Title: The Pursuit of Truth (taken from Spock's line in the episode about Plato seeking Truth), I of III
Characters: Spock, McCoy, Kirk, various
Rating: T just to be on the safe side
Warnings: Spoilers for Plato's Stepchildren and mentions of all the baggage that episode entailed
Word Count: 2766 (this part)
Summary: Long long long overdue Haiti charity fic for raebb4ever, with the prompt A fanfic that focuses on the aftermath of the episode "Plato's Stepchildren," specifically on Spock trying to cope with his emotional violation and his near uncontrollable anger over Parmen's actions towards Kirk. Having McCoy be included would be a nice bonus. Bonding and emotional healing, yay! I would like specific interaction between Kirk and Spock.
Author's note: The only excuses I can give for the delay on this are real life in general kicking me pretty hard, but mostly that I absolutely hate this episode with an indescribable passion. It actually makes me sick to my stomach to watch it, and so that's why I kept putting it off until last. Ha, go figure, that this plot bunny is the one that mutated into a three-part fic instead of a oneshot like I offered. :P
Further A/N, this part: The Kirk and Spock interaction you asked for is definitely forthcoming, in Part 3; the bunny just insisted on McCoy sticking his medical nose in there for a while. Fluff is a-comin', I promise.
I'm aware this idea has been done before, though I've only read one story that wasn't slash; but hopefully I'm bringing a new twist on things.
He is just finishing the final psych exam on his own Head Nurse when the Code Gold comes through from Officers' Mess.
The incidents of three days ago have left them all more than just shaken up, himself included (only an idiot of a space physician would refuse to recognize psychological trauma in himself), despite his not being touched physically or mentally by the Platonians. He didn't sleep at all that first night, and when he saw Jim the next morning he was pretty sure the captain hadn't either. As for Spock…well, Lord only knows what Spock is doing to cope, and he knows better than the Vulcan himself that he isn't coping very darn well. It's been worse in some ways, better in others, for Christine and Nyota, though both women appear now to be in fine spirits and just passed their psych exams with flying colors this evening.
They had all scattered instantly upon beaming up from the planet three days ago, but he had purposely scheduled all their follow-up exams for the next morning to coincide with conversations that he knew needed to take place. The stricken look on Jim's face when he walked in and saw Lieutenant Uhura leaving Sickbay was enough to break a harder heart than even their resident Vulcan's; but their brilliant Communications Officer had only smiled sadly and, for the first and last time in their careers, given her captain a quick peck on the cheek as she walked by (he could have hugged the woman for removing that portion of the haunted look from the Captain's eyes).
And just like that, she and Jim were fine, and have been for three days now.
The Captain himself had passed his exams with his usual flying colors, but something still rings false in his mind as he thinks about Kirk's assurances that he is feeling no ill effects from the Platonians' torture. The kironide in Jim's blood is still pumping in full force, he knows that from the monitor he attached to the man's wrist, and will continue to do so for several days while it's being filtered from his system naturally. He told Jim to refrain from any unsupervised exertions for the sake of safety; but since the man appears to be controlling his ability perfectly well and honestly he can't find anything wrong with him on the surface or under, he was forced to dismiss Kirk with no more than a warning.
His Head Nurse has taken a little longer to cope, but some (awkward but kind of endearing, in that bizarre Vulcan way) attention from the First Officer over the last forty-eight hours has effectively smoothed out the wrinkles in that admittedly one-sided relationship, and Chapel too has been pronounced fit for duty, much to his relief. She's a darn good nurse, and he doesn't know what he'd do if she cracked under the memory of what had nearly happened.
Spock, unsurprisingly, insists that he still feels no effects from the kironide which is still in his blood in an undiluted state; his hybrid physiology doesn't allow the release of as much adrenaline and endorphins as humans (more's the pity), and as such the drug is slowly filtering out of his blood with no noticeable effects. When he'd run the psych exams on his CO, they had all come back perfectly normal, and now to all appearances their resident walking computer is currently (in his own words) perfectly functional.
Perfectly functional, possibly. Having come to terms with what had happened, not a chance in this universe (or in any parallel one). He knows for a fact that the Vulcan hasn't talked a bit to the captain about what happened on Platonius, and a blowup (or meltdown, as the case might be) is imminent – but how can he justify taking either or both of them off-duty when they know how to fool his machines well enough to give him no medical evidence? He very much doesn't appreciate being put yet again in the same position they usually stick him in – just waiting around to pick up the pieces once the world explodes, and only hoping they don't do too much damage to themselves or anyone else before then.
At least Spock isn't avoiding Nurse Chapel (small favors) like he is the captain. Spock accompanied Christine on this last of the tests, in a rare but understandable gesture of companionship that the woman reluctantly has accepted as all she'll ever receive from him, and now is looking absently at a med-PADD which contains data over what M'Benga suggested could have been done to induce the drug's efficacy in the Vulcan's copper-based blood while planetside. The ward is quiet other than the therapeutic bickering going on between him and the hobgoblin, all's well that supposedly ends well, and he's just beginning to relax the tension in his shoulders with some neck exercises...
