Fandom: Star Trek: TOS/Reboot
Pairing/Category: Spock/McCoy, Spock Prime/McCoy
Warning: heavily implied sex, mentions of Amok Time, The Naked Time, and The Undiscovered Country
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, I do not make money off of doing this. The only thing I'm getting out of this is pure unadulterated creative enjoyment and less hours for me to spend doing my real work.
Summary: Spock never uses the word love
Author Note: beta read by cardiac_logic who is both wonderful, awesome and also very, very busy. Love you dear! written for Ship Wars over at st_respect the last prompt: 'Love'
Spock is six when he learns of his impending betrothal.
“Mother,” Amanda looks up at her only child, who is standing still and serious by the door as he speaks, “may I ask who that was who came to visit us for dinner? The lady and gentleman…” Spock hesitates for a moment, and Amanda imagines that if he were a human child he might bite his lip, “and the girl?”
“That was T’Pring and her family, Dear.” Amanda too hesitates for a moment watching Spock. She’d told Sarek he was too young for this.
“T’Pring’s family and your father and I hope that one day you and T’Pring might be bonded,” she tells him, and Spock’s eyes slide to the floor as he considers this.
“And this is what you and father wish?” His voice is almost hesitant, and Amanda squares her shoulders and smiles at him.
“Yes, if you want.”
“I understand.” Spock folds his little hands in front of him, looking so Vulcan it makes her heart ache, “Then this is what I wish.”
Amanda nods and smiles at him and wonders for the hundredth time whether or not he will come to regret this, whether they will come to regret it.
As time goes on, though, and Spock grows and matures, he does not regret his eventual bond with T’Pring. If anything, it is a relief, especially while he attends Starfleet Academy. The time, effort, and emotion humans put into starting relationships, which often seem to be unsatisfactory and fleeting, both confuse and repulse Spock. Spock decides that he is grateful to his parents for sparing him such an ordeal.
The question of love never comes into it.
When Spock hits puberty he realizes he has no actual sex drive, nor does he seem to have a need for intimacy, either physical or emotional. He does understand that this makes him unusual, that most human men, certainly, had such needs. He also understands that these needs exist for Vulcans as well, just, evidently, not for him. The first time he sees T’Pring after becoming aware of this lack within himself, he studies her carefully, wonders if he will be content with her as a mate. This match has been chosen for them as the logical choice by both her parents and his, therefore Spock supposes he will be content in the knowledge that this choice is in fact the logical one.
After he enrolls in the Starfleet Academy he reevaluates himself. He considers carefully each of his classmates, trying to discern if he wishes the company of any of them in any form, and arrives at the conclusion that he does not. He knows that this is not strictly normal, but he can see no discernable negative outcome that might affect his work or duty to his bloodline, and therefore he puts it out of his mind and eats his lunches alone.
Spock does sometimes crave intellectual closeness, someone with whom he can converse freely, someone who would willingly listen to his musings and interests - an intellectual equal.
Spock only feels this need occasionally, however, and it is easily pushed aside and ignored. Spock is a genius even by Vulcan standards; intellectual equals for him are hard to come by. Such is life; Spock knows this, and he does without.
Still, sometimes as he watches two crewmates sitting together at lunch, heads bent over the same PADD deep in conversation, he feels . . . something. It twists cold and tight in his chest and Spock looks elsewhere. On the other side of the mess hall McCoy laughs at something Kirk says and Spock turns back to his own lunch and the stack of reports he needs to read.
When T’Pring rejects him, Spock . . . Spock doesn’t . . . well perhaps he feels a little unsatisfied on account of having pon farr end so violently. He is also unsatisfied though, because that certainty he’s lived with since he was six is now gone. He had never intellectually or physically desired T’Pring, but he had wanted the security and duty that bonding with her represented.
After T’Pring breaks off their betrothal, the clan lets Spock know that for the time being at least he is no longer expected to take a mate.
Which is for the best.
Doctor Leonard McCoy is a very tactile person. Spock knows that some humans are, yet he has never spent a great deal of time around someone whose need to touch is quite as strong as the doctor’s.
“Spock.” McCoy’s voice is slightly irritated, but also worried, and Spock pitches a little to the side, disoriented by whatever kind of weapon the alien had used on him. McCoy’s hands rise quickly, grasping his shoulder and elbow, holding him up. Spock rights himself quickly and takes a breath.
“I am fine, Doctor.”
