I want all of you to realize that this story is supposed to be comedic, and the ocean is in no way like this if you want to try scuba-diving. Being Scuba certified is the best thing you will ever do without orgasming. And if you do it right, you can have both at the same time.

Pelagic Panic

By Sano S. Sagara

Leonard had finally found something to fear MORE than space.

It was in the Virgo Supercluster, inside the Local Group, nestled deep within the Milky Way Galaxy.

It was on Earth itself. From Space, it WAS Earth itself.

Leonard was terrified of the ocean now.

And it was all Jim's fault.

3 weeks prior.

"Come onnnnn Bones! Please?" Jim was sprawled across his desk in the MedicalBay like he was posing for a Greek god figure drawing class. Pencils, styluses, PADDS, and papers were sent scattering across the floor. Spock stood at parade rest in his doorway; the automatic sensor hissing at the Vulcan in what Leonard chose to believe was annoyance.

"Doctor McCoy, the door sensor is a machine and as such cannot be annoyed with my person preventing its closing,"

"Shurrup Spock," mumbled Leonard at the same time Jim sent a distinctly bemused giggle of feeling though their bond.

"Bones. Boooones, Bonesie, Bones-Baby, Bone-er, Bonny Bones," Jim would have continued had McCoy not reached over and unceremoniously pushed his Captain to the floor.

The satisfying 'oomf' sound that Kirk exuded when he hit the ground brought a self-indulgent and childish grin to Leonard's face; Spock also seemed pleased in a most un-Vulcan-like way if the feeling of subdued humor he was sending Leonard's way was any indication.

"You both suck. You suck for pushing me off the table, Bones. And you suck for not doing your duty as my First Officer and defending my well being, Spock," Jim groused from somewhere on the other side of his desk. Having not yet made the effort to get back up, Jim just continued to complain, "Seriously, you both are charged with keeping me safe. I could have broken a bone, Bones!"

Jim continued to rattle on about how unfair the two of them were being to him until Leonard casually pushed his pet tribble Charles over the edge and onto Jim's lap. The instant silence from Jim and soothing purr from the tribble was too funny not to laugh at.

"Okay, Spock, what is Jim going on about?" Leonard looked across to his more stoic lover as Jim cooed nonsensically to the tribble, "I just shut him up, but I can't figure out what he's on about because of Charles turning his mind to goop,"

Spock watched as his Captain curled his body around the tribble with a serene smile on his face, "I believe Jim was attempting to coerce you into agreeing with his plan for our upcoming shore leave excursion,"

"Then what was all that chatter for? I already agreed to go on shore leave," Leonard leaned forward and extended his fingers in a kiss.

Spock lightly linked digits with him and smiled, "I believe the Captain has a much more detailed plan for our leave."

"What do you mean? I haven't gotten an inkling of it through the bond…" McCoy frowned.

"He had gone to terrible lengths to keep this… idea from both of us, Leonard,"

At that McCoy knew it was something to be worried over. He stood and leaned over his desk to snatch Charles from Kirk's hands and push the tribble into its kennel.

"Boooonnnn—" Kirk's whine disappeared into McCoy's mouth.

"Now that I have your attention, Jimmy, What the hell do you have up your sleeve?"

"I signed us up for Scuba diving in the Caribbean," Jim blurted out looking obnoxiously pleased with himself.

"Scuba diving? Like, with tanks and the whole underwater thing? Or is this some terrible euphemism for going to a whore house?"

"Indeed, Captain, per your usual nature, I am unsure as to your true intentions," Spock moved closer to his lovers and frowned at Jim.

"I learned how to Scuba dive over the break between this mission and the last. I actually made it all the way to Dive Master. And that means I'm qualified to teach you two how to dive,"

Leonard looked at Spock, who quirked his eyebrows back at him, "Indeed Doctor, it does sound like a good idea. I have always wished to explore more of the Earth's oceans as Vulcan is a primarily desert planet,"

"And I've always wanted to go to the Caribbean. Well Jim, looks like you've actually had a good idea for once in your blessed life,"

Kirk wrapped his arms around his bond mates and grinned widely, "Yes! Let's go to the Blue, Boys!"

The Present.

"WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!" Leonard shrieked the entire boat ride back from the dive site, "I AM NEVER LISTENING TO ONE OF YOUR HAIR BRAINED INSIPID IDEAS EVER AGAIN!"

Jim tried to bandage the freely bleeding coral gash on Bones' knee. He'd just finished removing the shattered remains of the fire-coral branch Leonard had careen into and the antiseptic was doing little to lessen then pain from the toxin covered glass needles slowly driving their way into Leonard's flesh.

Spock was on the Doctor's other side, gently stitching shut another long cut. That one was from an overly inquisitive moray eel that had mistakenly taken a bite out of McCoy's tricep.

The dive had started out amazing. Both Spock and Leonard had moved swiftly though the pool classes and aced their AOW checkouts in a man-made quarry filled with machinery. The first day they had stayed near the shore, in thirty foot water in case either man panicked or realized they needed help. The fish were fantastic, and Bones had been delighted to find several spiny lobsters hiding underneath the dock. But Jim wasn't satisfied with the pristine white sand bottom and interesting miniature corals and sponges adhering to the dock pilings like McCoy and Spock were.

