Title: A Perfect Send Off
Author: T'Prillah (March 2009)
Summary: McCoy gets an Earthbound promotion and says goodbye to his fellow crewmates.
Acknowledgements: Plot bunny came from the photomanip: "Georgia" by Ster J.
Feedback: Please! Public or private.
Beta: Many thanks to McCoySpockLove. All errors are my own.
Disclaimer: Star Trek is owned by Paramount. I think I'm owned by Paramount too, with all the money they make me spend. Damn them.
A PERFECT SEND-OFF
Senior Medical Officer of the Federation. It was quite a promotion. I'd be spending most of my time utilizing all the knowledge I'd picked up from our famous five year mission. Once in awhile I'd headline a conference or teach a few classes if I wanted. It was a tantalizing post. I'd be writing Xenobiological articles and textbooks for years to come.
I didn't want to accept the post. Didn't want to leave the Enterprise. I was comfortable here. Challenged. Happy. Besides, what would these people on board do to their health if I wasn't around to play policeman? They'd take too many damned unnecessary risks, that's what the hell they'd do. Jim would slouch off his diet and start eating chocolate cake again. Spock would probably...forget to eat without me around to nag him. No. They needed me.
I needed them.
Even the transporter didn't look so bad these days.
However, as Spock had so kindly pointed out to me, (and deep down we were ALL well aware of this irritating little fact but had been in extreme denial) we were fast approaching the end of our five year mission. There was little under a month left to go. Not long at all.
Where had all the time gone?
I was damned fortunate to have been offered this new position. As it was Earthbound, I could be based with my own lab and office in Georgia if I so desired. How `bout that. Living and working again in 'Lanner. Or, maybe I'd have an office in 'Lanner and a home in Conyers. Conyers. Where I was born. Where I'd come up listening to Janie's ghost stories every year on Halloween. I remember that I'd been so terrified of the guy with the ski-mask and the ancient chainsaw that I had to crawl into bed with her. Atlanta. Where I'd married and tried to raise a family, once.
I'd feel grass scrunching beneath my bare feet again. I could buy some property near a lake and build my own home. I remember how I reminded Jim just how much I missed ice-skating at the Pavillion every time I'd had a little too much to drink. There was nothing like Earth. Starship corridors and alien planets just didn't compare. I'd watch the sunset. See the bright orange glow of the sun through the winter stripped trees before it slips below the horizon. I'd gaze out at the stars every evening, standing on terra firma, not feeling like I was about to be swallowed up by the abyss. I'd go fishing. Catch that carp I'm always threatening to catch. Devour a real sun ripened peach. Drink lemonade out on my front porch. Sun tea. Hell, even a Mint Julip. Grow mint for the damned Julip. Play spoons. God. How long has it been since I've done that? Play the harmonica. Bet Spock doesn't even know I play the harmonica. I'd even forgotten about it, till now.
Even better, I'll spend time with my little girl...and her new husband.
Jesus. Where DID the time go?
It was only yesterday that I'd helped conceive her, then delivered her at home. I was once a young 4th year resident with a baby, now I'm a middle aged man with a grown woman as a daughter. Where was I when her wedding was going on? Oh...captured by some 'Romans' and sharing a jail cell with Spock on 892-IV. Maybe I can piece back together that father-daughter relationship.
Maybe... I'll even get married again, myself.
I chewed on my decision for days. Weighed the pros and cons. And, according to Jim, moped around my office.
I finally accepted the job. To decline would have been illogical. Thank you, Spock.
The party in my honor was a rousing one to say the least. Open to all and sundry who were off-duty. Jim's here of course. The captain is off-duty when he proclaims he is off-duty. Scotty's here too, as is half of engineering. They were never ones to miss a party, I guess.
Uhura's here, the one who always rings my bell. She's a woman who fills out a uniform nicely. You'd never hear me say THAT out loud. But a man could certainly think it, couldn`t he? We dated a couple of times. Took a romantic stroll right here in the arboretum, my favorite area of the ship. It didn't work out between us, but we'd stayed friends. Right now she was up on the make-shift stage singing a lovely tune accompanied by Spock on the Vulcan lyrette.
They go together well, Spock and Uhura. That song of theirs appears intricate. They must have practiced it for days beforehand. They're very close, it seems. I felt a twinge of jealousy, but who am I more jealous of? Him? Or her?
I shook the thought away and greeted more well-wishers, back-patters, and drunkards the lot of them. They'll all be turning up in my sickbay tomorrow, wanting a hangover cure.
Speaking of sickbay, some of my medical staff are here, the off-duty ones of course, trying to be sociable but only managing a very faraway look. Dr. M'Benga had been here, till he had to leave early to check on a patient. He'll make a fine CMO in my absence. I have the utmost confidence in him. And, my lovely head nurse, Christine Chapel, fighting back tears when I'd told her the good news. I'd hugged her and she lost the fight. Then I lost it too. She's a great woman. She'll be a doctor soon. I'll miss her. I'll miss all of them in my sickbay.
