Rating: R, don’t ask don’t tell
Summary: A look at gender leads to a discovery and a new understanding between Spock and McCoy.
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.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see,
All your life,
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.
Spock stood beside McCoy and Kirk on the transporter platform
of the half-familiar Enterprise. He could tell immediately
that the transporter device had once again malfunctioned. The first indication was that the room had a light pink undertone.
The second indication was the fact that Mister Scott was apparently a woman.
Not an unattractive woman, with long brown hair that reached
her shoulders, warm brown eyes and an intelligent face, wearing a red dress that went past her knees and matching jump boots.
Her accent was quite similar, although the voice not as deep, when she opened her mouth and said, “You’re not
our landing party.”
Kirk stepped off the transporter platform first; he had been
thinking the same thing. “No we’re not. Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise. I’m sorry for the
lack of surprise, but this has happened once before. Should we assume a universe swap?”
The engineer nodded, looking from Kirk, to Spock, to McCoy,
and then back to Kirk. Her eyes, when on McCoy, seemed to have a look of familiarity. “Your other officers are Doctor
McCoy, obviously...” she paused for a moment, looking back at the Vulcan, “And you’re the First Officer,
I assume, what’s your name?”
“Commander Spock,” Spock stepped off the platform,
moving to stand at Kirk’s side. McCoy followed suit, less than deleted about another exchange between universes. The
last one had left him with months of secret therapy with M’Benga.
Kirk was watching the female Scott carefully, curious about
the makings of this particular universe. “Since you now have the upper hand, do you think perhaps you’d care to
Scott nodded again, reaching out her hand. “Lieutenant
Commander Morgandy Rossa Scott, Chief Engineer. The crew calls me Ross.”
Kirk took her hand, giving it a firm shake. “A pleasure
to meet you.”
Scott nodded and released his hand, turning her attention back
to the panel. “Now if only I could figure out what happened to causes this exchange in the first place.” She hit
the comm. on the wall, “Engineering, somebody bring me my tool kit.”
The three others in the room seemed too preoccupied with the
concepts and physics behind the exchange that they failed to see the thin sheen of sweat that began to coat McCoy’s
forehead, or the way that he bounced up and down on the balls of his feet in a nervous manner.
It was only a few moments later that the door to the transporter
room opened, revealing a very handsome Bantu man, with a crew cut, probably close to six feet in height, carrying a large
tool kit. “Ross,” he said, in a deep, yet melodious voice, “what could possibly warrant your engineering
staff calling me down from the bridge...” The man’s voice trailed off as his eyes fell on the three of them, as
he handed Scott the tool kit. “Doc,” he said quickly, “What happened to the Captain and T’Pohkh?”
If McCoy had been nervous before, he was nearing stroke levels
with the way the eyes of everyone in the room fell on him. Fortunately, Scott stepped in with a reply. “That’s
not the Doc, not from here, anyway. The three of them got exchanged with our officers, some sort of a transporter malfunction...again.”
The Bantu man couldn’t help but chuckle. “You’re
going to have to get a handle on this, Ross. You might be the best engineer in Starfleet, but when my panel has fewer malfunctions
than this piece of equipment-“
Kirk cleared his throat, stepping forward with his hand out.
“Pardon my rudeness, but I don’t like not being introduced. Captain James T. Kirk, of the U.S.S. Enterprise.”
The Bantu man took his hand, pumping it twice, quite firmly.
“Let me guess, the ‘T’ is for ‘Tiberius,’ right?”
Kirk was impressed; his eyes must have given him away, as the
Bantu man shrugged with a smile, “I was trained as a linguist. Lieutenant Naeem Uhuru, Communications Manager, pleased
to meet you.”
Kirk nodded, and then gestured at his officers, “This
is my First Officer and Science Officer, Commander Spock, and my Chief Medical Officer, as you so accurately guessed, Doctor-“
“Leonard McCoy, yes,” Uhuru cut in, reaching out
his hand to McCoy, “Nice to have you aboard, Doc.” Something in his manner of speech suggested undue familiarity.
