Disclaimer: I don't own Spock, Pike, Nyota or Starfleet
Thanks to Beta Reader Notes from the Classroom
Captain Christopher Pike was getting the shit beat out of him by the half Vulcan...and Pike couldn't be happier.
After nearly three weeks of attempts he'd finally hit pay dirt.
The Farragut was parked for repairs. And Pike was temporarily stationed at Starfleet Academy. Aside from trying to find a new science officer, he really didn't have enough to do.
Pike started going to the gym more often, which is where he first encountered Lieutenant Commander Spock.
He knew of the Lieutenant Commander, of course. Everyone knew about the young researcher who had discovered and interpreted the Romulan Kalanel's last transmission. The first time he saw Spock in the gym he wouldn't have known him to be that same reserved man who he'd seen make the presentation in the holos. Spock was flying at a punching bag, lashing at it with his feet and then his fists. Sweat was dripping off his body. His face though...his face was that perfect mask of Vulcan control.
What the hell was this guy doing planet side? And how the hell could Pike get Spock on hisboat?
Pike walked over to the bundle of humanoid fury crashing against the punching bag. Spock stopped his attack as Pike approached too close. The half Vulcan grabbed the dangerously swinging bag and stared at Pike, breathing heavily.
"I know a bit of Suss Mahn," Pike said. "I can provide you with a little more of a challenge...unless your current sparring partner is all you can handle."
"If you are trying to use an insult to elicit an emotional response from me in order to engage me in a match, you will fail," Spock replied.
Pike smiled. "You are a Vulcan. Actually, I would love to brush up on my skills; it has been a while. Maybe you can help me out?"
There you go, Pike thought. Appeal to a the Vulcan's sense of obligation.
It worked. Spock nodded. Pike motioned him towards some open mats on the floor.
Spock went easy on him that first match - and the Vulcan still won easily.
Still, it gave Pike a chance to introduce himself and after their first match he asked, "Have you ever considered a position in the fleet?"
Spock stood about a meter away, hands on his hips, breathing slightly heavily. "No, I have never seriously contemplated the matter."
"You should," said Pike. "It would suit you."
The half Vulcan only tilted his head.
After that Pike sparred with Spock whenever he got the chance. He never won. But Spock never went that hard on him, either.
Pike's Suss Mahn skills did improve. At a certain point in one of the matches his fist connected with something hard on the half Vulcan's chest. Spock was wearing an undershirt beneath a loose sweatshirt so it wouldn't be visible just by observation alone...unless one looked closely.
It was a comm link…Pike was almost certain of it. It was strange that Spock wore it while sparring in the gym. Unless…
Pike said nothing; he just continued to fight. In all of their following matches Pike was careful to look for the faint outline of the comm on Spock's chest. It was always there.
During all their matches Pike laid on the recruiting pitch: see faraway planets first hand, be the first to discover alien life forms, put your scientific knowledge to practical use...
Pike tried those lines and more. Spock would invariably nod his head and say, "I will consider it."
Pike knew he was getting nowhere. He knew Vulcans well enough to understand that if Spock said he would consider it, it meant that the Vulcan actually had some interest. However, he also knew that Vulcans could take a great deal of time making up their minds unless suitably motivated.
So how to reach the guy? After two and a half weeks Pike decided it was time to do some leg work. He knew two of the guys who had stood up with Spock on the stage the day Captain Kalanel's transmission was revealed, and he knew where to find them.
It wasn't a bar. It was a proper Irish Pub. There was the typical bar to one side, but there were also high backed armchairs set about the room. Situated near a fireplace that was lit despite the relatively warm San Francisco weather, he saw one of the men he was looking for - Toshi Matsumura...and...
He expected to see Toshi with Patrick...but Toshi's companion at that moment was quite different. Pike was usually a slightly cocky man, but the Vulcan woman sitting across from Toshi...well...it gave him such a sense of cognitive dissonance he felt his jaw descend towards the floor.
Pike knew the very attractive female Vulcan. In human years she would have appeared to be in her forties, but she was closer to eighty. Pike blinked; what was Commander T'Quilloc of the Vulcan Intelligence Service doing with Toshi Matsumura in an Irish Pub?
Pike knew T'Quilloc was in town; they'd seen each other at an official function. And he and T'Quilloc were on the same team...they'd both been fighting Starfleet and the Vulcan High Command for greater sharing of information between the various intelligence agencies. What with the shit going down in the neutral zone, everyone needed to share. Even the Klingons.
Huh. After the stunt Toshi had pulled as a Cadet there was no way she could be pumping Toshi for information. Toshi did not have access to anything that would be remotely considered classified. He wasn't even a commissioned officer and...
Toshi, looked up and saw him. T'Quilloc followed the direction of Toshi's gaze and nodded in Pike's direction.
Pike approached, for once his normal bravado gone. What were these two doing together?
"Christopher," said Toshi. "How nice to see you. May I introduce you to my t'hynea, T'Quilloc?"
Christopher noticed Toshi was using the Vulcan word for friend.
"We've met," said Christopher.
