Dr. Leonard H. McCoy, Chief Medical Officer of the Starship Enterprise regarded the blank screen before him, hoping—illogically, one might say—that the doctors on the colony were wrong. With a heavy sigh, he turned back to the viewer that showed his patient, who was just now beginning to come back around. The Enterprise’s First Officer, Commander Spock, had suffered a hell of a head trauma while on an away mission to an unexplored Class M planet three days ago. The landing party had consisted of Spock, Ensigns Donovan and Flores from security, Lieutenant Sulu and a couple of his botanists. It should have been a routine endeavor: Beam down, scan surrounding flora, earth, water and small life forms, beam back, analyze, record, repeat. For the next three weeks that was there mission—but NoooOOOOoooo; Not this crew…not this ship. If Murphy’s Law were a shadow, then McCoy swore it would be hovering behind the Enterprise, taunting them with its presence.
Only a half hour after the landing party had touched foot to soil, they’d been charged by what one could only described as a cross between a boar and a hippopotamus. Spock had managed to push Ensign Donovan and Lieutenant Sulu out of the way before they were attacked, only to absorb the blow himself. The puncture wounds from the animal’s tusks weren’t the issue—McCoy had the muscles, organs and veins realigned and regenerated in a matter of forty-five minutes. You’d never know Spock’s chest had been punctured with a giant horn by looking at him now and thank God for small favors that Vulcan hearts were located in their sides.
No, the chest wound was not the most harrowing injury. The real problem existed with the several impacts to Spock’s left temple as, while impaled on the animal’s tusk, his head was bluntly forced into the side of rather badly placed boulder before the animal was finally dropped. If his scans were correct, there was a damn good chance that when Spock woke up, he wasn’t going to know his ass from a hole in the wall.
There had been severe bleeding and McCoy actually had to perform brain surgery—on a VULCAN. Thankfully, due to the near extinction of their race, Vulcans were a lot less tight-lipped when it came to saving one of their own. A call to the new colongy, and less than five minutes later, McCoy had all the information he’d needed to operate. Of course, the Healer he’d spoken with, S’Jorrin, had informed him that Vulcan neurology reacts to head trauma differently than humans and that he shouldn’t be surprised if, after surgery, Spock’s CT scans look a little bit different—Different as in indicative-of-temporary-amnesia different.
Apparently, Vulcan neurology in its unfailing logicality will temporarily retrieve all the data of one’s life (memories, both long-term and short) and store them in a secondary prefrontal cortex. Of course, the head trauma has to be severe enough to trigger this autonomous function of Vulcan hoo-doo, which Spock’s were, according to S’Jorrin’s examination of McCoy’s scans. He had joked about Spock being a walking computer before, but—I’ll be goddamned—a built-in back up drive? Really? Vulcan’s had it all—superhuman strength, computer brains and double-ridged cocks. It just wasn’t fair.
“Sickbay to Bridge,” McCoy commed, watching as Spock’s eyes began to blink open.
“Kirk here,” The Captain’s voice immediately sounded over the speakers in answer. “Is he awake yet, Bones?”
The doctor let out a sigh. If Jim hadn’t been at the Vulcan’s side these past few days, it was because he was either on the bridge or pacing with worry in his quarters after McCoy had kicked him out of sickbay. He sure as hell hadn’t spent any of that time sleeping that much was obvious, if the purple lining around Jim’s eyes were any indication. “He’s starting to come around now. Why don’t you meet me down here in twenty minutes? I need to ask him a few questions before he sees anyone.”
“Understood. Kirk out,” and with that, the connection was cut. Bones knew he’d be lucky if Jim waited half that long before charging down here to gaze upon the face of his precious Vulcan. Jim could deny it all he wanted, McCoy wasn’t born yesterday and you didn’t give up shoreleave one-nighters to stay on the ship and ‘read department reports.’ Is that what they’re calling it these days? McCoy had teased Jim a month ago when their ladies man Captain had turned down not one, not two, but three obvious offers for a happy ending before telling Bones he was going back to the ship to read reports. No, Leonard McCoy was no fool. He knew exactly what Jim was planning to do when he got back to the ship and that was pine. Pine away for that which he could never have, but longed for anyway—Spock.