McCoy makes an unbelieving noise at the back of his throat; his hand remains pressed against Spock’s back, and Spock wishes very much he’d take it away. The doctor’s touch is cool and distracting and far too intimate.
Spock stumbles again.
“Damn it, you sure you’re ok?” The doctor’s grip tightens and slides to Spock’s shoulder instead of his back, and Spock clenches his jaw - against the effort of remaining physically upright, of course.
“I believe I am capable of walking on my own, Doctor McCoy,” Spock tells him stiffly. Now if only McCoy would stop touching him.
“Fine.” If anything, McCoy sounds even more annoyed, and his hand remains on Spock’s shoulder.
“Ah hell, it’s been a long day.” McCoy cradles his cup of coffee in both hands and leans back in his chair, closing his eyes.
“Indeed.” Spock sees no reason to say anything else, and instead chooses to let the silence stretch between them.
“Damn alien viruses,” McCoy sighs, “been vaccinating the whole ship, and then there is the cleaning up!”
Spock sips his tea. He agrees with the doctor; that the alien virus spreading so quickly throughout so much of the crew had been . . . troubling. He tries hard not to think of his own reaction to the virus.
The doctor sighs again, “A stroke of good luck that I managed to isolate it when I did.”
“Yes,” Now here was something Spock was interested in, “perhaps if I could look at our tests and research on the virus tomorrow it might prove beneficial.”
McCoy grunts without opening his eyes or looking at Spock, “You can come around to my office tomorrow and I’ll give them to you.”
Spock nods and looks down at his tea, and McCoy sighs tiredly and pushes himself up and away from the table.
McCoy stops halfway to the door and looks at Spock, and Spock hesitates for no reason he can think of. “Thank you.”
McCoy shakes his head. “You’re welcome, Spock. Get some sleep.”
The planet is beautiful, all harsh angled rocks and water. The people who live there are highly intelligent and industrious. He has been told the planet’s equivalent of spring is truly an impressive thing to witness.
“God damn barbarians,” McCoy swears through gritted teeth, kneeling beside a young man bleeding from the gaping hole in his chest. He’s holding a compress trying to keep the man from bleeding to death before he can repair the damage. Spock kneels on the other side of the young man and wordlessly hands the doctor equipment out of McCoy’s med kit. “God damn it, God damn!” The young man’s eyes roll back in his head and blood trickles from his mouth. After another long, futile moment, McCoy sits back on his heels, mouth set in a thin line. He gets up and moves to the next person lying in a pool of her own blood on the concrete floor.
Gang warfare is something so beyond logical that Spock cannot even comprehend how such things are possible. McCoy works ceaselessly to try and stem some of the suffering that surrounds them.
Later that evening a bomb goes off several streets away, taking out a housing complex, and McCoy orders the Enterprise to send down more medical teams.
Later still, many hours after the suns have gone down, Spock presses a nutrient bar into McCoy’s hand as the other man sits on a packing crate in a warehouse turned hospital. Spock sits on the packing crate next to McCoy and watches him eat. He himself will need to sleep soon, or at least meditate Spock reflects and notes that McCoy has a smear of blood a little under one ear and that his pants are singed in two places. He looks out across the warehouse to where a small group of people has gathered around plastic covered bodies. Spock thinks maybe he should just meditate where he is, but his gaze is drawn back to McCoy as the other man watches these people mourn their dead. McCoy finishes his nutrient bar and folds his hands in his lap, but still he doesn’t speak to Spock.
Spock finds on reflection that he is strangely satisfied with this, and shares this moment in silence with the other man.
“I cannot believe the nerve of those people,” McCoy grumbles, Kirk laughs, and Spock merely arches an eyebrow and doesn’t try to understand what they’re talking about. “It’s bad enough that they put us all through this rigmarole.” McCoy pulls the collar and then front of his dress uniform open, “but then pulling two surprise speeches on us. Two!”
Kirk shakes his head and claps the other man on the back, “I feel your pain Bones. But at least it’s over, and I didn’t have to make a speech.”
“This is true. Your speeches are always the worst Admiral.” McCoy’s tone is sardonic and Kirk throws him an amused look.
The transporter doors open and Kirk wave at them cheerfully, “Good night boys. Going to go raid my mini-bar now.”
“Amen to that,” McCoy mutters and heads in the other direction. Spock follows after him, since he is staying in the room next to McCoy’s. The doctor hesitates at the door to his own room watching Spock, before keying the door open.
