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08 May 2010 @ 01:47 pm
In Sickness - Star Trek: TOS  
Title: In Sickness
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Pairing: Spock/McCoy
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Spock gets ill and not only does he have to deal with the illness, he also has to contend with his troublesome Human side.
Author's Note: The pairing that first got me into slash (about ten years ago now, where does the time go?). I thought I should give something back. Written because, despite shipping a lot of doctors of various fandoms, I've never written an illness fic before.

Spock couldn’t remember a time when he had felt more unwell. Even the terminal madness of Pon Farr had become nothing more than a faded, patchy memory over time; the sort that only came to him in his sleep. Not dreams. Vulcans, even half-Vulcans, didn’t dream as a rule. No, it was more a half-remembered sensation that flooded his slumbering body, only to drain away with consciousness, leaving him with nothing but a vague imprint of the feeling.

He never felt illness. Pain, certainly; the worst of which he had felt thanks to the Denevan parasites over three years ago, but never illness. Never the sort of sickness that clouded the mind, made the joints ache and throb, prevented sleep, and made you shiver with unnatural coldness.

Cold. So cold. He was fully dressed beneath the standard-issue sheets, dressed in pants, t-shirt, sweater and socks, and still he trembled occasionally with the cold.

And oh, but he hurt. In the past, Spock had managed, with great effort to overcome pain, but this...He literally could not concentrate on anything else for more than a few minutes, so all-consuming was the ache this illness inflicted upon him and so foggy and uncontrollable was his mind. This had resulted in a certain amount of self-pity, which Spock found incredibly displeasing.

The door to his cabin opened with a swoosh that sounded suddenly too loud, and the sterile ship’s lighting streamed through, practically blinding him. He winced and squeezed his eyes shut. White lights flashed behind the closed lids and nausea overwhelmed him. He kept his eyes closed, even though he was curious about the identity of the intruder.

Since he had locked his cabin door, logically it could be only one of two people, as only they had a command override. The Captain or the CMO.

“Spock?” came the voice - somewhat gentler than usual - of Doctor McCoy.

The door closed, shutting out the blinding light and Spock could finally open his eyes. He had good night vision, even in illness and he could see the outline of the doctor hovering over him.

He didn’t need to see him anyway to know how close he was. He could feel the warmth of the man as he approached; that constant 98.6° Fahrenheit. Now, as Spock shivered under his bed sheets, that warmth seemed dangerously enticing.

“I came to check on you,” he continued. “It’s not like you to call in sick.”

Spock wanted to say ‘it is nothing’, which was his polite way of saying ‘go away’, but he felt so weary that he actually welcomed the Doctor’s company. There was a soothing practicality about him that an ill person could better appreciate.

“I’m gonna turn the lights up a little.”

“No don’t,” Spock insisted, before he had time to suppress it. He did not sound like himself at all.

“Spock, I can’t see. I’m sorry, but I need to take a look at you. You sound like hell.”

The lights were raised to thirty per cent and Spock was worried that the sudden wave of nausea would cause him to vomit. The fear of embarrassment was enough for him to regain control and he swallowed the sensation down and pressed his eyes shut again.

“That bad, huh?” McCoy asked. Spock nodded, only to be threatened with nausea again.

The sound of the tricorder rang out in the still air, sounding shriller than usual. Spock’s eyes blinked open and he looked up at McCoy who in turn was looking down at his tricorder and chewing his bottom lip in contemplation.

At last it stopped and McCoy pouted slightly and raised an eyebrow. Finally he looked down at Spock and gave him a gentle smile, completely contradicting his previous look of worry. “You’re very sick.”

“An astute clinical observation, Doctor,” Spock said, his voice strained. Not only was his brain having trouble forming words, words were having trouble passing through his throat as well. It hurt and the soreness passed right along his sinus cavity. He pinched the bridge of his nose between forefinger and thumb to try and ease some of the pressure.

“Hey, don’t sass your doctor, kid,” McCoy said without the usual trace of hostility. “It’s not a very smart thing to do.”

Spock shuddered, suddenly feeling ice-cold all over. He had endured this all night; the occasional swift, icy blast through his body, as though he’d been thrown into freezing cold water. When he shivered, his painful joints protested. He snuggled further into the sheets, but it didn’t help. “I feel so cold.” He closed his eyes again, trying to regain his famous self-control.

He unexpectedly felt the back of McCoy’s hand on his forehead. It was like a red hot brand and Spock’s eyes opened wide at the touch. The feel of that hand was painful and wonderful all at the same time; he was so cold, so very cold, that his body was naturally seeking out any warmth it could find. Much to his embarrassment he nuzzled against the hand, only to catch himself at the last minute and flinch away.

