Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the property of and is copyright (c) 1981 by Kate Birkel. Originally published in Fermata, Karen Bates, editor. Rated PG.

Wish Me Luck

Kate Birkel

"Tell. .. Dr. McCoy ... that he ... should have ... wished me luck."

The faltering, static-clouded words hit Leonard McCoy with the force of a full kick to the solar plexus. Eyes closed, he steadied himself with one hand on the back of the Captain's chair.

I did wish you luck, Spock, but I was so damned angry at being left out, I wouldn't say it to your face. I waited until the doors had closed behind you; so all you remember is the anger. Is this your way of getting even -- making me feel like something that just crawled out a swamp? Well, maybe I can't blame you. I'd be bitter, too, if I thought the last living person I saw hated my guts. But that's where you're wrong, Spock. I don't hate you at all. I might not feel the same way about you as Jim does, but I don't hate you either. Believe it or not, Spock., I actually respect you. You're one hell of a man.

Grant you dignity? Spock., you have enough dignity for three people. I'm just sorry that last crack of yours wasn't so dignified. You know, Spock., if that remark had come from someone else, I might have called it vindictive -- but I know you better than that. You weren't getting even at all, were you? You were just stating a fact. Do you know it robbed me of my dignity, though? Do you realize you've made me see how petty and jealous I had been acting?

But it wasn't all pettiness and jealousy, Spock. I swear to you there was more than that. But you were so busy with your own dignity, you sort of forgot that I might have some, too. Look. at us, Spock.. How many years are there between us? Five? You'd say those five years don't mean much, but I think they do. I've packed a lot of living in those few years, Spock.. I've packed a lot of living into all my years. But look. at yourself. You haven't even started to live. You've wrapped yourself up in this ship like a caterpillar in a cocoon. You'd have made one hell of a butterfly, Spock, once you broke out of your cocoon, but now you never will. And that makes me damned mad! Jim sees you for what you are at this moment. So does everyone else on board this tin can. But I saw what you could have been.

That's why I fought so much with you, Spock. I didn't hate what you are now -- I was just so damn anxious to see what was going to come out of that cocoon. All you had to do, Spock, was give yourself a chance. You were coming around a little bit. Do you know -- I have to give you credit for the best practical joke I have ever seen. I'll bet those Klingons just died when they found those tribbles. There's some top brass I'd have loved to let you loose on. But it's too late now, isn't it, Spock?

Noble and self-sacrificing -- right down to the last minute, hey, Spock? I'm the doctor, dammit! That should have been my epitaph -- not yours. What sent you out there, Spock? Which half of you? Was it your Vulcan half calculating the odds of personal success based on physical strength and mental superiority? Or was it your human half that wanted to save me from such an ignoble ending? Or, maybe, for once, it was both halves acting together. I'll never know, though, will I?

Wish you luck? There was no one in the galaxy who needed luck. more than you or depended on it less. Did luck actually enter into your calculations this time, Spock.? Did you really leave a little margin for that fickle lady? Were you hoping that, for once, she would actually smile at you? Is that why you asked me to wish you luck.? Hedging this last, final bet? Well, I did wish you luck, Spock. Damn it to hell, Spock, I really did wish you luck!!!