Act Naturally

Title: Act Naturally

Author: Tempest

Series: TOS, AU

Parings: S/Mc

Rating: R

Summary: In an alternative Universe, Spock comes aboard the Enterprise as the new First Officer and Science Officer. The crew takes an instant liking to him, especially McCoy. In response to the challenge somewhere on ASCEM about Spock being brought up human rather than Vulcan.

Disclaimer: I don't own TOS. I never have, and I never will. Star Trek and all of its relations are property of Paramount and Viacom. I only own this story. Anybody who has a problem with the thought of men in homosexual relationships with each other, please stay away. Flames and feedback are welcome. Please ask before putting this anywhere.


Act Naturally

By Tempest

June 1, 2007



The company of red shirts stood in the back of the transporter room, their phasers at their sides as they waited for the new Executive/Science Officer to beam aboard. Closer to the transporter panel itself stood Captain James T. Kirk, Doctor McCoy, and Lieutenant Commander Scott, all in their dress uniforms.


Dr. McCoy turned to the Captain as they waited for the signal from the space station. "I heard this guy's part Vulcan. Is that true?"


Kirk nodded, stealing a glance at the transporter chief to see if they could commence beam up. "Sure is, Bones."


"I've never served with a Vulcan before."


"He's only half-Vulcan, Bones."


At that moment, the signal was given to transporter chief Kyle, and with a few motions of his hands, the transporter came humming to life. After a moment, the shimmering figure became solid.


On the platform stood a man of about 6'1", slim build, wearing a blue science uniform with commander stripes on the sleeves. He looked almost human, if it weren't for the slanted eyebrows and the elegant points on his ears. His expression was one of curiosity, and even a bit of nervousness. In a deep voice, he asked, "Permission to come aboard, Captain?"


Kirk looked at the man for a moment, then at McCoy, before returning his attention to the new officer. "Permission granted, Commander Spock."


Spock stepped off the platform, a carryall bag on his shoulder and what looked like a six-string guitar on his back. He gave Kirk a salute before holding out his hand for a handshake. "Samuel Spock, Captain."


Kirk nodded, taking his hand and giving it a firm shake. "Of course. Do you go by Sam?"


Spock shook his head, "Not usually, no, Captain."


Kirk smiled, and quickly introduced himself. "I'm Captain James Kirk, feel free to call me Jim. And then he turned towards the rest of his party. "This is Doctor Leonard McCoy, Chief Medical Officer," McCoy smiled a curious smile and gave him his hand, impressed with the handshake. "Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott, Chief Engineer," Scott also shook his hand. "And by the transporter is Mister Martin Kyle, Transporter Chief." Kyle waved at Spock, his eyes drawn to the upswept eyebrows.


Kirk turned towards McCoy again. "Dr. McCoy is going to make sure you get settled in. Normally, I'd do it but Bones here pulled medical rank on me," he grinned.


Spock nodded, "Then, Doctor, we'll get started on whatever we need to get done."


"Of course. Don't worry, Jim, I'll get him to the Officer's Lounge on time for the dinner you planned." And with that, McCoy exited the transporter room with Spock in tow.


They walked towards the turbolift in silence, Spock looking around at the ship, while McCoy got hold of the lift. They both entered and McCoy struck up conversation. "You look a bit nervous."


Spock nodded and let out a low sigh "A bit. I've never been in the chain of command before."


McCoy smiled and patted him on the shoulder as the turbolift stopped on deck five. "Don't worry, on this ship you'll have plenty of support with it." McCoy walked off, Spock following him. McCoy began to talk, "Funny story, we had to decide where your quarters were going to be. Normally, the First Officer's quarters are next to the Captain's, but the Science Officer's are next to mine, finally we just pulled it out of a hat."


Spock looked at him curiously, "So, where are my quarters then?"


McCoy led him up to a door that said "Spock, Commander S." and then pointed to the door beside it, with a nameplate of "McCoy M.D., Lieutenant Commander L."


"Ah," came the response, before he palmed the door open.