They went to dive on an open and exposed wreck on the third day. After working their way up from simple sand to pristine barrier reefs, Jim led them to the wreck of a car ferry. It was huge, lying in only forty feet of water, and torn open from storms and the boiler explosion that had sent it and upwards of sixty cars to the sandy bottom. Jim had assured Spock that neither animals nor people had died in the sinking, and that the wreck was perfect for beginners like them.

And so Jim, Bones, and Spock had assembled their gear, checked their first and second stages, made sure their tanks were full and flowing, and fell backwards into the glass-clear, warm sea.

And that was where everything went to hell. On the way down, a shark had come over to investigate these three strange intruders upon her territory. Bones was sure he'd have a heart attack when that great creature brushed against his bare shins. The reddish, pearly sheen of its rough skin mesmerized his terror stricken brain and he completely forgot to check his descent.

A giant cloud of sand billowed up around him when he plowed straight into the bottom. Mercifully Bones hadn't landed on the wreck or any rocks or coral, but he did manage to break one fin in his ill-fated imitation of a lawn dart. The shark, to her credit, realized these lumbering creatures weren't worth her interest and she cruised off in search of some fish to eat and a safe place to birth her pups.

Spock and Kirk descended gracefully next to where McCoy struggled to free himself from the sand and asked via hand signals whether the man was alright. Bones motioned that he was fine, and to carry on with their dive. When Kirk pointed to his broken fin, Leonard shrugged and pushed off toward the wreck with a decent looking dolphin kick.

Halfway to the wreck proper, a school of horse-eyed jack converged on Leonard. For long moments his entire body was obscured by flashing, undulating fish. When the cloud of silver fins cleared, Leonard was disoriented and upside down in the water. He struggled to swim but ended up pressing downward face first into the bottom. A mantis shrimp, full a foot long and enraged at being disturbed, erupted from its lair in the sand. Jim and Spock both heard Leonard's scream as the crustacean unfolded it's long, wicked looking arms and launched itself at his face mask.

Before Jim could reach his friend, Bones had thrust himself full force against the metal hull of the wreck where a large octopus detached itself from the coral and attempted to capture the shrimp. The octopus wrapped it's tentacles around Leonard's head and more bubbles escaped from the man's regulator. His blindly reaching hand attracted the attention of a nearsighted moray eel. The lovely green eel mistook McCoy's fingers for food and launched a speedy attack, thankfully missing the man's fingers but instead latching onto his upper arm. Jerking away from the pain, Leonard kneed the shipwreck, crashing his bare skin into a bright and huge coral.

Seconds passed where Leonard seemed to freeze, moray, octopus, mantis shrimp and all. Then his thrashing renewed with earnest. Jim realized it was fire coral, a terribly painful and dangerous hard coral. Jim struck out to reach Bones quickly, aware that the man was panicking and would most certainly bolt for the surface.

It took both him and Spock combined to keep Bones from heading straight to the sun, which would most likely give him the bends, and instead observe proper ascent procedure. Just as they were finishing their 20 foot safety stop a dolphin came rocketing through the water toward them. It was obviously playing with a strand of seaweed it help clamped in its mouth and didn't see the three divers hanging from the anchor line. It slammed solidly into McCoy before disappearing into the exquisitely clear water.

Once on the boat, it became clear that in addiction to the numerous fish bites, moray wound, scratches on his face from the octopus and shrimp, and fire coral injury, the dolphin had cracked at least three ribs.

"NEVER AGAIN! NEVER AGAIN WILL I LISTEN TO YOU JIM!" Bones thrashed as Jim and Spock wrapped his injuries,


Jim cringed as he looked at Spock, who merely looked back at the bandages he was applying to Leonard's torso.

"God DAMN that HURTS!" Bones screamed.

For weeks afterward every time Bones saw Jim he would glare and rub his knee, arm, or face. For weeks he glowered and offered gruff service. Through the bond he knew that Jim would be able to tell he wasn't still angry, but Leonard wanted to teach the blond haired Adonis a lesson.

Space may be disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence, but the ocean…

The ocean was filled with horrifying creatures no alien planet could hope to contend with. The ocean was filled with micro-organisms that made Andorian shingles look welcome. The ocean was filled with things that wanted to eat him, attack him, and torture him.

The ocean sucked, to put it in Jim's words.

As you all (or most… [Or some… {Or like, three}]) know, I am a certified Master Diver, and Dive Master at a number of Scuba resorts in my home country of Belize. I love Scuba diving. I love sharks, reefs, wreck diving, cave diving, night diving, high altitude diving, trimix, nitrox, regular compressed air, rebreathers, everything. I love everyone who dives for enjoyment or work, and I love to help people discover the great world beneath the water.

I was watching a documentary about the Great Barrier Reef (in Australian, ours in Belize is just the Barrier Reef) and realized that to people who don't dive a lot, or to those who don't know anything about ocean animals, the creatures you find down there can be down right terrifying. So I compiled a few of the 'worst dive' stories friends of mine have shared (my personal contribution was being mowed over by a dolphin) and decided to give Bones something ELSE to be phobic of.

SO, yes, this story was funny, and yes, all those things have happened individually to people I know, but NO, the ocean is not overly dangerous.

ALSO! Sharks are adorable, loving creatures who really just want to cuddle. Long Live Sharks!