Bill's house impressed McCoy. It was two story expensive house, at least he assumed that because how stylish the building appeared. By his math it had to be somewhere in the thousands depending on the currency for the time being. Bill poked his head out of the car staring at a closed garage door. At least McCoy assumed it was his house. Bill was staring at the garage for exactly five minutes and thirty-three seconds. Bill ducked back into the vehicle then drove right past it.
"Bill," Spock said, turning his head toward Bill's direction. "Wasn't that your house?"
"My garage door has a hole in it," Bill said. "First my wife, than my family, and now the damn garage door?"
"Perhaps the laws of logic was put aside and it is in fact still your garage." Spock said.
"That's not my garage." Bill said, with a incredulous tone.
"I have counted the houses and that was your house." Spock said.
"What if someone else is parked in there?" Bill asked.
"You own the house." Spock said. "It is your place of residence."
"I don't want to barge in to someone making out," Bill said. "You saw reality warping."
"Your garage door is the only notable change about the residence," Spock said. "You are unique in this universe. Your place of residence, logically, must be the same by the inside. It does not count what it appears on the outside. What is inside counts."
"Reality warped?" McCoy said. "This must be a huge problem if realty warped-- " McCoy watched a street sign change before his eyes in various designs. "--Before your eyes."
Bill turned the wheel making the air-car turn toward the left. Right back in the direction he had been driving from. One minute and thirty-two seconds in Bill shouted, "Stop!" When there was a yellow and red like dog with black markings on its body running across the road. Bill sighed, loosening his grip, "Drive on." in a relieved tone. The least he wanted to do was run over a perfectly strange and new alien like species. McCoy looked out the window to see that a much massive version of the animal by a street lamp. Except it had the markings of a tiger. It had the height of a lion.
"That is a Arcanine and Growlthe," Bill said. "Both species share the ability to make fire, bite, and have undying loyalty to their masters. The problem is they can face anyone bigger than them in both of their evolution forms. Which can be problematic for having a Growlthe when it can get killed."
"How do you know that?" McCoy asked.
"I not only tweet on twitter, but play Pokemon,"Bill said. "It's a fun game until the fun is out of it. . . Frankly, if anything, the cartoon lost its inevitability with Ash remaining ten for the better part of his adventure." Bill looked around. "Stop." He looked both ways shortly after the air-car came to a stop. Bill appeared to be confused. "Uuh. . . Spock, which one is my house?"
"The one with the closed garage." Spock said. "The one that does not have 'for sell' on the front lawn."
"Oh," Bill said. "That one. . ." He felt around the ceiling. "Now where is the garage opener when I need it for once?" The contraption attached to the ceiling was flipped down by Bill's large hand. He caught the garage opener in his free hand. "Ah ha!" He flipped the device over then pressed the small rounded button. "Found it!"
The garage door slid up to reveal by the inside there was a huge garage. Bill was left speechless by the inside that appeared as though it were part of a huge parking garage ripped out of the movies. There were various futuristic models of cars inside. But most importantly there was a door that lead to the inside of the house. Spock gently stroked his beard with a raised eyebrow.
"This is unexpected." Spock said.
"Nice garage." McCoy said. "I am surprised that humans in this era had the technology for the bigger by the inside buildin's. Took us two hundred years to get down." The two men looked over their shoulder toward McCoy with keenly interested but baffled looks. "What? Are you meaning to say Star Trek did not have that?"
The answer was unanimous. Then their heads turned away. Bill drove into the garage feeling his hands tremble. He had never parked in a garage this huge. Of course he has seen plenty of these but not in real life. He had to make sure he did not park too closely against one of them and potentially scratch it. Bill drove slowly into the drive way. He came to a stop within the garage. Bill pressed the button to the garage door opener. The garage door closed behind the vehicle.
"Thank you for the time and the patience driving Air-Car 260." Came the voice from the screen.
"Now Siri 2.0 speaks." Bill said.
Spock and McCoy shared a unanimous looks of confusion. Bill opened the driver side door, lifted the chair back, then headed in the direction of the doors holding a bag of junk food with him in one hand. He opened the door to see a ultimately different inside of his apartment. It looked oddly out of place. It wasn't in the modern day style that Bill had partially been part of to decorate the house. Everything was different. There was a floating staircase leading upstairs that had small circular items below the poles and the steps. Bill could hear the soft, low hum of the antigravitational boosters. Bill could feel panic circulating through his veins.
