Pairing: S & Mc (Extreem friendship or pre-slash), K/S (implied), Mc/f (implied)
Author's note: an earlier version of this originally appeared in online S/Mc zine: Spiced Peaches XVI
Beta: Thank you to McCoySpockLove. All errors are mine alone.
Summary: Spock and McCoy commiserate in their favorite lab.
Archive: Certainly, just let me know.
Warning: although there is no explicit sex, it is implied that that one of the main characters is in a m/m relationship. If you have a problem with that, please leave.
Disclaimer: Star Trek and the boys are owned by Paramount...and sadly not by me.
"McCoy, I need your advice," Spock began without preamble as he entered the doctor's personal laboratory, known as 'Lab 7' late one afternoon. He stood stiffly as he eyed the good doctor sipping a sneaky on-duty glass of brandy.
"Oh?" McCoy smiled warmly. "You're asking my advice? You must be joking."
"Don't be insulting, Doctor."
The doctor let out one of his long suffering sighs. "What would you like my advice about, Mr. Spock?"
"What about him?"
Spock grimaced. "The captain is currently engaged in sexual intercourse with Miss Karidian."
"How do you know?"
"I have a highly developed sense of hearing."
"Eeesh." McCoy shuddered at the thought. "You can't put up with that. It's been a different girl nearly every week for months! You are going to have to talk to him. This is getting ridiculous."
"The arboretum?" McCoy picked up a slide of Cantor VII 'flat cat' hair and slid it into the viewer. "Mr. Spock, you possess one of the most brilliant minds in Starfleet, but...damn, are you ever gullible, sometimes."
"I believe that the account the captain has offered me is entirely accurate. There was no suspicious activity going on with Ambassador Tanje. Jim was merely engaged in giving her a tour of the entire ship."
"Her? Describe her to me."
"She is the federation ambassador to Capellon. She possesses an extremely brilliant mind; she is fluent in--"
"I meant physically, Mr. Spock," McCoy cut in. "What are her physical characteristics?"
"Oooh, that one."
"Uh huh…cute redhead, slinky blue dress, big breasts--"
"I fail to see how the size of a female's breasts should make a difference to the captain."
"You really are...gullible, Mr. Spock." McCoy shook his head in bewilderment.
"Chocolate?!" McCoy sputtered and nearly choked on his coffee. "Chocolate?! He brought you chocolate?"
"Your hearing is not defective," Spock replied calmly. "Yes, he brought me chocolate. "
"And you forgave him? Just like that? You are too damned easy."
"Doctor, you know what happens when I ingest chocolate."
"Yes. I know. You get uncontrollably horny. Oh...Jim is damned good." McCoy smacked the lab table with his hand. "Might be a good idea if you beamed all the chocolate off the ship. Otherwise, he's got you by the short and curlies. So what did the gigolo have to say for himself this time?"
"He apologized profusely. Then, he told me I was delicious...just like the chocolate."
McCoy tried to avoid puking his guts out as he stared up at the bulkhead. "Just hand me another slide."
McCoy breezed into lab 7. He spotted the Vulcan over in the corner, face stuck in a viewer. "Evening, Mr. Spock," he called out cheerily.
"Doctor," Spock replied evenly, heavily engrossed in his work.
"What's wrong?" McCoy sauntered over and stood next to the Vulcan.
"Wrong, Doctor? Nothing is wrong. I am merely performing my duties."
"Bull. You always come to my lab and occupy yourself with pointless Serian Mold experiments when you're pissed off about something."
"Illogical, Doctor. Vulcan's do not get 'pissed off' as you call it."
"You could have fooled me, Mr. Spock. Come on, out with it. What'd he do this time?"
After a few moments, Spock finally raised an eyebrow. "Fascinating."
"Perhaps the captain requires a physical exam."
"He just had a physical the other day. He was four-oh. Healthy as a horse. Probably too healthy for his own good."
Spock turned to McCoy. "Most curious. Not an hour previously, I witnessed a yeoman giving the captain a back massage. Perhaps he is in physical pain."
McCoy snickered. "Where was this?"
"On the bridge as he was sitting in the command seat."
"And a yeoman was actually giving him a massage?" McCoy asked incredulously.
Suddenly, the doctor shifted. "Wait a minute, which yeoman are we talking about?"
"Barrows," McCoy repeated, his eyes narrowing. "Tonia Barrows was giving Jim a massage?"
