neigedens: shirley examining tiny nipples (Default)
Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear? ([personal profile] neigedens) wrote2009-08-11 10:40 am

hey, let's play ringtoss with your soul! or, a fic post

So you know when you're up late at night, watching Star Trek movies, and suddenly you want to write Spock/McCoy fic from when Bones had Spock's katra all up in his grill? We all go through that phase, but some of us are weaker than others!

TITLE: Do Vulcans Dream of Electric Doctors?
PAIRING: Spock/McCoy
SUMMARY: “It's probably not even your fault, Spock,” he muttered. “I was probably destined to go mad in space some day anyway. You probably just made the process a lot more efficient. How typical.” Dr. McCoy has got Vulcan on the brain.
NOTES: This fic is set during “The Search for Spock” and happens to reference a lot to a certain TOS episode, the second season's “Bread and Circuses.” For those of you who have not seen it, I will sum up: gladiators and ~sexual tension~. That's about it.

Also thanks to Chickdude, [ profile] ms_treesap, and [ profile] ishie for beta-ing and reading beforehand.

“Dammit, Spock,” said McCoy to the Enterprise's empty corridors. “Damn you, you green-blooded, pointy-eared, expressionless, piece of shit son of a bitch. I always said that one day you would drive me out of my goddamned mind, but I don't know why it never occurred to me that you'd do it so damned literally.”

He could almost hear the response Spock would make in his head, and since Spock was in his head, McCoy figured that the ensuing conversation and all the other dialogues that he'd made up in his mind since Spock died counted as actual, well, conversations. He wasn't just talking to himself. Hopefully.

My apologies, doctor, the Spock in his mind would say in his most supercilious tone. It was not my intention--

“Blast all of your intentions!” he shouted, and then winced, afraid that someone on the empty ship would hear him. He was so used to an Enterprise that teemed with people that the reaction was automatic. He sighed. Even though he could feel the Vulcan's infuriating presence, part of him remained convinced that he had imagined it all, that it was all some shared delusion that he and the rest of the sparse crew had dreamed up.

“It's probably not even your fault, Spock,” he muttered. “I was probably destined to go mad in space some day anyway. You probably just made the process a lot more efficient. How typical.”

He couldn't tell if it was just his own reaction to his own self-pity or if Spock was actually frowning at him, but in any case the tone of the response he imagined was disapproving. Doctor, your reasoning is hardly logical. While always eccentric, to my mind you have always presented a relatively healthy portrait of a mental health, even considering your frequent mood swings and your habit of self-medicating with alcohol--

“Christ, Spock, you can stop.” He paused and God help him if he didn't sense the tiniest reaction from Spock's end, wherever that was, as if the Vulcan were taken aback or just trying to be tactful. “I have a question. You said 'my mind.' That must be wrong, because as far as I can tell there's only one mind to go between us here.”

The pause that followed was short, but McCoy suddenly sensed discomfort that, remarkably, was not his own. You are technically correct, doctor. There are two of us, but there is only one mind. I do not have one at the moment.

“Well, I was here first,” said McCoy. Now he was walking through the abandoned corridors swiftly. The lights turned on only after he took a few steps in each sector, and the air was stuffy and dead. “So I guess I really am talking to myself.”

In the strictest technical sense--

“Spare me. Let's set down some ground rules. It's my mind, you're only visiting, God willing. My voice is mine. No more of whatever you pulled back there on the bridge just now. And is there anyway for you to be less...there?”

I'm afraid that is not possible, doctor. I am being as reticent as I am able to be. I fully recognize that I am the intruder here. I, in the strictest sense, do not exist. Should we restore my katra to my recovered body, you alone will retain a memory of our interaction during this time.

“That's a relief,” he muttered. “Lucky you.”

You do not need to speak aloud, doctor. I, or, rather, we are perfectly capable of speaking within our mind.

“Why so collective all of a sudden?”

