A/N: Okay, let me say this right now. I love Search for Spock. It's my favorite of the original movies, though I admittedly haven't seen the first one. But the line that inspired this fic is quite possibly my favorite line ever. When I set out to write this I was going for something different than what you have before you. And, honestly, I'm not entirely happy about the way this fic turned out. I like the ending, but I'm a little iffy about the middle and beginning. But I decided to post this anyway, because I do very much like the idea behind it. This is McCoy/Spock slash, nothing explicit but it is the basis of this. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Lalala, I own absolutely nothing!

Spoilers for Search for Spock. Minor, but they're there. Also slight spoilers for the end of Wrath of Khan.


There are many people who, when examining the network of relationships among the crew of the starship Enterprise, come to the conclusion that there is more than simple friendship among the trinity of First Officer Spock, Captain James T. Kirk, and Doctor Leonard H. McCoy. Many of those who come to this conclusion assume that these supposed romantic entanglements involve a relationship between either Jim Kirk and Spock or Jim Kirk and Len McCoy, because naturally Jim Kirk must be involved in a case like this.

The observers who come to these conclusions are correct on the first assumption—that there is something much, much deeper than friendship amongst the relationships. They are, however, incorrect in the assumption that Jim Kirk must be involved. Because the truth is that he isn't, not even a little bit. Oh, sure, he loves them both, very much, but in a strictly friendship kind of way.

Between Mr. Spock and Mr. McCoy, on the other hand, there is a relationship that is not strictly friendship. On the contrary, their relationship far exceeds the extents of friendship and verges into unknown territory. And many would be surprised by this relationship, for the simple fact that, to all appearances, Spock and McCoy don't even like each other a large percentage of the time. At least, this is the observation of an untrained eye, or of someone meeting them for the first time. It is only after prolonged or careful examination that a person can see how much they truly care for each other.

The reason that one could be tricked into believe they dislike each other draws from their constant bickering. Even their most civil conversations have an undercurrent of competition, a constant sense of trying to provoke a response from the other. Spock is collected and unruffled and delivers calculating, clever insults that are slipped subtly into their conversations. McCoy is much more open and bold in his insults; he delights in goading the Vulcan, in cutting him down at every possible opportunity. The conversations between them, indeed, all interactions between them, are so filled with tension that it is easy to mistake for hostility rather than what it is: joy.

The truth of the matter is that they love their arguments. They savor every single insult, every sly comment, every jab and prod. When they argue they come alive; McCoy's eyes spark and Spock's back straightens and they bear all of their weight to the task of out-doing the other. But despite the insults there is definite, deep fondness for each other. Should Spock land in the medical bay McCoy will be there, right at his side, even past the end of his shift. He holds the same vigil for Jim, but his composure is always shaken if Spock happens to be the one in the bed. And on those rare occasions that McCoy is the one unconscious on a cot Spock is there.

And to them it seems only natural that their seeming animosity for each other should be channeled into a different form of expression. The sounds that emerge from behind their closed doors only serve to expand on the rumors about who exactly is in there.

Despite the subtlties and depth of their relationship, some things never change. McCoy is rough around the edges, and not even love can change him into a soft, sweet Georgia peach. And despite the fact that their relationship breeches Spock's defenses he's still a Vulcan. He's still composed and cultured and logical, determined to the very last fiber. Their relationship forever functions on the basis of competition and fond conflict, even at the end, where Spock knocks his lover out in order to sacrifice himself. McCoy likes to call him a stubborn pointy-eared hobgoblin. He says those words through the glass as he watches Spock die, unknowing that he posesses the key to bringing him back. Love shapes them, but it does not change them. There are no apologies, no soft words, just harsh words blunted by affection.

All of which leads them to McCoy sitting on a bed in a mental institution cell, looking up at Jim and saying: "That green-blooded son of a bitch. This is his revenge for all those arguments he lost."

Which really means: The green blooded son of a bitch I love is in so much trouble when I get my hands on him.

A/N 2: And, just for the record, I absolutely do not own the line "That green-blooded son of a bitch. This is his revenge for all those arguments he lost." It's a direct quote from Search for Spock, said by the incredible DeForest Kelley. But it really is my favorite line.

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