Chapter 7 - Personal Log 0064: L.H.McCoy

Dr. Leonard H. McCoy
Personal Log 0064
Stardate 2326.2

Spock's asleep now. Sleep deprivation looks different on Vulcans. Even if I hadn't been completely out of it myself, I don't think I would have realized he hadn't slept for upwards of three days. I suppose that would explain the minor error that he'd made, and somehow was still feeling guilty for. Poor guy. After all he's been through, he's still worried about one little screw-up.

Part of me thinks I don't deserve to feel as good as I do. Still can't sleep, but I'm too excited, I guess. But even if I try to feel scared, or guilty, or disgusted with myself, I just can't. What happened tonight - I want to put it all down now, while it's still fresh. I want to remember this night for the rest of my life. Even if I turn senile one day, and can't remember it for myself, I want it to be here, so I can read it and keep it with me. So, I'm keying this quietly, while he gets the rest he so very much deserves.

When I woke up after my meeting with Jim, I was surprised to find that I was in my own quarters. I felt like somebody'd spent the last hour banging my head against a bulkhead, and even though the light was only at a quarter strength, it felt bright as day to me. I was probably awake about fifteen seconds or so before I realized Spock was in the room with me. His hands were in the traditional meditation pose, but his eyes were wide open, and he was staring at me. I clinched up immediately, and I couldn't stop myself from looking around, just a little bit panicked. Of course, no one else was there. "I am pleased to see that you are awake," he said softly. "How do you feel?"

I sat up as best I could, but of course, my head was still pounding, and I shut my eyes. "Not so great, Spock. In fact... I'd just as soon-"

"Please." I looked at him, and there was so much pain in his eyes I felt like I could cry. "Please do not ask me to go, Leonard. I will... respect your wishes, but I... would... like to stay."

That admission was like a catharsis for me. I could tell he was extremely upset, and the fact that I could see it without looking for special Vulcan signals made it even worse. I could hardly believe that his emotions were so close to the surface, and so hard for him to hold in - all because of me. All the hours of feeling like complete shit for hurting Spock came rushing up, and I think I must have sobbed. "Spock, I... I'm so sorry! I'm sorry for how I've treated you lately. It's not your fault. It's... you didn't deserve any of this. I'm just... so..." I could barely talk, and hardly knew what I wanted to say. I was still scared and screwed up, but I was just as scared of losing him, and there was only so much anyone could be expected to take before it stopped being worth the fight. "I... I know I've been horrible to you, Spock, and I'm sure I don't deserve it, but can... can you forgive me?"

Spock looked immensely relieved. He actually sighed. "You... have been under considerable emotional and physical distress. It would be... unfair to hold you accountable for your actions during this time."

I smiled at him. "I'll take that as a yes." Just then, my head started to pound harder, and I bent down.


"It's... it'll pass." It didn't, of course, but it got a little less agonizing, and I could finally look up at him.

"I grow increasingly concerned for you," he said. "I would like to speak to you regarding your experiences in the mirror universe."

I shook my head. "I'd rather not talk about it, Spock."

"I believe it would be beneficial for you to speak to me. Your return to full health may depend on it. Will you not confide in me?"

"I can't! Please, Spock, please don't make me talk about it!"

He lowered his head for a moment, then said, "You would not necessarily have to speak of it." He leaned closer to me. "There is the Vulcan mind-"

"No! No, I don't want to do that!" I backed away from him, when I looked at my outstretched hands, they were shaking hard.

Spock frowned, and backed away slightly. "Leonard. When... when you were alone with the alternate version of myself, did..." He seemed almost unable to finish the sentence. "Did he force a meld with you?"

I shuddered. Just hearing it out loud, I felt sick all over again. I was grateful not to have to say it myself, but I still couldn't look at him. It was all I could do to nod my head. I heard him take in a deep breath, but he was so silent right after that curiosity won out, and looked up again. He was shaking. He had both hands clasped together, and his jaw was clenched tight, like he was trying to stop, but it sure as hell wasn't working. Suddenly, he sprang to his feet and stormed to the other side of the room. He stood with his back to me for a few more seconds, still shaking, then let out a snarl and slammed his fist against my desk. I knew Vulcans were strong, but he left a dent in my desk! A goddam dent!

He took another deep breath, and turned back to face me. "I... apologize for my loss of control. However, I am deeply... upset by this confirmation of my recent suspicions. I am not surprised you found my presence difficult to tolerate."

"But it wasn't you, Spock, I know that! I just... it's... it's hard to-"

"I understand, Leonard. I also understand your reluctance to allow me to meld with you. But... I implore you to allow me to perform the mind-meld. It may be the only way for you to return to your normal state of health. And... I would like the opportunity to... repair the damage he has done to me in your eyes."

"Oh, Spock, I... I know y-you wouldn't... I know you would never... do anything like that."

"However, your behavior for the past several days seems to say otherwise, Leonard. Your trust in me has been shaken."

I couldn't speak. I'd thought the only reason I was really avoiding him was because he looked like the other Spock, and it reminded me of the event. It hadn't really occurred to me that I might be afraid he was capable of such a thing. The realization that said fear might be at the root of my actions made me feel even worse - how could I even think such a thing of Spock? I didn't! Couldn't! But... "Spock... I... I don't think you would ever..."

"But you will not know unless you allow me to show you my thoughts. And the migraines you are experiencing will only grow worse with time, unless I can repair the mental damage he has caused."

"Wha- how? Why?"

