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Author's Chapter Notes:

Since my other stories are running heavy on the angst I decided to indulge in a bit of fluff.

Only Human

The conference had finished for the day. Spock went outside the council building, and found a bench that faced the setting sun. Sitting down on it he waited patiently for the security officers of the Enterprise to come and collect him, before beaming back to the Enterprise for the daily debriefing. He knew he was capable of going up to the ship himself, but protocol and all that.

Spock shivered and pulled his robes tighter around him, wishing that it was not quite so late in the day, so he could be warmer. He sniffled and suddenly sneezed hard.

A few of the remaining delegates murmured responses to him in their native languages. Spock nodded in thanks and sat back on the bench. He did not attempt to excuse or hide his poor health unnecessarily. Long gone were the days when he would deny illness and continue on until he collapsed from exhaustion. He knew now that catching an illness was not a sign of weakness, but merely a part of everyday life. Spock ducked his head into his sleeve as he sneezed again.

That did not stop it from being terribly inconvenient though.

The conference would go another three days at least, and normally anytime he had a cold in was for a minimum of five days. He was not required to speak thankfully, but he would need to be attentive, and that limited any medication he could take due to the drowsiness side effect.

Spock had no further time to dwell on his illness though, as the security officers arrived and took him home. He made his report to Captain Kirk, keeping a glass of water close to him at all times; and full.

Afterwards he was released to the mess hall for dinner, and despite his lack of appetite Spock carried a tray of watery soup and dry toast over to a table. Jim, Mr. Scott, Chekov, and his young counterpart were already there. He sat down and listened to their discussion of the negotiations between the Klingons and the Federation. The discussion rapidly dissolved into a debate of who would win in a fight with a Klingon battle cruiser: Batman or Superman.

When he had finished all that he could Spock excused himself and went to his temporary quarters.

Jim Kirk watched him leave the mess, and frowned.

“Something on your mind, Captain?” Scotty asked.

“The ambassador, did he seem quiet to you today?”

“Jim, I do not think a debate on two fictional superheroes requires his expertise,” the younger Spock responded dryly.

“Sure, but he still just seemed...off.”

“Perhaps he is preoccupied with the conference,” Spock suggested.

Not remotely convinced Jim got up and went to Spock’s cabin.

Jim buzzed the room and waited outside the door. He started thinking about what could have caused such a change in Spock. Maybe it wasn’t Spock he thought. Maybe he was still on the planet, and this was an impostor sent to sabotage the Enterprise. Maybe this whole thing had taken place in the other universe, and Spock didn’t know how much he should tell them about events to come and-wait...was that a sneeze?

Before Jim could let anymore thoughts invade his head the door slid open. Spock looked at him kindly.

“Captain Kirk, have I forgotten something?”

“No, everything’s fine, I think, I just...can I come in?”

Spock nodded and stepped back, allowing him entry. Jim noticed that the temperature in the room was higher, higher than even Vulcans normally kept it.

“Is everything okay?” Jim asked. “You seemed quiet in the mess.”

Spock’s eyes widened in surprise. He had not expected anyone to notice he was ill, and he certainly hadn’t expected anyone to care.

“I am currently experiencing a minor bout of illness. It is nothing you need to concern yourself with,” Spock said.

“Oh!” Jim exclaimed in shock. It had never occurred to him that Spock was sick. It had never occurred to him that Spock could get sick. That kind of stuff only happened to, you know, mortals. “Well-well, you know you can call sickbay at any time. The staff is there for you too, and I think Bones has taken to living in there.”

If he was anything like the McCoy Spock had known for decades that was highly likely.

“I was not aware that Doctor McCoy had discovered a cure for the common cold,” Spock responded evenly.

Jim stared at Spock.

“A cold? That’s all you have?”

“You were expecting something that would require me to be in quarantine?”

“Well, no I mean it’s great that it’s not serious, but it seems weird to see you with something so...normal. I guess it’s kind of a reminder that you’re only...umm...”

Spock looked at the young man in amusement and let his eyebrow go up.

“Human?”

Jim grinned sheepishly and shrugged. “For lack of a better word, yeah.”

“Jim, I come from the future of another universe. That makes me more experienced, wiser perhaps. It certainly does not make me invulnerable.”

Spock turned away to sneeze loudly.

“Bless you.”

“Thank you.”

Jim shuffled his feet nervously.

“Is there anything I can do for you?” he asked.

“You do not need to change any plans you have on my behalf I-”

“I don’t mean calling off the conference or anything just...something small?”

