by Satin Ragdoll
McCoy was right. Spock was confounded at the fact that he had decided to keep a tribble. Spock didn't care for tribbles, and didn't understand when he kept finding McCoy petting the creature.
Bones explained, "Spock, I know you don't like tribbles. You consider them useless. What you have to understand is that petting an animal, especially a small furry one, can be beneficial. Scientists aren't sure whether it's the connection with another living thing or what, but it has definite positive effects. It can calm upset emotions, help allieviate depression, and even lower blood pressure. In humans, at least."
Spock cocked his head, curiously, "I see."
McCoy went on, "On earth, dogs and sometimes cats were actually used as therapy. They weren't taught anything special, it was just the interaction that proved beneficial. Hmm. That gives me an idea! I'll have to bring it up to the Captain."
Spock was bemused. Whatever could the doctor have in mind this time?
McCoy was grumbling. Spock had gone and gotten himself sick with an alien virus for the umpteenth time. It was enough that just about every time Spock got sick it was almost a magic act getting him well again, but Bones also knew Spock was probably going to try to go back on duty when he was still tired and his body still stressed. But this time Bones had a plan!
He was right, as soon as Spock was barely functional, he insisted on going back on duty.
Bones crossed his arms and huffed, "Uh, uh! I don't think so! In fact, sit!" He pointed to a wooden rocking chair that he had installed in a corner of sickbay where the lights were dimmed.
Spock quirked a brow, but sat.
McCoy left briefly and returned with something small and white in his hands.
Recognizing it, Spock protested. McCoy snapped a little, "Hush! This got the Captain's approval, and it didn't take much to get it, either. Your readings still show significant stress, Spock, so I am ordering you fifteen minutes of tribble therapy each day for a week, with a half hour this first time! This is a medical order, and no getting around it. Am...I...clear?"
Spock gave him his coldest Vulcan stone-face, but answered, "As crystal, doctor."
McCoy grinned, "Good! I'll leave you alone, now," and he left them to a quiet sick-bay.
Spock held the tiny creature in his hand and it trilled at him. Tentatively, he stroked the soft, white fur. He wasn't certain what, if any, mental touch he would receive. What he felt was a warm wave of peaceful contentment. Snowball was happy to be petted.
Spock absently stroked the tribble, and tried to meditate on the events of the day. But as he petted Snowball, he found his thoughts slowing. The tribble's contentment leaked out into him, and he found himself calming, almost drowsing. He must have been more tired than he had at first assessed. Perhaps he should allow a little more time before returning to duty.
After a little time had passed, Spock found that another aspect of Vulcan biology had asserted itself. As humans were part of the Earth primate family, so Vulcans were part of the Vulcan felinoid family. As such, they were able to purr.
Vulcans very rarely purred, the inclination being strongly discouraged from a very early age. It was still possible, however, and in this relaxed state, with the tribble trilling at him, Spock found himself purring.
When he realized what he was doing, he was very gratified to be alone. The fact that Vulcans could purr wasn't very well known, and if the crew found out he had been purring, he knew he would never hear the end of it. Especially from McCoy.
After twenty five minutes had passed, Spock made a conscious effort to stop purring. He knew the doctor would be returning very soon.
Sure enough, approximately two point three minutes after the half hour had expired, McCoy quietly approached. "So, Spock. How are you doing? What do you think of my new 'tribble therapy', eh?"
Spock responded, voice subdued, "I believe it is as you said, doctor. As illogical as it seems, there do seem to be some 'positive effects'."
McCoy had to sit down hard, he was so surprised. Suprised, and secretly triumphant. Once Spock was gone, he grinned at the furry creature back in its cage, "Score one for Snowball!"