McCoy seemed to forget himself, and only when Kirk nudged him
gently in the side with his elbow did he seem to realize he was being engaged. He returned the Lieutenant’s handshake,
his hands sweating profusely. “Sorry, I just don’t do well with inter-dimensional exchanges,” he gave as
way of an excuse, as he wiped both his palms on his uniform trousers.
Uhuru nodded, looking as though he had something else to say,
but decided not to bring it up. Instead, he turned towards Scott. “Any idea how long it’ll take to get our crew
Scott had unpacked the tool kit and had already started her
work on the transporter panels. “I’m working on it, Naeem. Why don’t you just give them a tour of the ship
and give me some peace and quiet?” Her voice flared with the irritation that surfaced in their own Mister Scott, when
he was being forcibly distracted from a challenge.
Uhuru shrugged, gestured towards the door in an overtly courteous
gesture, “Right this ways please, Sirs.” It felt odd to Uhuru, to use “Sir” instead of “Ma’am”
around the Commanding Officers, but since he would only need to put up with it for a few hours, knowing Scott, he decided
to just do his best.
“So this is your bridge,” Kirk said, his hands
on his hips as he looked around critically. The bridge was similar to his own. However, the paint on the walls also held a
slightly pink undertone, and the chairs looked much more comfortable than the ones Starfleet generally provided.
Uhuru nodded, gesturing at the communications panel at the
back of the bridge. “This is the bridge, and that’s my station. Feel free to look around; just try not to shock
Pasha. She’s still green.”
A short woman, wearing a yellow dress that went past her knees,
similar to the red one Scott had worn, and brown hair held up in a neat bun, turned around. In a high pitched voice, with
a considerable Russian accent, she snipped, “I’m not!” She then paused for a moment, taking in the appearances
of the men with Uhuru. “What happened to-“
“This,” Uhuru cut in, gesturing at Kirk, “Is
Captain James T. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise,”
“But we’re the U.S.S. Enterprise,” the Russian
“See what I mean?” Uhuru asked, Kirk, before waving
his hand in a dismissive gesture of the other’s statement. “Transporter malfunction, don’t ask. Ross is
working on it.”
The Russian woman still seemed a bit confused, as she was staring
at McCoy. Kirk took the action to be one of curiosity, for he introduced his men, “This is Commander Spock, and Doctor
“Well, I knew that,” the Russian commented, in
a snide tone that was one of frustration, with everybody assuming she was green due to her rank of Ensign.
Kirk did not like the young woman’s attitude, but said
nothing on the subject. Instead, he replied simply, “And you’re Pasha?”
“Pasha Anastasia Chekov, Navigator.” Chekov smiled
at him courteously, feeling somewhat uncomfortable. A male Captain was an extreme rarity.
Anastasia Chekov,” Uhuru corrected, delighting in making the young woman feel defensive. “She has a tendency to
The young woman beside Chekov turned around, dark almond eyes,
black hair done in a complicated manner, and a somewhat pale complexion, with a slim stature typical of Asian women, also
wearing a long yellow dress. She had spent enough time pretending to ignore the conversation, she decided, and it was time
to introduce herself. “Lieutenant Hiroko Sulu, Helmswoman. It’s a pleasure to meet the...three of you.”
*Finally,* Kirk thought to himself, *Somebody who knows how
to conduct herself in a proper social situation.* “The pleasure’s all ours, Lieutenant. Tell me, do you think
you could fill us in on some of the history of your ship?”
“It’d be my pleasure, Captain. This ship, as Pasha
already told you, is the U.S.S. Enterprise. We’re on a five year mission of exploration of planets and cultures, as
well as a secondary patrol mission against the Klingon and Romulan Hierarchies to keep them from attempting to take over the
Federation. Our Captain, Jane Tiberia Kirk, she likes to say they think we’re soft because we’re mostly women.”
Sulu had a smug smile on her face, the kind women often get when humoring male superiority.
“Mostly women, Lieutenant?” Spock finally spoke
up, “You mean to say that the birth rate in the Federation has become a ratio that highly favors females?”
Uhuru rolled his eyes, knowing that the sensitivity training
lecture everybody had memorized was going to be brought up in part for this and excusing himself, he returned to his panel.
“Certainly not. The birth ratio slightly favors males,
actually. Starfleet doesn’t, however. Vulcan, as I’m sure you know, is a Matriarchy.”
