Title: Five Cases of Contagious Personality
Author/Artist: Lady Tragic/phoenixofborg (LJ)
Pairing/Character(s): Spock, Genfic, Kirk POV. Mentions of the rest.
Rating: T for Swearing
Summary: "It is not unheard of for an empath/telepath, when under severe mental and physical strain, to unconsciously mimic the emotions and personalities of those around them. They are generally unaware of these lapses, and unless such behavior becomes constant or self-damaging, the best treatment is rest and solitude."
Notes/Warnings: Done for this prompt on the kink meme -- .com/st_xi_?thread=13935517#t13935517 "Spock, because of his hybrid physiology or whatever, when mentally strained (extremely tired, sick and other stuff like that) takes on personality traits from persons he touches/mindmelds with. I want to see Spock swear like Bones, flirt like Jim and stuff like that."
The first time it happens, Jim honestly thinks Spock has (finally) developed a sense of humor. A damn weird time for it, granted, as they're both a mess following a Klingon attack, but hey, maybe even Vulcans get punchy from adrenaline letdown. Jim's slumped against the side of the turbolift, and Spock is far too stiff to slump but he's definitely leaning, like a pine tree about to keel over, right next to him. The lift pauses to let out a cute ensign, and Kirks eyes follow her as she goes, because damn she has nice legs and when he's too tired to notice that, he'll be dead. (She has a run in her pantyhose. He can see it getting longer as she walks away.) And as the lift doors hiss shut, Spock fucking whistles. An honest-to-god wolf whistle. Kirk dissolves into snickers, and it turns into full-on laughter when Spock follows it up with a damn convincing expression of pokerfaced confusion.
"Captain? I fail to see what is so amusing."
Kirk laughs harder.
The second time, he almost doesn't notice, because Uhura's so ice-cool on the bridge anyway. And if Spock's voice sounds a little… odd, that can be easily attributed to the cold he picked up on Asprix V. Only Spock could catch cold on a world with an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius, but Kirk had refrained from commenting because he knew the Vulcan would get his karmic recompense next time they had to survey a desert world, complete with not-quite-snide (as only Spock could be) remarks about 'forgetting humans were not so well suited to this environment'. Anyway, Kirk would have let it go, but then he responds to order with "Right away, Captain," and it's one hundred percent Uhura – that slightly superior tone, like a mother humoring a small child – it's enough to make him do a double take over his shoulder. Spock's… standing like a girl. There's no other way to put it. All his weight on one hip, arms crossed, head slightly tilted. Then Spock notices Kirk's stare, and immediately shifts back to his normal posture, hands locked behind his back.
An excessively peppy Pysch major Kirk had once slept with had told him that a pink elephant could spontaneously appear in the middle of a crowded room, disappear again, and no one would say anything. The logic was, no one would mention the pink elephant, because none of them believed there could be any such thing. Therefore, the elephant couldn't have existed, they must have imagined it, and people as a rule aren't given to admitting to spontaneous vivid hallucinations. Kirk had thought it seemed pretty farfetched at the time. Then he witnessed a metaphorical pink elephant charge through his bridge wearing a lime-green tuxedo and playing the bagpipes, and true to Casey Martin's prediction of all those years ago, no one said a thing.
Spock leaned over Chekov's console, double checking the figures over the young Russian's shoulder. Apparently satisfied, he straightens up, wipes the green blood off his forehead and says to Kirk, "Modifications to ze Romulan cloaking dewice complete, Keptin." He's even bouncing on his heels a little.
There's a collective pause, then everyone on the bridge reaches the unspoken decision to pretend it didn't happen and continues about their business. "Thank you, Mr. Spock. Prepare to engage."
Spock really shouldn't be up here, and Kirk knows it. He should be in Sickbay, heavily sedated, but dammit they need him, even though he's more or less held together by bandages. McCoy is hovering, ready to bustle Spock back to Sickbay at the first possible moment. As the Enterprise's orbit decayed and Cortell Prime loomed larger on the main screen, Kirk can't help but ask even though he knows it's totally not useful and the last thing Spock needs right now is more pressure. "How much longer, Spock…?"
Spock's shoulders tighten, and he snaps at Kirk, "Dammit Jim, I'm a scientist, not a magician!" Any other time that would be fucking hilarious, but with the ship plummeting towards the planet, it's very much not. The last thing he wants to think about right now is his first officer being medically compromised. Fortunately, Spock manages to bypass the safety subroutines before passing out.
Captain Kirk Again
He's babbling, and he knows it. He also can't help it, because they almost just died (again), and while you'd think he'd become jaded to that particular brand of fear, he hadn't yet. He can't decide if that's a good or bad thing, either. It's the shaky exhilaration of winning, combined with the sheer terror of very nearly losing everything, and Kirk's very glad indeed that Spock's generally inclined toward listening to him as they sit in the observation lounge and stare out into space.
But even Spock's looking close to exhaustion as Kirk asks "But why us, Spock? It's always us. Doesn't that violate statistical probability or something?"
And Spock smirks, causing a hot/cold shiver to shoot down Kirk's spine, and replies "Because we're just that fucking awesome. Good night, Captain." And he exits, leaving Jim feeling indescribably creeped out.