Spock thought for a moment. “Tea would be fine.”

Jim nodded. “I can do that, be right back.”

Jim left and Spock sat down on the bed to wait for him. He didn’t really need tea, but Spock thought it would be a simple task to placate his young friend.

Until Jim came back with four different mugs, the entire tea kettle, all manner of sugars and creams, and at least a dozen different coloured tea bags piled up on a tray.

Spock let both eyebrows rise. “Jim, what is all this?”

“Well, I wasn’t sure what flavour, or style of mug, you liked so I brought all the ones we had.”

“That was very thoughtful of you.”

“What wasn’t very thoughtful was nearly letting the door hit me in the face on the way in. Thanks a lot, Jim,” McCoy grumbled, as he came into the cabin.

“Sorry, Bones,” Jim said absently, as he started arranging the tea bags in alphabetical order.

Spock nodded to his new guest. “To what do I owe the pleasure, Doctor McCoy?”

“When I saw this nut going down the halls looking like Susie Homemaker I had to know what was up. He mentioned you weren’t feeling well.”

“It is a mild affliction. Your attention is completely unnecessary, Doctor.”

“Then indulge me. This is the most interesting thing I’ve gotten to do all day.”

Spock resisted the urge to sigh and sat still on the bed as McCoy scanned him. When McCoy was satisfied he reached into his medical bag and pulled out a hypospray.

“I’ll leave this with you, take it about every two hours if you need to, to make sure you can sleep tonight,” he said, put the hypospray on the small table by the bed.

“You never let me take my own hypos, Bones,” Jim said, as he filled the science mug with hot water; and Spock added the honey and lemon tea bag.

“That’s because I trust the ambassador not to take the whole thing in one go, and have his face swell up like a grapefruit,” McCoy answered, picking up another mug and the peppermint tea.

“It was just that one time,” Jim muttered, as he took a mug and tea for himself.

Spock sipped his tea as he watched them prepare their own drinks and then...not leave. We would they wish to stay with him? There was no further business to discuss, and he...he was not their Spock.

“Jim, Doctor, you two need not remain here and waste your evening, I am perfectly capable of-”

Spock stopped speaking when he felt Jim’s hand on his arm.

“Spock, we aren’t staying here because we think we have to, and you’re aren’t imposing on us at all.”

“Yeah, maybe it hasn’t crossed that perfectly mathematical Vulcan mind of yours, but we like you. Of course you ever tell the other green blooded hobgoblin I said that and I’ll take away the hypo privileges, and find ones with longer needles.”

“Of course, Doctor,” Spock said softly, because, somehow, that actually made him feel better, and warmer, than all the tea on the ship.

***

Three days later the conference was over, the delegates were on their way back to their homeworlds, and Jim Kirk could no longer breathe through his nose.

Turning the bridge over to his First Officer Jim got up from his chair and went to the turbolift. He ignored the looks of sympathy from Uhura and Scotty as he passed them.

He sniffled and leaned against the back of the lift with a groan. He hated being sick, but he reminded himself that there might be a silver lining to all of this. No matter what Spock said about not being some old wizard from that other timeline, he had a sixth sense about everything going on, on the ship.

Getting off at the proper deck Jim walked swiftly to his door. Not bothering to knock or announce himself this time Jim came into Spock’s quarters, to find a tray of tea, with all the accessories, already waiting for him. Jim smiled. He loved it when he was right.

“Hello, Jim, I thought you would stop by.”

“Certain you’re not psychic?” Jim asked, as he sat down on the bed.

“Certainly not,” Spock answered.

Jim chuckled, coughing slightly at the end, and then turned his attention to the other man in the room.

McCoy was putting a new hypospray by the bed, and glaring at him, his nose as red as Jim’s.

“This is all your fault.”

He made to storm out, but Jim grabbed his arm and yanked him down beside him.

“Sit down, Bones, and relax.”

“Yes, Doctor,” Spock agreed, “I wish to make amends to both of you for allowing you to contract my illness.”

“It’s not your fault,” McCoy said, jabbing a finger at Jim. “It’s this idiot’s fault for wanting to act like June Cleaver with you and...”

McCoy continued talking, but Jim started tuning him out. Even with McCoy’s ranting, and his head feeling like it was filled with cement Jim couldn’t help but think that it was all worth it. As Spock handed him his favourite mug, filled with apple cinnamon tea and extra sugar, Jim caught a glimpse of a plate of cookies on the tray behind the tea kettle, that he knew McCoy had taken off his diet card just last week.

Oh, yeah it was totally worth it.

The End

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