Standing at Scotty’s side, Kirk waited in the transporter room for the return of his away team. He had been forced back to the ship after only ten minutes on the planet. He hadn’t done anything wrong, he hadn’t flirted with anyone, and – best of all – he hadn’t been shot! At least he hadn’t been shot by anything like a phaser or an ancient-type of Earth bullet, anyway.
It was all the flowers!
The planet was covered everywhere in flowers, and they were filling the air with the fragrant perfume of flowers. And James T. Kirk did not do that well with flowers. He did so poorly in fact that he had difficulty breathing five minutes into his time on the surface of the planet with no normal name, being a first contact sort of mission and everything, so the designation B-M1N3 had to stand for now. Whatever the place was called, Kirk and flowers did not go together. Their collective scent shot him in the nose so powerfully that he was suffering an intense allergic reaction, which resulted in being transported almost immediately – ten minutes on the planet – and then being manhandled by his first officer all the way to Sickbay where Doctor McCoy had been waiting to force him onto a biobed and shoot him with some hypos.
Okay, so the flowers and the hypos shot him today.
Ever since his death, Spock had hovered over Kirk to the point of it being incredibly aggravating. He was his shadow, always at his side. Unless Spock just had to be somewhere else on the ship. But that was on the ship. Spock was able to leave Kirk alone when they were just drifting along, but once they were in a skirmish, or if Kirk went on an away mission, Spock was right next to him. Not that Kirk didn’t mind that part too much, but when Spock crossed the line between first officer and bodyguard? Yeah, Kirk would get very annoyed with Spock.
Once Kirk was back to his normal self, charming, witty, and everything suave, Spock declared that McCoy should join the landing party just in case anyone else suffered a similar experience as the captain. That left Kirk nothing to do while the ship was in orbit around B-M1N3 until they came back.
Two days without Spock, Bones, Chekov, and – even he could admit it – Uhura made for a very bored Captain Kirk. Two days later since coming back to his ship meant they were about to come home. And if Spock could be in this transporter room whenever he returned from an away mission, well, so could he when Spock returned.
He was so distracted that he didn’t even hear the beam-up request, or Scotty’s confirmation of that request. Four figures began to materialize on the platform and he felt his welcoming smile blossoming on his face. “Welcome back, everyone.”
“Clear the pad, quickly,” ordered Spock.
“Hi, to you, too, Commander,” Kirk mumbled to himself. Unfortunately, someone else heard it.
“Jim, uh…” Bones trailed off awkwardly for a moment. “We were given some stuff by the Valens. They wouldn’t tell us what it is.”
That caught Kirk’s attention. “What the hell? Are you saying they could be sending up something poisonous or deadly?”
He was nudged aside by Spock so that the Vulcan could access the controls with Scotty. Uhura had followed him closely and was the one to answer Kirk. “I don’t believe their motivations were malicious, more like…overzealous.”
“Overzealous?” Kirk looked at Spock, his brow furrowed. “What does that mean?”
Spock keyed in a few adjustments as he replied. “An excessive eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something. A synonym that you would recognize is ‘passionate.’” Kirk didn’t care for Spock’s tone. He wasn’t a stupid child, no matter how much smarter than him Spock was.
And he did not pout as mumbled, “I know what it means.” He was grateful that Spock didn’t say anything back.
The transporter pad was activated and several large objects were beaming aboard. Kirk was tense as he watched. What if the Valens had told his crew these gifts were harmless but with one wrong move the ship would explode? “Did anyone test these mystery gifts?”
Bones’s laugh at his left reassured him. “After your attack of the killer flowers, you think I didn’t check them out?”
“Correction, Doctor. Both you and I scanned these items.”
The doctor ignored the Vulcan. “Scanned them, but we weren’t allowed to look inside them.” Somehow this didn’t exactly comfort Kirk. Bones knew that expression, and clapped his hand on his shoulder. “Don’t worry, Jim, these things shouldn’t kill any of us!”
“At least we all hope so,” Chekov piped up. Kirk glanced at him with a smile.
Five very large boxes appeared by the time transport was complete. “So,” Scotty said, wanting to be a part of the conversation. “Who wants to open the presents?”