When Spock and McCoy came through the doors Bill was running up the stairs disappearing from their sight.
"We are not changin' in the same room if you are thinkin' that." McCoy said.
"I was not thinking of it." Spock replied.
"Let's find ourselves separate restrooms to change in." McCoy said.
"Gladly, doctor." Spock said.
The two split up going into different directions of the house. There were pictures hanging on the wall that showed various people in Bill's life. McCoy noted seeing a familiar man with dark hair, familiar brown eyes, and a face that belonged to a old friend. Wait, that was, that was Spock. At least someone who bore great resemblance to him. He was dressed in a entirely different outfit. The two appeared to be caught laughing in the photograph sitting on a bench. Spock's counterpart was with a man who resembled Jim. Wait, that was Bill. There was another picture of three men: Spock's counterpart, Bill, and a man who resembled himself. He saw that it had once been part of a newspaper article due to the heading being almost visible. McCoy carefully picked up. He looked just the way he did now, except the Spock lookalike was wearing big cute glasses. His counterpart and Bill were not wearing glasses. McCoy lowered the photograph back onto the stand. McCoy went down the hall noticing pictures of two women who shared facial characteristics of Bill and one boy. He saw photographs of what was probably Bill's grand children. McCoy came into the library that had closed curtains. There was a ladder leading up two levels. If a human had a advanced house then why would they keep a huge library?
McCoy stepped out of the library with the duffle bag holding the various clothes. It had been Bill who had gone back in and purchased the duffle bags. Leaving the two men in the parking lot in the uncomfortable silence. McCoy was half machine something that Vulcans of his time envied. Machines didn't feel, they said, human half must be overshadowed by it logically. It was not true regardless of their hopes. McCoy opened the door to see a room full of erotica antiques. McCoy pinched his nose then slowly backed his way out of the room closing the door as he did. McCoy opened a door that lead to the back yard. There were a few lawn chairs here and there with a umbrella in the middle of a table. There was a backyard pool with a rail at the steps. He closed the door. He saw there were pictures of other women on the counter with Bill. Two other women, that is, and they appeared to be happy with him in the various pictures. In the pictures he was with the women, he wasn't the same age when with either women. McCoy could see the lines slowly accumulate on his face. They were so human. And then there was one picture laid flat on the table.
McCoy slid it back up, slowly, back on its feet to see that it was Bill. Alone. Sad. Who was he with? He was looking off into the distance, back leaned against the wooden fence, arms leaned on the fence flat edges with one leg pressed against the wood and the other foot set forward. The distant look had the Kirkian depressed look. McCoy had seen it when someone Jim liked had died on his watch and when a officer had died on his watch. McCoy set down the photograph on its face. He saw a picture of Bill on a horse back laughing at a man who had his arms wrapped around the horse and seemed to be utterly reserved but his eyes easily said he was terrified. Bill appeared to be having a grand time. It wasn't a fake smile. But he looked exactly the way he did now except for that wide hat of his. It reminded McCoy of the one he had seen on the planet that had western cowboys. Real, living cowboys. Pistols, even, deadly to the inhabitants if they messed with what was trying to clear their wounds. McCoy recalled making a pistol that merely sedated who ever was shot instead of killing. It was the only way he would accept using a gun. The modifications were useful. It was a shame he had to use it on a dog. And this was only to retrieve Jim and Captain Georgie of the USS Barren along with what remained of the four hundred thirty-five crew members.
McCoy exited the dining room then headed down the hall.
"Doctor McCoy," Came the familiar monotone voice. McCoy stopped in his tracks. "It appears there is only one bathroom down stairs that has various pairs of scissors." Spock's head poked out of the doorway. "I am preparing for a shower."
"I don't need a damn shower!" McCoy said.
"I am offering you to change in the bathroom while I am cleaning myself." Spock said.
"You are the one who mind raped me." McCoy said. "I am not goin' to change in the same room as you!"
"I take it you did not tell my counterpart." Soock said.
"What is there to tell?" McCoy asked. "It is very personal."