“You’re freezing!” McCoy pulled his hand away. “But it’s hot as hell in here.” Spock noted, even in the dim light, that McCoy was starting to perspire. He vaguely recalled turning the heat up intermittently over the past few hours, but he hadn’t realised it was that hot.

Spock went to stand, wanting to see how high he had unwittingly turned the temperature, but as he moved every single joint in his body objected violently, sending jolts of pain through his limbs, and a wave of dizziness overtook him.

McCoy’s hands came out to steady him as he swayed. “Hey now, no moving about,” he admonished in the calmest voice Spock had ever heard him use. “You have a strain of flu...the worst case I’ve ever seen and boy have I seen a lot of flu in my time.” Spock looked up to see that expression of worry again cross over the doctor’s face. “Never in a Vulcan though...weird, how it lowers your temperature like that. Your body isn’t absorbing heat as it usually does.”

The shivers wracked him again at the very mention of it. He felt those scorching palms through the sleeves of his sweater along with a mortifying desire to pull McCoy closer, desperate to envelope that warmth.

“Now, you just lie down, I’ll give you something for the pain and get you some more sheets. Then you can get some sleep.” Just the tone of those words was a comfort, and for the first time Spock really appreciated the talent McCoy had as a doctor. Everyone joked about the ‘grumpy, intentionally bad bedside manner’, but that was obviously reserved for malingerers. For real sickness there was a kind, soft tone that was even and low; pleasing, even to Spock’s sensitive Vulcan ears. “And I’m signing you off duty for the next week. Then we’ll take it from there.”

Spock didn’t really want to protest, but he felt like it was expected. “I’m sure that will not be necessary. I shall be much better tomorrow and able to control my condition.”

“Oh, no you don’t,” McCoy said, falling back into the famous grouchiness. “First, you are not going to be better tomorrow. Second, even if you could control it, you might be highly contagious for all I know. I don’t want you spreading this thing around the ship; I’ve got enough on my plate.”

Logical, if expressed in overly dramatic terms. “Of course, Doctor. There is some work I can do from here.”

McCoy sighed and when he spoke there were traces of annoyance and even a little desperation in his voice. “Spock, do me favour, just do as I tell you for once in your life.” He pushed Spock until he was lying back on the pillow and he pulled the covers up around him. Grateful for the warmth, Spock burrowed into them. “Now, you’re gonna stay here, in bed, and get some sleep. No working. Understood?”

Much to his chagrin, Spock found he had no strength left to argue. That horribly/beautifully hot hand stroked his forehead. Usually he would have pulled back from such unwarranted contact. Now though, weakened as he was, his defences clearly stripped away, he allowed the touch and allowed himself to be comforted by the tender affection that only a non-Vulcan healer could provide.

His eyes drifted shut as his fever calmed under such attention...well, that and the hypo-spray that McCoy always wielded with such masterly precision. Calm now, and pumped full of one of McCoy’s mysterious potions, Spock felt himself slide into unconsciousness. And after the pain and misery his illness had caused, he welcomed the oblivion wholeheartedly.


When McCoy had suggested he take a week off, Spock thought he would possibly go, what the Humans termed, ‘stir crazy’, cooped up in his cabin and forbidden to do any work. The thought of sitting idle was unappealing.

Yet that had not been the case. To be bored one would have to be aware of themselves and their surroundings and Spock, mostly, was not.

He had thought that first day was the worst the illness had to offer, but he was wrong. So very wrong.

He was unable to stay awake the majority of the week. Every time he opened his eyes he felt marginally better, convinced that the worst was over, but after a few moments of consciousness his head began to hurt, he would start to shiver with the cold and as he shivered pain would wrack his body. The process was draining, leaving him with barely enough energy to move from his bed to the bathroom; a short distance by anyone’s estimations.

After the first day he had also started to become congested and he had to struggle for every breath. If he was conscious he had to sit up, even though it made him feel dizzy, because when he lay down it felt like he was drowning. Not only was it extremely uncomfortable it was also undignified, mucous being yet another unpleasant bodily fluid, and he had wiped his nose so many times that it had become sore and green.

He had always looked after his body and now he was starting to feel betrayed by it.

By his mind too, because even though sleep was respite from the physical pain, his mind was plagued by bizarre, unsettling images. Nothing specific and nothing he could remember when he awoke, but the thoughts were enough to make him thrash about in his sleep. He would awake tangled in his sheets and often out of breath and sweating, despite the cold. Sometimes he awoke feeling more exhausted than before he slept.

