Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount Viacom. This story is copyright © 2006 SterJulie. Rated PG.
AFTER THE CREDITS—The Galileo Seven
"What's wrong, Spock?"
Spock opened his eyes at the sound of Doctor McCoy's voice.
"Doctor?" Spock replied through gritted teeth.
"You're readings are way off," McCoy explained. "They show elevated heart rate, irregular respiration, fluctuating blood pressure. My diagnosis is agitation. Is the 'bone knitter' bothering you?"
Spock closed his eyes. It would be illogical to deny the fact that the constant hum and vibration of the bone regenerator was setting his teeth on edge, and combined with the pain from the broken bones, he was beginning to stare into madness.
"Perhaps the device has been on long enough," Spock answered instead. "My leg can heal naturally."
McCoy crossed his arms. "Not a chance, Spock," he replied. "You had several bad breaks from that boulder, not to mention extensive soft tissue damage. It would take six months for you to be strong enough for duty."
Spock blanched. "Six months?" he echoed.
McCoy nodded. "Six months with no regeneration," he restated, "as opposed to 36 hours with regeneration."
Spock knew that he could not bear 36 minutes more of that annoying sensation. "Could I not instead go into a healing trance?" he suggested.
Again McCoy shook his head. "You would have to be out for days," the doctor observed. "Even you couldn't sustain a trance that long."
"What do you suggest, Doctor?" Spock asked after a while.
"Let me give you something to help you relax," McCoy suggested, "or better yet, let me put you to sleep."
Spock shook his head at the idea. "I have too much to think about," he murmured.
"Beginning with Latimer and Gaetano, right?" McCoy questioned quietly.
Spock closed his eyes.
"I should never have left Gaetano to patrol alone," Spock berated himself.
"Had you left anyone else with Gaetano," McCoy gently argued, "then you would have lost three of us, not two."
Spock didn't respond.
"We were in a dangerous situation," McCoy soothed. "While it is always a tragedy to lose even one life, you did what you thought best. You're actions successfully brought five of us home."
McCoy thought a while. "Spock," the doctor asked, "how is it that this was your first command? You're the First Officer, for Pete's sake. How could Starfleet have thought you qualified for that position without having any practice beforehand?"
Spock shifted uncomfortably, not only from his physical injuries, but also from wounds of long ago. "Prejudice, Doctor," he whispered. "They did not think that a crew with humans in the majority could ever be loyal to an off worlder."
McCoy snorted. "This is the 23rd century, Spock! Humans are long past prejudice."
Spock turned an accusing eye at McCoy. "Oh, really?" he asked with sarcasm. "I will remember that the next time you refer to me as a 'pointy-eared hobgoblin.'"
"Now, Spock," McCoy chuckled nervously, "you know that that is all in fun."
Spock crossed his arms. "It would seem, Doctor, that when you call me those various names, you seem to be the only one having fun, and at my expense."
McCoy opened his mouth to reply when he saw the Vulcan grimace, his hands flying up to grab at his head.
"Please turn it off," Spock pleaded.
Instead, McCoy readied a hypo and pressed it to Spock's arm.
"I'm sorry, Spock," McCoy apologized. "Just go to sleep. You'll thank me in the morning, well, not tomorrow morning, but the morning after that."
No matter how hard Spock fought the sedative, he lost in the end, his eyelids drooping, then snapping open only to fall again and stay closed.
"Sweet dreams, Spock," McCoy said as he covered the sleeping Vulcan.