The song finished and I clapped heartily along with the assembled throng. Afterwards there were the speeches: Jim Kirk, my commanding officer. Then: Chapel, Sulu, a funny one by Scotty and even a farewell speech from Spock.. I was especially touched by Spock's. It actually sounded like he had enjoyed serving with me and would regret my departure. No. It couldn't be. Then there was my speech... with more tears... from me... and then from everyone else. Except, Spock.
After what seemed like an eternity had gone by, Jim was by my side, telling me he'd give anything to hear me play the harmonica, just once. I protested. I didn't have one on board. Plus, how'd he know I played? Oh...Must have been another one of my previous drunken ramblings. But, Spock, that Vulcan bastard with the enhanced hearing, had sauntered up to us and stated very calmly that he in fact possessed a damned harmonica. Now he tells me. He was sent to his quarters to fetch it and was back in a flash.
As I rubbed the B flat mouth organ on my lips and blew into it to test the sound, I found myself wondering who else's mouth had been on this thing. I normally never shared the one I used to have on Earth with anyone, and it was big of Spock to let me use his. Spock had to be able to play it. Why else would he have one in his possession?
You think you know somebody.
My mind wandering, I found myself speculating whether or not he'd cleaned it after he'd blown into it last. Probably so. He was a stickler for cleanliness and detail, but, perhaps he hadn't cleaned it. If he hadn`t, this would be the closest I'd ever come to kissing him, wouldn't it.
I started at that thought. Why was I thinking about kissing him? It was amazing how my mind could wander to ridiculous thoughts. Kissing Spock. His bow shaped red lips. Why DOES he have red lips if he has green blood?
I chuckled to myself. Must be all the booze.
I pronounced the harmonica satisfactory and strode up confidently to the makeshift stage to share my talents with the rest of the room. Spock was on my heels. He suddenly piped up that he would accompany me on lyrette. A song cropped up into my head: "Georgia on my Mind". He met my eyes and nodded. I smiled back at him. At that instant, somehow everything seemed so right. Like everything in the macrocosm had fallen into place.
I'll be damned.
We played that song, then played another. Time went by. We played song after song. Before long the throng thinned out. Shift change. Even Uhura had to go on duty. My mouth was getting sore and I'm sure his fingers were too. I handed his harmonica back with gratitude. That was a perfect send off.
Before long, it was just Jim, Spock, Scotty and me. Jim and Scotty hugged me. Then they went off to Jim's quarters to do what lovers did, I suppose. Jim and Scotty? I'll tell ya, I never saw that one coming.
How long has it been since I was someone's lover? Much too long.
Spock offered to walk me back to my quarters. Granted, I'd had quite a bit to drink, but I was far from inebriated. In fact, I found myself to be completely sober. I shrugged, then accepted. I'd welcome his company.
He handed me the harmonica. "A gift", he told me. He shoved his lyrette under his arm and we were off.
We talked about nothing in particular in the lift, then teased each other mercilessly as we strode together in the corridor towards my humble abode. I grinned then felt like crying again as I remembered all the times we'd walked a corridor together. This was probably the last time.
As soon as we reached the door to my quarters, I invited him in. He looked at me and gently lay his lyrette down. I set my new harmonica on the desk and returned the deep gaze.
I have no idea who started it or even why, but suddenly I was enveloped in his strong arms. Our lips met. The kiss was gentle at first then got more and more passionate as the minutes went by. I tasted his tongue. He tasted mine.
We hastily moved towards the bedroom, simultaneously pulling off each other's uniforms. First the 'Velour', then the black t-shirts, then the pants, the boots and socks, and then...oh God...the underwear, mine and my soon-to be lover's, were slid off and dropped onto the deck in nothing flat.
Before long I was straddling that nude, warm, welcoming body of his with the black hair on the sternum and a line of hair leading to a patch around the belly button. I traced with a finger, feeling him shudder. I kissed a trail all the way down as something of his became very happy to see me. I heard very un-Spock-like groans and gasps coming out of him as I bit onto one nipple, then the other. He flipped me over and responded in kind. A certain part of my anatomy was very happy to see him, too. His warm hands caressed me. I made sounds I'd never heard before.
Then soon, I lost my `virginity' to him. Yes, I wanted to be underneath him and I was, as soon as I'd made a mad scramble to locate the medical lube in my bag. Then later on, he was underneath me, except I think he'd been a real virgin. He hadn't been with anyone before me. That made it all the more special. We were gentle with each other.
I woke up the next morning to the voice of the lovely lady proclaiming the time: 06:00. She did it every morning, without fail.
Except this time, I was in his arms.
Today at 08:00 was my shuttle to Earth. I lolled my head over to gaze at him. He gazed at me. "I'm not really a one night stand kind of guy," I tried to explain.
"Neither am I," he replied.
"I'm leaving in two hours," I pointed out. "I'll never see you again." I was devastated, but it was true. We'd go off on our separate paths.
"I wish to see you again, in 3.2 standard weeks, when I have completed this mission."
"Come to Georgia?"
"You don't know how much I want that, Spock." Tears threatened to fall.
"Leonard." Hearing my Christian name spoken so softly from those bow shaped lips, stained red, sounded so magnificent. "As you said so yourself, we do have two hours before you must leave."
I grinned. "I love you."
We got busy filling up those two hours. Doing what lovers do.