Only McCoy came to see him. He had requested that. He remembered the embarrassment he had felt at having to talk to people during Pon Farr and he didn’t want to relive it now. He didn’t want to put up with having everyone knowing that there was something wrong with him, having them look at him with pity and wariness. He didn’t even want to see the Captain.

“He was a bit put-out by that, y’know,” McCoy said when he brought Spock some food. It was only soup and it was thin and watery, which would usually be too bland for his Vulcan taste-buds, but even the weak flavour was too rich and made his stomach turn after a few mouthfuls.

Spock drank some water, trying to neutralise the taste of the soup. “I do not wish the Captain to see me this way.”

“That’s a privilege reserved for me, huh?” McCoy said sarcastically. “Gee, thanks.” He frowned at the practically untouched soup but said nothing. “You really do look like hell, but it’s not like you to be vain.”

“It is not vanity, Doctor,” Spock explained. “I merely...I do not wish too many people to see me in this condition, to see me...incapacitated.”

It was embarrassment he was suffering from, and it hurt almost as much as the flu.

He couldn’t see McCoy’s exact expression in the dim light Spock had allowed, but his voice was soft when he spoke and full of an emotion that Spock was not qualified to define. “Then I suppose it really is a privilege.”

“Have you determined what this illness is?”

“A mutation of Rigellian Flu, you must have picked it up during the last mission.” McCoy had fallen back into a practical tone as he spoke, loading his hypo-spray. “You caught it because Vulcans have a similar physiology. The good news, for me at least, is that that means you’re not contagious.” McCoy smiled, this time a smug, satisfied look. “There are advantages to being Human after all.”

Spock was not feeling any particular advantage to having a Human side at that moment. Not while it was currently telling to reach out and touch McCoy’s very warm body. His Human side could be so irresponsible.

McCoy gave him another shot; an analgesic, decongestant and a tranquiliser, all making him feel giddy but at least curing him eventually. He hoped. He actually felt worse than ever.

Still, he welcomed the shot because at least the tranquilisers would allow him the relief of sleep, at least until it wore off a little and his fever would cause his mind to race. Yes, sleep was a very temporary relief.


Spock felt strange, like he was caught somewhere between sleep and consciousness; that ethereal plane of blurred fantasies and realities. This feeling seemed to stretch on and on, his body, real and solid in the bed, but his mind racing ahead, spreading thinly on the air. The images behind his closed eyelids were confusing, undefined, shimmering in and out of view. He was unable to latch on and focus but he was intoxicated by them nevertheless. There was something soft and familiar about them, something ordinary and everyday but still somehow exotic.

The physical sensations he felt however where stronger, more substantial, but still just as foreign to him. He felt an electric crackle follow the length of his spine, the heat pooling in his lower belly and groin, the dizziness that came with a racing pulse. His hips undulated, seeking some friction to soothe the maddening ache. A growl of frustration rumbled along his chest and throat when his body encountered nothing but air.

The heat! All around him, an intense, pulsing heat that he reached out for – he was still so very cold. He could hear, faintly but definitely, a thrumming sound a lot like the ship’s engine, monotonous at first but picking up speed as he grabbed, as his cold hands sought out the warmth.

There was a smell too. Clean and simple on the surface, a soothing smell, but underneath there was a warm, spicy scent that was enticing, heady. Arousing. He reached, clutched, unwilling to let go. He was clinging. Clinging to the heat. Clinging to that feeling, the one his conscious mind had always forced him to forget in the past.

How beautiful it was, to feel it so intensely now, and yet how awful that he should be enjoying it so much. How unseemly. How un-Vulcan.

His hips finally made contact with something solid and he felt a jolt of pleasure strike him, making him buck with the force. He moaned, both from pleasure and from shame.

There was a noise but he ignored it. It was probably his conscious mind dragging him away and he growled again in warning and clung tighter, now becoming predatory, territorial.

It was then that he felt another strange, far more substantial sensation; tingling in his upper arm. And then drowsiness washed over him like the slow but forceful lap of the tide, calm and easy but relentlessly pulling him under. He no longer felt the heat, or the sharp sting of arousal, just numbness.


The next thing he was conscious of was his cabin and his bed, both of which smelled damp and sweaty, even though he could not feel the extreme heat. It did mean that his congestion was finally clearing though.

The lights were down again when his eyes flicked open but he could see the outline of someone sitting beside him on the bed. It would have made him uncomfortable, were it not for the odd sense of reassurance that the presence gave him.