"With a... forced meld," he still had trouble just saying the phrase, "it is highly unusual for the attacker to disengage from the meld in the appropriate fashion. The attacker is in minimal danger, as he or she usually maintains strong mental blocks, and the victim is in too much shock to shield themselves - especially when, as in your own case, they have not been trained in mental controls as a Vulcan is from the moment of self-awareness. The shock of the violent intrusion of another's mind, followed by hasty disengagement, causes violent emotional and physiological trauma to the victim. In certain cases, it can result in madness, and death. This, and the very nature of the violation itself, is why to force a mind-meld on another is considered the most despicable crime a Vulcan can commit, and is second only to murder in the Vulcan Law Code."

"Oh." I swallowed. "Well... if those are the results, I... guess I don't have much of a choice, do I?"

He tilted his head. "There is always choice, Leonard."

"Right." I looked up at him. I really wanted him to believe that I trusted him, and I hope my expression conveyed it. "I... I do trust you, Spock. Even if I... this messed up... feeling won't let me show it. If you think it'll make me better, and make me stop... hurting you like I have been, then I want you to do it."

He nodded, looking relieved again. He slowly approached my bed and sat down next to me. He reached for my face, and hard as I tried, I couldn't help but flinch. He paused, and touched my arm with his other hand. "I will not harm you, Leonard," he said softly. I nodded, licking my lips, which were suddenly pretty dry. It took just about all my will power not to run when he touched my face.

Then, it started. I suddenly felt incredibly calm. I felt that euphoria I remember him describing to Dr. Van Gelder - like floating free on a warm wind - something I certainly hadn't felt the last time. I closed my eyes, and soon, I became aware that I wasn't alone. I felt him there - so far removed from the angry, fearsome force his alternate had been. He moved slowly, almost timidly, projecting intense love, and (oddly, I thought) respect, along with the idea that I could stop us at any time if I wanted. There were vague similarities between them - almost like the feel of their minds was the same, just the way their facial features were the same. But the differences were immense. I was immediately aware of his love, concern, and his esteem for me, which was a sharp contrast to the outright disdain I'd felt with his counterpart. He searched me, and found my feelings of intense fear mingled with hatred of the other Spock, my vague fears of him, including the fear that I hadn't even realized was there before, that he might do the same to me one day. He also found all my feelings of anger and disgust at myself for hurting him and being afraid of him at all. He found all my feelings of cowardice and shame.

The gentleness of Spock's presence wasn't the only difference with this meld. With the other Spock, I could only feel vague impressions of his feelings. He must have been blocking a lot, because I felt much more than impressions with Spock. I could tell he was restraining himself a little. He didn't want to overload me. He knew I was totally untrained in mental... whatevers, and he had to be careful. But he let me in on as much as he thought I could handle. For every guilty feeling he found, he showed me his forgiveness and his understanding. For every bit of self-loathing, he projected his love for me, and his deep desire for me to forgive myself.

He showed me his own anger toward the other Spock, and he released all of his feelings about forced mind-melds. His verbal description of Vulcan attitudes toward forced melds couldn't come close to describing his deep-seeded anger and revulsion I felt from him. If there was any uncertainty in my mind about his ever being capable of forcing his mind into mine, even under some kind of insane blood heat, it was wiped away in an instant.

I tried to show him things, too, even though I had no real idea if there was a "right" way to do it. I tried to project my regret for having shunned him for so long with no explanation, and I tried to make him understand exactly how much I loved him, and how I hated his alternate for screwing up my mind so much I'd been unable to show it. There was more understanding, more forgiveness. He seemed to seek out all the memories that the other one had ripped through, and try to imprint them with the more gentle impressions of my own Spock. He sought them all out, until he'd wiped away all of the other Vulcan's violent traces. The memories were still there, but the harsh, raw pain and fear that hadn't seemed to diminish at all with time, but instead had seemed to get worse and worse, was slowly muted.

Then, slowly, carefully, he backed away. The feeling of his presence weakened bit by bit, until I was left with only a vague impression of him at the back of my mind, along with that warm, floating feeling. Eventually, that faded, too, and I was back in my quarters, sitting beside Spock, now with both his hands holding my arms, and his eyes looking directly into mine. The aftermath was so intense. I know he'd been trying not to overwhelm me, but of course I couldn't help but be overwhelmed by sharing his mind - by knowing how he felt about me, and how he felt about a lot of other things. A lot of people never get that kind of security. Most humans aren't telepathic, and we have to trust to the words and actions of the people around us to tell how they feel. We don't ever get the chance to feel, from the other person's perspective, how they feel about us. It's a little bizarre, but so unspeakably beautiful at the same time.

I want to record everything, but there are just some things that can't be said in words. I was so filled up with those things that I just couldn't take it. Then, of course, there was the relief of not having a near-debilitating headache for the first time in days. The emotional and physical release was just so amazingly intense I started bawling like a baby right then and there. I think Spock might have been more confused by it if he hadn't just been inside my mind, and learned that humans don't always cry because they're sad. He pulled me to him, put his arms around me and held me tight - almost too tight. I think I may have some mild bruising now, but I don't give a damn. It felt like the best thing in the whole world at the time, and the memory still feels warm and wonderful.

When I finally felt like I could stop crying, he lifted my face, and gave me a kiss. I was fucking touch-starved as you can imagine, and I latched onto him with the fervor of someone who hasn't let anyone so much as touch his shoulder for over a week. You can imagine where that went, I'm sure. We held each other for a good hour afterward, just staring at each other's faces like some kind of teenagers or something out of a romance novel. And I can't even be embarrassed about it, because it was the most beautiful thing I've ever felt.

Finally, Spock fell asleep, and here I am, keying away and looking at him every few seconds like I'm scared he's going to disappear. I've spent about two hours trying to get all this down so that it makes some kind of sense. If it's still convoluted and crazy-sounding, that's just too damn bad, because I'm done for the night. Morning. Whatever! I need to be next to him right now.

Chapter 6
Chapter 8

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