You were correct in your observations, doctor. Your mind and body are united with my katra. We are one.

McCoy grimaced and decided to let that one pass. “I think I prefer talking out loud. You know, retain some boundaries.”

As you wish, doctor. Could I advise, however, that we return to the central area of the ship?

“What's it to you?”

I believe that your mind--

“Don't you mean our mind?”

Indeed. It is my belief that our mind would benefit from an attempt at meditation.

“No thank you,” he managed firmly. “I think I'll just continue strolling along here.”

As you wish, doctor, said Spock, politely ignoring the fact that McCoy was hardly strolling anymore.

The thing, thought McCoy as he made his way down the halls, was that mind melds were bad enough, but at least they were temporary. Now he had to try to suppress all of his thoughts for no other reason than he was sure he would think of something hugely embarrassing. The problem, of course, was that certain memories and thoughts and ideas came to the forefront of his mind now, at the most inopportune moment. In attempting to ignore them he thought about them more than he had in ages, as if his mind were being contradictory just to annoy him. And of course the whole time he had that eerie feeling that he wasn't alone, as if Spock was just over his shoulder. That idea, of not being alone even inside his own mind, made him all the more frantic. He walked faster, almost running now.

You must attempt to control your thoughts, doctor, said Spock.

“I'm trying, dammit!” he shouted. “Goddammit, Spock, how do you expect me to do this? Maybe the Vulcan elders teach that the mind is a book or a scroll or a safe--” and let's not even get into how I know that, he thought before he realized with a wince that Spock could hear it anyway, “but mine's not. My mind is like a billboard that's twenty feet high and a mile long and everyone within twenty miles can read it. If you know what I mean.” He hesitated and wondered how he could feel so crowded in the middle of this empty, gigantic ship.

I understand, said Spock as evenly as ever, and I respect your privacy.

“Oh, do you?”

May I repeat my advice that we return to our room?

“God, don't call it that!”

I apologize. It is my belief that only with meditation can you make any attempt at shielding your thoughts from me. Increasing your heart rate in this manner only increases your agitation.

“I thought you were respecting my privacy.”

It is difficult when you are in this state.

“Oh? Oh yeah?” and now he was shouting again. “And what state is that?”

You are frightened of what you will find on the Genesis planet. You are worried about what the captain's actions and your own mean for your career and your freedom. You are embarrassed that you cannot control your thoughts from returning to times when you felt sexual attraction for me--

“Jesus Christ, Spock,” he broke in, now cringing so badly that he didn't even manage to sound angry anymore.

Doctor, these reactions are all perfectly normal for a human, particularly one telepathically inept and emotionally unrefined--

“Thanks for that.”

--but the only way I can help you is if you return to your room.

McCoy stopped, but made no move to return from where he had come.

Doctor, I am, of course, fully aware that you have not slept soundly once since I died.

“And you can fix that?”

I believe so.

Sighing, McCoy turned around. “Why not?” He tapped the side of his head. “The gang's all here, am I right?” He laughed.

Doctor, I find that being in such close proximity with your mind still has not enabled me to understand your sense of humor.

“Thank God for small favors,” said McCoy as he made his way to the turbolift.


“It's not working.”

You are not trying.

“The hell I'm not.”

Doctor, I am in your mind. In a way, I am your mind, so it seems pointless for you to deny what I can clearly observe for myself.

“Why don't you just stop observing, then?”

I cannot help observing these things, Dr. McCoy. That is our problem. He sounded peeved, which McCoy saw as an improvement. That tone of barely suppressed impatience was more familiar, almost homey. During their conversation in the Enterprise's hallways, Spock had been speaking in a polite, measured voice (insofar as you could assign tones of voice to one that really only existed in your head), as if he were trying and largely failing to spare McCoy's feelings. It had been unsettling.

If you prefer I take a more direct approach, I will do so, if it helps.

