Title: Eternity on the Good Ship Enterprise
Author: tprillahfiction (June 2010)
Pairing/characters: Spock/McCoy, Kirk
Fandom: Star Trek, TOS
Summary: Sometimes you don't know what you've got till it's gone. Hurt/comfort. slight feeding fetish. Relationship between two males, if that offends you, then don't read.
A/N: an ealier version previously appeared in the recent issue of "Spiced Peaches" the Spock/McCoy online fanzine.
Disclaimer: The boys don't belong to me. Not one bit.
ETERNITY ON THE GOODSHIP ENTERPRISE
Every day... it's always the same.
Ten hours spent in bridge duty. A mutual glance from their respective posts. The watch has ended. Time to go. One follows the other into the turbo lift. Down to deck 7. Sickbay. The ICU ward.
Every day, it's always the same.
A body on the biobed, snuggled beneath the scanner web/coverlet. The eyes are closed in a deceptively peaceful slumber. The telemetry beeps at regular intervals.
Every day, the doctor's here, clad in his short sleeved, satin sickbay tunic. Arms folded. Of course he's not going anywhere. He informs them: "Still no change. Of course, I will notify you if there IS any."
Every day there is always a grim nod.
Every day he asks: "Can't you do something? Anything? With all our scientific and medical knowledge on board this ship? In this day and age?" The words are an act of desperation, exasperation. It's not meant to be insulting and it's not taken as such.
Every day, the doctor comforts: "I'm sorry. We've done everything we can."
Every day, he talks to the figure in the bed. Says: "Hello". There's never a response to: "You gonna wake up soon?" It's heartbreaking, the anguish in his voice.
Today, the doctor intervenes: "Captain, you need some rest. There's bags under your eyes. You look tired. Go to the officer's mess for dinner, then get to bed. That's a medical order."
"Only the Chief Medical Officer can give me a direct medical order."
"I am... the... ACTING Chief Medical Officer, Captain."
"You're right. Sorry."
Every day there is always an exhausted smile in response and they're always shooed out of sickbay by Dr. Geoffery M'Benga.
For the past three standard Earth weeks, nothing has changed. Three standard Earth weeks can feel like an eternity on the good ship Enterprise.
Tonight they head to the mess, as ordered. They're quiet in the lift to deck 5 and nobody dares speak to them when they enter the Officer's Mess, though various crew smile at them, encouragingly. The whole ship appears to be holding it's collective breath as it has been for an eternity.
With a heavy air they slide their meal cards into the slots. The small doors open with piping hot, reconstituted, but pleasant smelling food.
/Yeah, Jim, it smells dandy, but it's fucking recycled./
/Tasteless, more like./
They sit at a lone table and without a word, commence picking at their food. (Following the letter of the law-but not the spirit. Just like old times.) It's quiet. Like it has been for an eternity.
It's even quieter without HIM slurping at his coffee and the constant complaining about the slurping of his coffee and the protesting that he can damn well slurp his coffee if he wants to dammit: /I'm not out on a Goddamned date, it's fucking 05:30 hours (in the fucking morning) for Christ's sake, cut me some slack./
/Such language at this hour. Didn't your mother raise you up with any manners?/
/In Georgia, we invented manners...and you be quiet, you be quiet 'bout my mama./
Tonight they'd give anything to hear him slurp his coffee.
The captain sets his fork down, it makes a soft 'tink'. He kicks himself a hundred times, a thousand times, a hundred-thousand times, a million times, a million-million times-
"It should have been me."
"Jim, it was not your fault."
"Should have been me. My ship, my fault."
"It was him they chose."
"It should have been me...to spare my crew."
"They wanted him," is relayed quietly.
"Well they sure got him, didn't they." McCoy had been abducted, tortured to within an inch of his life. His unconscious body was returned to them hours later. No explanation other than: 'We enjoyed him very much, thank you.' Those sadistic fucks with their eerie, humorless sneers showing off small, sharpened, blackened teeth, eyes glowing bright green before disappearing off the viewscreen.
He had been in the sickbay ICU ever since, comatose. The physical injuries were easily cured. The internal bleeding in the brain, ceased by M'Benga's talented hands. But somehow he remained trapped in his own mind.
"He simply needs time to recover," is offered calmly.
