“No, I am not.”
“Yes, you are.”
“I assure you, Doctor, I am not.”
The verbal sparring of denial and assertion went back and forth for several minutes. Spock wanted nothing more than to leave and retreat to his cabin, but he refused to give his rival any reason to claim victory later on.
“Doctor McCoy, I assure you that I have the upmost respect for Captain Kirk as both a professional colleague and a friend. Of course I am relieved that the Captain is alive, but my emotional outburst earlier was merely an after effect from the pon farr.” Spock tried to retain a pose of indifference about him, clasping his hands behind his back as he usually did when he was becoming bored with a conversation.
Well, there could have been some truth to that. McCoy had badgered Spock for the last three days to get another physical. He had finally caved when the doctor had threatened to send Chapel every hour with the request until he came. The physical did reveal that Spock’s hormones, while not anywhere close to a dangerous level, were still out of sorts.
Privately, he was hoping that Spock was still a tad compromised, because it might make it easier for the man to crack under pressure.
McCoy certainly wasn’t buying the indifferent act. “Look, Spock, I may just be a logically challenged human, but I’m neither stupid nor blind.”
“Vulcans do not love, doctor. You humans always try to make me into something I am not. Nurse Chapel continues to pursue me even though I have clearly told her I am not interested.”
Vulcans don’t love my ass. After that scene in sickbay three days ago, something that had been festering in the doctor for months drew up and smacked him in the face, confirming his suspicions. The Vulcan was in love with Jim Kirk.
He knew Spock would rather drop his drawers in front of a crowd of people, stick the business end of a trumpet up his ass and fart out ‘Three Blind Mice’ than admit to anyone, let alone to him that he was in love with a human male. But, perhaps by pushing the right buttons while Spock was still feeling those ‘after effects’ could yield some results.
And Jim Kirk? Well, McCoy had figured out a long time ago that Kirk was in love with his First Officer. The problem was that neither was going to take that next step.
Despite his antagonistic ways towards Spock, he knew that there was likely no one better to be a permanent companion for the Captain. Both men’s demeanors always changed when they were around each other; the easy-going bantering, the regular chess games (McCoy referred to these recently as ‘dates’), and the electricity that practically crackled in the air when the two looked at each other.
McCoy sighed. The head-on tactic was obviously not going to work on the green-blooded hobgoblin, so McCoy employed a different strategy.
“Well, he certainly would make a most logical companion for you.”
That got the Vulcan’s attention. He stiffened from his faux-bored position to ramrod straight. It took several moments before he responded. “I fail to understand how the captain would be any more logical of a companion than a Vulcan, doctor.”
“Ah-hah! So the fact that he is a male makes no difference. It’s that Vulcan thing that you’re so hung up on.”
Spock didn’t reply, but the slight twitch of his body was answer enough. “Why is it so important, Spock?”
This time, there was a definite edge to Spock’s voice. “I see no reason to continue this discussion, doctor. My personal life is none of your concern.” He started to head towards the door.
“Doesn’t the fact that Jim loves you make any difference at all?” McCoy called out to his retreating back.
The Vulcan stopped. “You are mistaken…again, Doctor. The captain has never shown any interest towards males. “
“Ah, but that’s where you‘re mistaken, Spock.”
“No. I am not. In fact, when we pursued you back into Earth’s history by means of the Guardian, Jim confessed his love for Edith Keeler to me while we were there. In the last standard year there have been two former females on this ship that were once in an established relationship with him. He also confessed to me that he nearly married once. So, you see, the facts show that Jim is clearly heterosexual.”
He hadn’t moved, his voice was neutral and he was still turned away from McCoy. But the doctor could still tell that Spock was beginning to become distressed. He was trying to become super-Vulcan, a tactic that he was now quite familiar with.
It’s time to employ the big guns. “I’ve known Jim a lot longer than you, Spock. There are some things that I still know about him that you don’t. He’s probably going to skin me alive for telling you, but Jim and Gary Mitchell were once lovers.” Torpedo away!
And it clearly had hit its mark on the bulls-eye. Spock turned around, clearly taken aback by the statement. His mouth was open in disbelief. He made a feeble attempt at composing himself.
“I cannot love, Doctor,” he tried again, weakly.
McCoy crossed his arms. “Can’t or won’t? Is it rejection that’s stopping you, Spock; rejection from Vulcan, from Jim, or a little of both?”
Spock slumped, defeated. “I am used to rejection from Vulcan. I could not bear to be rejected by Jim.”
McCoy softened. “Like I said earlier, I’ve known Jim a long time. He’s always pursued the short-term relationships because it’s easier for him. Yes, he fell in love Edith Keeler, because deep down he knew it wasn’t going to last. No matter if she died or not, he knew he’d have to return here and leave her behind. “
“But, that proves he is unobtainable. He does not wish to commit to a permanent relationship. Therefore it would be illogical to reveal my thoughts to him.”
So, he’s no longer trying to deny it; at least we’re now making some headway.
McCoy sighed. He ran a hand tiredly through his hair which was probably sprouting gray hairs as they spoke. “Spock, Jim is already committed to you. Nothing has ever come between him and his ship, except you. There is no one in this galaxy he would sacrifice his command for, except you. It’s you that he turns to for advice and support. It’s always been you, Spock. If that isn’t commitment, then I don’t know what is.”
Spock had remained silent throughout McCoy’s passionate argument. To his quiet disgust, his hands were trembling.
“Doctor McCoy,” Spock grated out, his voice hoarse. “I ask that you do not reveal to Jim the contents of this discussion. I need…time to think. Please.”
Please. Dammit to Sam Hill! Now why did that pointy-eared hobgoblin have to say that? Well, there was only one reply to that!
“Alright, Spock, I won’t say anything. I also won’t badger you about it anymore. But just remember, despite my brashness, I do care; about both of you.”
Spock locked eyes with McCoy and nodded once.
“Now, “McCoy suddenly barked, back in business mode. “I want you to come back again in three days for one more physical. Your body chemistry is still a tad off and I want to make sure that things are back to normal. Got it?”
Spock straightened up again. “Very well, Doctor.”
“Okay, you’re sprung.” McCoy sat at his desk and began to work on his report.
Spock straightened his blue science tunic and made his way to the door. Under his breath, out of earshot, he whispered,” Things will never be normal again; I can assure you of that, Doctor.”