--'yes'. Current body mass." Since the Enterprise was running on Earth G's it was the same damned thing. F=G[M m/r squared]. "Sweetheart, just give me the damned figures already--"

"77.11070289999999 kilograms." I let her finish out the decimal points instead of cutting her off, quickly making the note in his chart. Well, the mass/weight at Earth G's wasn't too bad. Wasn't going to have to put him on a gigantic diet and exercise plan like I'd thought. Still his current eating habits were atrocious--

"Computer, give me his weight, on Stardate 6370.12." That was a week ago.

"83.91458845 Kilograms," she said. He'd lost roughly 6.80388 kilos, in one week. Okay.

"Give me his body weight from one standard month ago." She did. He'd actually lost quite a bit of weight, approximately 17.23 kilos in one standard month. "Computer. Give me Kirk, James T.'s complete food menu and caloric intake for the week." Jim was eating mostly chocolate cake and other items with a generous amount of sugar along with his normal daily intake. Complete caloric intake was nearly double his norm, but he still was losing weight. Was he exercising more often? "Computer. Give me complete information on exercise habits of Kirk,
James T. Include gymnasium visits, track, swimming pool, anything where the heart rate is up."

"No logged gym visits. No logged swimming pool visits. No logged running track visits."

"Oh? For how long?"

She told me. He hadn't been working out for one standard month. I noted it was since he and Spock had returned from that Romulan Colony planet. Hmm. He was normally always in the gym. Shirt off. Loved the crew around watching him. Showing off. I had noticed he'd been clumsy when he'd been playing ball with Dr. Bell's son. Perhaps it was something. It was probably nothing.

"Any other activity, computer, that would bring his heart rate up?"

"Average heart rate indicates evidence of intense activity."

"Specify."

"Unable to specify."

Ah. Intense activity. Sexual activity, most likely. Well, that would bring the heart rate up. I rolled my eyes, snorted and poured myself another glass full of the bright blue stuff. Of course he was engaging in intense sexual activity. I would be too, if I was with--Never mind. Grow up, Bones.

I finished that second drink, decided I'd best turn in for the night, hoped that Dr. Gulley wasn't still hanging out in my quarters. I shut the monitor off and prepared to go, but as soon as I stood up, I knew I'd had way over my limit. Instead of going home I staggered over to the couch in the corner, and crashed down onto it face first...

His arms are braced up against the shower door, hands splayed, stiff, sliding down the slick walls. He's hanging on for dear life, taking it as I give it to him, harder and harder and harder. There's a whimper, a cry, an odd noise that won't register in my head. He's in pain but it hurts me just as much. Still I keep at it. Thrusting. He wants me to stop, I can feel it--oh I can feel
it--Please, hurry up and finish. Get it over with. Please. I won't stop, I can't stop, I'm not going to stop. Not until I am finished with him. My hands grab at his hips, fingers clawing into the skin. I've marked him as mine. The head flops back onto my shoulder in defeat. Accepting his fate. Yes. Yes. Oh...yes...

"Dr. McCoy."

"Hmm?" I looked up from my PADD in the sickbay ward. "Oh. Good morning, Mr. Spock. What can I do for you?"

He hesitated. "I have a personal medical matter to discuss."

Awhile back, I had switched his primary care physician from myself to M'Benga due to... conflict of interest. "Dr. M'Benga is in the lab. Wait here while I summon him." I turned to go, but he stopped me.

"Doctor, I prefer to speak to you alone."

"Alright, then. Let's get us some privacy. This way, please." I motioned him into a private cubicle. The door slid and locked behind us. "What seems to be the problem?"

"It... burns... when I urinate."

I raised an eyebrow. "Burns?"

"That is correct," he replied. It was most likely a urinary tract infection, a remnant from his shattered pelvis or perhaps from the catheter. Rare in this day and age, but it did happen. I hated to think the symptoms might instead be caused by an STD from Jim, but stranger things have happened.