Shaking his head clear of that train of thought, McCoy picked up his PADD and tricorder and crossed the distance between his office and Spock’s room. Time to see if the scans and the healers were right.
He awoke to the sound of beeping machinery and an intense pain behind his eyes. As if they had not been in use for some time. As his eyes slowly opened, blinding light filtered through, immediately increasing his discomfort and his first thought was shove his head under the blanket and ignore the world around him for a little bit longer, however, there was someone hovering over him, talking as well, and they would not allow him to retreat back into sleep.
“Spock,” the blurry figure called from above, “Spock, can you hear me?” His voice sounded far away, as if it were trying to speak to him from behind a glass door.
Slowly, once his eyes became accustomed to the harsh overhead light, the figure above him began to take a more discernable form. Throat dry with thirst, he opened his mouth to respond, “Assuming you are referring to me, then yes, I can most certainly hear you.”
“Assuming I’m talking to you, huh?” The man before him, with brown hair and dark eyes, wearing a blue shirt with an odd upside down v-shaped pin attached to it, was regarding him with what seemed to be annoyance. “And just who exactly, do you think you are?” the doctor persisted.
“That is easy enough to deduce,” he responded automatically. “I am Spock.” But that was all he was able to deduce as he repeated the simple fact in his mind before calling up a number of other questions he could not answer. I am Spock, but who is Spock? Who am I? What do I do? Where am I? How old am I?—29 years of age, his brain immediately supplied, as if by instinct. He could see his reflection in the silver tray beside his bed. He was Vulcan, he realized, which could explain why he knew his age even if he didn’t know much of anything else. So, he knew what he was—Vulcan and he knew his name—Spock; he knew that this man before him had to be a doctor as he was in what appeared to be a sickbay of some kind, but he did not possess any memory of his life up to this point. It was…terrifying. He needed answers, he decided, sitting up and swinging his legs over the side of the bed, “What happened to me?” His voice contained a definite note of fear, “Where am I? Why do I not remember anything about identity?”
The doctor seemed to suffer a brief moment of shock at Spock’s sudden panic. He then grasped the Vulcan's shoulders and squeezed, forcing Spock to make eye contact, “Hey,” the doctor said, reassuringly, “just calm down, it’s going to be okay. You’ve suffered a major head injury, but I’m told by some very reputable Vulcan healers that your memories will return within five to six weeks.”
Spock let out an audible breath of relief, before his mind supplied him, instinctively with an answer, “The secondary prefrontal cortex.”
“That’s right,” the doctor nodded in affirmation. “Do you remember anything else?”
“Negative. My mind appears to be capable of providing me with information regarding my bodily functions, but that is all.” Spock averted his eyes while McCoy made a note in his PADD, then he thought to ask, “Who are you and where are we, exactly? I have already deduced that we are onboard a vessel of some kind, however, I am unfamiliar with the insignias that decorate this facility as well as your shirt.”
“I’m Dr. Leonard McCoy, but most of the senior crew call me Bones, a nickname our fair Captain awarded me a few years back,” McCoy set down his tricorder and flipped on a nearby panel, pressing a sequence of keys. A blueprint of a starship appeared, “We’re currently onboard the United Federation Starship Enterprise where you serve as her First Officer.”
“I am a member of this senior crew…Bones?” Spock inquired, trying to use the moniker Dr. McCoy had stated his colleagues used. For some reason, it did not feel right on his tongue. He surmised this instinct was correct, when the doctor released a slow chuckle.
“I’ll be damned, Spock. Thought it’d be a cold day in hell before you ever called me by that name,” Dr. McCoy was…beaming…there really was no other fitting adjective.
Just then, the door to his room slid open, and Spock felt the heart in his side clench at the sight before him. A younger man dressed in gold, with wheat-colored hair and oceanic blue eyes approached him. The man was not merely smiling, but radiating sunlight and warmth both of which reached into Spock and wrapped tightly around the soul within. He seemed so familiar, yet, Spock could not put a name to him—Golden One…the words echoed across his mind’s eye as he sought for a sliver…any memory that would tell him the name of the beauty before him.
“Spock?” The voice drifted through Spock’s auditory senses like a silken caress to the tiny hairs within his ears—cilia, his mind supplied again.
