The fourth night started with a nightmare for McCoy. He was back with four hundred personnel in a long array of cells. It was underground. Light hardly entered the building. His blue uniform was torn to shreds. He was covering the injury of the USS Centerpide's captain located in the chest. He didn't have the necessarily tools to fix the captain up. He used what remained of his shirt to cover the captain up. He no longer was in black pants but gray regulated ones. He was shirt less. There were signs of scars around his wrists that were not there on him present day. He had a healing circular scar along his neck.
"You!" A Cardassian shouted, pointing at McCoy. The sizzling field cackled vanishing from McCoy's line of sight.
McCoy looked over, scowling at the Cardassian.
"Leave us alone." McCoy said. "I am dealin' with a patient. Can't you see? He's goin' to die if he doesn't get constant pressure!"
The Cardassian rose up the phaser aiming it at the captain's direction. "He won't suffer lon' if you kill him."
"You think we would do a mercy killing?" The Cardassian had a scar located on the bridge of hise nose. His name was Baron.
"No," McCoy drawled. "You would do me a favor, actually, by helpin' my patient."
"Get the doctor out." Baron ordered the two Romulan's. "You see, doctor, much as I would love to do that I cannot. We have a study to accomplish with the Romulan Empire." Two Romulans entered the room. "And we want to see how Terrans withstand excruciating pain."
The two Romulans took McCoy by the arms and dragged him out.
"I will never give what you want, cold blooded pain lover!" McCoy shouted, struggling in the grips of the Romulan's.
Baron snickered,closing the doors to the cell.
"So you say." Baron said. "'Medical' doctor."
"LET ME AT HIM! LET ME AT HIM! LET ME AT HIM!" McCoy struggled, his fingers were rolled up into fists. He could still remember the sessions he had with Romulan and Cardassian torturers. They were clear as day to him. Like it was just yesterday. The pain still lingered. "I am a doctor, damn it, not a Terran lab rat!"
The Romulans brought McCoy into a chamber where they kicked him into the center. McCoy landed roughly. His entire body was trembling. He could see there was a Cardassian who had who had spikes dotting her head and a wicked grin set about her face. She held a collar in her hand that had a glowing green center. Suddenly something metal wrapped itself around his knees and his elbows.
"Welcome to your session, doctor," Verance said, walking around the doctor. "I saved this just for you." She placed the item around his neck. "Some of the crew members didn't stick around for the level three voltage." The metal parts let go of his limbs. "What I am about to give you is what no one else--"
McCoy pinned her against the wall.
"Let me go or I will kill you so fast you can't get armed Romulans in here." McCoy said. "So save it. I have heard the same damn theme every time I come in here." His hands wrapped around her throat. "I don't want to kill you but you makin' it very desirable in exchange for my death."
Suddenly sharp, agonizing pain erupted from his collar. McCoy stumbled back reaching at his collar stumbling back onto the floor with a scream. Verance stepped aside getting to the exit not making a sound. McCoy felt helpless. Unable to defend himself. It was like being stuck inside a glass case of feels. McCoy saw her face stare right back at him. The black eyeliner above her eye. She was a regular in the torture chamber for McCoy unlike the other various Cardassians and Romulans. He let go of the collar then ran after her furious. How did she do it? How did she activate it when he had his hand around her neck? Obviously she had a mobile device. That was the only reasonable solution. McCoy lunged into the shields, the agony increasing, and his nerves were becoming the victims of it. McCoy fought back tears.
There, he saw Baron with his arm wrapped around the woman's shoulder who was waving at him. He wasn't going to let them enjoying his pain. Not at all. McCoy forced his foot forward. His insides feeling the electrical onslaught. He was going to give them his pain. And he was going to get out of here. He was going to get everyone out of here. He was going to go home and see his teenage daughter Joanna and hug her and tell her how much he loved her. He was going to run down a hill enjoying the nature. The sweet blades of Georgian grass. The tree set outside the McCoy residence. The lake outside where his father fished with him as a child and they would toss the fish back in to catch them again. To swim in the water. He yearned the warm breeze in the summer in Georgia. To fall down into bed, unharmed, and happy, and with his baby girl in his arms again telling her how much he cherished her. McCoy forced himself forward.