“Hey,” came the soft, low voice; a rumble in the darkness. “Here, drink this.”

McCoy held out a glass of clear liquid which Spock looked at in trepidation. The thought of consuming anything made him queasy.

“It’s just water, Spock,” McCoy soothed, even though there was a hint of annoyance behind the words. “You don’t think I’d try to poison you, do you?”

Spock wisely said nothing. His stomach felt as though it was rolling around inside him and his headache was so bad that he could hardly hear anything above its furious pounding. It was the usual reaction he had to McCoy’s drugs, but he conceded that this time the illness was more likely to be the cause.

He sat up, swallowing down the urge to vomit and took the glass from McCoy. As soon as he sipped he realised how thirsty he was. Just the first touch of the cool liquid against his tongue made his mouth water and he found himself unable to stop, so desperate was the sudden raging thirst.

“Steady,” McCoy admonished quietly, stilling the glass with a hand.

“Thank you, Doctor,” Spock said, his voice roughened by sleep and his swollen glands. “How long was I asleep this time?” He had the feeling that this was the longest he had slept in the five days he had been ill.

McCoy was squinting down at his tricorder, trying to see it in the dark. “About ten hours,” he replied, trying to sound aloof. He would have succeeded had his shoulders not been set in a rigid straight line, so very unlike McCoy’s usual, relaxed posture. “I came to check on you about two hours ago and you seemed quite...” McCoy coughed and lightly rolled his shoulders, showing his discomfort further. “You seemed quite distressed so I dosed you again.”

Spock thought about the words as he drank again. He could remember something; a feeling. Was it distress? But like so many times before he was left with nothing but a hazy impression of it.

Then another thought struck him. Two hours ago? “Have you been here since then?”

Spock finished his water and instantly wanted more.

“Yeah...well, I was worried. You seemed really distraught. It was so unlike you that I thought I’d better keep an eye on you.”

McCoy reached over and took the glass from Spock’s hand and stood, leaving the bed. Spock found himself swaying forward, wishing to follow the heat but his sore limbs and aching head stopped him.

It was then, as he watched the other man move across the room that Spock noticed that McCoy had shed his science blues, leaving just the black undershirt in place. Clearly the heat in his cabin was becoming a nuisance to the Human, but Spock still shivered forcefully from the cold.

McCoy returned after refilling the glass.

“You haven’t eaten much of that food,” McCoy said, gesturing towards the tray of barely touched soup.

Spock grimaced at the very thought and changed the subject. “Are there no other patients?” he asked, belated realising that he may have sounded a little ungrateful. It usually would not bother him, but McCoy had been so attentive that Spock felt an unaccustomed stab of guilt.

“I’m off duty,” McCoy answered, his voice muffled by what could only be yawn.

McCoy had given up his off duty hours to tend to him. There was a tiny flutter somewhere inside Spock, but it was overwhelmed by the throb of his headache and the churning of his stomach, not to mention the painful stiffness in his shoulders and back. He was tired. So tired that the world blurred around him and his focus narrowed. The glass slipped from his now numb hand, and the water soaked through his bed sheets.

McCoy said something that Spock didn’t catch, but he felt the hot, hot hands guide him back towards his pillow and the gentle stroke of a palm sweep across his forehead just before his eyes closed and sleep overwhelmed him again.


He had been in deep REM sleep for a while as the sedatives did their work, but after a while he drifted closer to the surface of consciousness. Colourful, kaleidoscopic images, obscure and unidentifiable, flashed before him, frustrating and disturbing him.

He was still asleep, unaware of his surroundings, unaware of everything except the images and the icy chill of his cold blood.

He wanted to shake his head and clear his mind of these horrible, illogical things; the pictures presenting themselves to him but also the feeling of coldness and loneliness.


He wanted – oh, how he wanted – to pretend that he never felt it. It was not productive to have such thoughts...feelings. But his Human side demanded it. The Human side which was the cause of his loneliness in the first place, the side of him that ensured he would always be seen as an outcast, belonging to neither species.

Why must he have these thoughts now, though? Was it not enough that he hurt and that he trembled with cold? Was it necessary for his mind to inflict this further, psychological torture?

Was that whimpering sound coming from him? He heard it softly in the background, sounding distant, but he felt it pass along his own throat.

And then there was that heat again. Like before it seemed to call out to him and his fingers itched to touch it. His sensitive fingers, now stiff with cold, wanted to run along the heat, to allow it to travel through him, so his body could absorb it.