“Yes, I would know something about that. Continue, Lieutenant.”
Sulu was uncertain if that was condescending or not, T’Pohkh’s
eyes had a tendency to crinkle when she made a joke. “As Vulcan was a fundamental part in the development of the Federation,
and by proxy, Starfleet, such elements of the Matriarchy were assimilated into policy, and as a result, women dominate the
fields in Starfleet. More than two thirds of all Starfleet personnel are female.”
“That would explain much. Thank you Lieutenant.”
“You’re welcome...Sir,” Sulu felt very awkward.
The last time she had needed to use “Sir” had been at the Academy, years ago.
In the corner, McCoy’s knuckles were going white, as
he had balled them into fists when Spock had asked his question. His heart was beating wildly and his knees felt weak. He
took a grab for the Captain’s chair and used it to keep himself steady.
Spock noticed the action before anybody else. He went to McCoy’s
side and took a hold of his arm. “Doctor, are you quite all right?”
McCoy nodded, although the way his heart was racing, knew that
Spock could tell he was lying.
The Vulcan evidently did, for he turned back towards Uhuru.
“Is sickbay on Deck five?”
“Yes, it is. Is the Doctor all right?”
“He will be. Jim,” Spock called Kirk’s attention
to help him take the Doctor’s other side and they helped him stand, guiding him towards the turbolift.
McCoy’s face was pale, but he still shook his head. “I
don’t need sickbay.”
“Bones, don’t fight with me. I’m pulling
medical rank on you,” Kirk said as they entered the turbolift and ordered it to sickbay.
“You don’t have medical rank.” McCoy pulled
his arm away from Kirk, but did not struggle with Spock, knowing better.
“Then I’m just pulling rank.” Kirk exchanged
a glance with Spock, before letting McCoy’s arm go, allowing the Vulcan keep hold of the doctor.
McCoy continued to verbally protest, but kept himself still,
shielding his thoughts to the best of his ability from the Vulcan still holding him.
The doors opened and Spock held lead McCoy to sickbay, Kirk
quickly on their heels. Sickbay, although having a slight pink undertone, along with the rest of the ship, looked exactly
the same. Everything, even the office doors.
By one of the desks, a tall, thin, blond man with hair cut
a bit too long for his eyes in a blue sickbay uniform was speaking with a muscular black woman with short hair, wearing a
shorter-cut blue dress than the other women. They both turned around and the woman rushed over. “Who are you and what
happened to Doctor McCoy?”
Spock filed this response away with the responses from the
rest of the crew, as he helped the doctor to a chair. “He is feeling weak. Perhaps a stimulant and a quick medical scan.”
Kirk was about to respond in kind, but the ship’s intercom
went off, with a request, “James Kirk to the Transporter Room. Ross is requesting your presence.”
“Damn,” Kirk started for the door. “Just
keep an eye on him, while I see if maybe we’ve got a way home.” With that, he strolled from sickbay.
McCoy had been trying to get out of the chair, so he could
leave too. “I’m fine, really.”
The woman put her hand on McCoy’s shoulder, stopping
him in his tracks. “First the scan and an explanation.” The woman turned around to face the young man, “Chris,
get the back up scanner, this one’s uncalibrated. It’s in the storage room.”
“Yes, Doctor,” the man gave a salute and walked
out of the main sickbay room on his quest for a scanner.
“Well?” The woman asked, waiting for an answer,
and then she lowered her voice, “Dave, maybe explaining the Vulcan first will help?”
“My name’s Leonard, Ma’am,” McCoy started,
“And his name’s Spock. We were put through a universal-exchange with your landing party. The other guy with us
was our Captain, Jim, although I’m sure you could tell from the page,” He stopped for a moment, the use of “Dave”
making his palms begin to sweat and his chest begin to ache again, as he looked over nervously at Spock, “And I’m
just a little tired and don’t do well with these types of transporter malfunctions. Spock has a tendency to worry too
The woman nodded, and then patted him on the shoulder, “In
that case, I should introduce myself, Gertrude M’Benga, I’m the Assistant Medical Officer and that nurse was-“
“Chris Chapel, Head Nurse,” McCoy finished, “Yeah,
we’ve been noticing a bit of a pattern with the personnel,” that pattern was making his head light, and he wiped
his hands on his trousers again.
