One of the nurses, a young blonde man with pretty eyes, being a descendant of a well known nurse in Star Fleet guided Spock to his bedroom. Or what would seem to be his shared bedroom. Some of the old people wore red shirts, which was strikingly odd, after all. Christopher Chapel came to the doorway of a room appearing to be so full of life. Contrasting against the dull life some of the patients in here had that they passed by. Spock had seen closed curtains. Elderly people sleeping without being aware time was passing. Visitors visiting the sleeping ones. And those who were not asleep were sitting quietly with their loved ones degenerating into a bony mess. That was the death ward that he passed to make his way to the long narrow hall. Spock had to hold his luggage into his arms as Chapel babbled on and on about how finding himself home.
"Ten years ago I was lost." Chapel said. "One of my ancestors served on the USS Intrepid. Her name was Nurse Chapel. She was able to get off because of some technicality before it was absorbed by this space amoeba. If it weren't for Captain Kirk I would not be here." Spock noticed the ears were very rounded unusual for a human and one centimeter larger as though making up for the lack of pointy ears. "Then I came here. Helping people like Koloth and his twin gives me life. It's pretty bad ass if you ask me."
That was a rhetorical statement.
No one has a bad ass here.
"So you found yourself a family here." Spock said.
"Yes sir," Chapel said. "I have been recommended to serving on the Enterprise E. Galaxy Class under construction."
"Enterprise. . ." Spock said. "Hm. She finds her way into trouble."
Chapel had a soft laugh.
"Nurse Chapel wished she had accepted that transfer," Chapel said. "And this time, in her honor, I am going out there to help others in the unknown." Chapel had a merrily whistle humming a strange tune. "If she never accepted that planet side assignment. . . I would be likely in a bigger reputation with the Chapels."
"My son served on the Enterprise A." Spock said.
"You too?" Chapel asked, head turned. "That is wicked!"
"Affirmative." Spock said.
"You are a lucky old Vulcan," Chapel said, turning his head away. "Then again you are two centuries old."
"Indeed." Spock said.
Chapel and Spock came into a quarters that was comfy and cozy, yet comfortable. The first thing Spock saw was a rather old man who appeared to be younger than the Ambassador himself sitting on a rather neat and tidy bed holding a large, white pillow in his arms. The pillow was apparently stained by the man's tears. Chapel came over to the man with a equally sad expression on his face. Chapel sat alongside the man's side.
"I am so sorry,Bones," Chapel said. "At least M'Benga lived that long."
"He was so youn'." McCoy said, in between his tears. "Too youn'."
Chapel patted the man's shoulder.
"You know how M'Benga was well versed in the field of Vulcans." Chapel said.
The tearful man, who raised his head up, his bright blue eyes standing out. He looked barely a day over forty-two. His fingers were rather healthy and full of blood vessels of the likes. His fingers were trembling. He was in a blue shirt with buttons on the top and black long pants that ended at his ankles. It gave the allusion that he was a Star Fleet officer stuck in 2260's without the black shirt underneath in the surgical uniform. McCoy turned his head in the direction of the younger man.
"Yes." McCoy said.
"Meet Mister Spock." Chapel said, gesturing to the skinny Vulcan holding his luggage in both arms. "You got a Vulcan for a roommate!"
"Are you insane?" McCoy asked. "I worked with one and then they backstabbed me!"
"This one is different." Chapel said.
"I was the one who got infected with Galizeon by a Vulcan!" McCoy said. "Mr Chapel. Need I not remind you the nightmares it still gives me today."
"Don't need to remind me." Chapel said.
"Galizeon, a disease that is characterized by scrapes randomly appearing on uncomfortable places on the body. The eyes experience burning then later in the stages scratching. Hands are very painful to move. Organs start to die off one by one two hours after being infected. You start to lose hair. You begin to lose toes as well if the cure is not acquired. Next off will be the limbs. Death is ensured within the week. Death is a very painful process due to the disease. As noted in a essay by John Bell Leland. This essay was 'Vulcans and stabbing diseases'." Spock said. "I knew Doctor Leland."
