Take Her in My Absence

Title: Take Her in My Absence
Author: Tempest
Series: TOS
Pairing: S/Mc, fc
Rating: R
Summary: Spock spends more time on Vulcan on business than he does with his mate on Earth. McCoy feels lonely so Spock comes up with what he hopes is an appropriate solution
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters; Paramount does. I own this story; there is a difference. Any small children stay away. The same goes for anybody offended by the idea that two men could deeply and completely love each other. Archive at the Spock/McCoyote's Den, all others ask permission first. Flames and feedback welcomed. Thank you Jackie, for looking this over.
Author's Note: This is written in honor of somebody very special to me, my best friend. Know I love you, and that you will be missed.
Take Her in My Absence
By Tempest
February 21, 2003
      McCoy stifled a yawn as he looked at the chronometer: 0127 hours. Spock was late coming back from his last business trip, and he probably wasn't going to be home tonight. Sighing, the human took his coffee mug, long since empty and brought it into the kitchen, depositing it into the sink.

      McCoy walked into the bedroom, which was becoming less and less shared with Spock's trips to Vulcan. He waved the light off, and lay down as the room descended into darkness. But the lack of lighting didn't stop his thoughts.

      Ever since the end of their last mission with the Enterprise, when he, Scotty, Sulu, Kirk, and Uhura had settled into desk jobs and Chekov had signed up on the Reliant, Spock had been working his job at the Vulcan branch of the Starfleet Science Academy, and as such, he'd been traveling for many weeks back and forth between Earth and Vulcan.

      The absences were growing increasingly longer, days turning into weeks, falling just short of a month, then a little greater. McCoy was beginning to feel like he was second place in the Vulcan's heart, although he knew it not to be true.

      But the loneliness was beginning to grow unbearable, and he wanted nothing more than for the Vulcan to just stay with him, find a way for Spock to have the conferences without leaving Earth. But he knew this was impossible.

      Sighing again, he closed his eyes. He concentrated on his breathing until he fell into a deep sleep.

      The next morning, he awoke and turned on his side instinctively, hoping to meet the warmth of his mate. But the other side of the bed was empty, and untouched. With a sigh of disappointment, he rolled out of bed and headed to the shower.

      The shower stall in their house was large enough to fit two people and give them room for mobility. And McCoy reminded himself that this was yet another reason they had bought it, as he soaped his body and allowed the fine spray of the hot water to rinse it off.

      He wrapped a towel around himself and walked into the kitchen to put the coffee on to boil. He didn't have much of an appetite, but he never did when Spock was away, so he took some melon out of the refrigeration unit and put it on the table. He sat down and began a lonely breakfast.

      The comm. unit signaled an incoming call and he sighed as he went to answer it. *Probably Dr. Evans,* he thought, *Wanting to know if I can pull a double shift today.* But the face on the screen when the call was answered was not of a human, but of a well-loved Vulcan.

      "Spock!" McCoy said, hardly able to contain his delight. "Where are you? You were supposed to come home yesterday evening."

      The Vulcan's features turned slightly sympathetic, as he nodded. "I know, Leonard, but the shuttle was held over for some hours on Antares, and then when we finally arrived on the Terran station, we were all told we needed to stay until 0900. I will be home soon; I promise."

      McCoy nodded too, "I'll see you when I get home from the hospital, Spock." McCoy closed the comm. as he checked the chronometer. He had to leave soon. He fled into the bedroom to dress himself in his hospital whites before fleeing the house. He could do the dishes later.

      Spock leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. He had seen the look in McCoy's face and had heard the tone in his voice. The question wasn't "Where are you?" it was "Don't you still love me?" And the answer to it was always.

      He knew he wasn't home as often as he should be, and he knew his mate was prone to loneliness. Their house was large and their friends scattered. He knew his mate needed some sort of stability and companionship, even when he was away. He would find some sort of compensation. He looked at the chronometer. He had 8.3 hours to do so.

