Quality Time

Spock happened to be talking to Jim at his desk when the captain received a call from Dr. McCoy.

“What’s up, Bones?” Jim cheerfully answered.

“Hey, I gotta take next week off,” McCoy told him. “Joanna’s coming to visit.”

“Really? That’s great!”

“Yeah, I figured now’s as good a time as any.”

Spock knew the doctor was referring to the fact that they were quasi-marooned on Yorktown after the Enterprise was destroyed; it would still be a few months before the Enterprise-A was completed, so many of the remaining crew were taking time off. What Spock did not know, however, was who Joanna might be.

“No problem, Bones – enjoy yourself,” Jim was saying. “I’ll sign the paperwork.”

“Thanks, Jim.”

His curiosity was piqued, but since the captain resumed their discussion on the requisitions right away, Spock did not ask. He did wonder later (as he was settling down to start his meditation routine) if perhaps Joanna were Dr. McCoy’s girlfriend. He had not known of McCoy having a significant other, and while the concept should have made him happy for his friend, the realization that McCoy had never shared this news with him made Spock feel somewhat excluded… bereft. Shaking off such distracting emotions, Spock concentrated on the flame in front of him.


The next week after their shift ended, Jim clapped Spock on the shoulder to get him up out of his chair.

“Hey, you wanna go over to meet Joanna? I told Bones I’d stop by tonight.”

Spock looked askance at Jim. “Would that not be an intrusion?”

“No, no! Of course he won’t mind. I haven’t seen her since she was knee-high to a grasshopper, but I know she’s expecting to see her Uncle Jim.”

Spock opened his mouth to reply but could not form any words. Before he could protest, he was led into the turbolift and then, following in Jim’s wake, to a confectioner’s shop where Jim bought a large assortment of candy.

“Joanna likes coconut… or at least she used to,” he mentioned offhandedly as he paid for his purchases. “Gosh! I bet she’s grown up….”

When they walked out of the store, Spock finally managed to ask him, “Jim… who is Joanna, precisely?”

“What? You don’t know?” Jim returned in astonishment. “She’s Bones’ daughter – from his first marriage. Well, first and only so far,” he amended. Seeing the shock on Spock’s face, he pulled him out of the stream of pedestrians to stand by some shrubbery. “I’m sorry, Spock – he never told you?”

“No… I… I suppose the occasion never arose,” Spock said, trying to school his features into a more neutral expression.

“Yeah, well… maybe he thought you already knew,” Jim suggested with a forced smile. “C’mon, let’s go. I can’t wait to see her.”

Spock had reestablished some equilibrium by the time they arrived at McCoy’s apartment door. Upon entering, however, it was upset once again by the sight that greeted them.

Dr. McCoy and his daughter were sitting cross-legged on the floor, facing each other, with countless colorful containers littered around them. McCoy was leaning forward to allow her to apply something to his nose. He was wearing makeup – and a lot of it. Green and blue eye-shadow accentuated by a pointed black edge of eyeliner, rouge on his cheeks, and dark red lipstick outlining his full lips. As unusual as the look was on him, it highlighted his features in a disturbingly alluring way.

After a stunned moment, Jim burst out laughing. He fell to his knees and slapped the floor repeatedly, tears rolling out of his eyes. McCoy gave him an arch look.

“You’re just jealous because you’re not as fabulous as I am,” he sneered.

“Uncle Jim!” Joanna cried, jumping to her feet to come throw her arms around him. “Don’t worry, I can do your face too!”

“Yeah?” Jim replied, shaking with laughter as he hugged her back.

“She’s gonna be a make-up artist,” McCoy explained to Spock, who was still staring at him in astonishment, mouth agape. “She needs to practice, y’know?”

“Of course, Doctor,” Spock said after swallowing. “Quite logical.” What was notlogical was how fast his heart was beating and how distracting it was to realize that McCoy had exquisite features. The exotic look was quite becoming on him, Spock thought. While Joanna eagerly practiced on Jim next, Spock could not stop his eyes from being drawn back to McCoy. When their gazes met, he blushed a deep green, which caused McCoy to raise an eyebrow.

“What?” he demanded.

Spock cast about for an answer and finally said, “Your daughter is very talented.”

The genuine smile that grew on McCoy’s painted lips nearly made Spock’s heart stop beating.

“Isn’t she, though? She’s even making Jim look good!”

“Hey, now!” Jim protested.

“Don’t move!” Joanna ordered as she brushed on more mauve eye-shadow.

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