"Oh..I see." There was a heavy silence for a few moments. "I'll see you later, Mr. Spock." McCoy walked hurriedly out.
"Is there something wrong, Doctor?" Spock entered the lab and spotted the doctor heavily engaged in viewing slides of flora and fauna from the latest planetary expedition.
"Why would you ask me that, Mr. Spock?" McCoy looked up and scowled.
"Because you always hide away in lab 7 when you are upset about something," Spock replied casually.
"Do I?" McCoy grimaced. "I hadn't noticed. I believe that you're the one who always hides my lab when upset about Jim."
"I do not," Spock protested.
"You do too, for crying out loud. Stop denying it. What'd he do this time? Or much more likely...who'd he do?"
Spock hesitated then said, "there was a young woman on Triskalion, named...Shawna."
"Oh, lemme guess, he slept with her."
"Merely a kiss, or so he claims," Spock replied. "In the line of duty. Of course."
"Damned fool." McCoy bent down to the viewer and resumed glaring at the slides.
"You never disclosed to me what you are upset about," Spock prodded.
McCoy looked up. "Oh, all right. It's... uh...Tonia."
"Yeoman Barrows? You are involved in a relationship with her?"
"Yeah...I dunno. It's always massages for everyone else, but never for me. Last week, Scotty felt a twinge in his back when he was having a drink with us, so right away she jumps up to his aid and rubs his shoulders. Then later on in my quarters, I wanted her to...give me a massage, but she declined."
"Frustrating," McCoy corrected him. "Anyway, then Wednesday she gave a massage to Lt. Uhura, then Thursday it was Mr. Leslie, then yesterday it was Chekov. Spock, she was giving him a thigh massage. I walked in on the two of them in the officer's mess."
Spock narrowed his eyes. "I see."
"Yeah. And then today...it was Sulu, and then Kyle."
"Interesting. If you will forgive my intrusion, this has affected your biological functioning?"
"Sex life, Spock," McCoy corrected him again. "No. The sex is great! But I want a goddamned massage too."
"He was simply apologizing to the young lady after he had knocked her unconscious, Doctor. That is all."
"Hmph." McCoy handed the first officer a Cerbus III leaf slide. "I wish I could get someone to apologize to me like that, Mr. Spock."
"...and then..." McCoy gazed intently into the viewer. "...saturday it was Lt. Rhada, then on Sunday it was Lt. M'Ress..."
"The Catian?" Spock asked. "Interesting." He handed McCoy another slide.
"Yeah, some cats love that sort of thing. Belly scratches and stuff like that. Though, not all cats like it, some'll bite ya if you try that. Anyway, on Monday, Tonia gave Lt. Tomlinson a foot massage, then Tuesday it was a Swedish for Commander Giotto, then Wednesday it was both M'Benga and Chapel when she'd come to visit me in the sickbay."
"Still no massage for you?" Spock inquired. "How insensitive."
"Speaking of insensitive, how are you and Jim getting along these days?"
"Somewhat better," Spock replied. "He has ceased to have casual outside sexual relations."
"Well, I wouldn't be celebrating that victory so prematurely, Mr. Spock." McCoy shifted awkwardly in his lab chair and cracked his back. They'd been sitting there hunched over for a couple of hours. "We just haven't visited any planets populated with any attractive women lately."
"Ohhh," McCoy groaned in response.
"Doctor, is something wrong?"
"No...It's nothing...I'm fine. I'm just a little cramped in my neck is all."
Spock absentmindedly reached over and rubbed the doctor's neck. "Next slide," he commanded. He moved to stand behind the doctor and his hands expertly worked out the kinks in McCoy's shoulders.
"It's that...ohhhh...that cell structure of the Horta that I'd been meaning to check out...ohhhh."
"Doctor? Are you in pain?"
"No. That feels soooo good." McCoy leaned his head back.
"Shall I continue?"
"Goddamned right you shall--" Suddenly, McCoy pulled away from him. "Actually...I'd better be getting back to my quarters...I'm a little tired. See you later." He stood up, cleared his throat and swiftly walked out.
"Good night, Leonard," Spock murmured underneath his breath and bent back to the viewer.
"The Queen of the Scalosians, huh?"
"Affirmative." Spock handed the good doctor a slide of a cross section of a Denebian Slime Devil.
McCoy absently typed in some data on his padd. "I don't know much about how things are done on Vulcan, but where Jim and I come from, not even a queen can order a starship captain to engage in a quickie with her."
"Fancy seein' you here," McCoy muttered as he was bent over the viewer in Lab 7.