      Just then, the Shuttle Master was calling for the passengers to take the transporter down the main station on Terra. He could begin his search.


      7.7 hours later, Spock entered their house with many boxes. He set the largest down and went about unpacking some of the others. Taking the larger items he unpacked, he placed them in what he could only deem as their appropriate locations. The smaller items he placed into a larger decorative box and put it aside with the largest.

      He walked into the kitchen to place an item down when he spotted the soiled dished. *Leonard must have not had the time to cleanse them after I called,* he thought, and took the time to wash and dry each dish, before putting them away where they belonged.

      He undressed and put his worn clothing in the refresher unit as he entered the shower stall and took a very quick sonic shower, just enough to leave him feeling clean.

      Exiting the shower, Spock donned his favorite black meditation robe and quickly unpacked the few things he had brought with him to Vulcan. That done he reentered the living room. There was nothing left for him to do but to await his mate's return.

      About a half an hour later, McCoy entered their house. It had been a rough day, and the more he thought about it, the more he had questioned why he had bothered to wake up in the first place. But all of that was forgotten when he saw the Vulcan sitting on the sofa.

      A grin broke out on McCoy's face as he ran to the Vulcan, embracing him and kissing him passionately.

      Spock returned the embrace and complied with the kiss, glad to be home once more with his lover, knowing that eventually, he would need to leave him for another month. Only this time, the Vulcan thought, he was prepared.

      Breaking off the kiss, he went to look into McCoy's lovely blue eyes. "How was your day, my qomi?" Spock asked.

      McCoy sighed. "Lets just say the best and only good thing that happened today was finding you here."

      The Vulcan nodded, deciding he knew how he would go about doing this. "I have something that may improve the status of your day, Leonard."

      McCoy tilted his head to the side, curious. "Is that right, Spock? Let me guess, you've missed me and you're going to take me into the bedroom and show me how much?"

      Spock allowed himself a small smile. Subtlety was not something his mate had ever mastered. Shaking his head, he said, "Later, Leonard."

      McCoy was definitely curious at this point. "Well, if that's not it, what?"

      In response, the Vulcan disengaged himself from the human's arms and entered the bedroom where the largest box had been placed. He carried it back to the human, revealing that is was, in fact, a carrying case. Turning to look into his mate's eyes, he said softly, "Open it."

      McCoy raised his eyebrow in a habit he had developed since his bonding and did just as he was told. The door to the case opened and he gasped as he reached inside.

      When he withdrew his hands, inside of them was a small cat, black from head to toe, and glowing yellow eyes. With a quick check, McCoy ascertained that it was female. "Oh, Spock," he whispered, smiling broadly, "she's beautiful." And that she was. Her coat gleamed in the light and she made a soft mewing sound. "What's her name, Spock?"

      Spock pointed to the yellow collar on her neck, that had their address written on it, under a name engraved simply as "Maude."

      McCoy smiled again as he stroked under he chin, eliciting a soft purr. "Where'd you get her?"

      Spock allowed himself a shadow of a smile as he put a hand on McCoy's leg. "When I was finally allowed to return to Terra, I went to a pet shop and purchased her. I thought you would like her."

      McCoy nodded avidly as he continued to pet Maude. "I do; she's beautiful. But we'll need stuff for her. She'll need a litter box, a pet dish, food, treats, toys, a bed, a brush..."

      Spock reached over to lay a finger on McCoy's lips. "It is taken care of, my qomi. It has all been purchased."

      McCoy nodded, still petting the cat and grinning. "Well, Honey, I guess that explains everything but why."

      Spock nodded in agreement. "Indeed."

      "Well," the human prompted, "why?"

      "Because I know how lonely you are when I am away, and since I cannot change the fact that I must travel, I chose to remedy your loneliness. Keep her with you when I am gone."