Spock reached and took hold tightly. He almost lost it a few times, but his grip became firmer, like steel and he pulled, pulled it towards him, wishing to envelope it and to have it envelope him. The fire lit inside him and the gentle pressure began in his lower belly again, passing down to his groin. He shouldn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t logical. But he did enjoy it, because as he clung on to it, solid, warm and intoxicating, it banished the troubled thoughts.

He felt it try to get away but he clung harder still, willing to keep it at all costs. The warmth travelled through him, the calm scent soothed the images, and its presence held that awful loneliness at bay. Finally, his dreams had given him something to relieve the madness.


After a less than restful sleep Spock stirred awake. He blinked a few times, noting that, for a change it didn’t hurt and his eyelids didn’t scratch across his eyeballs. In fact, he felt calmer as well, less achy and to his intense relief he could breathe easily too. He was still cold though, he thought as he snuggled further into the covers, noting that he was pressed closely against something. Something warm and comfortable.

He closed his eyes again. He had been granted some respite from his suffering and he wanted to stay there for a few moments longer, to simply enjoy it. He was still only vaguely conscious of his surroundings, but he was aware that he longer wished to die. Most satisfactory.

With a silent sigh he shifted to test the mobility in his limbs. As he did so something moved beside him. It was then that full consciousness came upon him and he realised that he wasn’t just pressed against something, he was clinging to something. No. Someone.

He was lying on his side, spooning up against the warm body beside him. His arm was round their middle, his hand pressed to a hard, cloth-covered chest, feeling the strong, steady heartbeat. Their legs were also entangled. Long, warm legs entwined with his. Spock could feel the smooth skin and hair against him and he frantically tried to ignore how good it felt.

He propped himself up on one arm and squinted in the darkness, finally able to see the outline of a familiar figure, lying next to him in a most unfamiliar position. McCoy!

“Computer, lights!” he commanded, louder and more panicky than he would have liked. He released McCoy and moved away, nearly falling out of the bed. His eyes felt like they were burning under the sudden intense light.

McCoy was abruptly awoken and he turned. His posture stiffened as he looked up at Spock. Alarmed. Alarmed at being caught in this position, or just naturally worried about Spock?

Spock sat up, but as he did so his vision swam and his stomach lurched. He winced and brought his hands up to his face, massaging his eyes with the pads of his fingers. He was so disorientated that he was forced to breathe hard just to control the urge to vomit.

“Whoa,” McCoy said, sitting up and shifting behind him. Spock felt a warm hand rub his back in large circles. Not too light but not too rough, just a gentle pressure. Usually Spock would have pulled away but to his surprise it really did help. Not in any medical way, it was just comforting.

McCoy, for his part, didn’t seem at all bothered by the fact that he was in bed with Spock. Which bothered him, and it bothered him that he was bothered by it and it all made his head spin even more.

“You okay?” McCoy asked when Spock’s breathing returned to normal. Spock nodded but McCoy did not desist in his rhythmic rubbing pattern. “You’re not gonna throw up are you?”

Spock shook his head slowly then turned to him. “I...I,” Spock tried to speak but his brain found it difficult to construct a sentence. “Why are you in my bed?” he finally managed.

“Oh.” He thought he saw McCoy blush, although it was hard to tell at that moment. His skin was flushed so much already from the heat. “I didn’t think you were aware of what you were doing.” He said that under his breath, but Spock had excellent hearing. “Well, er...” he coughed, “you were in some distress in your sleep and I came over to check on you and, well, you grabbed me and pulled me down and...I couldn’t get free.”

That was when Spock felt the thoroughly irrational desire to have the Universe devour him whole. “I see.” He blinked in confusion.

“You did it earlier today actually but I managed to sedate you and then you let go. This time my medical kit was just out of reach.” McCoy rubbed the back of his neck. “I was afraid that if I tried to move you’d break my neck. You’ve got quite a grip.”

“I remember being cold.” Spock frowned in concentration as he searched his memory. “Then there was warmth and I reached for it...” He trailed off.

“That was your warm, friendly, family doctor,” McCoy said with a chuckle that sounded more nervous than joyful. It was a painful sound, not the doctor’s usual, resonant laugh which had a lilting, pleasing sound to it. Another thought that Spock was trying to forget, along with how satisfying it had been to feel the solid weight of him in his arms.

Spock’s hand moved to rub his face. His eyes were beginning to hurt more now and the veins in his temples were pulsing. It wasn’t quite the incessant pounding from earlier but it was still uncomfortable. McCoy’s embarrassed look morphed into concern.