"Disrobe please," I commanded. Pulling a fresh medical gown out of the drawer, I tossed it over to him, ordered the computer to crank the temp all the way up to 'Saharan' levels, and turned my back on him to give him some semblance of privacy to undress.

"Alright, Doctor."

I turned around. He was sitting on the bio-bed all ready for me in his little gown that tied in back. I grabbed my type II, and with a point, commanded him to lie down on the bed. I scanned the groin/pelvic area with the type II, glancing up at the telemetry on the bed. Everything appeared normal. The pelvis was doing great. It had healed up nicely, I noted, as I kept scanning with the type II--wait--there was something--the prostate was giving me a bizarre reading. "Uh...Mr. Spock."

"Yes, Doctor?"

"I'm going to have to...perform a... manual rectal exam. I don't like the look of something on my scanner."

His jaw tightened. "Affirmative."

I set my jaw as well. I was going to have to touch him... intimately. "Would you prefer if I called in Dr. M'Benga after all?"

"As long as the examination is brief, I do not foresee a problem." A problem. If I touched him in an intimate way such as this, even with the gloves on, there was a problem, granted. The problem was the minute possibility of us accidentally bonding again. Allowing that was out of the question since it seemed obvious to me lately he was cuddly with Jim. None of my business, now was it.

"I'll make this as quick and as comfortable as possible. Stand up for me and lean over the bed." While he did that, I pulled the bottle of surgical lubricant out of the drawer, pulled on a pair of fresh gloves. I poured the lube into my right hand, then stood behind him. I rested my left hand on his hip to steady myself. In response, there was a gasp, or a hiccup and a movement like a jerk from him. "Sorry," I said. "I know this is going to be difficult--"

"You may touch me."

Still I hesitated. "You sure?"

"Yes."

I touched his hip again, felt him jerk. I couldn't sense the emotion he was feeling. He was blocking me out. "Does that hurt when I touch you?"

"No."

"My hands cold?"

"Nothing out of the ordinary."

"Alright. Other than my clammy hands, are you absolutely certain you are not finding my touch uncomfortable?"

"Please proceed." He leaned his head down, waited expectantly for me to get it over with. I...as gently as I could...spread one cheek open and slid my gloved, lubed forefinger into his rectum, and felt where the prostate should be. Gently as not to massage it and cause sepsis, but just enough to feel it. I noted his hiss of pain when I touched it--sure enough, that damned thing was extremely enlarged. I gently withdrew.

"Okay, done." I pulled my gloves off and threw them into the recycler. I sterilized my hands and told him: "You have acute prostititus. The little bastard causing it, is not a Human strain of E. Coli, it's the Vulcanoid version." He must be in considerable discomfort and I was curious as to where he'd picked this up. It couldn't be from Jim. "How long ago did you begin to notice any distress?"

"Two standard weeks," he admitted.

"Two weeks." I shook my head. "And you were hoping it would go away on its own and you waited and waited and waited till it got so uncomfortable that you couldn't tolerate it anymore." I tried not to snap at him, but I couldn't help it.

"Affirmative," he replied tightly.

"Where is the logic in being a fucking martyr..." I grumbled faintly. "Wait here," I commanded. I exited the cubicle, picked up a hypo from the dispensary, filled it with the proper meds. I re-entered the cubicle, shot him in the side. I said, forcing myself to say it kindly: "This will take approximately thirty minutes to clear up. Then you'll be good to go. And for God's sake, Mr. Spock, don't bottom for a couple of days."

There was a faint smirk. "Thank you, Doctor."

"Anytime."

I checked the chrono. We had twenty-eight more minutes to kill before I was letting him out of my sickbay. After some long moments of quiet with us pointedly not looking at one another, and not bothering with the small talk nor any preamble, he said: "The Romulans, on the colony planet."

"What about them?"

"I was...sexually assaulted while captive."

What? My blood ran cold. "Spock...I checked you for that. Jim too. There was no evidence of--"

"There was a device they used. I am not certain as to what it was. They used it to stimulate my prostate."

