29: A Moment to Meditate

Spock woke when McCoy’s alarm sounded but noted that the doctor hit the snooze button and was unconscious again the next instant. It was supremely comfortable lying together, sharing each other’s warmth, so he could not blame McCoy for wanting to stay in bed a little longer. Spock sensed his lover’s contentment and smiled. McCoy had dressed him in his pajamas and underwear (just purchased since their return to Yorktown) but had opted to sleep in the nude himself since the increased temperature of the room made it comfortable enough for him to do so. Although Spock wanted to turn around to face him — to see his peacefully slumbering face — he did not wish to rob his lover of what little rest he might gain from the extra few minutes, so he lay still and tried to keep his thoughts tranquil to avoid disturbing him.

It was baffling to Spock that they were able to communicate as clearly as they did without physical contact, let alone psionic contact, but he knew that if anybody could figure out the medical mystery, it would be McCoy. The results of their brain scans during their communication would no doubt be fascinating. Obviously they had moved past the realm of empathy into telepathy; which one of them had enabled it was the question. “Or perhaps there was some mutual contribution… a synergetic increasing of our abilities due to their combination,” Spock mused.

“It’s too early to be using such big words,” McCoy thought at him and yawned. Spock turned to him in chagrin.

“I am sorry… I did not intend to wake you.”

“’S okay. Have to get up anyway.” McCoy yawned again and shut off the alarm before it could go off. “Sorry I can’t cook breakfast today.”

“Would you like me to?”

“No, don’t worry — I don’t have time to sit down and eat. Plus it’s better to have just a nutrition bar before swimming.” As McCoy got up and shuffled into the bathroom, Spock could feel the idea spark in his mind. “Hey, you wanna join us?”

Spock contemplated the question while memorizing the sight of McCoy standing naked in the doorway. “Thank you, but… perhaps another time. I would not want to intrude… and I believe I will benefit from some time spent alone in contemplation.”

“I haven’t given you a moment of peace, have I?” McCoy stepped into the shower for a quick wash. “That was deliberate, you know — didn’t want to give you the chance to run away. Have I fucked your brains out yet?” he added with a flash of humor.

“I do not believe that is anatomically possible,” Spock replied in as droll of a tone as he could muster. It was harder to keep his emotions from seeping into his thoughts, he realized. “However, since you are a doctor, I hope you would be able to rectify the situation before there is any permanent damage.”

McCoy’s laugh resounded in Spock’s mind. It felt good, happy, and like a long, luxurious stretch — as though the man had not laughed full-heartedly in a long time. Spock contemplated that for a moment before getting up himself, then padding over to the kitchen to retrieve two nutrition bars. McCoy came out of the bathroom, still damp, and dressed quickly.

“Say,” he asked aloud as he tucked a fresh hospital uniform into his gym bag, “would you mind if I told Jim about… y’know… us?”

“Of course not,” Spock answered, offering him one of the bars. “It was only because of your suggestion that it would be more tactful to… keep this under wraps, as they say, to avoid hurting Nyota that I agreed to requesting Mr. Scott’s silence, but conversely Jim would be hurt if we kept it a secret from him. And there is really no reason to do so.”

“Well, that’s what I thought, but I wanted to make sure.” McCoy took the bar but chose to lean in to kiss Spock instead of eating it. “He’d sniff it out soon enough, so I figure it would be better to make a clean breast of it right away. Although of course he’s gonna tease us — both of us — to no end over this.”

“I am prepared to endure the consequences,” Spock thought back at him without breaking the kiss. He could taste McCoy’s toothpaste and decided he liked it well enough to insert his tongue as deep inside McCoy’s mouth as it would go. The Human groaned and broke away.

“You’re gonna make it impossible for me to go swimming,” he grumbled, his cheeks flushed.

“That would allow us to spend more time together… but it would be rude… to miss… your appointment… with Jim,” Spock said between placing quick kisses on McCoy’s clean-shaven cheek.

“Mmm… hold that thought until I get back tonight, all right?”

“Of course,” Spock replied, backing off since he felt the pressure of time beginning to weigh on his lover’s mind. “I will attempt to cook some Terran cuisine for dinner.”

“Yeah?” McCoy was thrilled at the idea — Spock could sense the excitement tingle through him. “I’ll call when I leave the hospital then.”

After one last, lingering kiss, McCoy dashed out of the apartment. Spock followed his progress with his mind, noting that he wolfed down his bar in the lift before sprinting to the nearest transporter. He wondered how far they could be and still communicate telepathically, but he decided not to test it and distract McCoy when he was in a hurry. It would be better to experiment with their limits in a controlled fashion at some later date.