No one moved. Kirk wanted to open them, but how childish would it look for the ship’s captain to excitedly open presents while everyone else watched? Some of his crew already considered him too immature for his position. He glanced at Spock and Uhura on either side of him. Yeah…a whole other beast to deal with, those two. He tried to ignore them when they were remotely close to each other in the same room, just because he remembered how things went in the tiny ship in the middle of flying through Kronos’s skies. He should have disciplined her for that distracting conversation. Because everyone lost focus on their mission, they had all almost been killed. But he never did correct that. It could have been because he still – after all this time – vividly remembered Spock’s hand at his throat, choking the life from him. Who knows what he’d do if he called his girlfriend out on her bullshit – even if it was in the middle of a mission where that discussion had no business taking place?
Kirk sighed. But in his musing, he didn’t notice that Uhura and Chekov took the liberty to begin opening the cases. Apparently, each of them came with a note. “For the little male,” Uhura read off of the pink card attached to the biggest box. She looked pointedly at Chekov, who blushed. “May these bring as much joy to the crew of your ship as it did to you.”
Chekov lifted something from the box. Uhura started to laugh. It was a small, very magenta teddy bear. There were white hearts everywhere on its body. It was positively adorable. “How many of those are there?”
Uhura was trying to stop laughing. “A lot.”
“An estimation,” requested Spock.
“I’d say about—” She looked back into the box. Chekov was too busy cuddling the teddy bear. Everyone tried not to look at him. “A hundred? Maybe a little more.”
Kirk had no idea what Chekov could possibly need over one hundred stuffed teddy bears for! Uhura had moved to the next box’s card. It was the smallest box, very thin and easily carried by one person. Keenser could have easily carried this thing. Uhura brought it off the pad and handed it to Spock. Kirk fought his grimace. “For the different male, so that he may release his desires freely.”
He didn’t wait to see Spock’s reaction. He knew subtext when he heard it. “Carry on, everyone. I have a bridge to run.” And with that, Captain Kirk fled the transporter room.
Leonard McCoy knew something was up. He wasn’t a doctor for nothing. Doctors were observant people – they noticed things! They noticed the smallest changes in a patient’s health, they noticed people’s moods, and they definitely noticed when something was bothering someone. And something was bothering Jim Kirk.
He suspected that it had been bothering him even before he’d died. But once he’d managed to get that kid breathing again and when he took his first steps across his hospital room, the damn stubborn fool had managed to push it aside. But there was a new tension to the man. One that hadn’t been there before. And he knew that Kirk would never tell him – even as his doctor – what it was that was so weighing him down. He was willing to wager it had something to do with his damn first officer!
He sipped his whiskey. ‘And people say Vulcans are the only ones that can repress their feelings!’ He snorted into his glass. He stared at the gift he’d received from the Valens. He’d put it on his desk in his office, and it hadn’t moved for two weeks. It just stared at him, giving him a puzzle.
What in the universe was he supposed to do with ten pounds of red, pink, and white heart-shaped sprinkles?
He shook his head. Absently, he toyed with the little card that had come with his gift. ‘For the Healer, that he may encourage among the crew the same care he holds for them.’
Suddenly, McCoy had both a realization and an idea. He brought out his communicator and called Uhura.
“I don’t know why you don’t say anything, Spock.”
She looked at him sympathetically. “Cannot or will not?”
Spock hesitated. “Both.”
It was only one more in a number of conversations they recently had. She would try to convince him to confess how he felt, and the Vulcan would refuse. Perhaps what McCoy and she had discussed tonight might help facilitate that confession – from one of them at least. It was certain that any conversation on the topic she’d had with Spock led nowhere.
Their conversation in the hospital after everything that had happened with Khan and Admiral Marcus haunted her often. She had seen it even before Kirk’s death, but it had become undeniably clear in the time between his death and his awakening. Uhura had visited the hospital – all of them had – and while she wanted that stupidly brave man to wake up, she was able to continue her life. She was able to make sure she ate, make sure she bathed, help Starfleet and the civilians return to their normal lives as much as she could.