"I am a scientist. Lab work is an essential part of my duties," Spock replied. He joined the doctor and pawed through the assortment of slides. "Glandular systems of Celus III mammaloids."
"Precisely," McCoy replied. "Should take me all night to get though these things."
"Shall I assist you in writing up a detailed report?" Spock offered.
"That would be lovely," McCoy grimaced.
There was silence for a very long while.
"It's Valentines Day," McCoy finally muttered.
"I had not noticed."
"Why not? Because you're a Vulcan?"
"Negative. I have been extremely busy."
"Take a look at this," McCoy beckoned. "This sample is really interesting. Look at all the variants in this quadrant. In fact, this might occupy us for a couple of weeks, at least. We'll have to study this new revelation in depth."
"Indeed." Spock replaced McCoy at the viewer and took his turn becoming engrossed.
"So why are you here?" McCoy asked him.
"I have already explained to you. I am a scientist. My duties require me to perform several hours of lab work."
"Not this late in the evening. It's Jim's favorite day. Valentine's Day. He usually brings you lots of chocolate." McCoy coughed softly into his arm.
"Jim and I...are no longer involved...as the humans put it." Spock continued his gaze into the viewer. "This resembles a Vulcan Teh'athuh system. The comparisons are quite...remarkable..."
"Really," McCoy mumbled. "Hmmph. So...when did this occur?"
"Unknown. These systems have most likely been similar from the beginning--"
"No. I meant...When did Jim end things with you?"
"He did not end it. I desired the split from him."
"Oh. I thought you wanted to bond with him."
McCoy chuckled. "So you finally grew some balls."
"Negative. I have always possessed testicles. From birth."
McCoy rolled his eyes. "I know that. I do have a medical degree lying around here somewhere. So what was the straw that broke the...uh...the Vulcan's back?"
"The straw that...?"
"What finally made you 'do it'?" McCoy asked, testily, "the Dohlman of Elas? Although, I don't think you can blame him for that one...those tears..."
"It was Rayna."
"Oh. Her. Wasn't even a real girl. Good move."
"So how long ago did you break up with him?"
"Three point two standard days ago."
"Oh. I see."
"Why do you ask, Doctor?"
Spock pulled away from the viewer. "There must be a reason."
"No...I was just...curious," McCoy replied.
The two men continued on with their work in silence.
"Yes, Mr. Spock?"
"What are you doing here?"
"What do you mean?" McCoy replied hotly. "I'm a scientist, some of my duties require me to put in some lab time. I--"
"I meant...what are you doing here so late on Valentine's Day?"
"Well, if you must know the gory details, Tonia dumped me this morning." McCoy shook his head.
"How very insensitive."
"Mmmm. You're right. More so than that. Coincidental...don't you think...?"
"Ah. I have spotted the yeoman earlier today accompanying the captain to the arboretum with a wicker basket."
Spock raised an eyebrow. "Pardon?"
"Lemmie guess, Vulcan's never play Bingo," McCoy said.
"I am unfamilar with the term."
"It's a game, Spock."
"The captain and Miss Barrows were to play a game in the arboretum?" Spock tilted his head at the doctor.
"Maybe. Although, somehow I don't think it was 'Bingo' they were playing." McCoy waved him off. "Never mind. D'you wanna drink, Spock?" He didn't wait for the Vulcan to respond, but walked over to the other side and busied himself by pulling out the Saurian brandy and a glass. The invitation was always purely perfunctory as Spock never drank liquor. However McCoy was not a man who had been raised up to be impolite.
"Yes, Doctor. I would like to have a glass of brandy." Spock gazed back into the viewer.
McCoy started when he realized the Vulcan had actually accepted the drink. "Well then, come over here and drink it with me. I don't like drinking around the slides. Plus I could use a break. My eyes are going buggy."
Spock raised another eyebrow, but nodded and flipped off the viewer. He stood up and joined McCoy.
McCoy handed him a glass. "Speaking of Bingo, I should teach you to play sometime. It's easy. I once won alot of credits at Bingo at the local church hall in Atlanta. Pissed off alot of old ladies who play every week."
"Ah. It is a game of chance," Spock replied.
"Yep. You usally play with a large group of people. See, you yell out 'Bingo' when you win."
"And since I spotted the captain and Miss Barrows in the arboretum, I have won the game?"
"Perhaps you and I both won," McCoy chuckled, then sunk into a funk.