I clenched a fist. "Prostate massage?" He nodded. "To milk your semen?" He nodded again. "Why would... they do that?"

"I do not know. My memories of the event are...hazy at best. I am assuming they wished to use my seed to help populate their colony on the planet."

I leaned heavily onto the cabinet next to the bio-bed. I let that sink in for a few moments. Delicately, I asked: "Is this before or after they shattered your pelvis?"

"After." I shifted when I heard that. That must have been horrendous.

"And then..." I took a deep, shuddering breath. "And then they tortured you....and then they tried to kill you by breaking your marital bond."

"No. I broke it, as soon as we were captured."

"You did? How? I thought we--"

"It was not an easy thing to accomplish, but it was possible, even if you and I had been physically and mentally intimate before my departure. The bond was relatively new. You were not entirely comfortable with it. You yourself had said you wished for a clean break--"

"Spock...I had also said that I wanted to stay bonded to you."

"Perhaps. However, your mind was able...more than willing to reject the bond in combination with my urging it to be broken."

I looked down sadly and said softly: "Now why'd we go and do a thing like that?"

"To save you from also experiencing the sensations--"

"Of... possible torture and sexual assault," I finished for him.

"Affirmative."

"Spo..ck," I said with a cry of anguish. "I could have...I could have shared the pain with you. It would have been easier for you if I was there. I would have willingly, gladly shared it--"

"You could not."

"I would have."

"Perhaps. However, what is done is done."

Right. What was done was done. I nodded with a heavy heart. "Spock. If what you believe is true...if they are successful, your children will be on that planet, someday soon. We need to help them. Save them from the Romulans."

"I know," he said, strained.

I gathered myself back together and said gruffly: "Let's see if this infection's cleared up or not." I scanned him and found everything to now be satisfactory. "Let me...check the prostate again. To make sure." He stood up, bent over for me again. I pulled on some new gloves and checked him again, careful not to grab his hip this time. "Okay," I said. "You're fine." I pulled the gloves off, threw them into the recycler and put my hands under the wall sterilizer. I wiped my hands dry and was about to tell him he could put his uniform back on, when he suddenly reached out and brushed my fingers with his own. Just a fleeting touch, but... it was a willing touch. "Spock?!" I jerked my hand back reflexively. "Is everything alr--"

"Fascinating."

"What is?" I asked with a slight hiccup.

"You are completely blocking me out with the 'mind rules'."

"Yes." I managed a faint smile. "Yes, I am. That's also thanks to Dr. M'Benga. I've...uh...learned not to broadcast my emotions so loudly to another touch-telepath. I figured you'd appreciate that. Now that I know what you must go through on a daily basis, when one of those damned emotional humans assaults you with his...feelings."

"Leonard." That was the second time he'd used my first name since we`d split up. The first time was the night when I was-- with Jo. It always unsettled me to hear it from him these days. I was about to correct him-- tell him not to use it anymore when he said, "I must apologize to you."

"Oh?" I made a face. "What for?"

"I... brought out your latent telepathic ability by accidentally bonding with you. I should have been more careful. I had used my own emotions to--I was not thinking clearly in those weeks."

"I don't see how anything could have been avoided. You had to--you had to kiss me, didn't you? That's how," I coughed into my arm, "That's how it initially had happened. I bought those things. It's been all my--"

"I should have been more careful. I am a Vulcan."

"Spock, I don't regret what happened between us." Oh the hell with it. I blurted out: "I really miss you fluttering around in my head. I'm damned glad I can feel what others are feeling. At first it took some getting used to--" I broke off as I noticed the emergency light flashing on the console next to the bed. Something was wrong in the lab. M'Benga and Nurse Burke were assigned there at the moment. I hit the switch. "McCoy to lab, acknowledge." There was no answer. "Lab! Acknowledge." I looked over at Spock who was getting back into his uniform.

"One moment," he said, "and I shall accompany you."


Stay tuned for Chapter 31...

*lyrics to "I'll Get By" by the Ink Spots