“Indeed, I have been told that is my name,” Spock replied, unable to tear his eyes away from those of the being before him. They were so warm, so…familiar. They called to him in an elemental way, “What is your name?” The question came out in a breathy exhalation, which for some reason caused him a measure of embarrassment.
The Golden One’s smile widened, his eyes taking on a mirthful glint, “Captain James T. Kirk, at your service, my amnesic friend.”
“James…” Spock repeated, trying the name out for, what was for him, the first time.
“That’s right,” the human chuckled, “but you can call me Jim, okay?”
“As you wish, Jim,” he replied. James……Jim…….Spock decided that he liked them both.
Jim gave him another smile before placing both hands on Spock’s shoulders and squeezing; much like the doctor had done earlier. Only, Spock could feel Jim’s hands through the material of his shirt as if they were a brand upon the skin underneath. He felt a tingling in the back of his mind and for a moment, the entire room seemed to spin. “You gave us all a pretty big scare, First Officer,” Jim’s voice, low and smooth, rolled over him like a spring morning. “I know you’re probably confused as Hell, but Bones here says it’s only a matter of weeks before you start to get your memories back.”
“In the meantime,” Bones cut in, bringing both men’s attention back to him, “I want you to take it easy. I’m going to release you to quarters, but I don’t want you doing anything strenuous until we start to see some improvement in your recall—“
“As I am, apparently, the First Officer of this vessel, do I not have duties that require my attention?” For some reason, the idea of ‘taking it easy,’ within the context the doctor was implying, did not sit well with him. It simply felt wrong. He turned his attention back to the Golden One, “Ji—Captain,” Spock appealed to the human, “Perhaps if I were shown around the ship and my daily routine explained to me, I might begin to remember at a more rapid pace.”
Jim was grinning again, robbing Spock of his very breath. He was becoming more and more certain that if only he could remain in the presence of this human, restoring his memories would matter very little to him indeed. “What do you say, Bones?” Jim turned toward the doctor, “Can I give Spock a tour of the ship?”
The doctor released a vexated sigh, “If pointy-ears would have let me finish,” he gave Spock a pointed look, to which Spock raised an eyebrow, “I was about to suggest just that—tomorrow.” He pointed a finger between the two of them, “The only place you’re taking the hobgoblin tonight is to his quarters so he can get some more rest or meditate or whatever it is Vulcans do to relax in the evening—Got it?”
Jim held up two hands, in an apparent gesture of surrender, “Yeah, yeah. We got it, Bones, relax.” He then turned his attention back onto Spock, “You feeling up for a short walk?”
Spock responded with an eager nod, “Indeed.”
“Wait, wait,” Bones halted their retreat, “I’m not quite finished yet.” McCoy gave Jim an exasperated look, “I can’t believe you haven’t even noticed.” He then turned to address Spock, “I need to ask you a few more questions. Jim can stay if you want him too, but if not he’ll need to wait outside.”
Jim leaving would not do. He turned a small smile in Jim’s direction, not missing the odd look the human gave him in return, “I would like him to stay. His presence is…comforting.” He tilted his head at the flush that immediately took residence on the Captains face.
“Now, do you see I mean?” McCoy was addressing Jim.
“I think so,” Jim’s voice was not as cheerful as it had been before. Again, Spock felt a gentle tugging at the back of his mind, compelling him to pull the beautiful human into his arms and kiss away the worry lines settling between his brows.
“Spock, it isn’t just your memory you’ve lost,” McCoy gestured to the Vulcan's hands, “It’s your control, too. You’ve expressed more emotion in the last thirty minutes than you have the entire three years that I’ve known you. Vulcans don’t smile, Spock. They don’t laugh, they don’t cry—they don’t even admit to feeling emotions—“
“But I do feel,” Spock began to interrupt, he'd experienced a total of forty-three emotions since he'd awakened, only to be waylaid by the doctor once again.
“I didn’t say they didn’t feel, just that they don’t admit it to it, and you have never openly expressed your emotions but for once, a long time ago and under extreme circumstances,” McCoy paused to take a contemplative breath. “My guess is, your touch telepathy is screwed up too. If you can’t remember how to control your emotions, then I highly doubt you remember how to shield your telepathic abilities.”