Leonard McCoy sighed. “I'm going to bed. You're not helping a bit.” He sounded petulant, but he didn't even care anymore. Let Spock look at every damn part of his mind. He was just too damned tired.

That is not advisable, doctor--

“I don't care. I don't think we're going to get anywhere like this.”

Spock did not respond, but McCoy could feel his disapproval as if it were his own. Sighing, he changed and laid down in his old bed on sheets that were new and stiff. Even though the cabin was the very one that had been his for years, its current bareness made it seem strange and uncomfortable. He closed his eyes and tried to relax and Spock, in his own way, tried to do the same. McCoy closed his eyes and felt panic and fear that, again, weren't his. He ordered the lights in the cabin down and took a deep breath. As he became calmer, he could feel the foreign emotions bubbling beneath the surface. The feeling of agoraphobia had lifted. The panic wasn't his anymore, it was Spock's. Spock was wondering whether he would go insane, too, along with McCoy if they remained in such close proximity for long. It had never even occurred to McCoy that he could read Spock's thoughts as well as Spock could read his. He just had to concentrate....

“Sorry,” McCoy said, jolting himself out of his thoughts. His heart raced as as if he had just wakened from a dream. He raised himself slightly on his elbows and stared into the darkness of his cabin. “I guess this 'respecting your privacy' thing should work both ways.”

Spock didn't exactly respond, but now that McCoy's eyes were closed again he could picture Spock in his mind's eye giving him a curious look. It's all right, doctor, he said finally. The fact that you are able in some measure to peer into my thoughts and feelings suggests that you are improving. Perhaps you just needed to relax.

“Maybe.” He could imagine Spock even more clearly now. The Vulcan was still stiffly upright and regarding him formally, still in the Starfleet uniform that he had been wearing when he died. It was strange, because Spock was so close to him that it felt like they were on the bed together.

Calm yourself, doctor, Spock said when McCoy felt another nervous pang. He nearly sat up straight in bed. There is no need to--

“Don't say it,” said McCoy. “Don't even think it.”

Not thinking was the crux of the whole problem, as McCoy saw it. It was simple enough to tell yourself “don't think about that,” but just that simple command demanded an iteration of all the details that he definitely did not want to think about. The memory of the most embarrassing moment of his life swam to the front of his mind, from when he was about six years old and had wet his pants at a family gathering, or something stupid like that. It was just his mind being contradictory again, he told himself, and laid back to remember all the unwanted memories.

For instance: he didn't want to remember being stuck in a jail cell with Spock, at first being sticky and sweaty from the exertion of almost dying in a gladiator's arena, then later being so chilled that he had started shaking and had been unable to stop. Spock had stood over his cot, watching, and then came to a wordless decision. He had lowered himself next to McCoy, wrapping his warmer arms around him. Normally, McCoy would have protested more vehemently (because naturally he had protested a little), but that night he had been so cold and so battered and so worried that he'd been unable to make himself draw away. He had fallen asleep, eventually, and could tell by Spock's breathing that he had too. It had been the smallest thing, an incongruous moment of warmth in an otherwise prickly relationship. It had never kept him up late at night before.

Your skills are improving, doctor.

“Come again?”

You appear to have successfully shielded your thoughts from me.

“You mean you're not getting anything right now?” Cautiously, he let his mind wander back to the cell, when Spock's arms had been stiff and oddly comforting wrapped around his torso. He supposed that was why the thought was coming back to him, because it was so similar to how he felt right now. Spock's mind (or his soul or his katra or whatever) was wrapped around his in a way that was invasive and strange, but he also could not honestly call it unpleasant. It was that feeling of being held stiffly but not distastefully all over again.

I do not sense anything from you, he said, and McCoy believed him.

“Huh. I guess I just got the knack suddenly.”


McCoy could even feel it, or, rather, he couldn't, like his foot had fallen asleep or his fingers had gone numb. Spock's awkward presence was much less tangible, like they were standing face-to-face on opposite sides of a curtain. “Ha. How about that.”

