Notes: So. Spones lover wanted more, and Contort accused me of being an enabler. I am displeased. Enabling implies I merely let you access it, rather than being the dealer. Therefore...I wrote more. I hope the two of you are happy with yourselves.
So: five times McCoy expressed his feelings in actions, two times he expressed his feelings in words, and one time that he just said it. (And yes, I have lifted some stuff from TOS.) Some of these actions and words are obvious, and some are not. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek 2009 (or Strek Trek: The Original Series) and I make no profit from this work.
"It is necessary to..."
"I know it's damn well necessary - that doesn't mean I have to like it!" McCoy snapped.
"I do not recall asking you to like it," Spock returned calmly.
Jim watched the exchange from the transporter pad, smirking. McCoy was fairly sure that Scotty was sniggering too, but he didn't give a damn. The entire ship knew by now anyway, ever since a certain Iowan idiot decided to loudly speculate on the bridge on the logic of sleeping with one's doctor.
Forget Spock, McCoy would happily have strangled him.
"Don't give me any of that smartassery," McCoy drawled.
"You're as bad as him," he jabbed a finger in Jim's direction. "Now you listen here. I've had a damn good week and neither of you get to spoil it by turning up in my Sickbay with anything but small talk. Got it?"
"Sure thing, Bones," Jim smirked.
McCoy snorted and eyed Spock again. "And you?"
"I shall endeavour to try, Dr. McCoy."
"Endeavour, my ass," McCoy grumbled - before brushing the back of his knuckles against Spock's hand in a familiar, affectionate gesture. "Just do it. That's an order."
"As you wish - Captain McCoy."
When the somewhat archaic projectile tore through his left lung some two hours, fourteen minutes later, Spock briefly questioned whether he could keep the promise.
Spock came around, the pain in his chest dulled by the drugs he could feel in his system, and knew at once that he would have to go into a trance. The alternative was, it seemed, months of recovery that would result in permanent scarring and respiratory issues.
To quote Captain Kirk at quite possibly his most obnoxious: no thanks.
As he made the transition from drugged awareness to the calm depths of the trance, he made note of four things about his surroundings.
Firstly, it was the middle of the night, ship time, as Dr. McCoy had not come growling to his bedside at the change in the biobed readings, and Dr. Lee had not appeared threatening to page McCoy and let him do the yelling.
Secondly, his time sense dutifully informed him that he had been unconscious for two days, which, judging from previous experience and the doctor's temperament, meant that he would most definitely receive what his mother had always termed a 'scolding' from both Kirk and McCoy - whichever got to him first.
Thirdly, there was a tray of hyposprays on the trolley nearby. His scolding would probably involve minor bruising to the neck and upper right arm, then. An...unpleasant prospect, and one that Spock did not feel shame in admitting to. Even his father had expressed dislike at medical examinations involving hyposprays.
And lastly: the room was warm. Very warm. Close, in fact, to the pre-dawn heat of Vulcan, and the just-post-dawn heat of New Vulcan. The thermostat, therefore, had been tampered with.
He slipped into his trance with warmth of an entirely different form: the knowledge that Leonard had been here.
"You awake again?"
Spock winced at having been caught, and opened his eyes to find Dr. McCoy glowering at him.
"Just great," McCoy muttered. "Spock. How many times? You need sleep, and you need not to need sedatives to get there!"
"I am...quite aware of that; however..."
McCoy sighed, unfolding his arms and perching on the side of the biobed. It seemed to be late; he could distinctly hear Dr. Lee in the main bay chastising someone for idiocy, and, in any case, McCoy was not carrying medical supplies.
"What's the problem?" McCoy asked. "You keep tellin' me Vulcans have all this super-awareness mumbo-jumbo about themselves, so what's the issue?"
Spock frowned - minutely, but he did - and McCoy's expression shifted in return.
"I...dream that I cannot breathe."
"Ah," McCoy's face softened. "The sedatives, or just trauma-induced? Because believe you me, Spock, I've been sittin' here more or less solid for four days now, and you're breathin' just fine."
"I believe they are merely dreams, and they will pass, however..."
"It's unsettling you," McCoy finished, and shrugged. "Well, that'd unsettle anyone. You ain't made of stone. But you do need to sleep; come on, give it another go, huh? Just shut off and drift off and dream about quantum physics conundrums or somethin'."
Spock sighed and closed his eyes, attempting to centre himself. He vaguely heard McCoy moving around, and felt the light jolt of the head of the biobed being raised eight degrees, before the thin mattress dipped again.
"...Yes. Thank you."
"You can thank me by sleepin'."
The elevation made it somewhat easier to breathe physically, though Spock held no hope that the ease would transfer to his dreams...and then McCoy's hand came to tuck gently under his arm, pressed lightly to the side of his ribcage, over where the wound would have been if it had been on the other side.
"Nice and easy," he murmured, his voice deep and slow and soothing in a way that he rarely was, even in private like this.