But that was never true for Spock. The Vulcan was at Kirk’s comatose side as much as he could. He became as much a patient for McCoy as Kirk. It had been McCoy that had asked her to drag Spock out of there to get him to eat, to throw him in a water shower – and to bring back-up if necessary! They had both been concerned for Spock and for Kirk, but they were even more concerned about the future in the event that this transfusion failed. What if Kirk didn’t live – or if he did but he remained comatose, supported artificially, his barely alive body clinging to the shadow of who he was before he ran unthinking into that warp core? Spock would never recover.
And when they both concluded that, Uhura made her own conclusion.
“I can’t do this…us…anymore, Spock.”
He had looked at her with an expression as though she had struck him physically. “I…I do not understand.”
She felt sorry for him. She didn’t want to be another blow to his already fragile state, but she didn’t know if she could handle it any longer – watching someone she cared so deeply for waste away on a hope that may never be. “You will.” She knew he would.
And she’d left him and their relationship in that hospital room. Seven days later, she had been at breakfast with Montgomery Scott when Leonard McCoy sent her a written communication. She hadn’t seen it until early that evening. ‘It’s Jim.’
She had gone to visit with Scotty. McCoy stood outside of Kirk’s door, looking more than elated and exhausted all at once. “Give them a minute,” he said, quietly. “I already sobbed my eyes out at him as I told him to knock his shit off or I’d kill him myself, but…” She watched him not even bother to disguise his tears. “Damnit, he’s alive.” She was holding him before either of them realized it. The doctor’s arms came around her tightly, like he was trying to grasp reality. “He’s alive.”
Uhura looked through the window that let her see into Kirk’s room. Spock sat on the very edge of the bed. Kirk reached toward his first officer, and grasped his forearm. She could see the grip was weak. Spock moved and took Kirk’s hand, his lips moving as he spoke. She would have tried to read his lips, but she was focused instead on their hands. “He’s alive,” McCoy sobbed in her ear.
Spock covered Kirk’s hand comfortingly with his other hand, enclosing the human’s within his own. Kirk was tiredly smiling. “Yes, he’s alive,” she said to McCoy.
But she wasn’t sure which of them she meant.
“So, are you in?” she asked the man lying next to her.
“Oh, aye,” he agreed. “Wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
Kirk was starting to suspect that Bones and Uhura were conspiring together. He didn’t have solid evidence but he did have a pretty darned solid suspicion, and he was never one to ignore those gut feelings. Not even six hours had passed since he’d given his approval for Bones’s request for permission to throw a party down in the main observation deck in observance of the old Earth holiday Valentine’s Day. Less than six hours after he’d signed off on that project did the report of a certain away mission come to his attention. One was from Uhura, detailing that the Valens valued love above all other emotions and were determined always to celebrate or encourage it. They enjoyed giving gifts appropriate to the intended recipient in such an amount that humans would phrase it as ‘showering someone with gifts.’ More like killing someone with kindness in Kirk’s opinion.
The second report came from Spock, who detailed in clean, crisp, precise language with no excessive descriptors or exposition what exactly transpired on the planet that led to a smooth and successful first contact mission. Hopefully, they did their job well enough to have it result in yet another member of the Federation. Kirk smiled to himself. Starfleet could use a race like the Valens, if only for the reason that they would endlessly encourage every other member to love one another. They were like very free-loving, hippie-like versions of Surak, only magenta-colored in their skin.
Kirk chuckled to himself as he pictured Spock with magenta skin and violet hair. That was both terrifying and hilarious all at once.
Then, he realized that he was sitting on the bridge laughing to himself. He looked around quickly. Only Chekov seemed to notice. “Are you alright, Captain?” Nevermind. Spock noticed too.
“Just dandy, Spock.”
Thankfully, it was almost time to enjoy a brief lunch. With a quick instruction to Uhura to send out a ship-wide communiqué that there was going to be a Valentine’s Day Party held in two days, hosted by their resident Love Doctor McCoy. Uhura questioned it at first, but even she couldn’t keep in the smile when he insisted on that wording.