They rested in silence for a few minutes. It was strange. Now that he'd finally managed to create a space of privacy for himself, a place where he could sleep, he no longer felt as tired. “Spock,” he said. “Can you not sleep unless I do?”

That is correct.

“Sorry for keeping you up, then.”

Are you? Spock asked archly, and now McCoy's defenses were down a bit more. He let himself picture Spock giving him the usual annoyed look.

“I think so.”

The Spock in his mind arched an eyebrow at him, still looking stiff and implacable.

“This wasn't one of your better ideas, was it, Spock?”

Spock had no response to that, and McCoy wasn't able to sense any feelings or thoughts through whatever barrier he had managed to construct.

“I mean, were you just desperate? Or--” he paused and tried to rephrase. “Why me, I guess is what I'm asking. Not that I mind, exactly, except I do, it being my mind and all, ha--”

I'm afraid I do not understand. You are not thinking logically.

“No, it's just—dammit, Spock, it's my brain, I can think however I damn well please. What I'm trying to say is that I'm glad you're here because I thought you were dead and—well, are you dead?”

Not completely.

“Spock, you can't be mostly dead. Are you or aren't you? Are you trying to tell me that you don't know?”

Is that what I'm trying to tell you?

“Look at me, arguing with myself. I really am going crazy, aren't I?”

Spock didn't answer that, either. Finally:

Did you have a point, doctor?

“Probably,” said McCoy. “I'll be damned if I can remember what it is now.” He yawned. “Good night, Spock.” He really was bone-tired, and suddenly he was very angry at everything. Both emotions nicely distracted him from the unsettling feeling that he and Spock had just had one of their last arguments.


(“The thing is,” a part of him was saying to Spock, “that I don't put much stock in dreams. Personally.”

“That is interesting,” said Spock, and this time it was not Spock as a voice in the front of his head, not a Spock as a shadowy presence next to him on the bed or just over his shoulder. This Spock was actually there, in front of him, wherever there was.)

McCoy was sleeping in his old bed on the Enterprise even as he and Spock were back in the arena on 892-IV, only this time there were no opponents, and it was no TV soundstage. This was a real coliseum, with real sand beneath his feet and real sun hitting his eyes, and nothing but a tiny blue metal shield between him and a maddened Vulcan. Spock charged at him and the crowd roared.

(“I mean,” that other part of him said to the impassive, silent part of Spock, “dreams are just random junk your subconscious throws up. I don't hold with assigning a lot of bullshit metaphorical meaning to something like that.”

“That is reassuring,” said Spock.)

Spock attacked him, swinging his sword and catching McCoy along his upper arm. The cut was shallow, but the crowd whistled and shouted as he staggered.

(“Jesus, Spock, if you were that angry at me you could have just said something. I mean, we're sharing a goddamn head, but I thought you just were, you know, typically annoyed with me. Do you always have dreams like these?”

“Vulcans do not dream.”

“What, never?”

“Only very rarely, doctor. That would explain the violence we are witnessing, most likely.”

“That kind of explains a lot, actually.” He paused. “You're welcome, anyway, for the new experience.”)

McCoy was in the dirt, holding onto his injured arm. Everything was so especially vivid. He felt the sand on his elbows and it seemed like he could still hear the ringing of the swords in his head, tickling his ear drums. He was so disoriented it was difficult to remember that he was really back in his bed, alone. Spock was circling him and then studying him through squinting eyes.

(“That's strange,” said McCoy. “Do Vulcans always get so angry in dreams?”

“I could not say.”

“Why, though? Are you mad at me, or are you mad that you're dead?” McCoy could watch detachedly all he liked, but he couldn't tell whose anger was whose. He was angry, at Spock and at death and at himself, and so was Spock. McCoy had been running over the events on 892-IV in his head, but now so was Spock. McCoy couldn't tell which of them was remembering the feeling of being held very tightly and very close in that cell. He wondered if that wasn't how they both had felt all along.)