"Doctor McCoy," Spock said. "In my world, Mind Rape is a common practice to extract information." He watched the man's face start to turn red. "And get what we need. From the mind meld I shared with your counterpart . . . It appears not to be the norm." McCoy's face turned into horror. "Despite my careful prodding . . ." McCoy's face turned into a scowl and his hands tightened into a fist. "I saw everything in your life."
"WELL, THAT'S NOT CAREFUL ENOUGH!" McCoy shouted.
"I apologize for that." Spock said. "And it was an accident--"
"DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT TOOK TO TRUST MY SPOCK WITH MIND MELDIN' WITH ME?" McCoy cut him off.
"Negative." Spock said.
"IT TOOK ME YEARS!" McCoy raised his voice. "I didn't trust any telepathics with my head. Not for the longest time. And I still do not trust them."
"If I had never mind melded with you, you would have never made it your parallel universe and you would have been dead if not by a security officer." Spock explained. "You would not be alive at the moment. If you still did not trust telepathics with your sanity then you would have not continued to serve with my counterpart."
"That is different." McCoy growled.
"My McCoy had a consensual mind meld with the other me or so I was told," Spock said. "If any thing, Doctor McCoy, you do not harbor a grudge as you speak of towards psi-telepathic individuals. If you had, you clearly would not be serving aboard the Enterprise. And I would be dead. There is no difference."
Spock ducked back into the bathroom before the doctor could reply. Placed the scissor on the counter, took off his boxers, then put it on the exposed new clothes that he had taken out. A pair of long jeans, the checkered shirt,white socks, and a pair of dark untied shoes laid on the top. On the counter across from the sink rested the duffle bag that had folded clothes inside and beside it lay a pile of clipped tags. Spock went into the shower that was jetting water out. The curtain was see through but being blurred by the water landing onto it. Spock closed the curtain.
By the outside, logically, no one could see was going on behind the curtain but only a moving blurry figure. Spock found a razor. At least they have something of the equivalent of the hair leg suppressor, Spock thankfully thought. His leg hair suppressor had expired. It had been several hours since he had used the device that morning. The last morning he had with one of his T'hy'lara's. Spock carefully slid it down his leg. The lid to the razor on the counter. He heard footsteps into the bathroom. Spock thought nothing of it. How long ago had McCoy last taken a shower? He appeared to be fine for a man who just escaped a ship under fire. Grumpier but un-injured. Spock considered. Should he get rid of the beard in exchange for his goatee? It was a troubling question. He had to shave it, carefully, with a mirror. Spock resumed the leg shaving. He watched the hair disappear down the drain. Spock looked over to see the backside of the doctor. The thin,small body fall facing him. His hips were very female like. Much like his McCoy. He could see that where the spine was located there was a long gray item in the middle of it with ridges. Much like a typical spine. It was his spine sticking out.
It was fascinating least Spock could say watching the man put on a shirt.
Spock put the cap on the razor then began to apply the body soap. He thought of a Vulcanian song that focused primary on the days before humanity had conquered it. He dreamed of that day. And here it was, a peaceful day. No agony booths, no violence, no 'long live the empire',no rounds of suspicion towards everyone. No need to worry about being killed in the line of duty by a fellow officer. This song focused on hope. Emotions. Logic. And care. His father had sang it to him when he was a toddler when his mother was being interrogated on the chance she could be a spy for a resistance preparing to cripple the empire. That was a difficult time in his upbringing. He remembered being targeted on his rite of passage. Going ahead early on that fatal day. The one where I-chaya died protecting Spock, and oh then, his cousin 'Selek' came to the rescue. Which was older Spock rescuing himself. It had been a planned attack. And the culprits had been dealt with.
Spock sang in Vulcan while going through his hair with a product that clearly read man's shampoo on the counter in curly golden text. McCoy was mind boggled looking over watching Spock's figure swing his hips to the song. His Spock never did that in the shower. McCoy understood some of the Vulcan wording but not all of it. His knowledge of Vulcanian language was quite scratchy and there were only a few words he was able to recall. McCoy turned away then clipped off the tags to the jeans then next the briefs. He got rid several of the tags on shirts and pants. He threw the packages that once held the briefs and socks. He put them into the duffle bag except for the new pair of socks. He put on a new pair of socks including new jeans that fit into todays century. And then tied his shoe laces. He looked down toward the direction of the uniform laid on the floor with the black socks. It would seem that if he got into Star Fleet again, at least the improvised version, that there would be a new damn uniform. McCoy picked up the crumpled up mess of the uniform. He picked up the duffle bag.