"He is a stubborn human." Verance said.
"So much pain and all he can do is continue it?" Baron said. "Quite a interesting specimen we have here."
His eyes twitched furiously glaring at the two.
"I believe we found ourselves a long term test subject." Verance said, as a smile grew on her face.
That same memory haunted McCoy. Because that day he knew it would not be easy to escape the hardship of the two. And this was just the beginning. His legs were burning in pain. He could feel like the shield was ready to rip in half. His heart was struggling to beat supplying blood throughout the body. It was game over. By simply being stubborn to defy them. Which he would never let down. McCoy stepped his leg forward. His body boiling in rage. Heated, genuine rage. The USS Centerpide had become a mystery at the time on what happened to her crew where there were signs of a fight that took place all over. They were all declared missing in action then. Leonard McCoy would never get to see her join Star Fleet,graduate high school before that, buy her first dog, buy her first air-car, meet her first alien being in Star Fleet, advise her if it would be worth it to join Star Fleet with his own experience, and be there for her in general for the next few years. This memory was one of many memories that became dreams for McCoy.
He would not bow.
He would not scream.
He would not entertain them.
He would annoy them in the proper McCoy way.
However painful as it was for him.
"You will be a welcome addition to our collection." Verance said, with a sly smile.
Five years before Verance would be swiftly murdered single handedly by a Klingon named Koloth. The same who would hold his hand out for the doctor and requested, "Take my hand if you want to live" when he was no longer Leonard McCoy. Leonard McCoy was, in a sense, comatose. Lost under mother nature's form of self defense built into humans. His baby blue eyes meeting the eyes of the green eyed Klingon. But a silver of humanity had remained. Just enough to take the hand of the Klingon. All McCoy thinking then was a name. Joanna. He had made it his mission to stay long alive long enough to see her have grandchildren which she later did. And great-great grandchildren. It took years for McCoy to recover.
"Very nice of the ship to attack." Baron said.
"It was your boyfriends idea." Verance said.
"No, it was your idea as I recall," Baron said, unwrapping his arms from around her. He stepped forward to the panel then moved something. The pain become hotter to his bones and muscle and skin. "I just went along with it."
Baron would escape before the Klingons arrive leaving Verance to fend for herself.
"Perhaps we should wait for his kin to search for him," Verance said. "Just so we can have another die before his eyes. Slowly and painfully."
McCoy lunged through the shield crashing onto her.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" McCoy screamed.
McCoy awoke with a pant and a gasp on his bed. His cheeks were tear stained. He looked over to see Spock sitting on the edge of his bed appearing to be scared but mostly worried and concerned. These were expressions coming from a Vulcan. It was like he was drifting off into space. Lost in thought that was swirling around in that sophisticated but logical mind of his. Vulcans didn't strike McCoy as frightening at night but it was light enough for McCoy to see the inside of their quarters. Unlike how many times in the past week McCoy could not see the Vulcan at night this time he could see Spock's face. McCoy leaned himself upwards. Perhaps the Vulcan was ready to open up about his plans.
"Spock," McCoy said. "What is wrong with you?"
Spock had his hands on his knees, trembling.
"I . . . I lost my way to the mess hall." Spock said.
"It was your fourth day." McCoy said.
"Leonard, I forgot who and where I was at exactly 12:45 PM," Spock said, his voice rocky. "I had no idea where I was. Then I saw the cat stuck in the tree. The cat looked like it needed help. Without thinking I climbed the tree and picked up."
"And got stitches because you hit your head against a tree branch." McCoy said.
"I am scared of myself." Spock said.
McCoy blinked at the Vulcan.
"That is a load of nonsense. What you did was logical." McCoy said.
"It would be illogical to climb a tree at my age and fall without a soft landing." Spock said.
"So you are sayin' Vulcans who are one hundred don't climb trees?" McCoy said.
"That is illogical." Spock said.
"Well, you are like cats." McCoy said.
"Even though we have evolved from a breed of cats it is highly illogical for us to climb trees much like it is for you," Spock said. "I forgot to forewarn you . . . But being afflicted with Bendii's not only means neurological systems but you will be afflicted as well, potentially, with my emotions. Having memory loss is not part of Bendii's but it is part of my human half."