Spock replicated a mug of tea and sat at the table to nibble his bar, making a mental list of groceries to purchase for dinner, including more nutrition bars for busy mornings like these. Spock smiled at the prospect of sharing many future mornings and evenings with McCoy. It seemed like an inevitability now, although he had not even considered the possibility until only two days ago. A lot had happened in those two days — a whirlwind of events and emotions — so Spock was glad to have some time to meditate and reassert order in his mind.

First, however, he needed to clean the underside of the table and set the stain-bot to work on the carpet. His semen had dried and hardened but was still visible as pale green spatters. Spock glanced with embarrassment at the couch which was similarly stained. McCoy might enjoy seeing those marks as proof of the Vulcan’s enjoyment of their union, but Spock was confident that there would be plenty of occasions to recreate them, so he determined to clean all traces off the rented furniture with the stain-bot. He also needed to do some laundry; specifically, his own clothes which he had soiled last night in his haste to satisfy his lover’s needs. McCoy’s bedsheets needed to be washed as well. Realizing that he had much to do before he would feel comfortable retreating to his own apartment, Spock began tackling his tasks as efficiently as he could.

He removed the sheets and started the laundry, set the stain-bot to work on the couch, and wiped the underside and feet of the table clean, remembering (his cheeks warming) how McCoy had jumped his bones after watching him lean over to wipe the top. Spock knew by now, even if he didn’t quite understand why, that his buttocks were a source of erotic arousal for McCoy, so he planned to investigate ways of showing them off to their best advantage — at least in the privacy of their quarters. By the time he had finished taking a shower, his clothes were dry, as were the sheets. He made the bed and set the stain-bot to clean the entire floor just to be thorough. Taking one last look over McCoy’s rooms to ensure that everything was in order, Spock felt a swell of satisfaction… and happiness.

“There is a distinct pleasure in performing domestic tasks,” he thought as he headed back to his own rooms. “Leonard has become my ‘home’ in more ways than I had expected… perhaps this is what Humans mean when they say something ‘grounds’ them.”

Spock had much to ponder as he knelt in front of his coffee table, focusing on the flame of the candle. This was the Vulcan way of grounding oneself, valuable in its own right; however, he was glad that he had found McCoy as a means of grounding himself, too.

“Since I am both Vulcan and Human, it is good and logical to avail myself of both.”

Spock turned his gaze inward and became conscious of a wholeness in his being — a completeness and peacefulness which had always eluded him before. It startled him; he had considered such a state unattainable, beyond his reach, something to strive for and motivate himself to try harder to achieve, though without any real hope of achieving it. He wondered if this enlightenment had made his telepathic communication with McCoy possible… or if his communion with McCoy had allowed him to attain this newfound perfect contentment.

“As Leonard might say, it is the conundrum of the chicken and the egg,” he thought with wry humor. The paradox did not trouble him in the least, though it would have in the past. For now it was enough that he was assured of McCoy’s genuine affection for him. Everything else — their amazing ability to communicate, the tranquility he had sought so long in vain, the joy of sharing in domestic chores — was simply icing on the cake. He also realized that he had not suffered any heart palpitations or shortness of breath since confessing his attraction to McCoy and discovering that the feeling was mutual.

“I must compliment him on his excellent healing skills… as well as his bedside manner,” Spock noted with a private smile. The flame seemed to flicker in assent.

***

“So ask me about the girl I met last night,” Jim prodded McCoy with a shit-eating grin on his face. They had just finished a lap and had stopped to catch their breath by the wall.

“Wait, what happened to the hydroponics engineer?” McCoy demanded. “I thought you were gonna settle down with her!”

Jim shrugged. “It didn’t work out… I mean, she was great and all, but she wasn’t happy with the hours I’m working now — while I’m here — so can you imagine how upset she’d be once the new Enterprise is finished? No, it’s for the best. But La’Shawna is different! She’s bright and witty and loves to go hiking….”

McCoy listened for a few minutes with the patience and inattention of a friend who knew that this dalliance, too, would not last long enough to warrant committing her vital stats to memory.

“She sounds really nice,” he remarked when Jim paused in his praise.

“She is! Really great… and she has friends, you know.”

McCoy rolled his eyes. “No, I don’t need you to set me up, Jim.”

“Aw, c’mon, Bones! We’re gonna be here for a few months, so you could at least try to meet someone! Even if it doesn’t last, wouldn’t it be worth the effort to—”

“I mean I don’t need you to set me up,” McCoy interrupted, “because I’m already seeing somebody.”

What? Since when? Did you actually get laid?” Jim demanded, rapid-fire and breathless with excitement.