The pair drank their brandy accompanied by another heavy silence. Suddenly McCoy piped up: "I can't believe, Jim, sometimes. I mean...he's been my friend for fifteen years and I still can't figure that guy out."
McCoy looked down at his boots and continued on: "I just don't understand it. He's always been like that. One woman after the other. Then he got involved with you and I thought well, maybe... maybe he'd realize how special you are...maybe he'd see the light and calm down. I'm...uh...sorry...for his behavior."
"It is unnecessary to apologize for his actions."
"You feel...?" Spock tried to prompt McCoy to finish his thought.
"Nothing...Forget it." The doctor poured himself another glass. He noticed Spock holding an empty one. "Would you like another?"
Spock looked at his glass, then back at McCoy. "Perhaps one more."
"It's good brandy, isn't it."
"I only drink this stuff on special occasions."
"Like Valentines Day," Spock observed.
McCoy took a long sip. "Well, there's no sense in it goin' to waste. Is there."
They sunk into yet another heavy silence.
"What did you mean when you said that you think I am special?"
McCoy choked on his brandy. "Uhhhh?"
"You stated that you thought that perhaps Jim would have realized how special I am."
"Well..." McCoy squirmed. "I don't know...I was just..." He found himself unable to meet the first officer's gaze. "Jim's an idiot," he blurted out.
"Yeah, a damned fool, if you ask me. He could have had a wonderful...fulfilling...I've often wished...I wish I could be with..." McCoy swallowed, glanced up briefly into the intense brown eyes, then looked away. "I've had way too much to drink." He set his glass down. "I'm going to stop before I get myself into trouble."
"Negative. You have only had two glasses. Your usual limit appears to be five."
"Oh. You've noticed have you?" McCoy jerked his head up. "What do you do...watch me?"
"I often do watch your behavior," Spock admitted.
"Why? Do I amuse you?"
"You intrigue me."
McCoy blushed. "Um. Oh. I think...I'm going to turn in for the night."
"You do not wish to partake of another glass of brandy?"
"No...I think I should go."
"Perhaps you should not be alone tonight," Spock suggested.
"Alone, tonight?!" McCoy suddenly shot Spock a look of pure unbridled agony. "That's a laugh! I'm always alone on Valentines Day. I think it's required by law. Somewhere it's written: Leonard McCoy must always mourn on the day set aside specifically for lovers. Tonia Barrows is just the icing on the cake. My wife left me on Valentines day fifteen years ago for another man. Then Nancy walked out on me and married Dr. Crater on Valentines Day, ten years ago, and then Janet Fisk, too, left me five years ago," he pointed a finger at the Vulcan, "also on Valentines Day."
"Every five years you have been abandoned, and all on Valentines Day? Fascinating."
"Oh, it's terribly fascinating," McCoy snapped. "You know what, Spock? It wasn't even a real holiday...not until 2166. It had been originally created as just a minor commemorative day for lovers by some greeting card company, back in the twentieth century. Then, President Herman, who was such a damned romantic, decided to turn it into a national Earth holiday. I think the creation of Valentines Day was a deliberate act. To punish me."
"Illogical, Doctor. A holiday is not created to punish anyone. Least of all someone who had yet to be born at the time."
"Oh. Well, then there's no point in me staying here and giving you more history lessons. You already know everything. I'm going to bed. Good night." McCoy turned on his heel.
"Idiots," Spock said suddenly and quietly before McCoy could take a step.
"What?" The doctor spun back around.
"Those women who abandoned you...they were idiots."
McCoy gaped at the Vulcan. "Never heard you say that word before."
"I learned it from you. Just now. Is the usage correct?"
"It's perfect..." McCoy's voice broke. He grinned madly to keep himself from crying. "Just...perfect."
The doctor was aware that Spock had moved up on him. They were now standing unusually close together, their faces even more so.
Embarrassed and about to step back, McCoy shifted his gaze to the first officer's bangs, distracted by something. The jet black hair was normally so tidy...however, at the moment there was a small lock out of place. Tenderly, McCoy reached up and smoothed the soft hair down. "I guess I will... have another glass of brandy," he said softly as he touched it. "No sense in it going to waste. Is there?"
Spock grabbed onto the doctor's hand and held it gently. "None whatsoever."
"You having another one?"
"One more, should not hurt."
McCoy smiled, squeezed and released the warm hand. He refilled their glasses then clinked his to the Vulcan's. "Happy Valentine's Day."
"Bingo," Spock replied.