The heat of his hand, drenching the hospital scrubs and blanket through to Spock's skin and muscle and bone, was distinct and he drew his psyche around that heat instead, wrapping himself around the new centre with practised ease, calming and cataloguing the anxiety - but the heat was moving with his breathing, steady and sure...
He slept. There were no more dreams.
Spock sank into the mattress with (for once) undisguised exhaustion. It had taken more of his energy that he had expected to be relocated to his quarters, and he was utterly spent by the time McCoy had helped him through a brief shower, into sleeping attire (the robe banned for the moment, due to the difficulty in removing one intact from a wounded or unconscious person) and into the bed.
"You'd feel a whole lot better if you'd stayed in Sickbay," McCoy grumbled, slamming a medical kit down onto the bedside table and flipping it open.
"I do not believe that I would," Spock murmured, his voice too tired to present much of a challenge.
"...No," McCoy admitted after a pause. "You're worse than Jim, sometimes. What have you got against being in there? I'm hardly a pre-warp hacksaw, you know!"
"Indeed," Spock murmured, his eyes drifting closed without any concern for the hypospray that bit briefly at his exposed neck. "But I am the first successful...hybrid."
There was another pause, a little longer this time, before another hypospray pressed at the juncture of his jaw and neck. If it could be done tenderly, then that was what McCoy was doing.
"Yeah, I catch your drift," the doctor said, his voice softer and almost silent in the still air of Spock's quarters.
The hypospray hissed and stung, and the medical kit was snapped shut. A lethargy crept into Spock's bones - a sedative, then, he concluded - as he listened half-heartedly to the doctor rigging up the console on his desk to communicate with the medical monitoring bracelet around his wrist.
"The bracelet will page me if you get any coughing or respiratory difficulty; if you physically can't breathe, it'll trigger an emergency alarm," McCoy said, sounding very far away. His voice approached as he spoke, until it wound around Spock's senses like some strange hybrid of the Vulcan desert - now gone - and the heavy Georgian heat that he had never experienced.
It was...pleasant...to hear.
"Lights, ten percent."
The shadows deepened, and a rough, warm hand scraped lightly over his hair, brushing it back to expose his forehead. It should have caused a vulnerable sensation, but it did not, and the mixture of the sedative, and the warm voice, and the soft, barely-there kiss that pressed into his temple merged into a sleep far deeper than he could have achieved in Sickbay.
The blaring of the alarm shot through Spock's senses, and he ordered its silence before registering that he was on medical leave for the next week, and therefore should not - and did not - have set his alarm the night before.
A quarter-second later, and the body at his back stirred into wakefulness with a somewhat unappealing snort of indrawn breath.
"Goddamn, it's hot in here," McCoy's voice was extremely raspy shortly after awakening, and Spock felt the usual stir as his libido attempted to react - and McCoy chuckled. "That ain't my lust I'm feeling. Well. Wasn't - it is now."
They were not pressed together, or spooning, the way they tended to after sex; McCoy did not tend to gravitate towards Spock the way Nyota had in sleep, and Spock, of course, did not move when asleep in the first place. But he was close enough that Spock could feel the heat radiating off his skin, and he allowed a small, contented noise to escape him when McCoy ghosted a hot, steady hand up his ribcage, expertly measuring his breathing through the palm.
"Quite well. I did not...register your entrance during the night."
"Kept real quiet, just for you," McCoy drawled, but Spock was suspicious. Neither of them were particularly attached to sleeping in the same bed. Oh, they would after sex - to return to one's quarters was simply too bothersome - but they did not habitually share quarters, sleeping or otherwise, in the manner of most couples. If McCoy was here, it was for a reason.
"Why did you come?"
"Had to keep an eye on the patient, didn't I?" McCoy quipped, that hand still measuring Spock's breathing. "Any pain?"
"Some minor discomfort."
"Well, I ain't kissin' it better," came the reply, and he rolled out of bed to find the wayward medical kit - presumably for painkillers.
Spock was not fooled by the nonchalant attitude, the aftersense of anxiety and fear still glistening on his skin from where McCoy had touched him, and wondered when the doctor would overcome it - or even if he had to.
He was not, after all, going anywhere.
It had been a somewhat long and exhausting day - Jim was easily four times as annoying without Spock to take some of his attention on the bridge - and all McCoy wanted to do was check on Spock, and go to bed. He was even willing to skip out on dinner in favour of some sleep, and God knew Chapel went mad when he did that. It would be worth it, though - ten hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep and no goddamn ensigns with their brains in their shorts trying to impress pretty girls at the ship's gym...
All thoughts of rest and relaxation went out of the window when he stepped into Spock's quarters, and instantly registered the loud, wracking coughs coming from the bed.
McCoy was by the bed in a moment, easing Spock into a sitting position. Both arms were wrapped around his ribs, attempting to support them and possibly restrict the coughing, and he was wheezing uncomfortably as though he couldn't breathe around it properly. He shook into McCoy's grip easily, and attempted to take longer, deeper breaths when McCoy started to rub at his back firmly.
