EAD: Beyond Duty

Title: Beyond Duty
Author: Kylia
Fandom: Star Trek AOS
Genre: Alternate Universe
Content Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2370
Summary: This starts during Star Trek: Beyond when Spock and Bones were isolated from others, but is focused on their unusual friendship.

*

“Spock.” McCoy leaned forward, putting the slightest bit of pressure on the sensitive points of his face. “Spock. Wake up, damn it!”

Spock’s eyes opened slowly. “I am entirely conscious, Doctor.”

“Good. Stay that way.” McCoy stepped back.

“I am simply contemplating the nature of mortality.”

McCoy snorted and sat down next to the science officer. “Feeling philosophical, are we? Massive blood loss will do that to you.”

Spock paused a moment before continuing. “You asked me why Lieutenant Uhura and I had parted ways. I find myself questioning whether or not I shouldn’t be aiding my people to rebuild. There are so few of us left. Before I could give the matter more thought or discuss it with Nyota, I received some news from New Vulcan which unsettled me.”

“What sort of news?” McCoy asked.

“Ambassador Spock has died.”

“I’m sorry, Spock. I can’t imagine what that must feel like.”

“To live as many lives as he did…he didn’t fear death.”

“Fear of death is what keeps us alive, Spock.”

“I want follow his life, his work, and focus my efforts towards New Vulcan.”

Bones turned towards Spock. “You’re leaving Starfleet?” Bones shook his head. “Jim is not going to like that. Have you told him?”

“Not yet.”

Bones nodded. “And your relationship with Uhura, does she know about this?.”

“No. You are the only person I have spoken to.”

Bones leaned back against the cave wall and thought about that. How the hell did he become the confidante of Spock during his crisis or..whatever this was?

“So, Uhura doesn’t know about Ambassador Spock’s death, but she does know that you’re thinking of returning to New Vulcan?”

“She knows that I have been concerned with the struggles of my people, and that I have been questioning my place.”

“I’m sure Uhura will understand that you need to do what you decide is best. She might be disappointed as your girlfriend, but as your friend, she would understand.”

“Come on, let’s get outside and see if we can reach the crew.” Bones stood and helped Spock to stand and move towards the opening of the cave they were hiding in.

*

The moment he’d seen the three ships approaching, Bones felt that surge run through him. It wasn’t exactly adrenaline, and it wasn’t panic. Though he’d be perfectly justified to panic. Spock was nowhere near peak condition, and if their experience on this mission so far was any indication, those approaching ships were probably not friendlies.

Still, he was an experienced officer. More experienced than some, as he’d had a life before Starfleet. He’d survived five years of xenobiology on three different planets, before the academy, sharing space with Jim Kirk during the academy, and every insane thing the Enterprise had thrown at them since.

As he felt Spock at his back, Bones took a breath and threw caution to the wind. Clearly, he’d been spending entirely too much time with Jim. “At least I won’t die alone.”

Then Spock had been beamed away and Bones had wanted to laugh, because, of course.

He waited a second not sure if he wanted to curse or laugh, but then he felt the tingle of a transport beam.

*

Spock knew his injuries were severe, though not quite life-threatening. He trusted Doctor McCoy’s abilities as a healer, so he wasn’t alarmed to wake up somewhere completely different from where he’d last remembered being. He looked around quickly and determined they were still on the USS Franklin, so he probably hadn’t been unconscious for too long.

He sat up carefully and while his wounds were tender, they didn’t appear to be bleeding profusely any longer.

“Your awake.” Bones took out his tricorder and ran a scan. “How do you feel?”

“I am adequate for our mission.” Spock started to sit up.

Bones snorted. “You don’t even know what the mission is, Spock. Let me decide if you’re fit for duty or not. Lay back down. This will only take a second. Don’t make me sedate you.”

Spock frowned but did as McCoy requested. The doctor ran his tricorder several times over the injured areas before turning it off and looking at Spock.

“You’re well enough for what Jim wants. “ Bones said reluctantly.

Spock started to sit up before McCoy had finished speaking.

“But,” McCoy continued, “I don’t recommend long-term exposure to any source of outside stimulus. You need to meditate. Your synaptic pathways are hyper-focused.”