As he disappeared into the turbolift and faced the doors again, he didn’t miss the glance Uhura gave Spock. He hated the two of them.
He’d stopped by sickbay to force McCoy to get to the mess for something to eat. The older man made no secret about how he was going to plan a serious illness for Jim as soon as they were about to have shore leave so that he was forced to stay strapped to a sickbay bed in the dark, with automated medications pumped into him, while the entire rest of his crew went planet-side to enjoy themselves. His threat seemed serious until Kirk asked him who would be beaming the rest of the crew back to the ship if he was the last person aboard and strapped helpless to a biobed. McCoy just glared at him.
It wasn’t until Spock asked to join them that Kirk thought something was wrong. “Don’t you usually eat with Uhura?” he asked.
“She is otherwise engaged, Captain,” Spock replied, sitting down next to McCoy after the doctor moved over a little.
“Wait, what do you mean by that?”
Spock did not look up from his meal. “That she has chosen a small table suitable for two occupants.”
McCoy smiled at the Vulcan. “You in the doghouse?”
Kirk was surprised that Spock didn’t even acknowledge the sentence. “The second chair is already occupied.” Kirk looked. There she was, sitting across from Scotty. Alright.
“Maybe they have to talk about something.” That theory went right out the garbage disposal airlock when he saw Uhura offer some sort of food item to Scotty…who ate it right out of her fingers. Did his chief engineer have a death wish? Kirk looked to see if Spock saw that. Nope, he was fully engrossed in his…whatever he was eating. Kirk looked back to the cozy table just in time to see Scotty do exactly what Uhura did. To his shock, Uhura took the morsel right out of Scotty’s fingers with her lips. What the hell? Alright, that was it!
Kirk shot to his feet and tried as hard as he could to act casual as he made his way to Uhura and Scotty, stopping every so often to mumble a half-hearted greeting to random crewmembers. He had a mission. How dare Uhura treat Spock like this! And for that matter, how dare Scotty come between that! This was unacceptable and needed to be ended before someone died. Kirk had been there once when he wronged Spock. Thankfully, Spock’s dad had been there to make his first officer feel like a nine year old who misbehaved. Without Sarek’s presence, Kirk was sure he would have been dead on that bridge from Spock strangling him to death.
But Sarek wasn’t here right now. So there was no one that could call Spock off from a fight to the death if he went after Scotty for propositioning his girlfriend!
“What the hell are you doing?” he whispered.
Scotty and Uhura looked up at him. “I was teaching Scotty how to eat these crus—”
“In front of Spock? Are you both insane?”
Now they were both looking confused. “Spock won’t care.”
Kirk straightened. “Really? When he sat down with me and McCoy he seemed to care about it a lot.”
It took him a minute to realize that both Uhura and Scotty were laughing at him. Scotty was the one that recovered first. “Stop frettin’. We’re no’ doin’ anythin’ wrong, Sir.”
He didn’t understand. “Basically licking food from each other’s fingers when one of those people is in a relationship with someone else seems pretty wrong to me.”
Uhura stopped laughing almost instantly. Her eyes grew wide. She looked shocked. “You don’t know.”
Now Kirk was getting annoyed. “What don’t I know, Lieutenant?”
“I’m not in a relationship with Spock.”
He stared. “What?” Did he hit his head? Did someone poison his food? Did he step into an alternate universe?
She smiled at him. “I think you’re the only person who didn’t know that.”
He knew he stood there staring at them for longer than what could be considered polite or acceptable. Numbly, Kirk turned from their table and headed back to his own. He needed to sit down. He would have liked to share this revelation with Bones, but Spock was right there. Spock was right there. Kirk acted without thinking and turned quickly, heading out of the mess. He didn’t stop until he made it to his quarters. Wow. This was…unexpected.
Then, the implication of what Uhura told him registered fully. The possibility of what that could mean for him registered fully. And then, Kirk began to work.