Touch telepathy? So far, Spock’s body seemed to be reacting instinctively where his Vulcan biology was concerned. He wondered, if he were to touch Jim, what would happen? Curious, Spock slowly reached out a hand and entwined it with one of Jim’s. The eyes of both the doctor and Jim immediately widened at the same time before Spock closed his own and concentrated on the contact. Like a tidal wave, emotions not his own—trepidation, concern, affection, trust and something barely discernable, as if Jim were taking great care not to expose the nature of it, all floated over into Spock’s senses. The tingling and tugging that he’d felt earlier intensified a hundred fold, causing a warm buzz starting at the point of contact between his and Jim’s hands and shooting up his arm, straight into his cerebral cortex.
As quickly as the emotions had flooded into him, they were withdrawn. When he opened his eyes, Jim’s chest was heaving and he was wringing his hand, “Holy hell,” Jim’s voice was shaken.
He appeared to be greatly disturbed and Spock immediately felt awful. “I am sorry, Jim, I did not mean to cause you distress. I merely wanted to see if the doctor was correct.”
Jim nodded with a faulty, but reassuring smile, “It’s okay, just…uh…give me a little warning next time, 'kay?”
“Certainly,” Spock nodded. He turned to McCoy, “You are quite right. I was unable to block the reception of the Captain’s surface emotions.”
“Yeah?” McCoy seemed to derive some form of pleasure from this prospect, “What did you feel?”
He looked to Jim for permission to disclose what he had discerned from their contact. Jim shrugged in assent, but Spock could not help noticing that the he looked quite nervous. “I sensed worry for my condition, affection and friendship and also some trepidation regarding the use of my telepathy.” He turned again to Jim, “Again, I am sorry, Jim. I did not intend to invade your privacy. Please, forgive me. I did not think.”
Jim reached out a hand and laid it upon his forearm, “Hey,” he soothed, “it’s okay. You just surprised me, that’s all. Normally, you’d never do that, I mean...It’s kind of a violation of your culture, but you’re not yourself and I’m not upset, really. There’s nothing to forgive.”
Spock allowed himself to smile slightly, “Thank you, Jim.” He would need to research everything he could find regarding Vulcan culture as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
“Look,” Dr. McCoy’s face was stern, but his eyes betrayed an obvious sense of compassion, “You’ll need to refrain from making skin to skin contact with the crew. I can’t guarantee that everyone will be as understanding as the Captain here if you accidentally go poking around their ‘surface feelings.’” He made a few sweeps of his stylus across his PADD before retrieving his tricorder once more. “I’m clearing you for release, but you aren’t cleared for active duty. If tomorrow’s tour goes well, then we’ll talk about putting you on light duty. For now, go to your quarters, wind down for the evening and try to get some more rest. Who knows, once you’re surrounded by familiar walls, maybe you’ll start to recollect a little something here and there.”
“As you wish, doctor,” Spock complied before turning his attention back to Jim, who seemed to have lost all vestiges of his recent discomfort. “I am ready to depart if it is amenable to you at this time.”
Jim’s smile spread over his face like butter over warm toast, his eyes sparkling with affection, “Fine by me. Let’s go.”
As Jim led Spock through the corridors and into the turbo lift, he focused on bringing down the tempo of the heart pounding within his chest. He’d spent the last three days agonizing over First Officer and friend’s well-being. Although Bones had briefed him on the possibility of Spock’s temporary amnesia, he hadn’t fully understood just to what extent the Vulcan’s memory would be compromised. He’d always assumed that telepathy and control were instinctual for Vulcans—apparently not.
His entire body was still buzzing just from their brief touch of hands a few minutes earlier. Holy fuck, he thought, images of entire naked body pressed against that of his First Officer flooding through his psyche. Shit, he groaned internally, knowing he was headed for a shower and a date with his right hand later. He’d gone through great lengths over the last eleven months to keep his feelings for Spock firmly locked within the most remote area of his brain. To have them come rushing to the forefront after something as benign as holding hands or seeing Spock smile...it was bad sign. He knew he had it bad, okay? But, fuck, this was just impossible.