Another wave of sickness washed over Spock. He was also starting to give in to the frustration. He was getting annoyed at being so weak and helpless, annoyed that just sitting up in bed and talking was so exhausting.

“Hey,” McCoy said, moving his hands to rub Spock’s shoulders, which felt sore and stiff. Those red-hot, strong, skilled fingers kneaded the tense muscles. Before he could smother it Spock let out a quiet groan that was half pleasure and half pain.

“Come on, Spock.” McCoy pulled him backwards towards the bed. “Come and lie down again.”

Spock’s eyes opened wide at the implication. It had been one thing for him to reach for McCoy in his delirium, but to wittingly succumb to the lure of a reassuring embrace?

Yet despite his reservations, he wanted nothing more than to crawl into his arms, as he had done as a child when he went to his mother. She would soothe away pain or upset with a completely Human hug. It had been their secret, to be kept at all costs just between them. Sometimes he didn’t even like to remind himself.

“S’okay, Spock,” McCoy drawled, his voice lower than usual and with a lazy casual quality to it. “I won’t tell anyone, I promise.”

Too weary to deny this part of his nature he allowed himself to be pulled back to bed. Even as he lay down, there was a thought in the back of his mind that he would most likely regret doing this once he was fully recovered. But it was irresistible and so easy. It came as easily to him as the tears had during the Psi 2000 virus and it was just as impossible to stop.

They lay down together, and strong arms wound round him, holding him in a protective cocoon. A shiver sliced up his spine as he came into full contact with the heat from McCoy’s body. Spock buried his face in the crook of the doctor’s shoulder, breathing deeply, inhaling the scent.

He couldn’t fully ignore the prickling sensation at the base of his spine, the faint stirring at the core of him. It was alarming and for a moment he considered pulling away, but his body was too fatigued to give in to that particular, unwelcome feeling, and his desire for comfort overrode any fears he might have had.

After just a few minutes it faded away and he finally felt secure and relaxed. He felt looked after.

That nagging little thought kept coming back to him though. ‘I won’t tell anyone, I promise’, McCoy had said. That did not mean that he wouldn’t bring it up privately between them, especially if he thought it would help him win an argument, or thought it would irritate Spock. He couldn’t help but feel that McCoy was never going to let him forget this.

Still, he stayed where he was.

“You had me worried back there, y’know?” McCoy said once they were settled. Spock felt the smooth pad of the doctor’s thumb rub lazy circles at the base of his neck. “You were...well you were really sick. Your readings were so erratic and I just knew that Jim would’ve killed me with his bare hands if you’d died on me. And I saw you having bad dreams...Vulcans never dream.”

“As you are so fond of reminding me, Doctor, I am half Human.”

In fact he had never felt so Human before in his life. At the height of his fever he had been unable to feel those comforting walls, built over many years, blocking his Human emotions. The Vulcan half had been so busy fighting this illness that his Human side had been allowed to run rampant, and judging by the intensity of some of the feelings that welled up inside him, it seemed they were making up for lost time. Even now, with his logic returning to him gradually, he still felt vulnerable and fragile. So receptive to the effects of everything around him.

Things had been easier to push down and ignore before this. Things like how much he enjoyed company and how much he secretly hated being alone, how comforting he found it to have protective arms around him. Things like the alluring exoticness of McCoy’s blue eyes. So very alien to all Vulcans, but with a comfortable familiarity for Spock.

Blue eyes that had looked at him with such tender concern. He was unaccustomed to such a look and therefore, with his barriers down, he was very susceptible to its charms.

“Well, it was probably your stubborn Vulcan side that helped you through this...along with my medical expertise, of course.” That might have been a joke, or it might not. It was sometimes hard to tell with McCoy. He was at once insecure and self-confident. Contrary man.

“It feels like my Human side has been tormenting me this week.” Spock hoped that didn’t come across quite as self-pitying as he suspected it did.

McCoy squeezed his shoulder gently. “You tell your Human side that that’s my job.”

Spock felt a ripple of amusement pass through him. It amused him to think that McCoy was rather like the corporeal form of his disputatious Human half.

He shifted to get more comfortable and as he did he felt his legs press closer to McCoy’s. It was then that he fully recognised the fact that he could feel warm bare flesh and hair.

“Did you remove your trousers?”

He felt McCoy’s posture stiffen. “Well...yeah.” He sounded cautious. “You know, it’s pretty damn hot in here, I felt like I was gonna combust.” Spock conceded that it was logical, even though it did make this situation more awkward than ever. “It was quite a chore too. It’s not easy taking your pants off when you’re being smothered by a clingy Vulcan.”