McCoy stepped inside first and waited by the door while Spock threw his guitar and his carryall on his bed. "I'm pretty sure you're familiar with quarters on a starship. The bathroom's through there," McCoy pointed to a door to the right, "And you have the standard closet and dresser. Jim doesn't mind if you make adjustments to make it more yours, as long as you don't have Scotty knock down a wall or anything."


Spock turned to look curiously at McCoy. "Would he actually do something like that?"


McCoy smiled, "If you gave him enough scotch he'll do just about anything, but keep that under your hat."


"It seems I have a lot to learn about being a senior officer."


"We're all here to help. Now you have about an hour before dinner starts to get freshened up. I'll be next door and I'll escort you so you find your way. That sound good?"


Spock nodded, "It does indeed."


McCoy turned and left, going next door and letting the doors slide shut. He activated his comm. unit to quickly let Kirk know that he had managed to deliver the new officer without any problems.


Once the quick part of duty was over, McCoy picked through the medical records to look up what he could on this new man.


Fifty minutes later his comm. alarm went off. He looked up surprised, before answering it. "McCoy here."


Kirk's face appeared on the screen. "Bones, fetch him and get him down here. Don't want him to be late, now do we?"


McCoy stole a glance at the chronometer. "He won't be. I'll go get him right now. Be there in two shakes." He cut the unit and closed the medical file.


He stopped in front of the mirror and made sure he looked presentable and then left, going the twenty or so feet to Spock's quarters and buzzing for entrance.


A moment elapsed before the first officer stepped out of his quarters. He had changed into his blue dress uniform, and had fixed his hair.


McCoy had a passing thought, *Damn he looks good.* It shocked him into a weak smile and a question. "Ready? The entire senior staff is expecting you."


Spock nodded, falling into step with McCoy, as the Doctor led him to the recreation room.


McCoy continued to speak as they walked, "You should be happy. I think we outdid ourselves getting this party together. There's real food and real drink," He smiled.


"I take it we don't get a lot of either around here?"


McCoy shook his head, making a grimacing face, "The food might kill you with the taste, or lack of it."


"I see," Spock was somewhat less than thrilled with that news. His taste buds, unfortunately, were closer to Vulcan than human and thus tasting food was difficult enough when it did not resemble cardboard in texture.


McCoy stopped in front of the doors to the recreation room and adjusted his collar. "Here we are. Make sure you're presentable because they'll be seeing you for the first time, and first impressions and all that.


Spock nodded, and smoothed out his uniform, then stepped back as the doors slid open.


McCoy walked in, Spock behind him. The doctor smiled at the crew as he pointed at Spock. "Look who I brought, everybody."


Kirk smiled as he looked over at the last two officers. "About time, Bones, we were getting worried he'd decided, at the last minute, he'd want to stay on Earth."


"Nonsense," Spock replied, walking over to the gaggle of officers. "I signed up, didn't I? No reason for me to leave before I begin."


McCoy grinned as he took a seat between Kirk and the chair Spock stood at. "Wait until you taste the food before you say that."


"Indeed, as you have warned me," came the reply. Spock looked around at the officers. He recognized a couple of them, but the rest were mysteries.


McCoy seemed to catch onto this as he watched the Vulcan look around. "Hey Jim," he said, "Don't you think you should introduce the rest of the gang before we get ourselves drunk beyond the capacity for speech?"


Kirk nodded, "I was about to get to that myself, Bones." The Captain turned his attention to Spock. "This is our Helmsman, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu," Kirk pointed at the Lieutenant who smiled and offered his hand.


Spock gave it a hearty shake, saying "Pleased to meet you."


Kirk pointed at Chekov, "This is our Navigator, Ensign Pavel Chekov." Chekov shook Spock's hand as well, with a "Nice to meet you Mister Spock," spoken in his heavily accented speech.


Spock cut in at that. "We're off duty; call me Samuel."


Kirk nodded and motioned for a tall man in a red dress uniform to come over, "This is Lieutenant Anthony Giotto; he's our Security Chief."


Spock shook his hand, "I don't envy you your job."


Giotto sighed softly, "Nobody does."