“What to come in? I’m sure I can find something non-alcoholic somewhere in there.”
Spock hesitates as well; he should say no, tell the doctor goodnight, go to his own room, meditate and go to bed.
Instead he inclines his head slightly, “Very well.”
McCoy sighs a little and opens the door, ushering Spock into his room. It looks exactly like the room that had been given to Spock; large and comfortable without being overly so.
“Here.” McCoy thrusts a glass of fruit juice at Spock. Spock takes it and sips a little. McCoy turns back to the mini-bar and starts calling up a, presumably alcoholic, drink on the computer. Spock moves across the room to stand at the large window and look out at San Francisco. The city is beautiful from this height Spock thinks. Cold and glittering lights, stretching out as far as he can see. He thinks of the thousands of people, living and working below them. He looks toward the Academy and thinks of the students there, of their hopes and dreams.
“Spock.” McCoy touches his arm gently and Spock turns to him, watches the lights from the city outside the window play across the other man’s face, sees how dark blue McCoy’s eyes seem in this light. Spock’s eyes drift down to the doctor’s hand against his arm, long fingered and seemingly fragile against the heavy cloth of his dress uniform. He suddenly very much wants to kiss the pale skin on the inside of McCoy’s wrist and can think of no logical reason not to do so.
McCoy sucks in a sharp breath that’s almost a gasp as Spock’s fingers curl around his wrist and lifts it to the other man’s mouth. They stand there, a moment suspended in time and then McCoy sucks in another long breath, and wrenches his wrist away from Spock. Spock feels a moment almost like loss before McCoy is pressed close against the other man, hand coming up to press against the back of Spock’s neck.
Their first kiss is sweet and long, McCoy presses into it with urgency and Spock certainly doesn’t resist. The kiss is soft and closed mouthed and McCoy breaks away first, bringing both of his hands up to cup Spock’s face between pressing back in for another and Spock’s hands tentatively touch McCoy’s waist.
McCoy jerks back at that, “Spock?”
“Doctor?” Spock inclines his head slightly to keep eye contact with the shorter man. McCoy’s hands are shaking.
“Let’s go to bed?” half question, half plea, Spock gives a little nod and McCoy very nearly drags him across the living room and into the bedroom. Once there, Spock undressed because that’s what he assumes is required. McCoy watches him and Spock lets him. He sits at the bed and leans back a little, it’s very much softer then he’s used to. McCoy pulls off his inform jacket and shirt and Spock examines the other man’s chest and finds it acceptable to look at. McCoy sits on the bed and removes his boots and pants.
McCoy reaches out and touches Spock’s ankle and then shifts closer to him on the bed, “Spock, are you ok with this?”
“If I was not, I would not be here, Doctor.” Spock tells him and McCoy nods a little and sighs leaning forward and kissing him, light and sweet.
“It’s Leonard.” He says and then shifts to lie beside Spock on the bed.
Spock feels the way McCoy’s body curves against him; he traces his fingers across the other man’s face, down his arms, and entwines their fingers together. He strokes across McCoy’s palms, and McCoy’s breath hitches a little and he kisses Spock’s shoulder, trails his lips up his neck, bites at the lobe of one of Spock’s ears. McCoy moves his hands down Spock’s body, touching him gently, sliding his hands along Spock’s sides around his hips, across the inside of his thighs.
Spock discovers that he likes it. He likes McCoy touching him, the other man’s hands, long fingered and a little rough, against his skin. He likes it when McCoy kisses him in the human way, trails kisses down his neck, kisses across Spock’s chest. Spock touches McCoy too, awkwardly and unsure at first, copying McCoy’s own hands on him, then McCoy touches Spock in away he had only known about in theory, and Spock’s hands find their way to McCoy’s waist and stay there.
He did not expect it to be as hard as it was when he leaves Kirk and McCoy on the Klingon ship to face trial for murder. Of course he understands the gravity of the situation and the risk they both face, that they will suffer. It is however the only logical move open to him so he does it. He did not expect it to be as hard as it is though. If he is being honest with himself he expected to worry about them, however he’s taken by surprise by how much he worries about them, how much he thinks about what they must be enduring, how much he worries about McCoy. Not enough to distract him from the task at hand of course, but more than he should.