I will not fantasize about my First Officer. I will not fantasize about my First Officer. The mantra wasn’t working so he tried harder, I will not fantasize about my currently vulnerable, unbearably straight, Vulcan, emotionally unavailable in every sense of the phrase, straight, straight, STRAIGHT VULCAN first officer. Regardless of how adorable Spock currently looked while trying to figure out how to open the door to his own quarters. Jim needed to shove these feelings back where they belonged—into the abyss of his subconscious, never to be seen or heard from again outside of dream world. He let out a hopeless sigh, “Here, let me,” he reached forward and punched in the Commander’s code.
That adoring gaze that Spock had been giving him all evening was once again pinned upon him. “Thank you, Jim,” Spock said, gesturing with his hand in an invitation for Jim to join him.
Jim swallowed the lump of foreboding that had been trying very hard to choke him to death, “Sure.” He entered the room of his friend and colleague as nonchalantly as possible. It wasn’t any different than entering it for a game of chess, he told himself unconvincingly. The thing was Spock wasn’t himself right now. Hell, the Vulcan had admitted that he was comforted by Jim’s presence—Spock admitting to feeling anything was a miracle in and of itself, but to admit to feeling comforted by Jim…that was downright unthinkable.
“Fascinating,” Spock remarked, looking around the room, taking in the deep red drapes and Vulcan artifacts that decorated the space around them.
Jim couldn’t keep the grin from forming on his face, “You don’t have a single memory of your life up to this point and yet you’re still so……you.”
Spock raised an inquisitive eyebrow, “Please elucidate.”
“They way you speak, the way you think…it’s all as it should be, for the most part,” Jim let out a contemplative sigh. “Except…you’re so expressive right now. You’re usually so indecipherable, I’m having a hard time reconciling the normal, controlled Vulcan you with the more Human, amnesic you.”
“Which do you prefer?” Spock asked, suddenly feeling…sullen. What if Jim did not like him now? What if he had never liked Spock, even with his Vulcan control? Perhaps Jim could not feel the same pull that Spock had felt when the human had entered his room in sickbay.
“Spock,” Jim’s voice was reproachful, “I don’t have a preference. You are who you are, and I like you however you choose to be.”
“That is well, as I do not currently know how else to be,” Spock replied, feeling more sure of himself.
Jim cleared his throat and gestured to the room around him, “So…any of this ringing a bell for you?”
When Spock replied with a simple, “Unfortunately, No,” without commenting on the illogicality of Jim’s statement, he felt a small, sad tug at his chest. He could almost hear the lecture: “Captain, I fail to see what the ringing of bells would have to contribute to the current situation. Furthermore, as the Enterprise has no use for such and object, finding a bell onboard would likely prove most difficult.” He regarded his amnesic First Officer, hoping his memory would return sooner than later. Jim had been missing his friend and while he was enjoying seeing this new, expressive side of Spock—he wouldn’t change a thing about the Vulcan he had fallen in love with all those months ago.
“Well,” Jim finally responded, “It’s getting late. I’ve got some reports I need to file and I think you could use some time alone to familiarize yourself with your quarters.”
Spock did not want Jim to leave, but what he said was true. It would be wise to process all that he experienced thus far. Perhaps he would attempt to meditate, as the doctor had suggested. Or, perhaps he would use this time to educate himself upon the operations of this ship, Vulcan culture and his own past. There must be holos or vid files that would lend some clues as to the person he was supposed to be, “Indeed,” Spock reluctantly agreed, “I fear there is much I need to…catch up on.”
Jim made his way to the door, “Well, just don’t overdo it. You don’t remember right now, but believe me—any slip ups and Bone’ll have you back in sickbay before you can say Enterprise.”
“I will endeavor to keep the duration of my research tonight at a maximum of three hours,” Spock assured.
“Good. I’m next door if you need anything or have any questions,” Jim flashed a parting smile, “’Night, Mr. Spock.”
“Good night, Jim,” Spock responded softly as his Golden One disappeared into the corridor. He may not remember anything of his life prior to waking up in sickbay, but there was one fact of which he was certain. The feeling that had risen within him at first sight of the young Captain earlier that evening, combined with the sensory overload when he touched Jim’s hand made it startlingly clear: Spock was in love James T. Kirk, and he must have been for quite some time.