Kirk pointed over at Scott who was pouring Saurian Brandy into glasses, "I believe you remember Commander Scott, and this charming beauty," he smiled at Uhura who came over in a flowing dark purple dress, "Is Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, our Communications Officer, and ship's beauty queen."


Uhura smiled and held out her hand for a shake. "Don't believe him, Samuel, we haven't gotten the results of the vote, yet."


Spock's eyebrow shot up, "You're actually voting on the relative beauty of the female officers? That's hardly fair to you."


Scott chuckled as he walked over and handed Spock a glass of brandy, "Nonsense, the lasses have their vote for best looking male officer next week."


Spock looked at the glass then took a sip, his other eyebrow raised. "I see. Do I get to vote, or because I came late, have my privileges been revoked?"


Kirk looked over at McCoy, then at Spock, "Well, the polls on the most attractive female crewmember are closed, but if you don't mind voting on most attractive male crewmember, and promise not to vote for yourself, I don't think we'd have a problem, right Bones?"


McCoy shook his head, "Not at all. Since I'm vote chairman, I'll make it official that you get a ballot. Jim, are we done with the introductions?"


Kirk nodded and addressed the group, "Gentlemen and Nyota, will you please all take your seats before the food gets cold?"


The officers on cue took their seats around the table. Covers came off plates to reveal fresh meat, fruits, vegetables, and various breads. The officers quickly filled their plates with food, and engaged in various means of conversation about stories from their lives before the Enterprise and their thoughts on their positions.


Kirk had just finished telling the table the tale of his last romance with a Rigellian spy and a lull fell across the table. The food was being packed away, and a blond yeoman had come to serve dessert.


McCoy had been watching Spock all evening, quite fascinated by his human behaviors, despite his Vulcan appearance. After the introductions, he had been oddly silent, aside from a few agreeing comments during the stories. Unable to resist, McCoy tried to coax him into conversation. "Samuel, how about telling the story of your roots? You already heard about my youth in my southern backwater."


Spock took a sip of the Altair water before him and turned to meet the blue eyes of the CMO. He had originally intended to keep that quiet, but the insistence in the face of the man made him quickly change his mind. "Very well."


The group of officers suddenly had renewed interest in the story telling and they quickly filled up their plates so they could eat and listen simultaneously.


Spock leaned back in his chair and began his story. "My mother is a human; she teaches history at Starfleet Academy. My father is the teacher of Vulcan customs at the Embassy. I was born and raised on Earth, raised as a human despite my mixed-heritage, and decided to enter Starfleet as a career choice. I was always good at the sciences and chose it for my specialty. Three ships and a science station assignment later, here I am." Spock looked around, noticing the somewhat disappointed looks on the faces of the department heads. "It's not very impressive, I know, but not everything can be."


Kirk waved his hand, while McCoy interjected with a "Not at all." The conversion, however, continued to wind down, and eventually, Kirk moved for dismissing the party.


The crew said their goodnights and began to file out, leaving Kirk and McCoy alone with the new officer. "Mr. Spock-"


"Samuel, Sir."


Kirk nodded, "Samuel, you'll need to report to sickbay first thing tomorrow morning for your physical exam. Then report to the bridge for duty. Don't worry; the bridge crew will be gentle and possible hung over. And I'm sure Bones here will be just as gentle." He cast a teasing grin at his medical officer, as he reached for his near-empty brandy glass.


"I've been in this business longer than you've been in yours, Jim. I can give a painless physical." McCoy turned back to Spock. "How does 0700 hours sound? I know it's a bit early, but especially with your heritage, this could take a while."


Spock nodded, folding his hands in his lap. He had noticed the officers slowly losing their sobriety, while it failed to affect him, due to his Vulcan heritage. It reminded him, really, of one too many shore leaves. "That would be fine."


Kirk smiled again and rose from the chair. “Then I’ll see you on the bridge tomorrow. Call me if Bones here gives you any troubles.” He started to walk towards the door, but stopped, turning around once more to face the Vulcan. “Keep this under your hat, but all the senior officers know it. I keep my quarters unlocked just in case, so if necessary, you don’t have to ring for entry. Just try not to wake me too often.” Then the Captain turned on his heels and left the newest addition alone with the Doctor.