"Get out." McCoy said.
"Leland's rendition of singing Shakespeare in Russian was nothing short of good." Spock said.
McCoy's eyes widened at first, his teary eyes started to go vanish into a more intrigued look, and he wiped a tear stain off his cheek. A smile started to form on the man's face turning his head in the direction of Chapel.
"I think I like this guy." McCoy said.
"How many toes did you lose?" Spock inquired, as Chapel went out the door.
"None of them, thankfully." McCoy said. "Say, he never talked about you."
"What is there to talk about?" Spock inquired. "Our mission was classified."
"You were on one mission with him and he is not allowed to talk about you?" McCoy stood up. "Tell me does it have to do with that rumored moon terraformed into a planet that fell into a sun?"
Spock placed his luggage on the bed.
"The moon was dead and falling out of its orbit." Spock said.
"In a pigs eye it was!" McCoy said.
"I do not lie." Spock said,taking his meditation mat out of the luggage. He placed the incense on the counter. "I did not mention what kind of classified mission it was. It seems you are more into the subject of classified missions." He looked over his shoulder toward the doctor by his side. "I have never heard of you."
"Leonard Horatio McCoy," McCoy said. "Bite me."
The name did sound vaguely familiar. Then again, Leland had only mentioned the man by 'McCoy' and the fact regarding the Vulcan's motives which was connected to the disease itself. Spock suspected that the two were rather close. So close that the doctor had to remind him that he had to refer to him by his last name in official papers rather than his nickname. Colleagues, on the same level that he shared with Doctor Leland. Leland was the kind of man who often used nicknames in papers without realizing it. It was distressing when Mr Leland wrote an essay about Vulcan Hybrids body temperature changing on certain kinds of diseases and instead wrote Spock's name as Mr Spook throughout the entire paper. Captain Lewis was amused but Spock was not.
"It is unfortunate that we did not cross paths earlier." Spock said. "Why is it we never met earlier?"
"I was assigned to the Enterprise for her first five year mission into deep space but then somethin' else came up," McCoy said. "I was on a hijacked transport vessel. Cardassian and Romulans make one mean force when put together." He shuddered. "I still have them scars on my back." The Vulcan scanned the doctor once more. "I was one of the lucky ones. Turned out it was a secret ops mission to extract a Cardassian child. Star Fleet didn't bother to inform me of the mistake of goin' to the wron' shuttle."
McCoy opened the empty drawer alongside the bed.
It made complete sense why the man was intrigued by classified missions.
"And how did you get out?" Spock inquired.
"Well, funny enough, I was rescued by Captain Koloth downstairs." McCoy said. "And his crew. I never thought the day would come that I, a chief medical officer, would need savin' by a Klingon." He put some of Spock's curled up clothes into the drawer. "I was malnourished back then. . . And very undomestic. Un-impressive." His hands balled up into a fist. "I was like a wild bear bein' there for six damn years."
Spock placed one hand on the man's shoulder.
"Doctor," Spock said. He could feel an unevened scar on the man's shoulder.There were dermal regeneration treatments for injuries like these. But one look from the doctor's eyes easily said it was his war wounds. McCoy looked so old by the eyes. "I grieve with thee."
McCoy sighed taking out another pair of rolled up clothes.
"I got assigned to planet side colony," McCoy said. "Got too terrified to return into space and do what I what initially set out to do in the first place. Damn Romulans. Damn Cardassians." He placed another pair into the drawer. "Now that we have peace with them Cardassians you think they will come in person and apologize for my treatment. Well, I won't accept it! I had to bite the ear off a Cardassian just to get the hell out of there!"
Spock raised an eyebrow picturing the doctor, scrawny as he was, in the arms of a Cardassian swung over the highly elevated shoulder. Cardassians were not known to swing their captives over their shoulders since it was their 'zone'. And very sensitive equivalent to the Vulcan's fingers. Being touch telepathic came with its disadvantages. Spock was unable to move picturing the scene unfolding in his minds eyes. He had heard the stories of the Cardassian camps. But McCoy's brief description made it sound even more awful than the standard ones Spock had heard.