Spock stilled and looked around the room they were in to see who else was in the room with them, or who else may have overheard McCoy’s diagnosis. There was no one. He still wasn’t sure exactly where on the Franklin they were.

Bones snorted. “You can relax. No one else is here, and I didn’t tell Jim about that. It’s not his business.”

Spock stared at the doctor for a long moment. There were things he wanted to ask, but this was not the time or the place so he just nodded his head.

“Okay. I’m going to go speak to Jim and find out what our status is and if they’ve made any change in plans. I can give you fifteen minutes to meditate. I know it’s not ideal, but it will have to do, for now.”

Bones got up and walked away and Spock was left with this feeling that his entire worldview had shifted, and he wasn’t entirely sure how or why.

*

“Well?” Jim asked.

“He’ll survive.” Bones said. “I’d prefer to get him back to a federation medbay, but he’s okay, so long as he doesn’t jar his injury further.”

“About that.” Jim grinned a little sheepishly. “Perhaps you can accompany him, just in case there are any issues.”

Bones stared at Jim. He wanted to argue. He really, really wanted to argue. But the truth was Spock shouldn’t be on that ship alone, or with someone who didn’t know the extent of the issues. “Fine.” He turned around and walked back to the area he’d left the Vulcan in.

Jim Kirk stared after him for a minute, feeling as though he’d missed something.

*

Doctor Leonard McCoy was focused on the screen in front of him, though most of the Swarm had been rendered a disorganized mess. They really couldn’t function on their own, and without the orders coming through, they didn’t know what to do.

The Enterprise crew was able to pick them off while Jim did whatever crazy thing he had planned.

“Doctor McCoy…Leonard.” Spock turned to face him suddenly. “Do you think I am making a mistake in my decision to leave Starfleet?”

McCoy blew out a breath. “That depends, on why you’re doing it.” He looked across the small distance at the Vulcan. “If you’re doing it because you truly believe this is where you should be, that New Vulcan is where you can do the most good, then it’s the right decision. However, if you’re doing it, in some misguided attempt to fill the void left by…your counterpart, then yes, it is a mistake. That void will never be filled. You are both Spock, but you are not the same. Your experiences are different, and your lives are different. Just because he is gone, does not mean you need to take his place.”

Spock stared at him for a long moment before turning around and continuing with the mission.

McCoy huffed and returned his own gaze to his monitor.

*

“You changed your mind.” Bones bumped shoulders with Jim at his impromptu party. He had seen Spock and Uhura speaking earlier but he couldn’t tell from their body language exactly what they were speaking about, or if they were still broken up or not.

“About what?” Jim asked.

“Leaving Enterprise. The promotion to Admiral.” Bones nudged him again. “You didn’t think you were being subtle, did you?”

Jim blinked at him. “Yes?”

Bones laughed. “No.”

“I, ah, told Commodore Paris I changed my mind, that I’d like to remain on the Enterprise.” He looked away from his friend and focused on the people at the party. “Did everyone know?”

“No.”

“Spock?” Jim asked.

“I don’t think so.” Bones answered. He believed Spock was probably too focused on his own issue to have noticed Jim’s preoccupation, but he wasn’t at liberty to say so.

Jim nodded. “Good.” He nodded towards the crowd. “I’m gonna mingle.”

Bones watched him weave through the crowd and his eyes searched the crowd for the Vulcan. He was standing in a corner speaking to Nyota. They both looked…uncomfortable. That didn’t bode well. With a sigh, Bones made his way out of the room. He had an early call to make, and some PADDs to review.

*

Bones had just finished his call with Joanna when the chime on his door alerted him to a visitor.

Spock was standing on the other side of the door looking…perplexed, which was an unusual look for the man.

“May I speak with you?”

Bones stepped back to allow Spock entrance. “I’m not exactly dressed for duty.”

Spock turned to look at Bones and raised an eyebrow at his shirt which had some sort of soft-looking quadruped animal on it.

“I was on coms with my daughter. She sent this to me, so I put it on so she could see I was wearing it.”

Spock nodded. “I thought about what you said.”

“About returning to New Vulcan? Did you make a decision?”

