20: Communication

They sat there for a long time, content to simply enjoy each other’s warmth as the blankets cocooned them. Spock had found the perfect angle to nestle against McCoy, his face pressed against the Human’s neck, and had amused him when he’d let out a sigh of utter comfort and relaxation. McCoy’s gentle touches were soothing, almost hypnotic as his hands stroked back and forth over Spock’s skin, and the backdrop to it all was McCoy’s subdued waves of HAPPY-HAPPY-PERFECT-MINE. Even the trace of incredulity that had been present at first had faded as McCoy internalized that the weight of Spock in his arms was real, the feel of his body against him was real, and the events of the past night had been real as well.

Spock had not realized that he’d drifted to sleep until he was woken from it, jarringly, by the beeping of the comm. It took McCoy five shrill beeps to un-recline the section of the couch, pull the coffee table closer with one foot, and press the tiny button recessed into the surface with his toe.

“McCoy,” he barked, sounding gruff and intimidating, as the comm panel slid up.

“Doctor, the captain said Commander Spock might be in your quarters,” came Uhura’s clipped voice.

Spock froze for a split second before answering, “Yes, I am here. I am sorry for any concern—”

“There is an incoming subspace message for you from New Vulcan,” she interrupted.

“Oh! Yes… my father,” Spock said, glancing at McCoy.

“Patching it through now. Visual also.”

Uhura’s brusque comment gave them no time to move or shift positions before the venerable face of Sarek, former Ambassador of the Vulcan High Command to Earth, came on the viewscreen. Even to McCoy’s untrained eye, it was clear that Sarek was shocked to find his son swaddled in blankets with another man.

“Father,” Spock began, feeling his cheeks flush but doing his best to remain calm, “to what do I owe the pleasure?”

“It seems I have contacted you at an inconvenient time,” Sarek responded, his eyebrows mostly obscured by his bangs.

“Not at all, Father,” Spock said while placing a hand on McCoy’s arm to still the Human’s panicked movements as his emotions shouted EMBARRASSED-EMBARRASSED-HIDE. At least the refrain of his thoughts — “Oh, shit! Oh, shit! Oh, shit!” — was easy enough to ignore. “I have wished to inform you of some… recent events, which will explain this situation you find me in.”

“I see,” Sarek said, though Spock sensed that his father would have preferred to not see this particular tableau. “Perhaps that would also explain why a medical facility in Yorktown has notified me that you had been admitted for vertigo, heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness.”

“Oh,” Spock and McCoy gasped at the same time. “Forgive me, Father,” Spock continued. “I had forgotten that they would contact you as my next of kin. I assure you I am in good health. The symptoms were manifestations of a… psychological condition.”

“Indeed?” If anything, Sarek’s brows rose higher.

“Yes.” Spock pulled the blanket tightly around himself as he shifted to face the viewscreen, hoping McCoy would follow suit so that their nakedness underneath would not be revealed. “When my mother died… you told me that your reason for marrying her had been… because you loved her.”

Sarek blinked, perhaps to keep his gaze from flitting to the Human sitting behind his son. “Yes… it was.”

“He did?” McCoy thought in surprise.

“I am pleased to inform you that I have found such a life-mate… one to whom I can give my whole heart… unreservedly.”

“You have?” McCoy thought, electrified.

“Indeed,” Sarek evenly replied. “Am I to assume it is not Nyota Uhura, for whom you annulled your marriage to T’Pring?”

“He what? McCoy’s emotions grew confused and chaotic.

“That is correct,” Spock answered. “As you may remember from our previous conversations, I had been hesitant to solidify that relationship with any greater degree of permanence.”

Sarek nodded. “You had noted that she could be… volatile. Unpredictable.”

“Really?”

“She is Human,” Spock said, not unkindly. “Given the tumultuous nature of our relationship… and the many times she had considered the efforts to maintain it futile… I had long wondered if she might not be better served — happier with someone of her own species.”

“Oh… wow….”

“A logical conclusion,” Sarek said with slight approval. “I had wondered myself if your mother might not have been happier with her own kind, despite her repeated declarations to the contrary.”

“She loved you very much,” Spock stated, causing a shadow of something like pain to flit across his father’s features. “I know it could not have been easy for her to live on Vulcan, but she displayed a remarkable resiliency and ability to adapt.”

“She was a credit to her species,” Sarek agreed.

“As is Dr. McCoy,” Spock smoothly followed. He even managed to keep a calm façade through the barrage of McCoy’s emotions: PANIC-CONFUSION-DISBELIEF-PANIC. “I trust you remember him?”

“Of course.” Sarek inclined his head courteously while McCoy gaped. “The chief medical officer of the Enterprise… the man who kept my son alive through the incident on Altamid. You have my respect and gratitude, Doctor.”

“Oh, I, uh… I was just… doing my job… Sir,” McCoy stammered.