The bed creaked as McCoy sat alongside the Vulcan.
"You are scared of makin' others cry," McCoy said. "Displacin' your emotions. Which begs to question why a nursin' home. Maybe it is because it is highly unlikely you'll do that. Because Vulcans are crazy prepared for hybrids like you. I seem to recall that you told me that you are half human."
"I do not remember saying that." Spock said.
"How lon' have you been awake?" McCoy raised his arched eyebrow.
"Twenty-six hours and thirty-three minutes." Spock said.
McCoy's other eyebrow rose up.
"You haven't fallen asleep." McCoy said. "Say, what helps a Vulcan remember?"
"Vulcans have a photographic memory." Spock said.
"But you are losin' yours." McCoy said.
"It is incredibly rare for to happen." Spock said. "And as was I rarity to be born in the beginning."
"Spock." McCoy said, putting a hand on the Vulcan's shoulder. "It is okay to be scared."
"This was unexpected," Spock said. "I was told they eliminated the genes for nearly everything. Except for old age. That cannot be cured."
"Why did a Vulcan go to Qo'Nos?" McCoy asked.
"Because of the Klingon pets?" Spock guessed.
McCoy shook his head.
"To wed a Klingon." McCoy said, taking his hand off Spock's shoulder.
Slowly, Spock started to laugh. It wasn't restrained but free. It wasn't uncontrolled from Spock's part. It was free will and logical. Spock understood the joke. At least his sense of humor hadn't left. McCoy figured out that the Vulcan had dementia by asking Nurse Chapel and black mailing him. It was required in his part to have a Vulcan who forgot things as his roommate. Spock wasn't spiking a fever, getting fatigue, and irritable, yet. But he was displaying the sign of Bendii: emotional out bursts. Uncontrolled.
McCoy was smiling at the laughing Vulcan.
"Do you know why a Orion was thrown out of a threesome?" Spock asked, after the short laugh had ended.
"No. Why?" McCoy asked.
"Because the woman couldn't stand the Orion's presence." Spock replied.
McCoy and Spock laughed together until their laughter died.
"Let me help you." McCoy said.
Spock turned his head toward McCoy.
"You can't help me." Spock said.
"Spock, I didn't tell you how I recovered. Didn't I." McCoy said.
"Negative." Spock said.
"Betazoid, though he took it too far." McCoy said.
"How far?" Spock asked.
"I am psi positive because of that rotten idiot." McCoy said.
"I did not take you for a telepathic." Spock said.
"I can't read minds, Spock," McCoy said, shaking his head. "But what I can do is . . . I heard one referred to it as 'Vulcan Attendy' like." McCoy shook his hand. "What I am tryin' to say is: I can help you."
"In the occasion that my emotions are telepathically out of control." Spock said.
"If you let me." McCoy said. "Will that comfort you?" The doctor leaned forward. Spock slowly nodded. "You are not alone,Spock. Being lonely makes you more forgetful than you are. I am a doctor so I know this." McCoy turned his head away. "I went through the same thin' on a more extreme level." He briefly closed his eyes. "Only two hundred and thirty-three of us survived. Fought like hell. The captain, I am surprised she was able to pull through. I forgot who I was."
"Captain Juliet Montegrio of the USS Centerpide." Spock said.
"Affirmative." McCoy said. "She was the one didn't forget. She talked to a inanimate McCoy. I don't know how that comforted her but it did." McCoy looked over toward Spock with one hand on his knee. "Even with people there. . . . You would think I wouldn't get lonely."
"Your thoughts were focused elsewhere." Spock said.
"My mind was elsewhere. Self preservation, my doctors said,to keep the mind intact. I was in my happy place." McCoy said. "I have been there, Spock. Despite it bein' happy . . ." McCoy had a pause. "I know how exactly you feel."
"You will need to learn how to determine how to control others feelings, doctor." Spock said.
"I know that part." McCoy said.
"Namely being Vulcans." Spock said. "Vulcans have stronger emotions than humans."
McCoy's expression was replaced by a 'oh crap'.
"No idea about that." McCoy said, adamantly.
