Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom.  This story is the property of SterJulie and is copyright (c) 2005 by SterJulie.   Rated PG.


After the Credits: The Immunity Syndrome



Spock was finally asleep.  He had been reluctant to even come down to sickbay after returning to the ship half-dead, but Doctor McCoy's pleas, cajoles and threats brooked no argument.  Spock had put life support to bare minimum in order to have enough energy to study the giant space amoeba.  Once again the Vulcan had put his own life on the line to save the crew, and now his body was paying for it.


McCoy scanned Spock's readings as the Vulcan floated in the pressure chamber and swore fiercely under his breath.


"Oxygen saturation levels still only at sixty percent," the doctor fumed.  He checked the gauges again on the pressure chamber.  "I can't raise the pressure any higher, you pig headed Vulcan," he muttered as he increased the oxygen levels in the chamber yet again.  "Why is it every time somebody's injured on an landing party, it's got to be you that gets the worst of it?  Why must you volunteer for every dangerous assignment?  You know I have a hard time patching you back together!"


McCoy placed his hands against the glass and let go of his pent-up frustrations and fears, knowing the booth to be soundproof.  "One of these days, Spock," he yelled, "one of these days I'm not going to be able to put you back together.  Do you have a death wish or something?  Don't you care about the rest of us, about those who ... love ... you?"


Tears started to cloud McCoy's vision.  "No one knows your twisted insides better than me, Spock," the doctor continued.  "What's going to happen when I'm not there to patch your skinny green ass back together?  How am I going to face Jim and say, 'I couldn't save him this time.  I couldn't save Spock'?  What do I tell your parents?"


Sobs began to rock McCoy's slight frame.  "Do you know how many times I've kept watch over you just like this and prayed, 'Oh, God, don't take, don't take him'?"  The doctor threw himself at the glass and beat his fists upon it.  "Stop trying to throw your life away!" he cried.  "If you don't value it, I certainly do!"


McCoy lowered his head to his hands for a long moment.  As the doctor quieted, he felt something, another presence in the room.


"Does Spock know how much you love him, Bones?" Kirk asked quietly from the doorway.


Embarrassed, McCoy dashed the tears from his cheeks.


"I don't see how he couldn't," the doctor replied.  "I use all those terms of endearment with him."  Kirk smiled.  McCoy turned on the captain.  "I go through the same thing when you're injured," he said, pointing an accusing finger his way.  "The two of you will be the death of me yet!"


Kirk saw movement past the doctor's shoulder.  "Bones, I think someone is awake." McCoy spun toward the window.  Spock was reaching out a hand to him as his floated in the tank.


"Oh, I didn't mean to wake you up," apologized McCoy over the intercom.


Spock shook his head and replied, "You didn't waken me.  How much longer?"


McCoy checked the readout and smiled a crooked smile.


"Your oxygen saturation level is up to 87% and climbing," McCoy replied with a smile.  "Your nitrogen level is nearly normal.  It won't be long now.  Try to get some more sleep."  Spock nodded tiredly and closed his eyes.


McCoy turned and saw Kirk smirking at him.  The doctor waved a threatening finger at the captain.


"You breathe one word of this to Spock, Jim, and I'll give you the works on your next physical," McCoy threatened, "manually, with cold instruments."  Kirk blanched.


"Who, me, Doctor?" he demurred.