Even Vulcans Get Overworked
Jim knew that they had been running a tight schedule.
It wasn't his fault. Only part of it was his fault and the rest, Starfleet could take the blame. But, he knew that they were unnaturally busy and that his crew was getting overworked. Himself included. They all desperately needed shore leave, but there was just no time. Recon today, star mapping tomorrow, transporting grain the next.
There was no break, but no one ever complained. At least, not to his face. He was sure that someone was complaining somewhere, but if they had the decency to keep it away from him, good for them. Jim didn't care if they complained; had he been in their shoes, he would have started complaining a long time ago. But, he wasn't. He was Captain of the USS Enterprise, and as the Captain, he could not complain.
However, when their reconnaissance took a turn for the worst, Jim felt that he was at total liberty to bemoan their mission. Especially given that there was a gaping wound stretching the expanse of his side, soaking blood into his uniform. Especially given that Spock had taken a blow to the chest that had not only knocked the breath out of him, but audibly broken a few ribs as well. Especially now.
"Got your breath back, Spock?" Jim gasped, struggling to his feet.
"I am fine, Captain. We must return to the Enterprise."
"Sounds like a damn good idea to me." He didn't mention that his world was spinning, that his eyelids were heavy. He just had to be tired. That was it. It wasn't the blood-gushing wound. He was just tired.
"You need medical attention," Spock said, joining him.
"I'm fine. But getting back to the ship right now would be great, though."
"Affirmative." Spock paused. "I estimate that you will pass out in roughly three minutes from blood loss."
Spock paused again before putting his phaser in his belt. In one fluid motion, he drew his blue science uniform over his head and offered it to Kirk. "Apply pressure to the wound."
Jim didn't argue, just took the shirt and pressed it against the painful spot at his side. With his free hand, he pulled his communicator free and flipped it open. "Scotty, we'd be grateful if you'd beam us up. Now."
He stayed still as the transporter beams locked on, as the familiar hum of the teleport filled his ears, the golden hue tinting through the darkness of his closed eyes.
As soon as his feet were flat on the transporter pad on the Enterprise, Kirk collapsed. It wasn't a matter of wanting to rest. It was a matter of his torso feeling so damn heavy that his legs surely had to had been stripped of their muscle during the teleport. It was his head being so woozy that if he tried to take another step, he'd puke and maybe faint at the same time. It was his feet being two lead blocks and the transporter pad being glue as blood dripped down his side.
Arms caught him. It could have only been Spock. Jim managed a weak smile and forced his head up.
"It appears that my calculations were..." Spock's voice trailed off. "Incorrect," he finished. His tone was all wrong, but Jim couldn't place why. It wasn't Spock's usual hesitance to admit that he had been wrong. It was something else.
Jim forced himself to stand up straight, still aided by Spock's arms. He looked directly at the Vulcan, noting a scratch or two across the stoic features. There were dark smudges under Spock's eyes and his blinking was slower by only fraction of a second. He looked pale.
Jim didn't get the chance to ask if he was alright, because Bones showed up with Christine just then, and both Jim and Spock were whisked away to the medical bay.
He must have lost consciousness, because when he came to, the lights had been dimmed to suit night-time scenario. That aside, he had to admit that he felt better than he had in a long time. He felt sore, very sore, but he felt well-rested and in no pain. He wondered what Bones had given him- he was still in Sickbay, his vitals on the monitor near him- and mentally thanked the doctor for his excellent hospital manner.
He turned his head to roll over and go back to sleep...
... and very nearly jumped out of his skin.
Spock was sitting in the visitor's chair next to Jim's bed. Maybe sitting wasn't the correct word. He had been sitting, obviously, but he had clearly... Spock had clearly fallen asleep. He was slumped forward in the chair, his arms crossed on the mattress and his head pillowed on them. He was still wearing the tattered black undershirt, smears of blood still on his face. His hair was tousled and his sleeves had shimmied up to reveal the pale underside of his wrists, the faint tinge of green visible in his veins.
If Jim listened closely, he could hear the nearly silent rush of air as Spock first inhaled, and then exhaled. If Jim didn't feel so relaxed and comfortable in his position in the comfortable medical bay bed, he would have taken a picture. Or a video.
Except he probably wouldn't have. Spock was exhausted just as the rest of the crew was. Jim knew that Vulcans didn't need as much sleep as humans did- he thought he had read somewhere that Vulcans could stay awake for up to two weeks- but clearly, Spock was tired.
"He's been asleep the past three hours."
Jim turned his head, looking towards the source of voice. It was Bones, who looked nearly as exhausted as Spock looked, as Jim had felt.
"He wouldn't let me treat me, wouldn't leave... Damn pointy-eared bastard sat down next to your bed and refused to move." Bones looked at Spock. "Knowing him, he's probably waiting on a direct order to be relieved from duty for the day."
Jim cracked a smile. "Probably." He looked back at Spock. "He's good, though. I wouldn't ask for a better person to be my second in command."
"Well, he certainly makes up for what you lack in brains," Bones muttered.
Jim looked back at Bones. "Shouldn't you not be bothering us? Or move him to a bed or something?"
"Let sleeping Vulcans lie, that's what I say," Bones said. "It's like poking a sleeping bear. Plus, he's intolerable enough when he's conscious..."
Jim rolled his eyes, stifling a yawn. "You don't have to keep up that façade when he's not listening, you know."
"I think he's always listening. Vulcan ears and all. Do you want a sedative?"
"Nah. I'll just drift listlessly back into the lovely dream that I was having about the woman at the bar back in Iowa... Wonder how she's doin'..."
Bones snorted. "Whatever. Go back to sleep... if you think you can sleep with that thing sleeping next to you."
Jim glanced at Spock again. "It's actually peaceful, you know, since he never sleeps and he is now. Watching him sleep makes me tired."
"It makes me want to draw a moustache on his face with a permanent marker," Bones muttered.
"Which is why he never lets his guard down," Jim said tiredly. "Not that I believe you would ever do that..."
"No, I probably wouldn't," Bones said quietly before raising his voice. "Go to sleep. You might be released in the morning. It depends on your stats."
Jim hummed in response, snuggling into his pillow and blanket. He tried not to bother Spock as he curled up a bit, sighing as a slight jolt of pain reminded him that he had wounds that needed to heal.
"'Night, Spock," he murmured, closing his eyes.
"... g'night..." The response was slurred but very clearly Spock's voice.
Jim opened his eyes again, looking at Spock. The Vulcan hadn't moved. His eyes were still closed and his breathing even. As Jim watched the movement of his first officer breathing, he found his eyelids drooping again.
He fell asleep more easily than he had since they had started this five-year mission.
It was the most peaceful nap he'd had in years.
As much as I love sleepy!lock in the Sherlock fandom, I've found that I love sleepy!Spock as well... only it's a lot more difficult to get Spock's guard down so far that he would fall asleep or even act tired around others. And Bones somehow found his way into this story and he stuck around, to good effect, I may say.
Now that I've written sleepy!Spock for Quinto!Spock, I'm going to write a sleepy!Spock for Nimoy!Spock. Which actually makes for two totally different tones because in TOS, Jim and Spock are, you know, best friends.
I do not own Star Trek. Thank you!