He considered his decorating skills a success. He’d sprinkled everything with those damn heart sprinkles. He sprinkled the tables like confetti, went around and added some to the cupcakes – to anything that had icing, really. He sprinkled them into empty champagne glasses, in the de-scented flower arrangements, on the food, in the punch bowl, in the empty salad bowls! He put them in the candy dishes, with those terrible little hearts with messages on them like, ‘Marry Me’ and ‘Love You.’ And when he ran out of places to put some sprinkles, he casually walked around the observation deck and littered them all over the floor. It would add some festive mood to the atmosphere. He hoped anyways.
He even reopened all of the little sheer bags that Uhura packed up the several hundred teddy bears and a small bottle of massage oil that they decided to award as romance prizes later. He made sure to add an extra handful of sprinkles to the bag that they’d set aside with the intention of giving it to a certain pair of clueless commanding officers once one of them surely made his move tonight. Uhura even snuck in some extra dark chocolate truffles for Spock. Bones strategically slipped the tube of lube in the bag too, making sure to cover it with as many of the sprinkles and chocolates he could so it didn’t look obviously by looking at it. They both hoped that one of them would finally grow a pair and say something, and both of them doubted it was going to be the Vulcan.
All their hopes now rested in their captain. Bones hoped he was going to do something incredibly demonstrative that would put Spock on the spot and give him no choice but to openly return those feelings. He figured it would play out in one of two ways. The first, and more likely, that Spock would not dare to deny his feelings to Jim if the human were to publicly announce them for Spock in front of everyone gathered in the observation deck. Spock never liked embarrassing his captain intentionally, and to spurn him publicly would certainly embarrass Jim. Then, again, the other thing that could happen is that whatever Jim would do would humiliate the Vulcan so much that he would clam up, thinking it was some sort of cruel joke, and coldly refuse him.
So it was really up to Spock how this all ended.
And Leonard McCoy did not like the idea of shoving his best friend’s happiness into the unemotional hands of that hobgoblin.
Whatever, though. He’d gotten rid of his ten pound box of sprinkles, and that alone was worth celebrating in McCoy’s opinion. Uhura had managed to convince several crewmembers who were musically inclined to play some live entertainment during dinner and the following festivities. She masterfully arranged it so that there were essentially two orchestras, so that one could relieve the other for dinner and dancing breaks. Live music was so much better.
Scotty was taking his turn watching the romance prizes table. Uhura had been speaking to Spock for several minutes in a dark little corner. He could see that whatever she was trying to tell the Vulcan was not registering. He looked miserable here. Where was Jim?
“Doctor,” whispered Yeoman Rand at his right. “You told me to let you know if I noticed anything strange going on with the captain.”
“Right, and?” he prompted. The door to the deck slid open to reveal Jim, dressed in civilian clothing, and looking remarkably handsome in a blue that brought out his vibrant eyes. Jim always wore blue when he was looking for something physical. And with what Uhura told him about what was said in the mess when he confronted her and Scotty, well, McCoy had only one guess as to who Kirk was looking to get close to tonight.
Without waiting for her to truly reply, he took her in his arms and led her to the dance floor so that their conversation wouldn’t be interrupted. “What did you see?”
“I heard him. Figured he didn’t want to be disturbed like that.” He could think of several situations in which Kirk would not want to be disturbed, but he doubted she was talking about that! “He was singing…” She lowered her voice. “About wanting someone to be his lover.” Her expression was one that announced she knew something scandalous that he did not.
Rand was a petite little thing, blonde, big-eyed. Usually the kind of woman Jim would gravitate towards. McCoy, still twirling the yeoman on the dance floor, looked around for Jim, who was mingling around near Chekov and Sulu, but his attention was solely elsewhere. McCoy followed the line of his gaze to see that the object of his attention was none other than Spock…or Uhura… McCoy looked back at Jim and saw that his eyes were narrowed. Definitely Uhura. McCoy knew jealous when he saw it.
Uhura must have sensed the glare of death from across the room. She excused herself from Spock and went to join Scotty, who offered her a champagne flute, the heart sprinkles beginning to dissolve on the bottom. McCoy looked back at Spock, who was looking at Kirk, who looked at the Vulcan. The captain smiled at his first officer across the room, and ran his eyes down and back up his slender figure.
The game was on.
“And did he give a name?” he asked Rand.
“Not a name, but there’s only one person aboard of the species he sang about.”