McCoy was leaning his head on the arm of the lounge sofa, looking up at Spock. “I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not drunk.”


      “I didn’t say anything, Doctor.” Spock shifted in his own chair.


      “You didn’t need to say it; it’s written all over your face. You don’t have any of that Vulcan control.”


      “I’m Vulcan in DNA only, Doctor. Everything personality-wise is just as human as you.”


      A strange expression passed over McCoy’s face but it quickly disappeared as he sat up slowly. “The name’s ‘Leonard,’ Samuel. If you want us all to call you by your given name off duty, you’ll have to repay the favor.”


      Spock nodded at the correction, “I tend to forget, Leonard. The CMO on my last ship would get very upset when anybody who wasn’t a close personal friend called him by his given name.”


      McCoy stretched on the couch, feeling a bit tired. “Then to keep the confusion away, we’ll just have to become close, personal friends.” He rose from the couch, stifling a yawn. “You have Alpha shift tomorrow, Samuel?”


      Spock nodded, reaching out a hand to help McCoy to his feet. “Yes. Do you?”


      McCoy took the hand and then started towards the exit. “Sure do. Want to meet for breakfast? That’ll give you a nice introduction to the regular mess and I can teach you what to avoid when eating.”


      Spock followed close behind him, as they walked back towards their respective quarters. “I would like that, Leonard.”


      McCoy let Spock off at his door and stopped, leaning against the wall. “I’ll knock on your door, around 0630.”


      Spock nodded and keyed the code into his door. “Goodnight, Leonard.”


      “Goodnight, Samuel.” McCoy went around to his own quarters, locking them after he entered.


      The doctor stripped off his clothing and changed into his pajamas. He tried to read through the latest medical journal but his thoughts were elsewhere. Commander Spock, with the exotic pulchritude of Vulcan ancestry, coupled with the familiar energy of humans. It was a combination he had underestimated when he had first learned of Spock’s transfer to the Enterprise, but now he certainly appreciated the mixed heritage. Placing the journal on his night stand, McCoy ordered the lights down and tried to sleep, perhaps to dream, about the new first officer.


      In his quarters, right next door, Spock had sat down with his guitar and was strumming one of the Vulcan folk songs his father had taught him. He often had difficulty meditating, his human side was too strong to accept such a Vulcan form of relaxation, but he had found his own niche. Music helped him relax, brought him clarity.


      However, his reaction to the doctor was unexpected and was keeping his music from calming him. He knew of love, of course, had experienced his share of crushes before, and had engaged himself in a few relationships before this assignment. But his Vulcan side, usually buried by his human side, always reacted this way, in frenzy. It told him, “Check his mind,” as it always did. Vulcans needed mental attraction, more than physical, more than emotional, and it was the one part of his Vulcan heritage that was more powerful than his human side. He could approach the Doctor tomorrow at breakfast, and he hoped his Vulcan heritage would not frighten McCoy off. He wanted to get to know him.



      Spock was awoken the next morning by the chirping of the ship’s computer. Most irritating, he thought to himself, before rolling over onto his side to try for another five minutes worth. However, the computer’s alarm had been set to a certain time and could not be reset. And its chirping grew louder until his sensitive ears could no longer handle the noise and he simply rose from bed.


      The early hours were one of the things that Spock disliked most about Starfleet life. He could handle the adventure, the danger, and even the brass, but the early hours were sometimes too much.


      Contrary to popular belief in the Federation, most behaviors of Vulcans, including sleep habits, emotional display, even use of their telepathy, were not innate, but came about after years of conditioning. He had lacked most of it, due to his parents’ choice of upbringing, and instead, he was little more than a human who looked Vulcan.


      Shrugging on the black meditation robe his father had given him upon becoming a man, he headed for the bathroom. It was larger than he had expected. The units on his previous assignments had been much smaller. Perhaps it was true that rank hath its privileges.


      He had just finished washing his face and was in the middle of brushing his teeth when he heard a noise behind him. Whipping around quickly, he came face to face with a very naked McCoy. Spock dropped his toothbrush.