"Let me show you." Spock said, his hand out reached toward the doctor.
McCoy grabbed the wrist of Spock's hand.
"Do not look around my past," McCoy said. "You will be havin' nightmares for the rest of your days if you did."
"As you wish." Spock said.
"Thank you for respectin' my wish." McCoy said, letting go of the Vulcan's wrist.
Spock placed his fingers on the side of McCoy's face. McCoy's eyes closed then he was thrown into a tidal wave. He managed to get a footing somewhere in the tidal wave. Then the wave steadied and it was actually relaxing. McCoy realized that he was keeping one hand up preventing the figurative representation of emotions being pulled back by his hand. These were stronger than anyone he encountered. He looked up to see it was towering right over him. Four to five stories. All McCoy could do was stare at it wonder and awe. Spock had lived his course in life.
McCoy felt relaxed and at ease.
The mind meld ended abruptly for McCoy.
"Fascinating." Spock said, staring at McCoy in wonder.
"What?" McCoy asked.
"I sensed a rare, but faint psychic bond developing between us." Spock said.
"So is that a good thin' or bad thin'?" McCoy asked, wary.
"It can be both if it is allowed to develop to full term." Spock said. "And if allowed it will require constant care until it reaches maturity."
"You make it sound like it is a baby." McCoy said.
"Marriage is most certainly a baby." Spock said.
McCoy lost balance on the edge of the bed.
"WHAT?" McCoy fell over the bed landing on the meditation mat on his backside.
Spock stared blankly at the human.
"It is unlikely to become a marriage bond between a halfbreed and a human." Spock said. "
"You were highly unlikely," McCoy said. "Explain to me what a marriage bond is." He stood up folding his arms. "Don't try to change the subject on me."
"A marriage bond is a psychic link shared between two loving individuals who have become a union," Spock explained. "The most notable examples are in the Vulcan civilization. Marriage bonds come with hearing the others thoughts, sending comfort to one another,and pain when the other dies."
"Oh, look, I won't live past a hundred sixty," McCoy said. "So I don't think we are compatible for another marriage."
The pain from the loss of T'Pring was still fresh. But the link he once shared was severed by the healers before it could become infected and lead to his untimely death. Vulcans were rather wary of bonding with humans due to their lifespan. Sarek, Spock's father, had taken the steps to the broken bond after Amanda's passing. His father was not there to attend to her passing. Spock was with his mother that day when she died.
"Agreed," Spock said, with a nod. "But I believe at its infancy it will remain platonic. It takes years for a bond like this to grow and blossom into a greater form. Such as during intercourse that would make it become a full fledged marriage bond."
"I am sorry but I am not sleepin' with you, again." McCoy said.
"Again?" Spock said, with a raised eyebrow.
"Er. . . I put you back into bed and you dragged me in." McCoy said.
"Doctor, this kind of bond only occurs in what we call T'hy'la's and betrothed ones." Spock said.
"What?" McCoy said.
"Soulmates." Spock said.
"Okay, I am goin' to bed." McCoy returned to his bed. He put a blanket over his shoulder turned toward the wall. "Stop starin' at me like I crushed your heart. And go to sleep,Spock!"
Spock felt better. Better than he had in years. He was comforted and for once, he knew that he wasn't alone. It was like at the end of a dark tunnel that finally had a ending to it. Spock slid his feet out of the slippers then slipped into bed. In the mind meld he shared with the doctor he had discovered a compatiable katra and that link. That recognizable but very rare link. Spock's eyes closed where he entered a pleasent dream. He dreamed of Doctor McCoy and he stuck in a cold climate. Taking him into a cave and making sure he warmed up. Warmed up toward the one who had brought them to safety. Falling for the foreign named woman. Going after the doctor who went out for some illogical reason. And telling the doctor, "Together or not at all." It ended with Spock and McCoy returning to the present. A man with a golden shirt waiting for them with a wide smile on his face.
Spock awoke with a smile.
"Fifteen minutes till shower is running!" Chapel gleefully said.
McCoy bolted upright with messy hair and his baby blue eyes looked at the Vulcan in wonder tilting his head.
"What are you smilin' about?" McCoy asked.
Spock got out of bed.
"A dream." Spock replied.