The captain smacks his hand on the smooth metal table. The noise startles a nearby Lieutenant (she pretends to ignore them-but she's listening). "Don't you care? Don't you have an ounce... a shred... of feeling?"
Hands are clasped behind the back. The face, immobile. "You must retire to your quarters."
A sigh. "I'm sorry. I guess I should try to get some sleep, before I wind up relieved of my command."
"Very astute. You are not operating at optimum efficiency."
"You're right, as usual."
"Jim," is repeated for the hundreth, the thousandth, the millionth time. "It was not your fault."
"Yeah," is said faintly.
Spock escorts his captain to the man's cabin, making certain he goes to bed (whether the man actually will sleep is debatable). He returns to the sickbay carrying a PADD. M'Benga spots him as he enters, nods from the desk.
He gets himself comfortable, (as comfortable one can be sitting in a chair next to the biobed). He pulls out the PADD from under his arm. It has been often stated by McCoy that coma patients can hear, very well indeed. "Today, I shall be reading you chapter 19 of the medical thriller: The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer." He commences, performing different voices for each character as he had once observed McCoy do himself. It was an activity McCoy was rather fond of after a few drinks of bourbon, late night, in quarters.
/An adept performance, Doctor./
/Why, Spock. Are you commending me on something as illogical as this? Well, I think I've died and gone to heaven./
Middle of the way through, it occurs to him that perhaps he should simply playback the official recorded audio version. However, he finds that prefers to read it in his own voice. Perhaps McCoy would prefer it. He does not know. Chapter 19 was the chapter McCoy had been in the middle of, before the landing party duty, before he had been-
The chapter ends on a cliffhanger and he depresses a button on the PADD. M'Benga nods at him and stands, yawning, then disappears into his office. As soon as Spock is left alone he is free to attempt something further. He reaches over and touches McCoy on the meld points.
They are standing on a grassy hill. Wearing denim trousers...
/They're called jeans. Jeans, Spock!/
/My apologies, Leonard. We are both wearing jeans./
...and suede cowboy boots, a white button up shirt, the button's undone far enough to show off a taste of hair...
/Taste?/ There is a snicker. /Freudian slip, perhaps, Spock?/
/Forgive me. There is a peek of chest hair visible from your shirt./
/You know you like it./
/I have no comment on the matter./
Suddenly, a little girl appears. Leonard clutches her hand. She is, what Leonard would call, 'cute as a button'. Long blond hair. Blue eyes. The nose the same as her father. (She is her father's daughter.) She is clad in the pinkest dress one could imagine. In her free hand she's holding onto a teddy bear.
/Look at her- bless her heart- she's got a teddy bear. Just like you did at that age, right Spock?/
/As you will recall me relaying to you some time ago, Leonard, my 'teddy bear' had six inch fangs./
/It's still a teddy bear, Spock. Even with fangs./
/Be that as it may, I am here to bring you home./
/I AM home, Spock./ Leonard grips the girl's hand a little tighter. The protective glare is fiercely evident in his bright blue eyes. (As bright as one could imagine.)
/The Enterprise is your home. You are not in a reality. This is a falsehood, a construct. You are comatose./
/I don't care. I like it here. I feel good. Loved. See that house with the lawn and the trees and the porch swing? Look at these leaves falling. They're orange and brown. You see 'em?/
Spock looks down. The large maple leaves are all around them, covering the ground like a lush carpet. They're beautiful, the colors suddenly vibrant: red, orange, brown, green. He resists the urge to bend down, grab a handful and throw them up into the air. /I see them./
/There's so many. I need to rake the leaves. I love to rake the 'em up, then jump in the piles of them, and then rake them all over again. It's fall, Spock. My favorite season. I was just about to go inside and fix everyone pancakes and then drive little Joanna here to nursery school. You ever eaten pancakes, Spock?/
/I have not./
/Oh, I learned how at Starfleet Medical...mine just melt in your mouth. They smell delicious. All buttery...With molasses./
A smile. /Would you like to try some pancakes?/
/Negative. You must not go into the house./ If McCoy does, he will fall deeper into the coma...
/Negative? Don't you have an ounce, a shred of feeling? I'm going inside. The whole family's in there. Even my dad. I've gotta fix pancakes. I've gotta rake the leaves, Spock. Please./
At that, 'please', there is a stab of something- he does not know. (But Vulcan's should not feel sadness or despair...or love...in imaginary worlds.) He cannot force McCoy to change his mind. It is up to him. The man is stubborn as always, even here.