And then all hell breaks loose, as the emergency communications unit wails into life with a Code Gold from the Officers' Mess.
Code Gold – a direct threat to the safety of the Captain. Any crewman or officer can vocally or manually initiate a Code Gold if he feels the captain's safety is compromised, and once initiated alarms automatically sound in Security, Sickbay, and the First Officer's quarters with the location of the threat.
Cursing under his breath, he snatches up a portable medikit and then bellows at the top of his lungs for Chapel to get the dickens back into the room and get details from Security before following with a med-team and proper equipment.
Spock, he looks up to see, or rather not see, is already halfway down the corridor, the PADD discarded with a clatter on the nearest flat surface. He barely catches up with the Vulcan's long legs in the turbolift, where he skids inside just before the doors close.
"What the blue blazes could happen in the Mess, of all places?" he demands of no one in particular when once he's caught his breath enough to stop wheezing. Ignoring Spock's I-would-have-no-idea-you-illogical-human eyebrow, he pounds the inter-comm as the Vulcan shakes his head in mutual incomprehension. "Officers' Mess, this is McCoy. Someone down there talk to me, what's happening?"
A moment of silence, and then a sudden burst of chaotic confusion. Something crashes in the background (what the heck was that?), and then Montgomery Scott's welcome voice fills the lift. "Doctor, you'd best hurry; it's the Captain and I dinna know what's wrong with him, but – "
The scratchy tinkle of plexiglass shattering causes both occupants of the lift to start, and blue eyes meet dark brown with a worried look. "Scotty, talk to me," he bellows, punching the comm button again.
"Doctor," this time it's Uhura's soft voice, thank the combined deities of several neighboring planets, and he breathes a small sigh of relief. Since she knows what went on while they were trapped on Platonius, maybe he'll get enough information now to prepare for whatever he's going to find when he gets down there. Going into a trauma situation is a hundred times easier when you know what you're dealing with instead of having to start from scratch, especially with someone as mule-stubborn as James T. Kirk. "Doctor, he's panicking now; and some kind of psionic fallout is making chaos of the whole room –"
He swears, and Spock casts him a slightly disapproving glare, though he's pretty sure it's more to cover up not-so-Vulcan concern than to convey disapproval. "The kironide," he breathes as the connections all fall into place, and slams a fist into the wall of the lift. "I told him it might show side effects once it started working its way out of his system, and if he panics –"
Spock reaches around him and presses the comm-button. "Lieutenant Uhura, a complete report would be useful," he orders crisply.
A burst of static, and a small shriek in the background is their answer, and he turns another shade of pale. Then the Lieutenant's voice comes across the unit once more. "Yes, Mr. Spock. Sir, we've tried to calm him down but he's just completely out of control!" Another small crash filters through the unit. "I'm not even sure he knows where he is!"
"Evacuate the Mess immediately, Uhura," he snaps, just as the lift doors open. "Get everybody out of there before he hurts someone, and – Spock, what the –"
But the Vulcan is already gone in a skinny blue blur, and he represses a low moan as he goes racing down the corridor after the First. Crewmen, displaying varying stages of shock and concern, hastily scuttle out of the Vulcan's thunderous path (if the situation weren't something out of a nightmare he'd laugh his head off at Ensign Thomas's bug-eyed expression as he's pushed unceremoniously out of the way) as they sprint down the corridor toward the Officers' Mess.
Scott meets them outside, his honest face betraying worry for his captain. "Sir, the Captain himself ordered me to get Security," the Engineer informs them while running a hand through his damp hair. "But…I dinna want to stun him unless there is no other way, you know that, Doctor."
"I know," he snaps, for there's no time for platitudes. "Anyone know what brought it on?"
"He fell asleep, Doctor," Uhura reports from behind Scott, and her beautiful face is tinged with both concern and empathy. "He had coffee and soup and was sitting all by himself in the furthest corner, sandwiched against the wall. We were all trying to be quiet so he could get some rest, and…"
"He began dreaming," Spock interjects suddenly, eyebrows twisted into a frown line, and the rumble of the low voice nearly sends him jumping three feet in the air with its close proximity. "He has only slept a total of four hours in the last sixty, due to his being concerned about the effects the kironide would have upon his unconscious mind and actions."
What? "How the heck did you know that, and why wasn't I told he wasn't sleeping?" he demands hotly, glaring a nice neat hole in his commanding officer's insanely thick skull.
Before Spock can answer, though, something large and metallic thuds into the bulkhead nearby.