“You did more than that, Leonard,” Spock protested, turning back to meet his eyes. “Though you are always fiercely protective of your patients, you went above and beyond the call of duty to safeguard my health with only primitive tools at your disposal. And despite your apprehension about piloting the alien craft, you managed to rescue our captain. You were also the first person I could confide in about Ambassador Spock’s death… because I knew your counsel would be sound and your heart, sympathetic. In every challenge you have been presented, you have proven yourself capable and efficient while never losing sight of your calling to be compassionate to all lifeforms. For all that… and so much more… you have my respect, my gratitude… and my love.”

Time seemed to still as Spock took McCoy’s face in one hand to guide their lips together. Perhaps because the running commentary of thought in the doctor’s mind had skidded to a complete halt. It was a chaste kiss but it sparked a flame of enormous intensity in McCoy. Spock smiled as he pulled away, for he could see that fire in his lover’s eyes, incinerating his self-doubt.

“Well.” Sarek’s bland tone could not have been described as embarrassed, but his words were brisk. “It seems you are resolute in your choice, then.”

“I am, Father,” Spock said, returning his attention to the viewscreen. “While you may object to my forming such a consequential opinion so quickly, I have known Leonard for many years and am convinced that I shall not regret my choice.”

“Very well. It seems… logical.”

And emotional.” Spock faced his father’s piercing gaze without flinching. “I love him. Nyota had accused me, rightly, of becoming obsessed with him, but that was only a part of the truth. While my mind grew fascinated with him, my heart had already formed an attachment… unlike any other I have ever known. Before I was cognizant of it, I had, as the Human expression goes, ‘fallen in love’ to such a degree that it affected my ability to maintain emotional equilibrium — hence my admittance to the hospital to investigate the cause of those physical aberrations. Once the doctor had determined that no physical cause existed, it was a simple matter of deduction to realize that they were a result of my infatuation with him.”

Spock paused to catch his breath since he was also being affected by the increasingly powerful waves of AMAZING-HAPPY-DISBELIEF-GLAD beating upon his consciousness from McCoy.

“When I revealed this to him, I was… pleasantly surprised to discover that he had harbored affection toward me as well, which he had concealed out of consideration for Lieutenant Uhura and my relationship. Since she has recently opted to no longer continue that endeavor, I am now free to pursue a relationship with Leonard. And although it has only been a short while yet, I can inform you that we are quite compatible.”

Sarek nodded. “You have not surprised me in this matter, Spock…. Ever since you chose to join Starfleet, I had suspected that you might choose a life-mate from another species. And yet I had hoped — especially after so many of our kind were lost — that you would consider joining us here on New Vulcan to help rebuild our culture… as well as our population.”

“I had considered that, Father, and given it serious thought. However, you know as well as I that my half-Human bloodline does not make me an optimal mate. T’Pring’s family had valued the connection to ours, but many of them were… less than welcoming of me.” Spock pursed his lips briefly before adding, “I do not wish to be selected as a… last resort.”

Sarek raised one eyebrow. “Another emotional decision?”

“The right decision for me, Father. I am, after all, half Human.”

“So it would seem.” Sarek appeared resigned as he lifted his hand in the traditional salute. “Live long and prosper, Spock.”

“Peace and long life, Father.”

“And to you as well, Dr. McCoy.”

McCoy was startled out of gazing blankly at the back of Spock’s neck. “Uh… thank you. You too,” he managed.

Spock could not suppress the fond smile that took over his face before Sarek ended the transmission. “Well, so be it,” he thought. “At least my father knows that I am happy.”

“Spock?” McCoy asked, his voice subdued.

“Yes, Leonard?”

“Is it true that they look down on you… because you’re half-Human?”

“That part of me was considered by many to be inferior, yes. It is why I decided to join Starfleet instead of the Vulcan Science Academy. On Earth, I was merely one of many alien species working together; on Vulcan, I would have been the only anomalous individual.”

Spock gasped as he felt McCoy’s lips against his nape, then his tongue licking up his hairline. McCoy was wrapping his arms around him again as well.

“That must’ve been… awful,” he whispered between kisses behind Spock’s ear.

“It was not pleasant,” Spock admitted.

“And yet… your mom… lived there for years?”

“Yes. With very little Human companionship.” Spock sensed McCoy’s sympathy and admiration for the lone Human woman who had braved such a society to be with the man she loved. “She was an exceptional woman. I do not think my judgment is biased on that point.”

“No… it isn’t.” McCoy pulled his lips away from Spock’s skin, though he still held him tightly against his chest. “I wish I’d gotten to meet her.”

Spock swallowed, more affected by that simple statement than he would have expected. “As do I.”

“And what’s this about… your being married?”

Having expected this question from the waves of curiosity being projected by McCoy, Spock smiled as he answered, “In Vulcan culture, our mates are chosen by our family — usually our fathers — at a young age. It is like a betrothal or engagement, but it carries far more significance than on Earth. However, when Nyota approached me and stated her interest, I considered it more logical to select a life-mate who would be at least willing to accompany me wherever possible. T’Pring had never wished to leave Vulcan.”