"It is good to see you, Christopher," T'Quilloc said evenly. She turned to Toshi and said some words in Vulcan Pike couldn't follow. Toshi nodded. They both stood up, gave the Vulcan salute and said some more words in Vulcan. Then they bowed to one another slightly and T'Quilloc left with a sidelong glance at Pike. Pike and Toshi both followed her with their eyes.
"Your friend?" asked Pike incredulously.
"My t'hynea," said Toshi and shrugged. "Don't worry, Christopher. You know I have nothing of importance to tell her."
"Then what were you..."
"Catching up," said Toshi. "It's what friends do, hai?" He shrugged again.
"So where's your usual partner in crime?"
"Look behind you."
Pike turned around to see Patrick entering the pub.
"Christopher!" Patrick shouted, heading over to shake his hand, a wide grin on his face.
The three settled down, Patrick and Toshi in the arm chairs, Pike on a stool he pulled up. "Let me get you guys a round…" Pike said.
One round led to another, and at last Pike felt like they were loosened up enough to talk.
"So, what can you guys tell me about your buddy Spock?"
Patrick and Toshi looked each other in the eye.
"Why are you asking?" Patrick asked, taking a sip of his Guinness.
"Because I want him for my science officer."
Both Toshi and Patrick seemed to relax. They looked at each other and over to Pike.
"It might suit him..." said Toshi.
"He is damn curious," added Patrick. "And they don't deserve to keep him here..."
"Who is 'they'?" asked Pike.
"The bureaucrats of Starfleet," Toshi said with a hint of bitterness. Toshi always had trouble with authority, Pike knew. There were reasons he was not an officer. Of course, there were also reasons Starfleet had kept him as a professor...the guy was brilliant.
"The Vulcan Interspecies Council," Patrick spat.
"Is he under observation for something?" asked Pike. "I checked his record; it's clean...but the guy even wears his comm in the gym, when he's sparring..."
Patrick and Toshi clammed up.
"I only ask, guys...'cause I'm trying to convince him to become my science officer. And nothing is working. You know I won't say anything to anyone."
They were both silent for a long time. Both took a few more sips of their drinks.
At last Toshi sighed. "He tried to be human, to follow human rules, without understanding he'd be judged as a Vulcan."
"He touched a Cadet's wrist. The Vulcans figured it was a symptom of some deep torrid affair between them," said Patrick.
"Well?" asked Pike.
"Well, what?" asked Patrick.
"Was there a torrid affair between them?" asked Pike.
"Spock?" asked Patrick incredulously. "No, that guy, he's too cool and unemotional for that. Not that he isn't a great guy. Toshi and I both love him. You should have seen him defend the whole human race in front of some Vulcan Science Academy jerks and the Vulcan Interspecies Council. "
Pike barely heard anything after the words, 'too cool and unemotional.' The man he'd seen beating a punching back at the gym was in no way unemotional, no matter what mask of calm he wore on his face.
The next time he fought with Spock, Pike had a different pitch.
"You know," Pike said, barely dodging a blow, "the really great thing about serving on board a boat is that it is its own little world. There is really only one rule everyone has to follow...and that is to do their jobs."
Pike blocked a blow with his arm. The half Vulcan really went easy on him, he realized. That had definitely not been full Vulcan strength.
"You become really close to your crew members," Pike continued. "You're like a family. All that matters is you do your job and do it well. It doesn't matter where you're from. It doesn't matter what species you are...it doesn't even matter who you sleep with..."
Spock bounced backwards on the balls of his feet. He said nothing. His face still showed no emotion, but suddenly his fists were raining down on Pike like they'd rained down on that punching bag the first time Pike had seen him.
Pike did his best to hide his smile. He'd found his science officer.
Afterwards Pike lay on the floor. Spock stood panting slightly over him.
Sitting up but not standing, Pike added one thing more. "I'll make sure you get a new comm. One that no one listens to. You have not been treated fairly." Pike honestly believed that last bit. No matter what Spock had done, the only evidence was a freaking wrist touch, for Christ's sake. The guy had obviously managed to do his job quite well. Better than well.
Spock looked down at the ground. He probably didn't trust him, Pike realized. Vulcan abilities to read humans weren't worth spit. Pike held out two arms as though asking Spock wordlessly for a lift. "Go ahead and read me if you want."
The Vulcan paced a few feet and looked down at Pike. Grabbing Pike's hands Spock lifted him to his feet. As he did so that feeling Pike had felt a long time ago from a different Vulcan started to trail up Pike's fingers.
When he was standing, Spock let his fingers trail over Pike's own. There was a flicker of electricity. Pike knew Spock couldn't read his mind, but he'd know if Pike was being deceptive. And of course Pike was being completely and utterly sincere.
Spock put his hands down and looked at Pike. "I trust you," he said. For a moment he was quiet. Then he asked, "When would you like me to report for duty?"
So now we're nearly two years before the movie…and Spock's on his way up into the heavens. Where hopefully he'll really hone those natural abilities of his. The sequel to this story is up and complete, it's called "The Vulcan".
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