M’Benga turned her attention to Spock, “Forgive
the intrusion into this, but are you two...married back where you come from?”
Spock hesitated before answering the question. The answer was
a difficult one, and the issue itself had been the cause of a major rift between the two of them. The answer was ‘No,
nor are we likely to be, despite the fact we would both like it.’
M’Benga seemed to sense that this was a difficult topic,
because she continued without letting Spock answer, “I’m sorry, I didn’t meant to pry about anything, it’s
just that we’re all preparing for the wedding of the century over here and I was just a bit curious.” M’Benga
smiled softly, “You should see T’Pohkh’s ring. Dave went out of his way to find a green diamond for the
Spock’s eyebrow quirked up, “Dave?”
“Our Chief Medical Officer. Anyway, the two of them make
an absolutely adorable couple.”
“I see.” Spock’s mind was formulating a list
of questions for once they were returned to their own universe.
Chapel walked over then, holding a medical scanner in one and
a data padd in the other. “One calibrated medical scanner and one medical profile for you to work with, on Doctor McCoy,
Leonard David. I figured you’d want to check if he has an allergy to that new sedative. It looks like he’s clear,
but you’re the doctor.” Chapel smiled at her and went over to Spock, looking him over up and down a minute.
Spock had filed away the entire exchange into his memory, but
found this Chapel’s attention only slightly less unnerving than his own. “Is there something that interests you
about me, Nurse?”
Chapel shrugged, a slight grin on his face, “You’re
not as cute as T’Pohkh.”
“I should hope not.”
During that exchange, M’Benga had taken a quick scan
of McCoy, noting herself that his hands were digging somewhat painfully into his own thighs and his eyes looked like they
were going to pop, they were so wide. He was also sweating profusely. “You were right about not handling exchanges very
well. You look like Death. You’re also cleared for a shot if you’d like one.”
McCoy shook his head. He wanted to go back to the Enterprise, his Enterprise, barricade
himself in his quarters and pretend this whole thing had never happened. He also wanted to be very far away from Spock. The
looks the Vulcan was giving him were only adding to his anxiety.
Kirk burst into sickbay, oblivious to McCoy’s condition
or Spock’s thoughts. “She thinks she has it! We can go home. Probably.”
“Probably, Captain?” Spock looked up from Chapel
to gaze at Kirk.
“Well, she says that the odds are in our favor mechanically
and the alignment should be correct since the physical principles don’t change, but if we fail, we’ll cease to
exist in the way that transporters go.”
“Joy,” McCoy piped in as he rose and steadied himself
against his chair. “You’re never going to hear this from me again, but let’s risk the damned transporter.
I want to go home and I’m sure everybody would prefer to have their own crew back.”
The other officers could hardly disagree with him. After a
few parting words with the sickbay staff, McCoy left the sickbay, walking towards the transporter room more quickly than he
had when Spock had confronted him after the return from the Mirror Universe. Kirk and Spock were on his heels.
For the second time in his life, and the first time consciously,
McCoy moved onto the transporter eagerly, wanting nothing more than to return to his own life.
Kirk was not one to forget courteously, especially to a lady,
and he put his hand on Scott’s arm. “I want to thank you for helping us with this, Morgandy,” Kirk was also
not one to use the last name of a woman who did not outrank him.
“Save the thanks until we make sure you’re back
in your universe. Now up on the panel,” just like her counterpart, she was not the touchy-feely type.
Kirk smiled at stepped up onto the panel, creating a buffer
between Spock and McCoy. Although not a religious man, McCoy thanked whatever deity that caused Kirk’s obliviousness.
He closed his eyes when Scott told them to prepare for beaming and then heard the whirring of the transporter in his ear.
And then nothingness.
It was not until he heard the deep burr of Scotty’s voice
that he opened his eyes again, heaving a large sigh of relief. Now all he had to do was get out of the room without having
to answer any questions or talk to Spock and he would be home free. Considering the luck of their ship, within a day, they
would be engaged in another dangerous mission that would cause everybody to forget this incident completely.