Damnit, he thought. She knew.
“Did you tell anyone else?” he whispered urgently.
“Who would believe me?”
Fine. She could think that. He’d even go with it. “No one.”
The dancing continued on the observation deck for another half hour before dinner was served. It was not assigned or anything, and so people sat wherever they chose. McCoy noted that Kirk deliberately sat next to Carol Marcus, pulling her chair out for her, playing up the gentleman role obscenely. His heart sank as he watched Carol practically believe it. He tore his gaze away from that farce to look for Spock. He saw the Vulcan quickly enough placing himself in a corner table among the other members of the crew who had no other of their species aboard, but were attending this party to observe the human holiday of Valentine’s Day.
This was not working according to plan.
He caught Uhura’s gaze two tables away, who looked at him with a dismayed expression. He shook his head at her. She tipped her champagne back. He gulped his own. He looked back to Kirk, who had his face a little close to Carol Marcus’s pretty face for McCoy’s liking. They practically looked like a couple, speaking quietly to each other, and both smiling. And when he looked back to Spock he saw the undisguised longing at the Vulcan watched the two blonde humans interacting.
Damnit, this wasn’t how it was supposed to go!
Then, he thought about what Rand was telling him earlier. Was she lying? She was too innocent to lie about something like that. She couldn’t have been lying.
McCoy barely managed to choke his dinner down. The dinner portion of the night was winding down, which meant that the orchestras were about to switch over. He couldn’t even watch the nonsense Kirk was pulling tonight anymore. He didn’t really even like Spock, but he knew – he just knew somehow – that they would work together. He wanted Jim and Spock to complete each other. That he definitely didn’t want Kirk flirting with Carol had nothing to do with it. Nothing at all.
“Everyone, can I have your attention?”
He snapped his head up. What the hell was he doing now? He never felt less like listening to anything his friend and captain had to say than at this moment. After all this time and effort…
Among the musicians’ instruments stood Jim and Carol. She wore an adorable pink and black polka-dotted cocktail dress, a pink headband with a silk bow on it in her hair, and painful-looking pink heels. She made something in McCoy’s heart flutter. That she stood there next to his best friend made it even worse.
“There’s something I have to say to someone very important in my life, and…” He looked to Carol, who smiled at him. “I needed someone who could accompany me in it.” He smiled at her. She picked up a tiny little instrument from among the collection. “Okay, here goes.”
She began to strum what McCoy recognized as a ukulele. He had no idea that Carol played a ukulele! Jim took a long deep breath, then smiled nervously, looking at the floor as he began to sing. “You say you’ve got no emotion, but I know that can’t be true, ‘cause I see the way you look at me when you think I can’t see you.” Jesus! He didn’t know Jim could sing, either! “Just put your hand in mine and we’ll kiss all night long.”
He took a sip of his champagne, knowing this had to be what Rand was talking about. God, if this was about Carol…
“Oh, why won’t you be my Vulcan lover?”
He spat out the champagne, unintentionally spraying mostly the flowers in the middle of his table, but also a little of Chapel across the table. He really didn’t care, because he couldn’t have heard it!
Kirk grew braver apparently, and was looking right at Spock whose eyebrows almost disappeared into his bangs. His smile during his singing was still obviously anxious. “Don’t you raise an eyebrow at me. Just be my Vulcan lover. I think your pointy ears are sexy. Be my Vulcan lover.” Spock’s lips parted in what was clearly shock. McCoy was pretty sure everyone else was right there with him. “If you don’t believe me, try a mind meld, and I think you’ll see that I really want you to be my Vulcan lover.”
McCoy glanced at Uhura, who was frozen in her chair, her champagne glass half-raised to her lips. She stared at Kirk in a mixture of horror and stunned surprise. On her left, however, was Scotty. He was quietly chuckling to himself and smiling. Kirk, as Carol played the ukulele, looked at Spock with a soft smile. The Vulcan had yet to recover his composure. He wasn’t given long before Kirk kept singing.
