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19 August 2010 @ 03:15 pm
Fic: Diplomacy, Gen McCoy and Spock!Prime, PG, by yeomanrand and shinychimera  
Title: Diplomacy
Authors: yeomanrand and shinychimera
Pairings/Characters: Spock!Prime, McCoy, (Kirk/McCoy in the background)
Rating: PG
Summary: McCoy practices diplomacy with Spock!Prime, to get him to quit mind-melding with Kirk
Warnings: I don't think anything here will be triggery, though there are some dubious consent issues with the mind-meld only.
Notes: For the "Assault" square on yeomanrand's hc_bingo card. Also, yes, it's a little strange that the assaulter is the one getting some small amount of comfort, but that's the way my brain went.
Disclaimer: Not ours. We just like to play with them.

When he saw the strange yet familiar profile of the half-Vulcan ambassador in the corridor outside Medical, Leonard made a decision.

Time for a little diplomacy.

"Ambassador? May I have a word?" Leonard said, surprised his voice only showed his usual level of gruff given the taut feeling -- somewhere between sick and angry -- above his diaphragm.

The elderly Vulcan stopped his slow march down the hall and turned to face Leonard with the deliberate caution Leonard saw in all his movements. The faint raise of his eyebrows bespoke a sort of mellow curiosity, telling Leonard he had no clue what word Leonard might want.

Bastard was certainly one of them, but far from the only one. Hobgoblin, for a wonder, wasn't among the litany.

"Doctor," the ambassador said, inclining his head slightly in acquiescence, and Leonard couldn't help comparing the gravely baritone to Spock's lighter tenor. The weight of years, Leonard supposed, the pains of knowledge and loss, of death and returning to life.

"Join me in my office?" This wasn't going to be easy.

The angle of the ambassador's head went from acquiescence to a more intense curiosity before he gave another nod and stepped back toward Leonard and through the door, Leonard loose on his heels. Christine greeted the spectacle with both eyebrows raised, pausing in the act of applying a vaccine-laden hypo to a crewman; Leonard returned her expression and she looked back at her patient.

Leonard's office door shushed closed behind them; he gestured the ambassador to a chair in front of his desk.

"Water?" Buying time for himself, because he somehow didn't figure an emotional what the hell are you thinking? was going to start them off on the right foot. No matter how satisfying it might be, he couldn't rant his way into convincing the ambassador he had to change.

"Thank you." The bird-bright black eyes watched him closely, inspecting his face; graceful long-fingered hands took the glass. "Why do I have the feeling this is not a social request?"

"Because it isn't." Leonard settled in his chair behind the desk, and returned the ambassador's steady gaze. "You know, Ambassador, I think I understand."

"Understand what?" Leonard heard the caution in the ambassador's tone, wondered if Spock was ever going to give so much of himself away.

"I know what it's like to love Jim Kirk," he answered, bluntly, "and I lie awake nights worried about what it would be like to lose him. And if I've understood Jim correctly, the uncertainty in the way your bond was broken across dimensions must be near impossible to deal with.

"But that's the problem, Ambassador. Jim -- this Jim -- shouldn't know about your bond, and he shouldn't know about the Nexus. And we both know there's only one reason he does. And you have to stop."

There was an infinitesimal pause before the Vulcan answered. If he'd been talking to a human, Leonard would have been irritated by a too swift, maybe even glib, reply, but with the ambassador it was so hard to tell what depth of reaction and analysis might be going on in that eyeblink.

"Doctor," he said, calmly, "it is difficult to convey the details of my experiences and the nuances of my understanding in words; I do not wish to leave out anything that might be of critical importance in Jim's future. It is simply more efficient to share information with him through the meld."

Leonard couldn't help the glare, though the ambassador was as unfazed by it as Spock would have been. Probably just as well; he wouldn't want to explain to the captain why the ambassador had been reduced to a smoking pile of ash in his office.

"Maybe so," he replied, acid anger burning his throat, "but I'm afraid from this point forward you're going to have to sacrifice efficiency and use your words."

The tiniest quirk of the eyebrow, but Leonard had his attention.

"As I said, Ambassador, I think I understand. You've lost so much, and you're lonely and looking for one familiar thing to anchor yourself; just one thing that hasn't been changed by you or by Nero or by God only knows what other factors have made this reality different from the one you still think of as yours. Psychologically it makes sense: Vulcan, human, or your own unique case."

That earned him the faintest hint of a smile, though the expression came nowhere near the fathomless dark eyes.

"Or maybe not so unique. Every individual on this ship has enough grief and strain to be going on with. Jim more than most. Thing is, he gives in to you because he understands, too, and because he doesn't want to let you down, and because he worries that if he doesn't he will miss some crucial piece of information. Believe me, he knows just how young he is, and he looks to you and your memories and Pike and Barnett and his mom for guidance and wisdom."

Leonard leaned forward, putting his elbows on his desk and folding his hands together. The ambassador's attention was fixed on the cluttered surface.

"But whenever you meld with him, we end up spending hours, days, helping Jim sort out his feelings from yours, and his. Untangling his memories from yours, and his. And then we have to unravel his chaotic feelings about you. The problem isn't just the emotional transference -- it's that he submits to you at all.