Spock opens his eyes. Sickbay. He pulls his hand away. It is five minutes before his shift. As much as he wishes to stay here-he is due on the bridge.
There is another week, then another. McCoy's eyes flutter open. Suddenly. Finally. (No theories are debated as to why, or how, but that does not matter.) The first day he is aware for only a few moments. He panics, unable (or unwilling) to acknowledge where he is. He is calmed by Jim and Spock before he drifts off into sleep.
"Asleep. That's better than comatose," Jim says with relief.
As the weeks roll on, McCoy gradually is up for longer periods. He cannot speak. He has a temporary loss of vocal function: Dysarthria, he would call it. (The eyes say it for him.) It is only temporary.
At week five, McCoy finally speaks up- softly at first, (demanding of course): "I want some Goddamned pancakes."
"Our next shore leave is in one standard month, Dr. McCoy," Spock says. "On Earth."
"I want them now. I don't want to wait till then."
"We only have reconstituted pancakes available from the sickbay mess dispensers."
"That will have to do. This craving is driving me nuts."
Spock nods, fetches Nurse Burke, who brings a tray with a plate of pancakes, a cup of coffee and a bottle of warmed molasses. McCoy, additionally, has a loss of physical function in his arms and hands. (It is left over from the coma and only temporary.) Someone will have to feed him. "If you'll excuse us, Mr. Spock, I'll go ahead and give Dr. McCoy his breakfast," Burke says.
"Unnecessary," he finds himself saying to her. "I am his..." he clears his throat, "I am his partner, the duty, rightfully is mine."
She's confused. McCoy is confused. She walks away, shaking her head, smiling and McCoy snaps: "I thought you said you wanted to keep things a secret?"
Spock sighs. (Perhaps it should not be-not anymore.) He slowly butters the pancakes, notes McCoy hungrily licking his lips in anticipation. He pours the warmed up molasses over the top. (the molasses is in fact real-brought from Earth by McCoy). He proceeds to cut the pancakes in an orderly fashion with a knife and fork.
McCoy watches his every move. "They teach you that on Vulcan? They got IHOP's over there?" He smiles warmly and perhaps that is one of the most beautiful miracles in the universe.
"Negative. This is simply the most logical, ordered fashion in which to consume pancakes." He spears a few squares of the pancake, dripping with butter and molasses, holds it up to the doctor's mouth.
"Oh God, they smell so good," McCoy breathes.
"They are recycled," he explains, (using McCoy's word as an attempt at humor). "The scent is artificially added."
"Reconstituted, Spock...and way to kill the mood." Undaunted, the doctor opens his mouth. Spock slides the loaded fork though the lips and onto the tongue. As McCoy takes them into his mouth, he's savoring them. "Hmmmmm. God... they taste so good..." He chews, swallows and opens his mouth again. "More..."
Spock dutifully obliges him with more forkfuls of butter and molasses covered pancakes. He's amused at the sight of McCoy lusting, "hmmmm." after each bite and the alert, electric blue eyes rolling up in ecstasy at each mouthful. If the man had not just woken up from a coma only a few weeks previously, he would protest these theatrics.
"Doctor, you are definitely a sensualist."
"You bet your pointy ears, I am, sweetheart. You oughtta know me by now."
"The molasses is liquid heaven," McCoy whispers. "Try it."
Spock unashamedly dips a finger into the leftover molasses, sucks it from his own finger. "Hmmm," he replies with some surprise. It is rather good.
The doctor's eyes are lustful, they close partway, then widen as they watch him. "Do it again," he commands. Spock now dips two fingers, getting them completely covered in the sticky goo, sucks them clean. McCoy eyes are trained on him, the breathing is increased. McCoy opens his mouth. Spock dips his two fingers again, this time letting McCoy suck them clean.
"Having fun, you two?" Jim appears from the doorway, arms folded, a knowing grin. "Bones?"
"Um hum," Bones growls. "I'm gonna be just fine, Jim."
Spock picks up the cup of coffee, (on fine china, with a saucer, decorated with autumn leaves. It is just how the doctor has always prefered it, seemingly for an eternity) places the cup against the now pouting lips.
As Bones drinks it down, he slurps it.
This time, the captain doesn't say a word.