      McCoy nodded, "That I will, Honey." He smiled, as he placed Maude gently down on the sofa. "Now, she'll be wanting to get herself acquainted with the house, and you and I need to get reacquainted with each other."

      With that, the two men disappeared into their bedroom for a wonderful evening.


      Over the next weeks, Maude began to accustom herself to the house, taking time to learn where everything is. She even claimed the far right corner of the brown loveseat as her own, a claim which neither Spock nor McCoy would challenge.

      As work would have it, things wouldn't stay this way forever, and this is exactly what happened one day when McCoy came home. He found Spock sitting on the sofa, a suitcase beside him. McCoy sighed; he didnt want to deal with this again.  

      The human walked over to Spock with a malcontented question in his eyes. The Vulcan responded, reading the question, "I leave in 1.2 Standard hours." Before McCoy could ask a second question, he continued, "I will return in approximately 5.2 Standard weeks."

      McCoy nodded numbly, not enjoying this unexpected development at all. "Is there time for-" 

      Spock cut him off with a nod and a "Yes." The Vulcan stood and reached out a hand to his mate. McCoy took it and they entered the bedroom.

      Spock gently eased McCoy down onto the soft mattress of their bed and began to undo the fastens of his tunic, and once removed, dropped it on the floor beside their bed. He repeated the action with the doctor's trousers and briefs.  

      McCoy lay back on the bed, and sent a cautious look to the corner of the room, where Maude's bed rested. Assuring himself that she was asleep, he allowed himself to respond to his mate's attention.

      During this time, the Vulcan had managed to remove all of his clothing, and had lay down beside McCoy on the bed, pulling his human to him and kissing him deeply. 

      They stay embraced for long moments, their mouths together, just enjoying their time with each other. Their kisses grew deeper, and their touches stronger as time began to fly away from them. Finally, their waves crested together, and sated for the moment, they lay in each other's arms.

      After a few minutes of the languid connection, Spock rose on his elbows to kiss McCoy softly. "I am sorry, Leonard," he said, "but I must leave now." The Vulcan reluctantly left the bed and donned his clothing. He returned to the bedside and kissed the doctor once more. "I will call as soon as the shuttle arrives on Vulcan." 

      Spock entered the living room, picked up his suitcase and left the house, on his way to the City-owned shuttle dock.

      McCoy sat back on the bed and sighed. Another month without his lover. It seemed that Maude could sense it too, for when the front door closed, she woke from her slumber and walked to the bed, then crouched and jumped up, to land in McCoy's lap. He caught her with some surprise and began scratching her ears. "Yeah," he said, "Daddy's leaving both of us." 

      Maude merely mewed and bucked her head against the palm of McCoy's hand in answer.


      The weeks without Spock came and went slowly as always. If the Vulcan weren't too busy, he would call McCoy to make sure all was well, and Maude did ease the loneliness he felt. He could talk to her and pet her and spoil her in a way only a pet owner could. She'd sit on his lap as they'd watch the three-dimensional video unit, or she rub against his legs when McCoy came home. She'd eat when he ate. And in the past couple of weeks, instead of sleeping in her cat bed, she'd sleep in Spock's unoccupied half of the large bed.

      It was the day before Spock was due home that McCoy found himself laying across the sofa with Maude resting on his stomach, having her neck scratched and purring contentedly.  

      McCoy spoke softly to her, "Daddy's coming home tomorrow, Maude. He'll be back and we can all be a big happy family again." The doctor smiled with anticipation. "It'll be great." After lying there, stroking her for another forty minutes, he finally said, "I'm going to get ready for bed." He gently scooted her so that when he got up, she wouldn't be disturbed, and he went to check on her food supply. He refilled the bowls for the evening, checking both food and water, and then mixed a few cat treats into the mix.

