He was awoken by swearing. A long barrage of swear words, some an amalgamation of words that Spock had never heard of before, in a pained voice that belonged to Kirk.
Spock groped for his phaser out of instinct before remembering where he was. The medical bay. He was ill, Kirk was injured.
"Fucking hell, Bones." Kirk's voice was still pained. "Did you have to do that?"
"You know that I had to. Stop complaining and hold still."
Spock directed his gaze towards the voices. Kirk was sitting on the nearby biobed, irritably rubbing his cheeks. There were tear tracks visible. Clearly, whatever had happened had surpassed Kirk's pain tolerance.
"If you hadn't screwed it up, dammit, we wouldn've had to set it again."
"Ugh... Couldn't you have given me something?"
"For setting a bone? No. Advances in medicine can only stretch so much."
Kirk breathed out heavily. "Shit... Alright. I think I'm alright."
"I didn't doubt that you were. I'm going to start the cast. Stay put."
McCoy turned and walked away.
Spock stretched slightly, clenching his teeth against a sigh.
Kirk met his gaze, seeming to just realise that Spock was awake. "Blame Bones."
"Blame your vocal cords!" McCoy's voice said loudly.
"I blame you and medicine!"
Spock sighed and curled onto his side. He had little tolerance for their playful banter, especially not when he had initially woken up thinking that something terrible was happening to Jim.
Jim kept his eyes on Spock in amusement as the Vulcan rolled over with his back to them. He did feel bad about waking him up- he was more worried about Spock than he would let on to the stubborn Commander- but he couldn't help but grin at the childish display.
Still, he felt a bit bad. Spock needed his sleep.
"Can't you give him a sedative?" he asked, looking at Bones as he returned.
"I could but they make him feel worse. Nauseous."
"Yeah. But he'd be asleep."
"Dammit, Jim! Stop trying to get me to help when he doesn't want it! It's bad enough that I've got to help the hobgoblin when he's not ill..." he trailed off, muttering under his breath.
Jim knew it was all a show. Sure, Bones and Spock didn't get on well, as far as anyone knew, but Bones cared about Spock and Spock... cared as much as he could about Bones. They just didn't know how to show it, so they acted out. Jim understood it all too well. He thought it was endearing, although he wouldn't say that to either Bones or Spock lest he get his head knocked off.
"Oh, come on, Bones, you know you care for him," he teased, however.
"I know he makes this place interes- fascinating," Bones mocked, working on the plaster. "I have to give him that."
"He's unique," Jim agreed. "He makes my starship unique. I've got the best damn Commander out there and he's a Vulcan. Talk about standing out."
"Illness has not clouded my ability to hear," Spock's voice said suddenly.
Jim laughed and even Bones cracked a wry smile.
"Sorry, Spock. We'll shut up," Jim said.
Spock sighed in response, drawing the blanket over his shoulder.
Kirk looked back at Bones, smiling.
Kirk winced as Spock sneezed.
Hearing a Vulcan sneeze made Kirk want to run to a wholly different part of the ship, put on a mask, and douse himself in antibacterial hand sanitizer. It was just... gross, it was gross. He wasn't a germophobe by any sense of the word, but hearing a Vulcan sneeze? It was really freaking him out.
Still, there was nothing to be done. The fever had gone after two days, leaving Spock with the symptoms of the common cold. Sniffling, sneezing, sore throat, lethargy. He had returned to his duties, but Kirk made sure that he slept every night (or Kirk just assumed that he slept when he was forced to his quarters. He always looked too exhausted to argue) and that he kept his hands to his own work, not spreading his germs around.
Kirk looked up, his attention distracted by information flashing by on his PADD. "Yeah?" When he received no response, he looked up with knitted eyebrows. "What do- oh. Spock. You're relieved." He looked away again, assuming that Spock had interrupted him in favour of asking to be dismissed.
It had been almost a week since Spock's fever had gone away, but it wouldn't have been the first time that Kirk had demanded he leave halfway through shift or that Spock had admitted that he needed to be dismissed for the safety of the ship. Bones's hypos left Spock either nauseous or tired, depending on what hypo it was. Kirk didn't care. Whatever it took for Spock's health to be good again.
"I do not wish to be dismissed," Spock said, his voice sounding just a touch annoyed.
"Oh. What then?" Kirk looked up again. He noted that Spock looked vaguely uncomfortable. Or what could be called uncomfortable by the Vulcan standards. Kirk gave him his full attention. "What's going on, Spock?"
"I believe that it is customary to express gratitude for favours given," Spock said, his voice even more flat than it was in casual conversation.
Kirk's eyebrows hitched up. "What?"
Spock gave him a look of annoyance with his gaze and his eyebrows. "Accept my gratitude for... assisting me while I was ill," he said stiffly.
Kirk stared at the Vulcan before smiling slightly. "You know, it would be a lot easier just to say 'thank you'," he reminded. "And not all this 'accept my gratitude' bullshit."
"The point is wholly the same. The words I use to express it should not matter."
"If you say so," Kirk said teasingly.
Spock's lips twitched towards the slightest frown. "I judge from your tone of voice that you are mocking me, Captain."
Kirk grinned, looking back to his PADD. "Nah. Why would I do that?"
"I do not know, but yet you are."
"Of course I'm not. That would be silly. Totally unprofessional of me."
Whatever Spock had been about to say was interrupted by a loud sneeze. Kirk flinched away so fast that his chair spun with the movement as Spock managed to sneeze into the crook of his own arm and not all over Kirk or the chair.
"Apology accepted; now go away!" Kirk demanded, still leaning away.
Spock turned away, although Kirk could have sworn that he saw the slight hint of a smile tugging at Spock's lips. Spock didn't smile, so Kirk must have been imagining it. Had to be.
"You know, you aren't going to get out of the apology so easily with Bones," Kirk muttered. "He's going to really enjoy it."
Spock rubbed his nose with a tissue, staring at Kirk with slightly bloodshot eyes.
Kirk smirked and looked again to his PADD.
"Concerning my health, I have been compromised and am no longer fit for duty today. I wish to be relieved at this time in order to return to my quarters."
Kirk just laughed. "Sure, Spock. Whatever you say..."
Pardon the short chapter, but this was a great place for the story to end, in my opinion. Like I mentioned before, I'll be writing another Spock sick!fic when a muse strikes. In the meantime, I have other Star Trek fanfic plans. :)
Thank you for all the follows, the favourites, and the reviews. They mean so much. For my first Trek story, I'm absolutely chuffed that it garnered this attention. Thank you all very much.
I do not own Star Trek, as usual. Thank you!