"Nice and slow," he coaxed. "Nice and slow. Keep them even - none of that shakiness, or it's back to Sickbay with you. Alright, with me - in...and out...in..."
It felt...somewhat odd to treat Spock in such a way. Vulcans were resilient not so much in that they were much more difficult to injure - like any species, they had their Achilles' heels - but in that once healed, their own healing abilities made afterpatient care unnecessary - most of the time.
McCoy had never had to treat him outside of routine physicals and immediate injuries or illnesses.
So it felt odd, to perch awkwardly on the side of the bed with him and talk him through the attack. It felt somewhat strange to have to handle him in a medical capacity that didn't require the Sickbay. But it also felt...
It felt nice.
McCoy had become a doctor to help people. He had hated watching people suffer without being able to help, even as a small child. It was a McCoy family trait - his parents had been doctors, and two of his grandparents were doctors. One of his cousins was a nurse on Starbase Six, and another (having discovered she did not have the stomach for medicine) had gone into charity work and ran an Earth charity to care for Starfleet personnel, and the families thereof, who had been discharged from duty due to long-term injury.
What he had not foreseen was the trust that people had in doctors. It was unusual that he met a patient on the ship who didn't trust him to help. Hardly anyone trusted him to necessarily be nice about that help, but they trusted that he would help.
Spock had been his most reluctant patient - and, of course, with his history in and out of hospitals as a child, McCoy couldn't blame him. But it had irritated him - and the resilience of Vulcan physiology hadn't given him much opportunity to change Spock's mind. The Vulcan might trust him to perform a surgery, but to care for him?
Only he did.
He seemed to, at any rate.
Despite the coughing that was rattling through his frame as though they were on an old-fashioned ground-train, and the borderline pain he was in, Spock made no attempt to pull away. If anything, he leaned into the hold, and let McCoy take some of his weight, despite McCoy's inexperience in providing aftercare to a Vulcan. Any Vulcan.
His trust tugged at something in McCoy's chest, and he felt a slightly guilty smile creep onto his face before he soothed it away, still rubbing a hand over Spock's back and eyeing him carefully as the coughs finally began to fade under the breathing exercise.
"How long before I showed up?" he asked quietly, once they had subsided.
"...A few minutes," Spock replied, clearly disorientated. "I was...asleep."
"Turned on your back, probably," McCoy muttered. He was still rubbing his back, but even as he noticed, he didn't stop. "Your ribs hurt?"
There was a pause.
"It is a mild discomfort."
McCoy nodded, and leaned over to grab the tricorder from the bedside table. Luckily, it decided that he hadn't damaged any of his newly-regenerated tissue, and that his ribs were merely surrounded by tired muscles, not torn or damaged ones.
"Alright," he said. "That the first time today?"
McCoy eyed him suspiciously, then shrugged. "Alright. Alright, I give. I won't haul your green-blooded ass back into Sickbay. But..."
He stopped, and frowned.
"I do trust you. In all respects."
McCoy blinked, then it registered. Spock wasn't wearing a shirt.
Funny how you tended to overlook that even when you knew you were handling a Vulcan.
"Yeah," he said slowly, dropping his arm to slide loosely around Spock's waist. "Yeah, I know you do, darlin'."
A heavy arm dropped over his waist, and Spock stirred, his time sense dutifully informing him that it was somewhere past 0300 hours.
"Ssh," McCoy mumbled, pressing up against Spock's back, exhaustion seeping through his arm and over Spock's skin. "J'st got outta surgery. Go back t' sleep."
Spock folded both hands around the slack one slung over him and resettled. "Are you sure that you do not wish to go back to...?"
"S't'up," came the mumbled response - mostly mumbled into the back of Spock's own head. "'M right where I oughta be. And I oughta be asleep."
Spock blinked in the darkness, caught off-guard by the remark, then cast his reaction aside.
Nobody saw smiles in the dark, so the slip didn't matter.
McCoy put the tricorder down and handed Spock his shirt back.
"Back on light duty as of tomorrow," he said. "I'll give you a full physical a week tomorrow and if you pass that, you can go back to regular duty."
"And your prediction is?"
McCoy shrugged, his gaze fixed on Spock's chest. "You should pass. It's healed fine, despite your damn bitchin' about being in the Sickbay. Wouldn't have taken so long if you'd been here."
"Regardless, it has healed," Spock noted, pulling his shirt down and smoothing it out. He shifted to drop down from the biobed, and suddenly McCoy's hand was on his chest, pressing against the long-gone wound.
"That could've killed you."
McCoy's lips twisted, and his eyes shot up from where his hand - rough, steady, powerful, life-saving surgeon's hand - pressed into Spock's shirt.
"I just...I do love you," he muttered, eyes locked with the Vulcan's as though to look away would mean death. "I do love you, you know?"
Spock placed a hand over McCoy's and pressed firmly.