Spock paused as he realized that she had been forced to relocate from the only homeland she had known, as had the few others fortunate enough to survive the attack.

“She and her family did not hesitate to accept our request for annulment. I have since heard that she has chosen another.”

“Hmm.” McCoy continued to hold Spock close. “Do you… regret that? Letting her go?”

“No, of course not. Though she and I were compatible by Vulcan standards, even sharing certain bonds through the rituals of our binding, there was very little affection on either of our parts. If we spent our lives together as intended, we would have developed a greater connection, but… I fear it would have paled in comparison to the deep-seated attraction I have felt for you.”

“Wow,” McCoy mumbled into the blanket on Spock’s shoulder. The waves of his emotions had changed to AMAZING-MINE-HAPPY-INCREDIBLE. His thoughts, though jumbled, were in the same vein.

After a minute of silence, in which Spock enjoyed being held — feeling how much McCoy enjoyed holding him like this — he noticed something that had escaped his attention due to the concentration required to speak with his father.

“Leonard… I’m afraid… I may have made another mess…. You had mentioned something, earlier, about… ‘embarrassing leakages’….”

McCoy began to chuckle, then shake with silent heaves, until he finally laughed out loud and long.

“I do not understand why it affords you so much amusement,” Spock responded. “It is not only damaging to your furniture but also… unsanitary.”

“Aww, Spock! It’s no big deal. Nothing the stain-bot can’t fix.” McCoy pulled him back to kiss his jaw. “Why don’t you stand up and let me see how well you christened the couch.”

Frowning in confusion at McCoy’s cavalier attitude, Spock nevertheless followed his suggestion and stood up. The majority of the blanket’s surface area had been covering his torso, but it had not been under his buttocks. Consequently, there was a pool of semen which his body had deposited on the fabric of the couch. At least he hoped it was only semen. McCoy studied the puddle of whitish goo between his thighs with enormous satisfaction.

“Now that’s what I call a wad,” he declared with a grin. “And you made me blow it all inside of you! Damn, Spock — you’d make the hookers on Farius Prime jealous!”

“I am not certain that I should be flattered by such a comparison,” Spock answered honestly, then was engulfed by a surge of STUPID-STUPID-IDIOT-FAILURE. McCoy jumped up and drew near him, leaving his blanket behind on the couch so that he was stark naked.

“I’m sorry… I—I didn’t mean it like that…. I w—wasn’t comparing you to—” he desperately tried to explain.

“I understand,” Spock told him, letting his own blanket slip to the floor in favor of stepping into his lover’s embrace. “I know you did not intend it to be derogatory. What I do not understand is why you should be so pleased about… that.”

“No?” McCoy said, puzzled in turn. “I guess I… it’s just… it’s proof, y’know? Of what we did… what you let me do…. God! I still can’t believe it, but…. Okay, maybe it’s some primitive, barbaric thing we under-evolved Humans like to do, but… you know how some species mark their territory?”

“Yes… usually with urine or other scent glands, if I’m not mistaken.”

“Right! So… it’s sort of like that. It’s proof that I… I marked you… that I got to do that… with you.”

Spock tilted his head as he processed this new concept. “But Leonard… wouldn’t the act itself be proof enough?”

“Well, sure, but… this is different.” McCoy cast about for a better description. “When we’re actually doing it, it’s like… all heat and lust and your heart pounding in your head so loudly that you can’t fucking think, but this… you can see after that craziness is over. It’s evidence that you can review in the cold light of day when your brain is functioning again.”

“And this pleases you?” Spock asked for confirmation.

“Well, yeah….” McCoy’s eyes were filled with uncertainty, although perhaps Spock was able to interpret their expression because he could hear McCoy’s emotions wavering with WORRY-WORRY-PERVERT-WORRY.

“If it pleases you, then it pleases me,” he stated, sliding his arms around McCoy’s neck to bring their bodies into full contact. “But if you wish to claim me as your own, I shall insist on equal rights to claim you as mine.”

“Really? You… want me? To be yours?”

Spock felt his chest tighten at the disbelief that McCoy’s spoken words, thoughts, and feelings all conveyed.

Yes, I want you to be mine,” he declared. “Did you think… this was a mere physical attraction? Or that I only wanted a passing involvement — like the many fleeting affairs the captain has?”

McCoy glanced down, abashed. “Well, I… I didn’t know. I thought maybe… you just wanted to, y’know… get it out of your system. So you wouldn’t have all those… symptoms.”

This time, Spock could not logically accuse McCoy of influencing his emotions, for just as McCoy was beginning to feel truly hopeful, Spock felt an overwhelming sadness that even after so many verbal professions — in Sarek’s hearing, no less — as well as their repeated sexual encounters, McCoy still had not comprehended the depths of Spock’s attraction to him. Spock could not hold back the tears that flowed out of his eyes and splashed onto the Human’s shoulder, although for the moment, Spock had to acknowledge that he felt very much Human himself.

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