About time I wrote a sickfic, considering it's one of my favorite genres... XD Written for the meme; the prompt simply asked for a sickly Spock, so that's what you get. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek!
Edit (8/29): For anyone interested, there's a short omake for this story in my crack collection Pure Energy. It is chapter 4. That is all.
At first he didn't notice that anything was wrong. How could he? The Enterprise had been right smack in the middle of a diplomatic cesspit the night before and he was still reeling from the paperwork. Goddam political niceties. When could his exploring vessel get back to exploring?
Oh, if asked, he could probably have commented on Spock's lack of speech, but the Vulcan wasn't exactly verbose on normal days. He might have said something about the staring into space, but all of his crew were given to space-contemplation when they weren't working. Especially if Starfleet hadn't given them a new mission. Where was that message?
All in all, he could probably have been forgiven for his obliviousness. But he couldn't forgive himself. What kind of captain was he?
"Captain," said Spock, two days after the Geneva Alpha Conference. His normally confident voice sounded hoarse. "An asteroid is approaching us at considerable speed. May I suggest we remove ourselves from its path?"
"Certainly, Mr. Spock," said Kirk, and he directed Sulu to move them out of danger. That voice hadn't sounded good. He examined Spock unobtrusively, taking in the pale complexion, the tense shoulders. Was something going on?
Spock coughed slightly into his arm, drawing the incredulous attention of the bridge. Kirk sat up in his chair. "Spock?"
After a moment, Spock turned. "Yes, Captain?" The Vulcan looked like he was trying not to sneeze. He failed.
"Are you all right?" Kirk asked, feeling a surge of compassion well up in his chest.
"…I am experiencing minor-" he sneezed again "-physical discomfort," he said, sniffing surreptitiously. "I am quite able to perform my duties."
"Have you been to sickbay?"
"I do not require the doctor's attention." But now it appeared that, since he had given in to his symptoms, Spock was having a harder time suppressing them. He coughed again. It sounded like it hurt.
"If you don't feel well, you shouldn't be working," said Kirk, folding his arms stubbornly. Spock was beginning to look uncomfortable at the attention. Kirk could sympathize. The worst thing about being sick was people staring at you while you blew your nose.
"If at all possible, I would like to remain at my station," croaked Spock. "I am in control of my condition and am still able to function."
Kirk sighed. This probably wasn't a good idea, but… "All right." Spock turned back to his station in gratitude.
After several quiet minutes interspersed with Spock's coughing, Kirk got an idea. He summoned a yeoman and whispered an order to her. She gave him a small smile and left the bridge. A few moments later, she returned.
"Tea, Mr. Spock?" She held out a cup to him that smelled appealing of vanilla.
"…Thank you." He took the cup, but glanced over at Kirk, intending to inform the captain that special treatment was certainly not required. And also unwanted. Probably. But Kirk was holding an identical cup, sipping the hot contents happily. He noticed Spock's look and smiled.
"Something the matter, Spock?"
"I hope you like vanilla. It's one of my favorites."
Spock sipped his tea gratefully. His coughing eased somewhat. Kirk went back to considering the space before him. It had a lovely, airy quality that was free of thought. Yes, staring into space was a good way to pass the time.
Spock sneezed. Kirk had another idea. He summoned the yeoman again, whispered another request. She nodded and left again. When she returned…
"Kleenex, Mr. Spock?" She presented him with a box of tissues. Considerately, she had also brought a wastebasket. Spock blinked at her.
"Thank you." He accepted the box. The bridge crew smiled, glad that their Vulcan was being taken care of. Kirk was the happiest, of course. Spock was, first and foremost, his Vulcan.
Spock shot another glance back at Kirk, his eyes trying to convey something like 'If you don't want me on the bridge, just order me off. This is embarrassing.' Kirk raised an eyebrow and continued polishing the arm of the command chair with his own Kleenex. Those alert buttons tended to get pretty dusty on the Enterprise, after all…
"Yes, Mr. Spock?" Kirk was quick to give his first officer his undivided attention.
"If you would prefer I return to my quarters…"
"Not at all, Mr. Spock. Of course, if you would like to, I shall not begrudge you the chance."
Spock hesitated. "…You do not require my skills at the moment?"
"We're still in orbit around Geneva Alpha, so not unless you'd like to work on some of those star charts you started yesterday."
Spock thought about the pounding in his temples. "No, not particularly."
"You might find it… logical… to retire for the day. Oh," Kirk added, "I can have someone send you down an extra blanket, if you want."
Spock looked around the bridge, only to discover that his crewmates seemed to be of the same mind. He stood up. "That would be appreciated, Captain." With a nod, he picked up his tissue box in one hand and his tea in the other and headed off the bridge.
Kirk checked the time again, just to make sure, then rose from the command chair, stretching his muscles. It was 2100, time for supper. More importantly, time to check up on Spock. The members of his crew knew him too well: As he passed them on the way off the bridge and down the hallways each of them sent their well-wishes and cries of 'get well soon'. Kirk appreciated the gesture, and he was sure Spock would, too. It was very validating to know that four-hundred or so people cared about you like family.
He stopped on C Deck, outside of Spock's quarters, and let himself in without using the buzzer. It wouldn't do to wake the Vulcan if he was sleeping. But Kirk found the lights on and Spock sitting up on the bed, swathed in several blankets despite the sweltering heat. If Kirk hadn't known he was sick, he would have sworn that Spock was meditating. As it was, he was probably just trying to breathe through the congestion.
"Hey Spock," he said, coming over to sit at the foot of the bed. Spock moved his legs out of the way without opening his eyes.
"Jim." He coughed slightly.
"Still feeling nasty, huh? You should go down and see Bones." Kirk placed a hand on Spock's knee, patting it every now and then. "He can give you something to ease that cough."
Kirk rather thought that Spock didn't want to move, just wanted to stay wrapped in his cocoon until the whole ordeal was over. He sighed and moved closer to sit beside the Vulcan. Spock leaned his head on Kirk's shoulder and Kirk didn't mind the heat.
"Do you have a fever?"
"…It is negligible."
Jim wrapped an arm around Spock's shoulders and gave him a light squeeze. "Do you want me to get Bones up here?" Spock didn't answer, so Kirk took it as a yes. He reached over to the comm panel and summoned the doctor. A couple minutes later he was letting his friend in, genially ignoring Bones' 'I don't do house calls'.
"It's just a cold," the doctor pronounced, after a quick examination. "This'll help with the symptoms, though you'll be off your feet for a week or so." He put down a hypospray on the table. "Just take it before you go to sleep. You can also try drinking tea, or inhaling steam. Sometimes that helps clear out the ol' airways."
"Thank you, Doctor."
"Hmph, whatever. I just don't need you contaminating everyone on the ship, so stay in here and get better. That reminds me. Jim! You get your ass out of this room before you start coughing, too. With your luck, I'm surprised you haven't already."
"But Bones! I'm applying an ancient, tried-and-true remedy!"
"And what's that?" Bones gave him a look.
"Snuggling. It always makes me feel better."
McCoy shook his head in good-natured disgust. "Leave me out of it." He headed for the door, medical bag in hand. "Spock, if you need anything, let me know. And when you start," he jabbed a finger at Kirk, "come down to sickbay so I can patch you up properly."
"Yeah, yeah." Kirk waved him off. There was a moment of silence after the door slid shut again, then Spock spoke up.
"Yep. But I can stop if you want me to." Kirk sighed inwardly at the thought.
"…No. Not particularly. I find this arrangement… agreeable."
Kirk chuckled. "Me too."
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