“Not that it’s any of your business,” McCoy said, blushing furiously, “but yes. Don’t look so surprised!”

“That’s great, Bones! Who is it? Anyone I know?” Jim punctuated his questions with punches (none too gentle) to McCoy’s bare chest. “Is she beautiful? Of course she’s beautiful! She hooked you, after all! So, was it good? Amazing? Are you gettin’ enough to make up for your dry spell now?”

“Dammit, Jim!” he protested, glancing around and hoping that none of the other people — mostly Starfleet personnel — had overheard Jim’s comments. The acoustics of the indoor pool carried sound far too well for his comfort. “Will you keep your voice down? We’re trying to keep it under wraps because… well, we have our reasons.”

“What? Is she married? Oh my God, Bones, are you having an affair with a married woman, you sly dog?”

“No! Hell, no! But… okay, there’s an ex involved — a recent ex — so we don’t want to step on any toes.”

“Okay, right, so you’re keeping it low-key for now. But what’s she like? God, Bones, you haven’t dated in, like, forever! I don’t even know your type.”

McCoy took a deep breath. He didn’t know how to soften the blow this bombshell would be, but he didn’t want to startle his friend into shouting things at the top of his lungs.

“Okay, so, first of all… it’s not a woman,” he told Jim, looking him dead in the eyes. That caught Jim so completely off-guard that he gaped at him, silent for the moment. “I know this may come as a surprise to you, but… yeah. I’m seeing a guy.”

“Holy shit! Holy shit, Bones!” Jim whispered with intensity. “You never told me you swung both ways! Why didn’t you ever tell me? I could’ve set you up with guys, too — don’t think I couldn’t’ve!”

“I know, I know… but that’s exactly why I didn’t tell you! You would’ve pestered me twice as much if the pool were twice as big.”

Shit, Bones! So… this guy…. Okay, are you on top? You gotta be the top, right?”

“Jim!” McCoy hissed. He kept looking around, desperately hoping their voices weren’t carrying as much as he feared they were. “That… that’s really none of your concern—”

“Oh. My. God. You’re bottoming? I would’ve never pegged you for a bottom! Like, seriously—”

“I didn’t say that! God, would ya listen for a second?” McCoy nearly growled, then sighed. “Not that it’s any of your business, at all, but I haven’t bottomed… yet. But if he wants me to… then yeah, I would. Because it’s not that big of a deal, okay? And… I love him. I… I’d do anything to make him happy.”

Jim stared at him, a smile growing on his face until he was beaming.

“Aww, Bones… you found the right one? The one?”

“I… I think so. At least… I hope so,” McCoy admitted.

Jim punched him again, much more softly, grinning with undisguised affection. “Aww, man… I’m so happy for you! Nobody deserves it more, Bones — I mean it.”

“Thanks.” McCoy felt warm all over, not just on his red-hot flushed face.

“So… who’s the lucky guy? And when do I get to meet him?” Jim prodded.

“Um… he’s… someone you know,” McCoy tentatively began.

“What? Seriously? Oh my God, is it one of the crew?” Seeing McCoy nod, Jim finally put two and two together. “Oh. My. God! Is it Spock?” he asked with bated breath. “You were having brunch yesterday! So was that a brunch brunch? Like, after you’d…?”

McCoy could only nod again, thinking his face might melt off from sheer embarrassment. If Jim didn’t kill him first; the now-famous captain of the Enterprise was punching him left and right in quick succession, almost knocking him back off his feet in the water, too excited to express himself with words.

“Oh my God. Oh. My. Fucking. God!” Jim let out at last, still tapping McCoy with his fists. “You? And Spock? I mean, I know he just broke up with Uhura — he told me himself the other day — but how’d’you manage to snap him up so quickly? Were you just waiting for that to happen so you could swoop in and sweep him off his feet? Gimme details, man — I need details!

“Well… believe it or not,” McCoy started, still not sure he could believe it himself, “you know all those weird symptoms Spock was having? When he passed out?”

“Yeah? And you were taking care of him. Was that when it happened?”

McCoy smiled, remembering the surge of affection and unmitigated love that Spock had communicated to him through their mind-link. “No, it happened before. He was having all those symptoms because… he’d fallen for me. Back when we were on Altamid.”

Jim gaped at him again, his jaw hanging open, as he processed this information. “So… he knew! When he told me about breaking up — and he never breathed a word about — no, wait, he did! He asked about you, talking about getting back on the horse…. Oh my God, Bones! He was trying to get intel on you from me! And I never even realized….” Jim groaned.

“It’s all right, Jim,” McCoy assured him. “All’s well that ends well. Now, are we gonna get some laps in or what?”

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