It’s the silence that jars him the most. He’s so used to feeling McCoy inside his mind, the incredibly alien yet welcoming presence that flows through him. When McCoy steps onto the Kingon ship that link goes dead. McCoy has blocked him, if a bit awkwardly, before but never as completely and never for so long. By the time McCoy and Kirk are convicted and sent to Rura Penthe he’s desperate to reach across their minds and tear those barriers down. That however is an almost unthinkable taboo in Vulcan society and Spock knows he will not do it unless the thinks McCoy is dead or dying. By the time he realizes Valaris is involved part of him just feels numb.
He needs his mate. He needs McCoy to be here with him.
“Darlin’” McCoy says when Spock walks through the door into their cabin after it’s all over. He stands up from the bed, freshly showered and shaved, and walks to Spock, slipping his arms around the taller man’s waist. Spock still feels numb, still cut off and holds McCoy tightly smells the fresh sent of his still wet hair. Valaris’ mind had been cold, resisting, tainted by distrust and a hate Spock couldn’t understand. He had been aware of McCoy standing behind him but he had not felt the doctor’s mind, still can’t feel it.
“Leonard.” McCoy shifts a little in his arms, and Spock brushes his fingers across the other man’s hair, he hasn’t felt so lost, not since after the fal-tor-pan, so very alone. “Let me in,” he hesitates for a moment and closes his eyes, “please.” He’ll beg if he needs to, he can’t live like this though, can’t live with the other man in his arms and no access to his mind.
“Yeah. Yeah, darlin’ of course.” McCoy pulls back a little from Spock to really look at him, “this has been really hard for you hasn’t it?”
Spock doesn’t answers only traces his fingers across the back of McCoy’s hands and McCoy sighs. “You going to mind meld with me, sweetheart?”
Slowly Spock’s hand comes up to find the points on McCoy’s face. He doesn’t want to do this, he’s still hurting, still feeling slightly unwell from his contact with Valaris’ mind and he doesn’t wish to push this into McCoy’s mind. He has no choice though and his mate’s presence in his mind is a blessed relief, beautiful, needed and all sorts of things he will never be able to put into words. He lets out a breath very softly and McCoy sags a little in his arms. Spock can feel now the pain and echoes of fear coming off the other man, he can feel the toll the whole experience has taken on McCoy how worn out and a little sad the other man is. McCoy knows his career is over, that this is the last time he will ever serve on a Starship and he is at once incredibly relieved and deeply saddened by this, and Spock holds him tightly.
Spock guides McCoy to the bed and lays him down and pulls off his robe, touches him gently, kisses him on the lips because McCoy likes that. He traces the lines of the other man’s body and settles himself between McCoy’s spread legs. He kisses across McCoy’s chest and belly, and touches the soft skin of his inner thighs. McCoy sighs softly and touches Spock’s hair, runs his fingers cross Spock’s cheek. His mind inside of Spock’s hums and sings, ever rolling colors and emotions settling like water after a storm, and Spock touches him with his hands and his mouth until there is nothing in McCoy’s mind but calmness and joy.
“I love you.” McCoy says softly into the curve of Spock’s neck several hours later when they lie pressed together and finally still. Spock does not answer but he presses his fingers against McCoy’s back and thinks there is no logical reason to want anyone else ever again.
Once when Spock looked at the stars he saw only other worlds and galaxies, some known some not, stretching out above him. Now he can look up and marvel at the beauty of it all, see the mystery that goes deeper than undiscovered scientific theory. Vulcan’s do not believe in a God but Spock believes that things happen for a reason, and he has stopped thinking that he knows the limits of possibility. He looks up again and tries, briefly to remember if the stars ever looked like this from the Earth of his own timeline and then dismisses such thoughts.
It is a warm night for San Francisco, although not as warm as the nights he is used to on New Vulcan. The night is beautiful, with a clear sky and warm breeze that fails to move his heavy, black Earth style suit but feels pleasing nonetheless. The garden is in full bloom and Spock is particularly attracted to the cherry blossoms, white or pink and very fragile. There is movement behind him and then Doctor McCoy is standing next to him on the balcony also leaning against the railing. The younger man holds out a glass to him and Spock takes it and sips the juice. The fact that the younger McCoy has been slowly but surely courting him has not gone unnoticed and Spock does not know how he feels about it.