      McCoy’s hands moved, covering himself as he backed out of the bathroom, his entire face flushed pink from obvious embarrassment.


      Spock watched as he left, and it was only after the door closed that he bent down to pick up his toothbrush, resuming his grooming.


      It was twenty minutes later, when he was sitting on the edge of the bed, dressed and fixing his boots, that the door chime rang. “Come,” he called.


      McCoy entered, hovering near the doorway; his cheeks were still slightly pink. “You still up for breakfast? I wasn’t sure if maybe you’d decided against it.”


      Spock shook his head, gesturing for McCoy to come inside. “I’m almost ready. And about earlier, I’m sorry, Doc-Leonard,” he corrected himself, remembering McCoy’s request. “I didn’t realize we shared a bathroom. And I didn’t hear you.”

      “The sonics are silent; that’s the only good thing about them. I should have warned you. All officers with adjoining quarters share heads. I should’ve taken a towel, too. But I’ve had the bathroom to myself for a long while. The last First Officer had the room next to Jim...” McCoy trailed off, not wanting to spend too much time thinking about Gary Mitchell.


      “We’ll just need to start knocking, Leonard,” Spock replied, as he rose to his feet and moved beside the doctor. “And now, you were going to get me some food?”


      McCoy nodded and went towards the door. The two of them left Spock’s quarters for the general mess hall.


      As they entered, Spock grew to fully appreciate the sound-proofing the ship had been placed with. The mess hall was quite noisy, proved to be quite distracting, and after a few minutes of exposure, was hurting his ears. McCoy seemed sympathetic as he led him over to the dispenser. “I forgot to ask this earlier, but do you keep vegetarian?”


      “I did when I was younger, but now I do not. There is a synthesized enzyme I was given by the physician who aided with my conception and birth that I take in pill form twice a week. It allows for the digestion of meat and meat byproducts.” Spock took the tray that McCoy held out to him, along with the cutlery.


      “Then that opens up the amount of edible food substantially for you. Do you trust me?”


      “Yes,” Spock’s reply came easily.


      “Good,” McCoy said as he led them down the chow line. Every so often, he would pick dishes up and place them on his tray and Spock’s. Some of the dishes were unrecognizable, but Spock kept silent.


      When they reached the end, McCoy picked up two mugs and placed them on either tray, before leading them to a table near the side and front of the mess hall. He placed his tray down and waited to sit until Spock had done the same.


      Spock looked over his tray, with the same curiosity that had earned him the position of Science Officer of Starfleet’s Flag Ship. “I don’t recognize most of this.”


      “Welcome to our galley, Samuel,” McCoy replied quickly, and smiled a bit at the apparent inside joke. “Pay attention, because I’m only going to do this once.” McCoy began pointing at various items on the tray, “Sausage, eggs, they’re always scrambled and lack both the taste and consistency of eggs. That’s why I got the Tabasco. Hash browns. You’ll need the starch. Whole meal toast and biscuits, that bowl has grits, and that other one has this fruit thing. I’ve never asked what’s in it, but it’s edible. The cup has juice with the exact same taste, and the mug’s got coffee.”


      Spock quirked his eyebrow up in a trait he had inherited from his father. He knew it made him appear more Vulcan than he was, but he had trouble suppressing it. “And it all tastes like cardboard?”


      “Not the coffee. That’s why you’ll see most of the staff drinking it.” McCoy picked up his fork and began to eat.


      After another glance at the tray, Spock followed suit. He needed to eat, but after the first forkful, he knew he would look forward to the next stopover at a trading station.


      McCoy seemed sympathetic, and kept the conversation jovial during their meal, while keeping an eye on the chronometer in the corner. “We’ve got to wrap this up. Jim’ll have my hide if that physical keeps you from taking over Alpha Shift today.”


      Spock pushed his tray away from him, not disappointed in the slightest by the disruption to his meal. “I wouldn’t want you to get in trouble over this food, Leonard.”


      McCoy chuckled and showed him where to put the scraps and used trays. Then he took the Vulcan over to sickbay, so they could get the necessary exam out of the way.