"Clear the corridor," he snaps on the instant, for damage control is their first priority after the Captain, and the Chief Engineer jumps to obey the order despite outranking him, "and tell Chapel to start someone running those sims we were working on to filter that kironide out of the bloodstream faster. We may need to try the actual procedures. Mr. Spock, let's – Spock!"
But the sound of the doors opening has already drowned out his last sentence, and he bolts after the Vulcan; if his hypothesis about Spock's mental state is correct, then the walking computer could do more damage than help if –
"Look out, Doctor!"
Spock's warning probably saves his skull; he flattens himself against the floor as a metal tray flies perilously close to his head. "Jim, what in the name of all that's sacred!"
The captain, he sees as he scrambles back to his feet, is huddled in the farthest corner of the room, on his knees with both hands clasped tightly in front of him, as if trying his desperate best to control the telekinetic force that had saved their lives and now endangers them all again. Kirk looks up at him, horrified, and he can see the wildness of sheer panic in the amber eyes. Somewhere behind him a bowl shatters against the wall, and then another, and the look deepens into terrified desperation.
He doesn't need any more words to know what the story is; exhausted beyond even James T. Kirk's outrageously high endurance, Jim had finally dozed off and soon dropped into REM sleep. Nightmares are a frequent part of the captain's sleep schedule following traumatic missions, and he's been known to speak out in his dreams or even sleepwalk on occasion if the vision were vivid enough. No doubt this one had been, and as a result he'd woken into utter chaos as the kironide wreaked havoc with his subconscious and thereby the room; panic had followed, and an inability to control the drug in his blood. Then too, he had already wondered if there might be drastic consequences for the high double-dosage, and it's no wonder that Jim can't control it properly now, even conscious.
Just as he reaches for a sedative from his medikit, a fork embeds itself in the wall, reverberating with a twang two inches from his hand. Wide-eyed, he can see why the captain is utterly terrified – he could easily kill one of his crew in this condition. He berates himself soundly for letting the man even step foot out of Sickbay, though in his defense Jim has shown no signs of…this, whatever it is, for the last three days.
He yanks the hypo from its resting place just in time to see Spock duck a flying chair and skid into a crouch before the cowering figure. What earnest words are being spoken he can't hear above the chaos, but he moves quicker than he ever thought possible when he sees the tiny bit of recognition and then the utter pleading in Jim's eyes. Two sets of hands move to interlock in an effort to anchor in the panic-induced storm the captain has inadvertently created. It's a gentle gesture, and a remarkably human one on Spock's part – but if he's right about the Vulcan…
"Spock, don't touch him!" he shouts over the clamor, hurtling over a pile of debris lying in the middle of the Mess floor. "Don't touch him, d'you hear me?"
But it is too late; and the moment the contact is completed he knows the mistake has been made. The very air current thickens, darkens, and before he can even register what's happening one of the four-meter-long durasteel tables yanks free of its moorings and slams into a nearby wall, nearly going straight through the layers of tritanium with the force of its impalation, and leaves a scattering of bolts and other metallic flotsam in its wake.
He was right, but that knowledge doesn't help any of them now. Scott and two Security men burst in through the door at the sound of the destruction, stopping short in uncertainty at the sight of the two men on the floor, interlocked hands shaking with the unsuccessful effort of control. He sees from his peripheral the Chief Engineer reluctantly setting his phaser to Light Stun. Scott raises the weapon, not permitting an underling to attack his captain even in necessity –
"Hold it!" he protests above the pandemonium, and ducks another piece of flying debris to make a dive through the chaos toward his commanding officers. "We don't know how neural shock will react with that kironide. Spock, let go of him; you're not helping!" this last to the Vulcan, as he slides to a graceless stop beside the two men. "SPOCK!"
But Spock, eyebrows furrowed, doesn't acknowledge either his words or a hesitant but businesslike slap across the face, nor does the Vulcan even appear to hear the order, only kneels there with all the force of his strength physically pushing against the captain's kironide-accented grip. And so, he has no choice but to act upon his half-proven theory. He reluctantly depresses the contents of the hypospray through the gold sleeve and can only hope the sudden loss of contact won't send a telepathic whiplash across the shallow link.
He catches a brief glimpse of surprise and then almost pathetic gratitude from Jim before the captain's eyes flutter closed and he slumps, deadweight, against his First Officer.
Objects clatter floor-ward, the room goes deathly silent, and he meets the confused dark gaze of the Vulcan over the captain's limp head.
"I…do not understand what just occurred, Doctor," Spock speaks slowly, almost dazedly, and he knows he's got more than one problem on his hands now.
"I do," he sighs at last, and places one hand under the back of Jim's head for support as they lay him down on the debris-strewn floor. He sees Scott and the Security force parting ways to let Chapel through with a gurney, and so turns his attention back to the still-dazed Vulcan currently cradling the Captain's shoulders. "C'mon; let's get him to Sickbay. And then you and I, Mr. Spock, are going to have a little chat before I lock you in there with him for a while."