It was Spock’s turn to tense up.

“Oh relax. You can’t be blamed for what you did during a fever. I was just joking with you.”

“I will never understand Terran humour.”

“No kidding.”


McCoy sighed but said nothing further. An argument lay down that path and they both wisely decided not to take it. However, there were many more opportunities left yet.

“Feeling better?” McCoy asked him as his thumb stopped rubbing his neck and his fingers moved to stroke the hair at the base of his skull.

Spock hummed. An ambiguous answer. “This seems an illogical, not to mention unorthodox method, Doctor. Not standard procedure.”

A hand on his shoulder clenched momentarily.

“Hey, I wasn’t the one doing the grabbing.”

“I suppose I should be grateful that at least you do not practice purging and blood-letting to balance the humours.”

“Well,” McCoy growled, “it can always be arranged if you don’t quit being a pain in the ass.” McCoy rested his chin atop Spock’s head and his fingers gently raked through his hair. “Anyway, what did I tell you about sassing your doctor?”

“Just to be clear, are you planning to physically harm me in some way?” Spock asked, his eyes drifting shut as the fingers lightly brushed his scalp.

“No,” McCoy answered, pitching his voice low and practically whispering. “But I might consider reneging on my promise not to reveal all about you molesting me in your sleep.”

“I do not believe you would,” Spock replied. He was drifting into sleep now and his speech was starting to slur. “I think you would find that just as embarrassing as I.”

“Yeah, but it might be worth suffering it just to piss you off.”

Spock relaxed and sank further into McCoy’s arms. “Most...illogical.”

The last things he heard were McCoy’s warm, deep chuckle and the words, “Just shut up and go to sleep.”


Another two days and Spock was well enough to be declared officially fit for duty, and he had to admit it was a relief in more ways than one. A relief to be over the illness, a relief to be back to work as normal and a relief to have his Vulcan defences back up.

His first away mission had been an unpredictable affair involving hitherto unknown and decidedly hostile natives of a planet, who had ambushed them as they collected data.

The Captain, ever the unorthodox diplomat had managed to persuade their young queen that they were explorers and not invaders. Spock liked to know as little as possible about the Captain’s unique brand diplomacy. It was enough to know that it worked.

Spock knew from instinct that he had sustained only minor injuries during the mission, nothing that a dermal regenerator and a little meditation couldn’t cure.

“You want to let me be the judge of that?” McCoy said; hands on hips, his face set to ‘disapproval’.

“I can assure you, Doctor, there is nothing wrong with me. It would be a waste of your time.”

“Humour me, Spock.” And the matter was settled.

Spock allowed McCoy to see his annoyance, even though annoyance was not logical. He knew that rolling his eyes would just antagonise the doctor, but he did it anyway and earned himself a scowl and a pointed raise of an eyebrow.

McCoy got the full examination he had been angling for.

“Any pain?”

“There is some minor pain in my wrist. Nothing I can’t handle.”

“You want some painkillers?”

“Negative. I do not require them.” Ever the proud Vulcan; fully in control.

McCoy looked him dead in the eye then. Spock should have seen it coming a mile away. “You want a hug?”

Spock couldn’t help but glare at him as he watched a smile spread across the doctor’s face. An innocent smile that completely contradicted his mischievous intent.

And Spock’s suspicions were confirmed. McCoy was never going to let him hear the end of it.

sunlight on your path: Star Trek: shirtsthistlerose on May 8th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is great! Poor Spock, unable to suppress his human instincts and needs. I really like the way you handled his thought processes throughout his illness, his resistance to McCoy even as he finds himself relying on him more and more. This was really well done.
mymetalphantommymetalphantom on May 9th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! Flu really has a great way of messing up anyone's mind, so Spock was just a really good target (all that internal angst going on).
nemo_everbeing: Star Treknemo_everbeing on May 8th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
YAY! You wrote 'Star Trek', and it was fun! I can' tell you how much I enjoyed your characterizations of these two. The snark was lovely, the dialogue clever, and the descriptions of having the flu were accurate enough I winced. Loved it.
mymetalphantommymetalphantom on May 9th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
YAY! Yay for me writing Star Trek and yay for you liking it! :)

There has to be snark and it is so much fun to write.

the descriptions of having the flu were accurate enough I winced

Ugh, yeah, I think I made myself feel a little ill writing it. Like some sort of auto-suggestion.
ivorysilkivorysilk on May 8th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
Loved it! Thanks for posting :-)

(FYI, there's a hurt/comfort comm, and you might want to post your fic there too:

mymetalphantommymetalphantom on May 9th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)

And thanks for the link. I'll check that out.
treksnoopy: country dr_hobgoblintreksnoopy on May 8th, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
This was really great! Rigellian Flu sounds suspiciously like the H1N1 I had...YUCK! Your description of the havoc it causes both physically and mentally was spot on.
BTW..I'll take his hug if he doesn't want it
mymetalphantommymetalphantom on May 9th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
LOL, well I'm glad that it was vivid enough to remind you of that, but also I'm sorry it reminded you of that. Flu is awful in all its forms.

