Ch 3: The Doctor

"Commander Spock open this door immediately!" Doctor Leonard McCoy's voice bellowed over the speaker.

"I assure you I am well and do not need medical attention," Spock replied. He sounded tired and the doctor frowned.

"I'll be the judge of that!" shouted the doctor, "You've missed your morning pain medication and the dressings need changing. Open this door immediately or I will use my medical over ride code."

The threat hung in the air. Spock replied, "One minute doctor" and the speaker fell silent.

"Ashayam?" Spock called to Nyota. The bathroom door opened and Nyota stepped out. She raised her eyebrows in enquiry.

"Doctor McCoy is coming in," said Spock.

Her eyes widened in alarm. "I'll stay in the bathroom," she said, starting to gather her things.

"No." Spock said. Something in his tone made her pause, "I only called so you would not be embarrassed and perhaps come out in a state of undress," said Spock calmly, "Please, dress quickly and join me. We no longer hide."

Nyota nodded thoughtfully and ducked into the bathroom. She quickly slipped on the T shirt and panties, finger combed her wet hair and was platting it loosely, over one shoulder as she immerged.

Spock extended his arm to her and she sat her side of the bed and scooted over toward him.

"Spock!" Came Doctor McCoy's voice thought the intercom, "I am coming in now."

"Certainly doctor," said Spock and ordered the door to open.

Doctor McCoy strode into the apartment in full tirade. "Of all the irresponsible things to do. Checking out of the clinic was bad enough," he bellowed as he dug around in his bag on the table in the main living area, "but you've missed your medications, you must be in agony man. And none of that hobgoblin hooey about pain control being in the mind. You need to save your strength to heal." The doctor continued to mutter in a low voice as he dug in the bag.

The doctor must have found what he was after. He looked up and could see Spock in bed through the open doorway but the angle meant he still could not see Nyota. The doctor huffed.

"At least you had the sense to get into bed. Damn it man you could have passed out, fallen and no one would know. You must realise how dangerous it is for you," the doctor was ranting as he advanced on his patient when he saw Nyota for the first time.

In other circumstances the total double take he performed would have been funny. Now Nyota just inwardly cringed. Then squared her shoulders, she had done nothing to be ashamed of.

Doctor McCoy seemed unable to speak.

Spock reached over and openly took her hand aligning their fingers to form the empathic link. Nyota felt his assurance and commitment and she could also feel his exhaustion and increasing pain.

"As you can see Doctor I have a," he paused, "nurse, and have been more than adequately cared for."

The doctor was starting at their aligned hands and the way Spock's thumb was slowly stroking Lieutenant Uhura's . Was he reassuring her? Instantly the doctor was aware of how awkward this must be for her; for them both. It was obvious even to him, and the stars knew he was not the most sensitive of men, that they were lovers. She was in his room, just showered, on his bed and obviously used to linking with him, it was unbelievable, he had had no idea. The doctor cleared his throat and nodded abruptly to Uhura.

"Well I'm glad to see he has not been alone," McCoy mumbled.

Looking at Spock McCoy continued, "Damn it man why didn't you say something! The Lieutenant could have visited you in the clinic; she must have been out of her mind with worry." The actual ramifications of what he could see were starting to dawn on the doctor. Spock looked hard at the doctor, "As I remember I was unconscious at the time," said Spock.

"And I was not allowed to see the commander," said Uhura looking at Spock not the doctor, "I tried" she said and Spock felt a flutter of the panic, sadness and frustration she had felt being denied the right to see him. The doctor opened his mouth to state the visiting policy of sick bay, looked down at those linked hands and his memory of shouting at her caused his mouth to snap shut.

"Doctor," said Spock slowly and clearly looking directly at McCoy. He raised his voice slightly and called , "computer please record. Voice print and store this information in my personnel record." There was a faint ping to indicate the recording was being made. "If I, Lieutenant Commander Spock, am ever injured Lieutenant Uhura is to be considered my next of kin and make decisions concerning my treatment if I am unable to make them and in the event of my death has all the rights of my next of kin and that my belongings pass to her. Please witness for the recording."

"I witness," stated Doctor McCoy. Unbelievable, thought the doctor, it was a formal statement; Spock had virtually married her in front of the doctor.

Nyotas spoke, "Computer please record, If I, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, am ever injured Commander Spock is to be considered my next of kin and make decisions concerning my treatment if I am unable to make them and in the event of my death has all the rights of my next of kin and that all my belongings pass to him. Please acknowledge."

"I acknowledge," stated Doctor McCoy."

The doctor looked down at the dressings in his hands which seemed to remind him of his purpose in being in that room as he raised his eyes and he caught the look that passed between Spock and Uhura. It was so raw and intense that the doctor felt his stomach clench in response. Beyond belief! Mentally he shook himself, he had a patient who needed care and he had other patients waiting.

"Well young lady seeing you are here and taking some responsibility for this oaf you had better learn how to change these." He gestured with the dressings, "The dressings need changing daily."

"You," said McCoy looking at Spock, "need to come to the clinic every two days or immediately if you condition deteriorates or you have any concerns," the doctor pointed at Uhura when he said this. "If she has concerns Spock, not you, I know you and your concerns." He humphed.

The next 20 minutes were spent changing the dressings on Spock's back, chest and legs. The doctor pointedly did not notice as Uhura eyes filled with tears, or hear her muffled gasps when she saw the extent of the damage. Finally the doctor injected Spock with anti infection agents and pain killers and left a hypo for them to administer that night.

Then he bid them a gruff goodbye. He paused at the table to pull some more dressings out of his bag. He turned to say something and froze. Uhura had reached across and stoked her hand down the side of Spock's face. Spock's hand came up and covered hers holding it in place as he turned his head to kiss her palm. Their other hands had linked again. Her face was radiant and his look was so openly vulnerable that the doctor turned away. They would find the dressings. He left quietly.

He was a doctor. He knew how to keep secrets and they had trusted him with theirs. He would watch the coming events with interest.