However, luck was not on his side. As Kirk came down off the
platform, he put his hands on Scott’s shoulders. “You have no idea how happy I am to see you.”
Scott’s look was one of teasing confusion, “Was
it so bad being in a universe inhabited mostly by women, Sir?”
Kirk chuckled, “Not the type of women I wanted. Besides,
seeing Chekov as a girl was almost enough to put me off dating.” He then turned his attention back to Spock and McCoy,
“Well gentlemen, I expect reports on the encounter, by tomorrow morning. And give them interesting titles, something
like ‘The Tale of the Sex-Swapped Universe’ or something. I can use all of the amusement I can get.” He
then strolled out of the transporter room for the bridge.
McCoy silently hoped that Spock would follow suit. He did not.
To compound matters more, Scott turned towards him, speaking softly, “Strangest thing, Doctor, your counterpart was
a man too, your name and everything, just a tad taller.” Scott seemed uninterested in pursuing the topic further, and
excusing himself, he left to return to the engineering room.
Leaving McCoy alone. With Spock. And the look on Spock’s
face meant there were questions. One thing he had learned from his years of service with the Vulcan was that a “Hey,
look over there,” was not enough to give him an escape.
Instead, he put his hands behind his back in a mockery of the
parade-rest position and bounced on his heels. “Don’t you have work?”
Spock simply mirrored his position, with one key difference.
He was blocking the door. “Standard procedure dictates that we debrief.”
“What’s there to debrief? You were next to me every
second of that little excursion.” However, McCoy was once more beginning to sweat.
“As the Captain so aptly put it, Doctor, we were in an
alternative reality, one parallel to our own, but for one key factor. The genders of every person were swapped. Except, presumably,
McCoy’s heart was beginning to pound in his chest. Not
in his reality. He did not want to have to discuss this. “You didn’t meet my counterpart. How could you possibly
“I would appreciate it if you afforded me at least slightly
greater powers of observation and deduction than those afforded to the Captain. The simple way is that everybody seemed to
recognize you, they thought that the Captain and I were the ones with the problems, not you, Mister Uhuru knew your name before
“He knew Jim’s middle name, too,” McCoy piped
in an attempt to distract Spock. It was a fruitless endeavor.
“And more importantly, the medical staff has records
on their CMO, Doctor Leonard David McCoy.”
McCoy closed his eyes, while running through one of the calming
exercises his father had taught him for when he became too stressed. It almost worked; however, Spock had to break through
his calm. “You have ignored the mutual attraction we have for one another.”
McCoy’s fight or flight center of his brain clicked on.
As a medical man and a man of peace, fighting meant verbally, and he lashed out harshly, “What makes you so damn sure
of mutual attraction?”
Spock appeared unphased by the remark, as though he had expected
something similar. “Our mission to Landru’s planet, where you kissed me during Festival.”
“We needed to blend in.”
“Your attempt to warm up to my parents.”
“I’m an amicable guy, Spock. I’m friendly
“Your protest to my going to explore the cell.”
“I wanted to research it and both Jim and you were being
stubborn asses who don’t know what’s good for you.”
“When you were assisting Queen Eleen on the Capellan
home world and when I found you, you looked as though you had been caught cheating. Since we had not actually engaged in a
relationship, it would imply emotional connection.”
“Medical ethics, Spock. Simple as that. I didn’t
want you thinking I was taking advantage of a patient.”
“Your performance of fellatio to alleviate the last of the remnants of my pon farr.”
“You’re my friend, and I couldn’t just let
you die. If you were a woman, I would have done the same thing, so gender doesn’t fall into this.”
“You are wrong, Doctor. Gender does fall into this. Your
professing of love while I was blinded.”
McCoy visibly paled, “How did you know about that? We
weren’t even in the same room.”
“Vulcan hearing is exemplar under normal circumstances.
When I lost my sense of vision, my other senses compensated, specifically my auditory and tactile senses.”
McCoy sighed softly, his heart feeling as though it was going
to burst open within his chest. “My emotions don’t matter. We can’t have that kind of a relationship.”