“I did. I…I meditated on it. I spoke to my father this morning as well.”

“And?” McCoy went to the replicator and asked for tea for both of them.

“He reminded me that even though mother is gone, the lessons she taught our family are not forgotten.”

McCoy stared at Spock for a long moment. He wasn’t exactly sure what that was supposed to mean. He’d met Amanda Grayson a few times, but he didn’t know her well enough to guess at what sort of lessons Sarek had been referring to.

“Did you know I have siblings?” Spock asked suddenly.

McCoy brought the tea to the table in front of the sitting area. “No. I know you were the first Human-Vulcan child born, but I didn’t know about any children after you, or if your father had other children before he married your mother.”

Spock sat. “Thank you.” He took a sip of the tea. “I have an older half-brother, Sybok. He is from my father’s first marriage to a Vulcan Priestess. She abandoned Sybok and my father to achieve Kolinahr. Sybok was troubled as a child and didn’t handle my father’s marriage to my mother very well. I also have a sister. She is human. She was adopted by my parents after her parents were killed.”

“Hmm. Are you close?” McCoy asked. He was surprised Spock was sharing so much personal information, but they’d worked together long enough for Spock to be able to trust him.  

Especially about Sarek’s first wife.  He knew more than most non-Vulcan’s about Vulcan culture and medical concerns because of his own history with the species.  He knew enough to know what Kolinahr was and that it wasn’t something Vulcan’s discussed with outsiders as most other races didn’t understand the drive to purge all emotion.

“We were, as children, but not in several years.” Spock looked down at his hands.

“And your father’s reminder?”

“My mother believed that it didn’t matter whether we were Human, Vulcan, or somewhere in between, the path we took, and the decisions we made were our own to make. We had a legacy, from our clan, but that shouldn’t stop us from following our own path.”

“So, does that mean you’re staying with the Enterprise?”

“I am.”

“I saw you talking to Uhura during the party,” McCoy said. “Did you work that out?”

“She doesn’t understand why I wanted to leave, or what made me decide to stay.” Spock took another sip of his tea. “She asked me if I was staying because of her.”

McCoy huffed. “Tell me you didn’t tell her the truth.”

“I didn’t tell her the truth.” Spock agreed. “The truth is private.”

“What did you tell her when she asked?” McCoy wanted to step away from this land mine, but knew he couldn’t.

“I told her no, that what she wanted wasn’t a factor in my decision.”

“Spock. I realize you’re new to human relationships, but you don’t say things like that to women.”

“She was very upset,” Spock admitted. “She told me that before I tried to share intimacies again, I should discuss it with someone who has a better understanding of how healthy relationships work.” He looked across the table at McCoy. “That is why I came to see you this morning, Leonard.”

McCoy isn’t sure what to say to that because that’s just… “Why would you think I would know anything about relationships?” He motioned towards the desk where his comm is set up. “My marriage didn’t exactly end well.”

“Leonard.” Spock stops, hesitates for a second. “I know you weren’t there when Khan attacked Starfleet, but you are aware of the circumstances of Admiral Pike’s death?”

Bones looked away. “Yes.”

“Then you know I melded with him as he was dying.”

“I read the reports.” Bones said. “And, Jim told me.”

“A Mind Meld is very intimate,” Spock said quietly. “When I connected with the Admiral, I noticed he had a mental bond in place already. I tried not to disturb it.”

“You didn’t.” Bones whispered.

Spock nodded. “His last thoughts were of you.”

“I know, Spock.” Bones finally looked up at the Vulcan. “I appreciate that you haven’t brought this up, and probably wouldn’t have now if I hadn’t forced the issue.”

Spock nodded.

“Okay, so Uhura is unhappy that you’re staying and she isn’t the reason why. Your relationship is probably salvageable if you want to salvage it. But, that’s a decision you need to make. If you don’t want to renew your romantic relationship, it’s probably better to just leave things alone and try and reclaim your friendship.”

“I’ll think on it,” Spock said. He stood. “Thank you for your time and insight this morning, doctor.”

“Bones, Spock. My friends call me Bones.”

“Bones,” Spock repeated hesitantly.

*

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