Title: Ain't Nobody Messing with My Clique
Rating: T because Bones
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: No one is allowed to insult Spock but McCoy, damn it. Them's the rules.
AN – Tumblr made me do it. Damn you all. Unbeta'd and written in a rush, just a short thingy I wrote at work today. Based off of a tumblr post.
They were to call the ambassador only Ambassador, as his culture held names sacred and rather addressed everyone by titles. He was from the newest backwater planet that the Federation was jockeying for, trying to keep it out of Klingon hands. They were wary, too, of dealing with anyone outside of their own culture, bandying about words like purity and keeping the bloodlines clean. There was something about a treaty, too, though McCoy hadn't been paying very much attention.
Chances were that he wasn't even going to meet the guy, anyway. It was rare that the diplomats wandered down to Sickbay, and when they did there tended to be bigger, bloodier problems than good manners anyway. He was somewhat fascinated with their physiology – mostly humanoid, the species was covered with a series of fine spines, not unlike a Terran porcupine.
Except for when McCoy wandered into one of the ship's Rec rooms, it was to find a scattered bunch of crewmen, Spock, and Ambassador himself.
"Mr. Sp – I mean, Commander," said McCoy, when Spock raised his eyebrow and twitched his eyes at Ambassador, who was watching them closely. "What're you doing down here?"
"The ambassador wished to mingle with the crew," said Spock, and was it McCoy's imagination, or did he seem even more uptight than usual? "Jim bid me to accompany him."
"Babysitting, then," said McCoy. Odd, then, that Spock had planted himself as far as possible from Ambassador without actually leaving the room. "Must be quite stimulating for a mind of your Vulcan caliber."
"Indeed," said Spock. "I am currently running through mathematical –"
"Whatever," said McCoy. He didn't think he was up to Spock's computer brain today. He waved a hand and said, "Try not to have too much fun."
"Illogical, as –"
"Sarcasm, Spock," said McCoy, and Ambassador's eyes flicked over at him. "I mean, Commander. Damn it, can't I just call you hobgoblin?"
Spock flinched slightly, and McCoy frowned. It looked like the nickname had actually stuck for once, and that…that wasn't what McCoy wanted at all. Why would Spock suddenly be sensitive to his ribbing? He never had been before.
Ambassador finished his conversation with the yeoman, and moved to leave, finding Spock in his way. Half-breed," Ambassador hissed, pushing past Spock. Spock became a little stiffer around his shoulders. "Get out of my way, abomination."
And shit, there was McCoy's answer right there, wasn't it?
He had spoken quietly, and even though a few people glanced over it was clear none of the crewmen present were going to act. McCoy, though. McCoy's brain stuttered to a halt, everything lost in a slight haze of anger except for one, clear thought: Oh, hell no.
He stepped neatly in front of the door and crossed his arms. "Ambassador," he drawled. "Going somewhere?"
"I am retiring for the evening, Lieutenant Commander," said Ambassador, his eyes flicking to the stripes on McCoy's sleeves. "I would that you would move from my way."
"I won't, not yet," said McCoy. "See, it seems to me that I've got something to say to you before you go, but before I say it, I do believe that you owe Mr. First Officer Commander over there an apology for being an unadulterated asshole to him."
Ambassador's face flushed. "You have no right to speak to me in such a –"
"I have no right? Me? Let me tell you something, you pompous, puffed up, hedgehog," McCoy said, straightening so that he was towering over him. "That man over there is one of the best people on this ship, and no cake-eating Ambassador has any right to say anything about him except good things, nice things, things that have to do with how he saved a damn planet at least twice and is probably the smartest humanoid on this ship. So turn your ass around and apologize."
"I will not," said Ambassador. "I will not debase myself by speaking any further to such a freak of nature. You're a reasonable man, a medical man, I'm sure you understand."
Oh. Oh, hell no. He did not, he did fucking not go there.
McCoy wasn't even sure what he said, after that. He knew that when he was done Ambassador turned muttered an apology to Spock, and fled the room with actual tears in his eyes. McCoy knew everyone in the room was staring at him, gaping at him, and the back of his neck was prickling slightly with the unwanted attention.
"What?" he said. "What the hell are y'all staring at?"
"Doctor," said Spock, and stopped. McCoy realized he was actually speechless. His cheeks were a little greener than normal, too, and shit, Spock was blushing? "Doctor, that was…that was quite unnecessary."
"Whatever," said McCoy, and someone in the room started to clap, and soon all of them were except for Spock, who still looked like someone had dropped a starship on his head. McCoy turned on his heel, and walked out of the room as quick as he could.