McCoy returned to the living room then dumped his uniform into the trash can with a thud. He came over to the comfortable couch. There was a huge screen resting on the wall across from him. There was a glass table below it that had collectable or so it seemed. They were horse antiques. Jim did like to ride horses. He even raced on a horse during a away mission that brought another alien race into the federation. The careful planning it took to get them in was difficult on its own. And being wary of Klingons interrupting them did not help. They were racing against Klingons. Of all aliens to bring in the Horsecans into the federation. The Klingons were attempting to find a way to conquer the planet that consisted mostly of guns wielding horse back riders except they were not in the wild west kind of attire.
"Be honest with me," Spock's voice drew McCoy out of his memory trance. "Do I look younger than I did with my beard?"
McCoy turned his head to see Spock. With a goatee. He had his shirt tucked in. His pant leg folded above the pair of shoes. His hands locked behind his back, military style, and he wore a pendant around his neck. It was the typical IDIC symbol. He had seen it when Kollos had arrived so long ago. The visit where Spock nearly lost his sanity. Jim being outraged upon Spock's predicament and accusing Kollos's handler of tricking Spock into opening the container without protection. He remembered Spock explaining to him the meaning of IDIC. "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Symbolising the elements that create truth and beauty." Spock rarely wore it but when he did it was for formal occasions. He recalled taking Spock's shirt off that night as the Vulcan reassured him that his mind was in tact. And he was himself again. But to see it around Spock's neck was puzzling.
McCoy was unable to form a reply, needless to say.
"Doctor?" Spock inquired.
McCoy shook his head.
"You look fine," McCoy said. "Just . . ." He looked back at the Vulcan. Spock had raised his left eyebrow. He was giving him the eyebrow. Damn it, Spock, McCoy thought, the only thin' carryin' over in the universe is that eyebrow of yours. Why did he have to fall for the most constant figure in the universe? Because, as Jim once said, he was their ethics. McCoy frowned back with one hand cupping the side of his face. "Fine."
Spock lowered his eyebrow coming to the other side of the couch where he dropped the duffle bag.
"I understand how you must feel seeing a man who looks exactly like your husband but is not." Spock said, sitting down on the couch.
"We got that in common." McCoy said, his arms folded against his chest.
"You are acting like a child who will not get over Professor X dying." Spock said, earning a head turn from the doctor with a arched raised right eyebrow. "Now that I have your attention. Does it not occur to you that Bill will do the thing?"
"What thin'?" McCoy asked.
"The thing Jim usually does on away missions." Spock had his hands on his lap tapping together.
"Fall in love and have sex with women he cares about?" McCoy asked.
"Negative. Not that." Spock said. Much as inconvenient it was back then, Spock thought.
"Then what?" McCoy asked, with a frown.
"What we always wind up doing at the end of the mission." Spock said.
"Oh right. Helpin' people." McCoy huffed. "Star Fleet doesn't need his help. He has no idea how Star Fleet works."
"My apologies," Spock said. "I meant the middle."
"Get thrown into a cell because we went against their robotic bein's orders?" McCoy asked.
"Affirmative." Spock said.
"Robots won't control this entire planet." McCoy said.
Spock had a sigh.
"I am referring to the part where he is mistaken for someone else and then we wind up having to prove otherwise." Spock said.
"That happened not that often. . . ." McCoy trailed off thinking of the past turning his head away looking in the direction of the tv screen. There was a long uncomfortable silence between the two. "Speaking of which." McCoy turned his head in the direction of the older Vulcan. "Did you kill them all?"
"At least the ones who refused to be subjugated." Spock said.
"That is damning." McCoy said, turning his head away with disappointment in his voice.
"There was no choice," Spock said. "I take it they did in yours."
"They did." McCoy said.
"Bill told me I am the kind of person that everyone would trust." Spock said. "And I take it my word will be believed over Bill's if he were to be suspected to be another version of Jim that no one trusts and despises."