“This is strange,” said the McCoy back in the arena, who was pinned to the wall. Spock paused, his hand in front of McCoy's face. “I think this is your dream. Get off of me.” Spock did not move.

(“He's right,” said McCoy. “My normal dreams never feel this real. I never realize that I'm dreaming in the middle.”

Spock was silent.

“I suppose I should thank you for the new experience, too. I've never shared a dream with anyone before.”)

“You're afraid of living,” the other McCoy was saying, reiterating an old argument. He grabbed Spock by the wrist, and then they were fighting in the coliseum again, rolling around in the dirt. “You're afraid of slipping, and you're mad at me because I make you slip!” He dodged a punch at his face. “You're afraid of me, deep down.” Spock grabbed him by his hair and was trying to throw him back to the ground.

(“I mean, I'm never this physical in my dreams, I'll tell you that much.”

“That is fascinating, doctor.”)

The other McCoy was losing again. Spock was on top of him. His face was still expressionless and hard and inches away from McCoy's. He had his sword back.

“Do it,” growled McCoy. “You know you want to.”

(“I don't have make-out dreams, either,” McCoy said. “That's your fault as well.”

Spock seemed unable to reply.)

The Vulcan's mouth was hot and breathing into his, as if he were trying an old-fashioned way to revive him. His hands were on McCoy's shoulders, fingers digging into the skin.

“You wouldn't know what to do with a genuine, warm, decent feeling,” said McCoy when Spock's mouth let his go. Spock kissed him again, and his hands were tearing at McCoy's clothes and grabbing him, his knees still pinning him to the ground.

“It's all your fault,” muttered McCoy. “You're getting your neuroses all mixed up with mine.” He kissed Spock back and tried to roll over onto him, but Spock pinned his shoulders down harder and bit his neck. They were naked now

(“No explanation, naturally,” said the McCoy in the peanut gallery. Spock still seemed too embarrassed to speak.)

and Spock was enraged and biting his way down McCoy's body until he got down to his dick

(“Which is really ridiculous. I'm too old to be having a stupid dream like this, I hope you realize.”

“Perhaps it is not your dream, then,” said Spock rather sniffily, surprising McCoy considerably.)

and even though McCoy really knew that it was just friction from the sheets and maybe even his own hand, he still felt the wetness and the heat of Spock's warmer-than-normal mouth, and he still felt the sand beneath him grind into his back painfully as he arched into Spock's mouth. He could even feel the sting of the cut Spock had given him earlier. He knew he was dreaming, and he knew he was too old for this, but he still woke up when he came, feeling foolish yet oddly triumphant, just as he had when he was young. He rolled over onto his back and sighed.

“Spock,” he said.

I am still here, doctor.

“I figured, after that.” They were silent, all the barriers that they had constructed earlier destroyed by sleep and dreams. They listened together to their breathing and felt together the rush of adrenaline evaporate from their bloodstream, as if for the first time they were existing as one, not as two men jostling for position inside McCoy's head. He felt in Spock and in himself an identical mix of embarrassment and resignation. He felt crowded again, but somehow could no longer feel embarrassed or panicked about it.

“Well,” he said. “That was really our dream, huh? Your first ever dream.”

It would seem so.

“Quite a doozy.”

I am unfamiliar with the term, but yes, I believe so.

“That was your idea for getting us to sleep?”

Regardless of the...consequences, it does seem to have worked.

“It's still the middle of the night.”

At least temporarily.

McCoy shook his head and closed his eyes again. “God, so much for our last argument. This really wasn't one of your better ideas,” he said before rolling over and falling back asleep, too tired to even care that Spock could see right through his words, too tired to care that Spock was just a shadow in his mind and, for now, nothing else.

Good night, doctor.

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