He went to Sickbay and definitely did not hide away in lists of lab results and inventory. But the only thing that spread faster on the Enterprise than a virus was gossip, and pretty soon there was a steady stream of nurses seeking him out to pat him on the shoulder and give him a little smile. They knew better than to say anything, at least.
Except for Chapel. She actually cooed at him and said it was sweet. McCoy cussed at her and told her in no uncertain terms that he was not sweet. She just laughed and walked away. He wondered when he'd lost his control over his people so severely.
Uhura was the first not medical person to find him. She didn't say anything, just marched up and laid a hand on his arm. "Spock told me what you did," she said.
McCoy harrumphed, only glancing away from his padd for a moment at her and then back.
She went up on her tiptoes and kissed him lightly on the cheek. "Spock won't say it," she said, and when he looked at her she was smiling brightly. "But thank you."
"If he was going to thank me with a kiss like that, I got to say I'm relieved he isn't doing anything," said McCoy.
Uhura laughed, and then grew a little more serious. "Really, Doctor McCoy," she said. "He'd never say anything, but I don't think anyone's ever stood up for him before."
McCoy just grunted an answer again, but he could feel his ears burning slightly. Uhura patted him on the arm and then left Sickbay.
Then the Sciences parade started, with a sprinkling of Command and Bridge Crew joining in, all clogging up his medbay to see if it was true, leaving trinkets and candy on his desk. Apparently, McCoy realized, they'd all noticed Ambassador's behavior towards Spock as well, but were too worried about mucking up the treaty to actually say anything.
It was only after Chekov said that particular thing that McCoy started to worry that he'd fucked up the treaty by saying anything. Then he just shook himself, went back to taking inventory, and decided what was done was done and it was worth it, anyway, to see the look on that spiny bully's face. Besides. If he'd made too much of a problem, Jim would have come down to see him already.
Jim had not come down to see him. Ergo, he had not fucked up too badly.
Just after Alpha shift ended, however, the captain made his appearance. McCoy had holed himself up in his office to escape the deluge of people, had even locked the door behind him. So when it slid open, he knew it could only be Jim.
"That was locked for a reason," McCoy said.
"If Starfleet didn't want me to break into my officers' offices, they wouldn't have given me override codes," said Jim.
"I don't think this is what they had in mind," McCoy said.
"Let this make it up to you," said Jim. He plunked a bottle on McCoy's desk. "Some of Scotty's best. You got glasses?"
McCoy didn't even bother answering, just slid open his desk drawer and pulled two out. "Scotty's best, you say? Must be awful."
"I'm sure it is," Jim said, and poured a liberal amount into each. McCoy took a drink then grimaced, and Jim did the same before dropping into the chair on the other side of McCoy's desk. He gave McCoy a long look and asked, "Did you really call him a prickle-backed son of a hamster?"
"Might've done," said McCoy. He knocked back what was left in his glass.
"You made my job really difficult, you know. We got the treaty through regardless, but still," said Jim, but he was smiling slightly. "When Ambassador came barreling onto the bridge and said what happened, I was about ready to run down here and rip you a new one for it."
"Why didn't you?" McCoy asked.
"Spock stopped me half way here," Jim said. "He told me the whole story. Bones, I hadn't even noticed. I was too worried about keeping things civil. Spock never said anything and I – I didn't even notice."
"Yeah, well," said McCoy. "That's why you keep me around, isn't it?"
And then Jim just sat there, and stared at him, that annoying little smile plastered across his face. McCoy fidgeted, and finally just said, "What? You look like a cat that's eaten the canary."
"Because you can't deny it, not after this," said Jim. "You like Spock."
"No, don't you dare," said McCoy. "I don't. He's a hobgoblin. He's an emotionless pointy-eared bastard and I have no time for him or his logical bullshit."
"You like him!" Jim crowed, smiling a full shit eating grin that somehow seemed to stretch over his whole body. "Oh, yeah, Bones. You want to be friends with Spock. You want to play chess with him. You want to debate with him. You want to sit and have deep meaningful conversations –"
"I'm going to punch you in the nose," said McCoy.
Jim just started to laugh.
"Shut up," said McCoy. "I don't like Spock. I don't care. Ambassador Porcupine just caught me on a bad day. Stop laughing, damn it, I don't care at all, do you understand?"
"You do, though, oh my God," said Jim. "This is the greatest thing ever. I knew it. I knew it!"
"I'm leaving," said McCoy, and stood up and walked out.
"Bones, wait, this is your office!" Jim called after him, still cracking up, barely able to speak through his giggling. "Bones, come back!"
"I hate this ship," McCoy muttered, and the door slid shut behind him.