Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is copyright (c) 2006 by SterJulie. Rated PG.
AFTER THE CREDITS: The Menagerie "Wet Dreams"
"Okay, Spock," Doctor McCoy soothed, "almost done with your physical. Go ahead and get dressed while I ask you these last few questions. Any new physical complaints since your last exam?"
/Ahh!/ Spock sighed mentally as he pulled on his thermal underclothing. Even though McCoy had raised the temperature to ninety degrees, Spock was certain that his goosebumps had goosebumps from the chilly room.
"I have nothing new to report," he said as he pulled on his socks.
"You're plumbing's working fine?" the doctor asked.
Spock stared at McCoy in confusion. "Plumbing?" he echoed.
McCoy rolled his eyes at the literal Vulcan. "Are you voiding normally? No burning, no sudden urges? Are your bowel movements regular?"
Spock rolled mental eyes at the doctor. "As I said, Doctor, I have nothing new to report."
McCoy made some notes. "What about wet dreams?"
Spock's eyes grew wide.
"You know, wet dreams?" the doctor repeated.
Spock turned his head. What business did McCoy have to inquire about his dreams?
"On occasion," he murmured.
McCoy's head snapped up at the quiet, almost shy voice.
"When I do not keep to my regular schedule of meditation..." Spock started softly. He tried again. "Whatever I do not come to terms with in my meditations, I have to deal with in my dreams."
"I see," McCoy said. "Well, Spock, I wouldn't worry about nocturnal emissions. It happens to every kind of humanoid male I've studied."
Spock's mouth dropped open in shock. "Nocturnal emissions!" he breathed. "As in ejaculating semen?"
McCoy's eye grew wide as his eyebrows reached for the ceiling.
"Of course!" he exclaimed. "What did you think I meant?"
Spock turned away as he continued dressing. "You could have spoken more precisely, Doctor," Spock scolded. "To answer your question correctly, that hasn't occurred since I hit puberty."
McCoy studied Spock curiously. The Vulcan was stepping into his boots and would soon be gone. The doctor had to think fast.
"Spock," he asked gently, "what did you think I meant when I said 'wet dreams'?"
Spock bent to secure his other boot and did not raise his head. He mumbled something too softly for McCoy to hear.
"Come again?" the doctor asked.
"I thought you meant tears," Spock repeated more clearly.
McCoy studied the melancholy face. "Do you cry in your sleep, Spock?" he asked gently.
Spock still spoke to the floor. "As I said earlier, Doctor," Spock began, "whatever I do not come to terms with in my meditations, I have to deal with in my dreams."
"When did you last cry in your sleep?" McCoy probed delicately.
Spock crushed the uniform top in his hands. "It was after my court martial," he explained. "I knew that by keeping my promise to Captain Pike, I had betrayed Captain Kirk. I kept seeing Jim's face, his anger, his hurt. I knew I had caused that. He didn't deserve any of it. He has been nothing but kind to me. He is my best friend, and I betrayed him."
McCoy kept quiet and let Spock talk himself out.
"And have you and Jim come to understanding yet?" the doctor finally asked.
"Jim 'dressed me down' for two hours after we left Talos IV," Spock admitted. "He told me that he wouldn't be able to stand the sight of me for at least a week."
"And how did you manage that?" McCoy queried.
"I changed the duty roster so that we did not draw the same shift," Spock replied. "He also said that if ever he was in the same position as Captain Pike, I was under orders to let him die."
McCoy and Spock stood quietly, thinking about Jim's words, knowing that they could understand how the captain felt on that issue.
"So," McCoy said at last, "are you still avoiding Jim?"
"I did as he requested," Spock began, "but after two days, Jim sought me out, first for a meal, then for a game of chess. He said he admired my loyalty to my first captain, but that he didn't have to like it. Ever since, Jim has been acting as if nothing ever happened between us."
The doctor pondered further. "At which point did you cry in your sleep, Spock?" he asked gently.
"It was after the 'dressing down.'" Spock murmured. "I kept hearing him say, 'Let me die.'" He lowered his head into a hand. "I know in my heart that I could never let him die, Doctor McCoy. I know Jim would 'move heaven and earth' for me. How could I do any less for him?"
* * *
Doctor McCoy moved to stand by Admiral Kirk after the fal-tor-pan on Mount Selaya. He followed the admiral's gaze to the unkempt Vulcan being groomed by the Adepts. He thought about all the Kirk had been through, all that he had lost to give Spock this second chance to live.
Spock's anguished words from long ago came back to him.
/"I know in my heart that I could never let him die, Doctor McCoy. I know Jim would 'move heaven and earth' for me. How could I do any less for him?"/