      When they entered, Spock took a moment to look around. His father had taught him the skill of observation, as a precursor to logic. He considered the skill little more than a party trick, but it could be useful.


      His observations were interrupted by the sudden appearance of a blond nurse, probably not too much older than thirty. Before he could introduce himself, McCoy did it for him. “Christine, this is Samuel Spock, our new First Officer and Science Officer. Jim’s making me speed through the physical so he can use him on the bridge,” McCoy turned to face him, “Samuel, this is Christine Chapel. She’s the best head nurse in the business. Just don’t let her get overly motherly.”


      “You’re worse than I am, Doctor,” she responded, humor in her voice, “And you know it. Which biobed do you want me to set up for him?”


      “The private exam room. It’s the first physical.”


      “Yes, Doctor,” Chapel nodded and turned for her task. Before she did, she gave Spock a once over, followed by a smile and a wink.


      Spock stared after her for a moment, and then turned back to McCoy, “Did she just wink at me?”


      “Seems as though you might get the title for most eligible officer.”


      “Not my type,” was the only response. McCoy’s heart skipped a beat, hoping that maybe he was. Then he pushed the thought away. The chances of a new male officer, one he just met less than a day ago, coming aboard and entering into a spontaneous relationship based on mutual attraction with him was pretty low; percentage-wise, the odds were against it. Now if one of them was a woman, it’d almost be expected, although Kirk would have dibs...


McCoy’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a throat clearing. Chapel had come back out and was standing next to him. “The private exam room’s ready, Doctor,” she then handed him a padd, “And I pulled his medical record for you. I thought you might need it.”


McCoy took the padd, “See what I mean? Best nurse in the business. Thanks, Christine.” He read through it quickly and then gestured at the door. “Step into my parlor, Samuel.”


Surprisingly, Spock chuckled. McCoy hadn’t expected it, but upon reflection, it made sense. He had, after all, been raised human. “To view your collection of stamps?”


McCoy smiled at him, catching the reference quickly. “All un-perforated. Come on in.”


Spock followed McCoy into the main area of sickbay, and hopped up onto the biobed. He lay back, trying to relax, as the doctor turned on the med scanner.


      The bars above his head began their dance, readings jumping to his body’s levels. McCoy frowned, reading them. “That’s the damnedest thing.”


      “What is it?” Spock asked, curious and concerned. He felt fine, aside from the occasional heart flutter. That was attraction, not illness.


      “Your blood pressure is too high, and your pulse is practically non-existent,” McCoy began, reading the other vitals. The oxygen content of his blood was off as well, but that was the result of copper.


      “Those are normal for me. My body’s mostly Vulcan, with a few exceptions,” Spock replied, relieved. For a moment, he had thought it was something worrisome.


      “Ah,” was all McCoy said. It made sense; Spock certainly looked all Vulcan, save for how he carried himself. And that easy smile he wore. That smile softened Samuel’s very alien features, making them closer to home. McCoy hoped to see it often over the next five years.


      Clearing his head, the doctor continued the exam, walking the other man through the various tests. He was in pique physical condition, something the Captain could learn from.


      As Spock headed for the door, McCoy stopped him with a hand on his shoulder. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. “Samuel,” he said, hoping he hadn’t read the other man wrong, “Would you like to have dinner tonight, after shift change?”


      “I’d like that a lot, Leonard,” Spock replied with that easy smile. It was most likely only an invitation to eat as friends, but he was happy with that. He genuinely liked Leonard McCoy, and if friendship was all that could be had, so be it. And if something more developed...he’d see where it went. The doctor’s mind seemed pure, albeit still mysterious. But there would be time to discover where his thoughts were, his intentions, his soul.


      “Good,” McCoy replied, smiling as well. “Now get to the bridge, before Jim sends a search party.”


      “Aye Sir,” the scientist gave a salute, then turned on his heels and left.


      With a contented sigh, McCoy went to his office to log the other man’s vital readings. And he cast his vote for sexiest male crewmember. If Samuel kept it up, he would win hands down.



Back to the Caves