“I’ll help you out every seven years when it’s time to go through Pon Farr.” Spock looked like he’d been slapped. “We won’t have to go to New Vulcan when your behavior gets bizarre. Your higher body temperature will keep me warm at night.” McCoy felt himself smile as he saw Spock’s face blossom green in embarrassment. “Oh, why won’t you be my Vulcan lover? Don’t you raise an eyebrow at me. Just be my Vulcan lover. I think your pointy ears are sexy. Be my Vulcan lover. If you don’t believe me, try a mind meld and I think you’ll see that I really want you to be my Vulcan lover.” Spock’s blush only grew as the song continued.
Kirk seemed to get encouraged by that blush. His smile slowly shifted from anxious to something McCoy had never seen before. Shy. He watched as Jim stepped down and started to slowly head to his first officer. “You’ll say it’s illogical, I know, but I can’t get over this simple feeling. And even though my heart isn’t in quite the same place as yours.” He reached Spock and totally gave up on singing his next line. “It still beats for you.” Jim folded his body onto one knee at Spock’s side.
Kirk shook his head. “Be my Vulcan lover.” He mustered up the energy to resume actually singing. “Don’t you raise an eyebrow at me. Just be my Vulcan lover. I think your pointy ears are sexy. Be my Vulcan lover. If you don’t believe me, try a mind meld and I think you’ll see that I really want you to be my Vulcan lover.”
McCoy wanted to set them up but that didn’t mean he had any intention of watching them make lovey eyes at each other. He looked to where Uhura sat only to find out that she wasn’t there. He looked around for her and noticed her making her way over to him. Scotty was still in his seat, watching his commanding officers come together in front of the majority of the crew, a smile on his face.
Uhura dragged an empty chair close to his and sat down, a sly expression on her face. “I just got a message from our captain.”
It took a second for him to understand. “Bastard set it on a time delay, didn’t he?”
She nodded. She held out the device. “He has some advice for you, too.”
McCoy took the communicator and looked at it.
N. Uhura & Bones,
I know you guys somehow kind of planned all of this, and…well…Thank you.
P.S. Bones, ask Carol out. She’s been waiting long enough. You can do this if I can for Spock.
McCoy smiled at the screen, then looked at Uhura. She gave a nod with the same encouragement that Carol had so recently given Jim. He looked over at Carol, who was still strumming the ukulele to Jim’s rambling singing now. McCoy recognized the expression. Happiness and longing. “Damnit,” he muttered to himself. He plucked his champagne from the table and stood. He felt a light touch on his arm. Uhura held out a new champagne flute. He understood and accepted it.
As he walked purposefully towards Carol Marcus, she stopped playing the instrument. She turned to him, the hope clear in her eyes but not anywhere else on her face. “You play that thing pretty well.” He offered the champagne.
“Thank you,” she replied, politely. She looked to the floor, not sure what to say. He knew she could tell he had very little experience with musical things. McCoy was never a fan of musical instruments, but he liked Carol. Catcalls and clapping erupted in the observation deck. He was terrified it had something to do with him.
He looked towards where Jim had serenaded Spock. They had both gotten to their feet and were separating from a chaste kiss. Both of them smiling in their own exuberant ways, Jim took Spock’s hand and led him from the room. He saw Scotty stop them and hand a certain sheer bag with a teddy bear, lube, massage oil, and two handfuls of sprinkles to the new couple. Both Kirk and Spock left with their faces blushing.
He looked again at Uhura and raised his glass in a toast to her. She returned the gesture. Their mission with Jim and Spock was finally at an end.
“Well, excuse me, Doctor McCoy,” Carol said, her voice shaking a little. She turned away from him.
“Aw, hell, wait,” he called. She stopped and faced him again, her look now a little impatient. “You know, I’ve wanted to…” She looked as though she was losing hope like a shuttle heading in for a crash landing. He just had to do it. “You’ve never looked more …” He saw her eyes fill with moisture. “Beautiful,” he finished. She clearly wanted something else from him. He sighed. “Damnit, darlin’, I’m not good with words.”
Almost before he finished saying the last syllable was she in his arms, her lips against his. When she pulled away and smiled at him it was enough to make him believe that he just might be able to get used to that damn ukulele.