McCoy sips his own drink and turns to look out at the garden and Spock takes the opportunity to study the other man. McCoy is in full dress uniform and Spock notes that he has been promoted since last time they met. He very much doubts he will ever get used to how tall this McCoy is, or the broadness of his shoulders, or how young he is. The temptation is there to touch, to stroke his fingers across the bigger man’s knuckles to touch his cheek, to brush back his hair. McCoy is young, brilliant and now a war hero and he could have any man or woman he wanted and Spock doesn’t know what to think of the fact that it is him who has caught McCoy’s attention.
“What is it that you want with me doctor?” Spock asks and they both know he means more than right this minute in this garden and at this party.
McCoy turns to him then so much raw unshielded emotion on his face that Spock blinks. He has almost forgotten, but then he should not have.
“You’re nothing like him.” McCoy says blunt and to the point. Spock nods and the younger man tips his head to the side. “But you are . . .” McCoy stops seemingly trying to puzzle through something in his own mind and Spock watches and waits. Finally the younger man sighs and rolls his eyes, finishing off his drink in one fluid movement. He holds the empty glass idly between both of his hands and leans on his elbows to look out over the garden. “You don’t treat me like the others.” McCoy finally states not looking at Spock, “I’m not a war hero to you, and you don’t want the same things from me that Jim does, that the Commander does. I don’t know . . .” McCoy turns to look at him then, “I don’t know what you want Ambassador, but I think want to find out.”
There is a little frown between McCoy’s eyes when he says it and he doesn’t sound at all happy with the statement. It’s one of those rare times when Spock has to fight back a smile.
“But you suspect what I want is to be romantic in nature?” Spock leans one hip against the railing so that he can face the younger man and takes another sip of his juice.
“No.” McCoy straightens up, turning to face Spock, leaning one hip against the railing in an exact imitation of the older man’s pose. Spock notes that McCoy is taller than he is now. It that amuses him greatly but also causes something almost painful to twist inside of him. Want, oh yes, he wants this man, but not in the way he has been expecting and guarding against. McCoy moves a bit closer to him then, their hands, on the railing, so close they almost brush. Spock goes a little light-headed and McCoy smiles a little ironically. “That was just my wishful thinking.”
They stare at each other for a very long moment.
“But if I was wrong-” McCoy pulls away from the railing and takes a step back, and Spock reaches forward without thinking grabbing the other man’s wrist.
“No.” His fingers slip a little, McCoy’s hand is so big, and Spock suddenly feels small “no you were not mistaken.”
McCoy looks at him, searching his face as if for something. Then his other hand comes down trapping Spock’s smaller hand between both of his. Slowly he raises Spock’s hand and kisses the tips of his fingers. Spock holds himself very still, works hard to keep from gasping and McCoy kisses the palm of his hand, fingers stroking across his wrist and Spock sighs, lets his eyes drifts shut a little. When he opens them again McCoy is smiling and Spock moves closer, putting his hands on each of the younger man’s shoulder and kisses him on the lips. McCoy makes a little noise in the back of his throat, his lips opening, his body curving around Spock’s, as his arms go around the other man’s waist pulling him close. Spock closes his eyes, and doesn’t think about propriety, only kisses him back hard.
The room is big and right now sun-lit soft yellow instead of the harsher reds and oranges Spock is used to. He stands in front of a large window, in loose-fitting Vulcan robes and watches the sunrise above the city, and feels calm and warm inside.
“Hey.” McCoy props himself up on his elbows, the sheet falling around his waist, to show a broad chest, lightly sprinkled with brown hair.
Spock clasps his hands in front of him and moves back to sit on the edge of the bed, “Yes Leonard?”
McCoy reaches forward and tugs at one of Spock’s wrists until the older man unclasps his hand and then takes the freed hand in both of his. “You ok?” Dark eyes watch him a little concerned and Spock nods and reaches out with his free hand to brush back McCoy’s hair from his face.
“I am well.”
“Good,” McCoy hesitates a little tracing meaningless patterns against Spock’s palm with his thumb and Spock struggles not to get distracted. “I’m . . .” The younger man swallows, “I was married once you know.”
Spock nods “I know.”
McCoy sighs a little worried frown creasing his forward, “I don’t know, and you deserve better, but . . .” He looks across the room then at the sunlight streaming through the window. “I don’t think I love you Spock.” He says very quietly, “but I want to see if I can try.”
Spock meets the younger man’s intense, dark gaze and does not reach out to smooth away that little frown between his eyes, but instead nods.
“Yes.” Spock says just as softly, just as serious.