"Teddisaur," McCoy said, glancing over to the vulcan amused after the shirt had fallen out landing on the floor. "Huh?"
"It resembles a Sehlat." Spock said.
McCoy picked the short up then rolled the pants and the shirt up into a bundle.
"What is a Sehlat? McCoy asked.
"A overgrown teddy bear with six inch fangs." Spock said. "I used to own one."
"A . . ." A genuine smile grew on the doctor's face. "Teddy bear."
"Affirmative." Spock said. It was actually delightful to see a smile on the human's face.
"A cute, little teddy bear." McCoy said.
"It was not as much of little." Spock insisted.
"No wonder Vulcans are fearless towards lions, tigers, and bears!" McCoy said.
Then came McCoy's contagious laughter. A good, heartfelt laugh. The doctor was likely picturing little Spock riding the backside of I-Chaya with his hands into the fur and his head resting on her large mane. She had been a fairly old Sehlat when Spock went on his rite of passage. Oddly enough, Spock found himself laughing with the doctor. Which was humiliating because he did not intend to laugh. But it felt good to laugh. His stomach didn't feel so tight but deflated. Spock sat down on the edge of the bed where he finally noticed the doctor appeared to be concerned looking at him.
"What do you have?" McCoy asked.
"Bendii's." Spock said.
The doctor folded his arms.
"Pardon my language but that is a load of bull." McCoy said. "You look too youn' to get that."
"A onset of Bendii's being dementia in my case, doctor." Spock said. "I will die in the next five years, two months, two days, four hours, and eighteen minutes most likely." The Vulcan cleared his throat. "What are you here for?"
McCoy put more bundles into the drawer.
"Heart condition," McCoy said. "Very rare, curable, but the treatment is painful as hell. The treatment can kill me before the condition strikes."
"If you have a heart condition then why are you not continuing what you love to do?" Spock asked.
McCoy raised an eyebrow at first at the reply, confused, as he had not mentioned to the Vulcan what he loved to do when alone.
"You must be bored as hell to ask me that." McCoy said.
"I did not think before I asked," Spock apologized. "Therefore it must be my brain's state of mind degrading."
McCoy lowered his eyebrow.
"What were you before you came here?" McCoy inquired.
"A Ambassador." Spock said.
"I was an admiral." McCoy said, closing the first drawer.
"That is . . . . odd," Spock said. Deeply troubled. "I would have met you."
"Ambassadors travel a lot unlike we Admirals," McCoy said. "It's the inside joke of the admiral ball. I have been here for five years." The two men were unpacking the luggage taking turns putting clothes into the drawer. "I am surprised I never met you in your previous career."
"As am I." Spock said, reaching the socks portion of the luggage.
The pair silently unpacked. Throughout this entire week, he had been experiencing random bouts of emotions and releasing them. It was like a flood that wouldn't stop. Spock noticed the man' fingers were trembling. The scowl on the doctor's face when his fingers made the wrong move. Arthritis, and he hadn't bothered to get that cured. Spock noticed the scars of what had been a wart on McCoy's middle left hand's knuckle. Spock felt tired. Exhausted, really, more exhausted than he had been in days. Being around his family was like walking on needles, constant attempts to control his emotion just so he wouldn't degrade in front of them, and required his constant energy. Here? Spock let it slip. And by Surak's teachings did it feel good.
Eventually they took out the boxers and the socks, all of them.
Spock tucked the luggage under the bed, his eyes droopy, his vision getting dark.
"Keepin' back emotion is unhealthy," McCoy said, pulling back the sheets for the Vulcan. "You know . . . that's what leads to your downfall. Every single one of you when it comes to Bendii." Spock made a tired comment that McCoy didn't understand. Neither did Spock understand his own reply as he slid into bed. "I'll see you in the morin'."
Spock closed his eyes.