      Smiling as he saw her walk into the kitchen to eat, he made his way to his bedroom. Once there, he stripped from his evening clothing to take a quick shower. The warm water did him some good and he felt hot and tired as he returned to bed. Maude already lay on Spock's half of the bed as he made his way under the covers. He reached out to stroke her back as he waved for the lights to dim. Whispering, he said to her, "Goodnight, Maude," before descending into sleep.


      Spock checked his internal time sense as he entered the house: 329. Although he did not expect his mate to be awake, he knew he would be pleased to see him when he awoke the next morning. And in the meantime, the Vulcan would be able to cuddle with an unconscious, limp, human mate. 

      He checked to make sure that Maude did not rest on the floor before him, but she did not, so he was able to avoid stepping on her. The last thing he wanted was for her to cry out, and awaken his mate, whom he knew from past experience would not be resting well in his absence.

      He arrived at their bedroom and entered, noting that the lighting setting was at 5%. Not wanting to disturb his mate, he made his way through the inadequate lighting to the dresser where he removed his robe and quickly disposed of his worn clothing into the refresher unit. This done, he looked forward to seeing his mate sleep. 

      He first went to McCoy's side of the bed, merely to gaze at the resting form of his lover, who in the dim lighting seemed more content than he could last remember his mate being when he was gone. The Vulcan reached out to gently caress the hair of the human before making his way to his side of the bed.

      He was prepared to turn down the sheets, and as he did so, his hand hit something warm and furry. He looked down; Maude rested squarely in the middle of his side of the bed. For a brief moment, an illogical surge of jealousy coursed through him. McCoy seemed rested, and the cat was in his side of the bed. Was he being replaced? Then he realized how ridiculous it was for him to be jealous of a cat, one he had deemed worthy enough to be his bondmate's animal companion. 

      The Vulcan reached out to gently prompt the cat out of his side of the bed, but she seemed to be sound asleep. Spock did not want to prod it, lest it cry out and wake his lover, so he attempted a few more times to move it, but to no avail. Finally, he began to rub her head, which after a few minutes caused her to awaken with a small yawn. Her yellow eyes flashed in the dim light as she looked at Spock.

       Thinking Maude would be more compliant now that she was awake, Spock attempted to push her off the bed, but she refused, stubbornly. To himself, Spock though, *She is more like Leonard than I had previously thought.* Finally, finding no other solution, the Vulcan wrapped his arms around the small frame of the cat to lift her off the bed. She let out a loud meow, instantly awakening the human beside her.  

      McCoy, first thinking it was an intruder, turned on his side, whispering, "Maude?" Then he ordered the lights to normal capacity and saw his bondmate frozen in place with his hands on his pet.

      "Spock!" McCoy cried out in delight. "You're home early!" 

      The Vulcan nodded, giving up on moving the cat and sitting on the edge of the bed. "I had hoped to surprise you by giving you my presence when you awoke, but it seems Maude had other plans." Spock cast a raised eyebrow at the cat.

      McCoy smiled, "She's like that, but she meant well. She's been sleeping on your side of the bed, but I have a solution." Changing the tone of his voice to a soft coo, he called to Maude, "Come on, Maude, and come up here. She arched her back and stretched before walking over to McCoy.  

      The human patted his pillow, where his head no longer rested, for a moment before Maude, after rubbing her tail against his face, moved up to lay in the warm spot. She purred happily, before quickly descending into sleep again.

      McCoy watched Maude sleep for a moment before turning to grin at his bondmate. "Wasn't that hard, now was it?" 

      The Vulcan shook his head as he slipped under the covers and reached for his mate, who moved willingly into those warm arms and rested his head on a broad shoulder.

      McCoy leaned up to kiss Spock softly before letting his eyes slip closed again, "I'm glad you're back home." 

      "As am I," the Vulcan managed to say before his mate slipped into sleep. Spock watched the human, and Maude, sleep for a few minutes, before falling into rest himself.

      A permanent solution of sleeping arrangements was decided that night, as the new family was once more together, content to rest in the dawn before new occurrences could take them from each other. 


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