The Empath

Personal Log of Dr. Leonard McCoy, Chief Medical Officer on the Enterprise

That Vulcan doesn't understand a damn.

Since our return from Minara I've sometimes caught Spock looking at me with a peculiar, inquiring gaze – almost akin to awe. At first I dismissed it, thinking that he was simply wondering about my health.

And I must say that it was tough. The physical suffering was quite easy to overcome with painkillers, sleep and most of all Jem's help. But the emotional wounds didn't prove so easy to win – and Jem couldn't help me with that.

Tonight I was in my room, listening to some music and trying to relax my nerves, when the doorbell chirmed.

"Come in" I said, straightening to sit on my bed.

The door opened to reveal Spock, blank expression and hands behind his back.

"I hope I am not disturbing you, Doctor"

"Come in, Spock" I answered. Arguing with a Vulcan will be a nice way to relax my nerves.

He complied and walked in, coming to stand in front of me.

"When I say 'come in' I imply 'have a seat too', Spock"

He raised an eyebrow but eventually sat on my chair, in front of me.

"There is something I cannot understand. Maybe you can enlighten me."

"Well, tell me" I answered, expecting some biological or medical question.

"Why did you choose to take our place on Minara, Doctor?" he asked. He seemed quite curious about my explanation.

"Because I didn't want you or Jim to be tortured" I answered simply.

"That goes with the assumption but why? You are less able to control pain than I am, thus…" he started to lecture me, the damn Vulcan!

"Spock, damn it! You are my friends, I don't want you to suffer!" I snapped.

Spock raised an eyebrow again and asked: "To the point of undergoing torture in our place?"

"To the point of undergoing death in your place, Spock!" I yelled.

"I am sure you know, Doctor, that this attitude is not logical at all" Knowing Spock as I know him, I could detect a trace of affection in his voice.

"You bet it isn't. But you seem to forget, you headstrong Vulcan, that you were willing to do the same when you volunteered to kill that creature!"

Spock merely looked at me and said nothing. He couldn't deny that, he himself had admitted he had acted partially out of emotion on that occasion.

But since I was enjoying the conversation, I tried to push him a little more: "So I have to agree with you, Spock. This attitude is not logical at all. Neither mine nor yours."

He looked so outraged at being called 'not logical at all' that I burst into laughter.

"Pray tell me, Doctor, what amuses you so much?"

"Well" I said between laughter "your brooding expression is very funny".

"Vulcans do not brood, Doctor" he remarked.

"But half-Vulcans do!" I chided impishly.

He looked at me murderously.

"Is that why you kept fussing?"

"I beg your pardon?" He asked politely with his usual raised eyebrow.

I sighed: "Is that why you kept looking at me like a mother hen since our travel to Minara? To ask me that question?"

"Though I cannot understand the relationship between me and a mother hen, I do wish to ask you that question since our travel to Minara" he said. His voice was somewhat sad – vulcanly sad, of course.

"I hope you don't feel guilty about my choice" I said, trying to be gentle. I like to bicker with Spock about his human side but deep emotions deserve to be treated with consideration.

"I was in command. I had to go first." He said curtly.

"Being in command doesn't help you when you're knocked out by a hypospry" I pointed out "I knew you wanted to go first and I couldn't let you, you shouldn't reproach yourself because it was my choice".

"Thank you, Doctor" he said finally, looking at me with the Vulcan-affectionate gaze (slightly less blank than usual).

"You're welcome" I smiled.