BTW..I'll take his hug if he doesn't want it

Get in line! Of course he secretly wants the hug.
Penelope: spock mccoyangelascats on May 8th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
Awww, that was really good!

I love the way you addressed the human side of Spock. Not too much emotion but still there and grating at him. Sometimes fics portray him as too human (in my opinion) but this made sense, especially with his illness.

mymetalphantommymetalphantom on May 9th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Yeah, I'm not fond of overly emotional Spock but I really love it when something happens and he lets an emotion just slip past his defences. That's what I was aiming for here. Reluctant emotionalism.
mercymaemercymae on May 9th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
One thing I really liked about this was that I accidentally read it as AOS, if you sort of know what I mean by that (had AOS in my head). Anyway I thought the characterizations were really good in that universe. Then when I realized it was TOS I went back over it in my mind and thought the characterization was just as good in TOS. Since DeForest Kelley and Karl Urban seem to play such a different Bones (to me) I really liked that this was true to both of them. Plus I just really liked it.
mymetalphantommymetalphantom on May 9th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks, that's good to know that the whole thing wasn't ruined by that. I'd like to say that I absolutely did that totally on purpose but I really only had TOS in mind. I have to say though, Karl Urban was great and, in my mind, the character was preserved very nicely.

Plus I just really liked it.

LOL. Great. And I would wish for nothing more!
(Deleted comment)
mymetalphantommymetalphantom on May 9th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
Heh heh! Yeah. I have this weird habit of building a whole fic around the last few sentences.

They are so lovely, I love them! They are everything I could want from a couple.
Amedia: Bonesamedia on May 9th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this immensely - thank you so much for writing and posting it! I thought you did an intriguing job of showing us McCoy through the eyes of a Spock who had his defenses down, and I loved how you wrote their banter when Spock was recovering.
mymetalphantommymetalphantom on May 9th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

I sort of wanted Spock to have this revelation that maybe McCoy isn't so bad after all, but only able to admit it when he's ill and even then, only to himself.

McCoy's pretty shrewd though, I think he probably sees through Spock. :)
secretsolitaire: ahahahasecretsolitaire on May 25th, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
Oh, that ending. So much win!

Enjoyed this very much. Spock's suffering was quite vividly written. :-)
mymetalphantommymetalphantom on May 26th, 2010 12:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks! You just knew that McCoy was never gonna let that go. ;)

Spock's suffering was quite vividly written

Hee, thanks. I sort of regretted that by the end though, when I felt like hell myself, LOL.

Glad you liked it!
e_p_kitty on June 18th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
hahaha AMAZING

Perfect ending.
mymetalphantommymetalphantom on June 18th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
Hee hee, thank you!
Elabyelaby on July 20th, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
OMG how did I miss this?! *fails* This is utterly delightful and full of fluff and snark and gorgeousness! How utterly them-like :)
mymetalphantommymetalphantom on July 20th, 2010 10:33 am (UTC)
Hee hee, I am clearly a stealthy fic poster XD

Fluff was what I was aiming for, but I find ridiculously difficult. I looked at this fic's folder and there are, like, a HUNDRED files, of edits and rewrites (that may be an exaggeration).

This is utterly delightful

Thank you! <3
Katiefantasysci5 on March 17th, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC)
“It feels like my Human side has been tormenting me this week.”
“You tell your Human side that that’s my job." haha So awesome McCoy. Man, I wish they'd get together after this!! :P
mymetalphantommymetalphantom on March 18th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
McCoy has to be snide, even when he's being comforting. XD

As for them getting together...well, it's pretty much a given. Maybe I'll write more, if I ever get the chance.
Laura: J/I Huglaura_guerin on March 21st, 2011 04:18 am (UTC)
Hehe, that was so awesome! Aww, poor Spock.

Loved McCoy, he's so adorable in this one. And the ending was made of pure win! ♥
mymetalphantommymetalphantom on March 21st, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks very much! Glad you liked it.