"Look at me, Ambassador." Leonard waited until the elderly Vulcan lifted his gaze, willing his thoughts and feelings to flow across the tense eye contact. "Jim may be cooperative, but he is not willing. Am I being clear enough?"

A pause, a sip of the untouched glass of water, and then the smallest of nods. Leonard couldn't quite identify what tiny shift of the body told him so, but the ambassador was definitely radiating shame.

"Good. Because I'd hate to have to confine you to quarters for the mental health of the captain for the remainder of the voyage to New Vulcan."

"And yet you will, if I do not agree."

"In a heartbeat. My job, Ambassador, is to see to the health of every being on this ship. Including his. And yours. And the way you've been scratching after a past that doesn't exist anymore, except in your memories...that's not healthy, either."

Rueful sympathy softened Leonard's expression, without softening the steel underneath.

"I know first-hand how hard it can be to move on from personal losses. I can't begin to imagine how I'd cope with the magnitude of what you've experienced. And I know sometimes sentient beings do stupid things, illogical things, trying to comfort themselves."

Ominous silence stretched and grew in the office, stealing their air; Leonard fought the urge to fidget. Ready to call security to escort the ambassador back to his quarters and enforce the quarantine. Hoping he wouldn't have to.

Finally, the ambassador nodded, the barest tilt of his head forward, before looking up again to meet Leonard's gaze.

"If my actions are causing the captain distress," he said, with fragile and weary poise, "then it is only logical that I should, as you say, 'use my words'." 

He rose heavily to his feet; Leonard followed.

"Thank you, Doctor."


Leonard waited until the door slid closed to drop down into his chair with a deep sigh, leaning his face into his hands, a strange mixture of relief and regret loosening the knot in his gut.

Jim had told him, once, that diplomacy wasn't a job to make you feel good about yourself; being a diplomat meant never feeling you'd done right by everybody. Leonard hoped that explained why protecting Jim didn't exactly feel like a victory.

: chipperchipper
secretsolitairesecretsolitaire on August 19th, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
Lovely. I feel really badly for Spock Prime, but I'm glad Bones stepped in on Jim's behalf. I like that no one was villainized here.
Bookish Hooligan: Manhands Otheryeomanrand on August 20th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
Thank you.

I like that no one was villainized here.

I'm really glad you feel that way; I didn't want any of them to come off badly (while acknowledging that there was bad behavior).
adafrogadafrog on August 19th, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
Bookish Hooliganyeomanrand on August 20th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
Thank you.
Weeping Naiad: ST: Spock!Primeweepingnaiad on August 20th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
This was well done! I love to see McCoy as being more than a wild-eyed ranting maniac because he wasn't like that most of the time!

And the subject matter, the delicate nature of exactly why Spock was doing the melds and why Jim was consenting to them, very deftly done.

You accomplished so much in such few words!

Bookish Hooliganyeomanrand on August 20th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
Well, he can be a wild-eyed ranting maniac, when the situation calls for it. This time, though, that would have been the wrong approach.

Thank you so very much!
Dala: avictoriangirl - karl urbanthe_dala on August 20th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
Oh, that was a lovely, understated piece!
Bookish Hooliganyeomanrand on August 20th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!
blcwriter: sad bw karlblcwriter on August 20th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
So very restrained and perfectly done, bb.
Bookish Hooliganyeomanrand on August 20th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
Thanks so much. :)
Renee M Romero: McCoyeasilymused1956 on August 20th, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
This reminds me that SpockPrime must have been terribly lonely without his old friends. Lovely but bittersweet story.

Bookish Hooliganyeomanrand on August 20th, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
I agree -- although most of them had already passed on, I assume, by the time he made his trip back. Still, though.

Thank you very much.
amine_eyesamine_eyes on August 20th, 2010 09:27 am (UTC)
Oh poor everyone :(

I liked how it got all sorted out but no one really won because it is such a tense subject and covered in emotions :)

Very well written as always :)
Bookish Hooliganyeomanrand on August 20th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah -- the whole thing started because we were talking about addiction on shinychimera's card, and then I had this little bunny nibbling on me until I wrote it.

Thank you very much!
Алиса: lhmakuchan_47 on August 20th, 2010 11:40 am (UTC)
I liked this very much. I loved how McCoy struggled to reign in his emotions, and showed that he did empathize with Spock, while making it quite clear that Spock had to stop.

And I felt so very bad for Spock as well, it's quite understandable why the melds with Jim would be so vital for him.

Great job!
Bookish Hooliganyeomanrand on August 20th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad all that came through clearly.

Thank you!
Danahiddanahid on August 20th, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
I agree -- very lovely. I love the precise details, and the spot-on dialogue and characterization. Well done!
Bookish Hooliganyeomanrand on August 20th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love knowing that others feel we got the characterization solid.
vala3: Bones in blackvala3 on August 20th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Great job! This showed Bones depth of understanding of Spockprime's difficulties in this dimension, combined with a steely determination to do right by his Captain and friend. And though there was not a 'feel good' resolution, it was what was necessary.
Bookish Hooliganyeomanrand on August 20th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!