“There is nothing wrong with homosexuality, Doctor, between
two consenting parties, the relationship is ethical and would be the business of nobody else.” Spock took a few steps
“It’s not that simple!” McCoy snapped back
at him, moving to sit down on the steps of the transporter, his stomach churning.
Surprisingly, Spock touched the panel on the side of the wall,
shutting off the computer feed. “We shall consider this discussion private.” He then took the additional steps
to the transporter platform and sat down beside McCoy, placing a hand comfortingly on his shoulder. “To further what
I had been saying. As it was a gender-swapped universe, and your counterpart was male, with a different middle name, and you
were displaying obvious nervousness, coupled with your continued attempts to thwart a physical relationship despite mutual
attraction, it implies-“
McCoy swallowed around a lump in his throat. Then he spoke
up, cutting the Vulcan off, unable to bear hearing Spock say the words, “Yes.”
Surprisingly, Spock squeezed his arm, in an attempt to be comforting.
“Geoff. He handles my personal records; everything’s
sealed to mine or his codes. Nobody else in sickbay, or on this ship. Not even Jim.” McCoy suddenly found himself chuckling,
in a dry, ironic way, lacking any real amusement, “Could you imagine Jim finding out? It’d be disastrous. We wouldn’t
be able to look at each other anymore.”
Spock lifted his eyebrow, only slightly, a reflex which conveyed
his confusion, but desire to understand, “The Captain has desire for you that he wouldn’t be able to express otherwise?”
McCoy sighed, shaking his head, “No, nothing like that.
It’d just make our friendship really difficult.”
Spock squeezed his arm again, trying to help him calm down.
“Tell me. I wish to understand.”
McCoy sighed, debating the entire thing mentally. He’d
already given away this much, and he’d longed to talk to somebody about it who wasn’t just another doctor. As
friendly as he and M’Benga were, that’s how it always felt to him. And Spock was right, the attraction, the emotions,
He closed his eyes, gathering his calm as he inhaled deeply
and then let the breath out slowly. He did it twice more and then opened his eyes, drawing on his inner strength. His voice
was quite soft as he spoke, almost afraid to speak the words, “I was born Helen McCoy, first and only daughter of David
and Annabelle McCoy. My mother had always wanted a daughter, a little girl to raise as her own. My father was the typical
doctor, just happy that I was healthy when I came home. I had my father’s eyes and my mother’s complexion.
“I wasn’t the typical little girl, and I figured
that out rather quickly. I was a tom boy in every sense of the world. All of my friends were little boys. I only wore boys
clothing. I terrorized little girls on the school yard with frogs and worms and things like that. My mother liked me to have
long hair, down to my back, just like she had when she was little, and one day I got so upset by it I took a pair of scissors
and cut it all off. I just couldn’t handle looking so feminine. So much like a little girl. I used to say I wished I
wanted to be a boy. However, when my mother saw what I’d done to my hair, she got really upset with me. She yelled for
a few minutes, which was normal, and then she told me how she’d grown up in a house of only men and how she’d
waited so long for a little girl. Then she told me about the fertility problems she had and how she’d never be able
to have another child. It was a hell of a lot to be dumping on a six year old. But she got the point across. I stopped saying
things that I used to. I let her dress me up and do my hair the way she wanted, although I hated it. All because she was my
mother, and I didn’t want her to be upset. It didn’t feel right, though, and it sometimes made me sick to my stomach.
“She didn’t want me playing sports or other rough
games with the other boys and she wanted me to play with the other girls. I couldn’t stand doing that. It was going
too far, and so I didn’t have any friends for a length of time of my life. I was one pretty depressed kid. And my mother
wanted me to go to a psychiatrist, or a social worker, so she could find out what was wrong with her ‘precious little
girl.’ My Dad seemed to understand. He called me into his office, and sat me down. We talked for a while and I explained
some of my feelings to him. He didn’t seem happy. He wasn’t angry either. He just seemed...pensive. I guess. He
kissed me on the forehead and told me not to worry about going to a doctor. I don’t know what he said to her, but she
dropped the subject and I went back to playing by myself in the attic.”
McCoy paused in his story, looking uncomfortable. He closed
his eyes, repeating his calming routine. After a minute or so, he started speaking again, but kept his eyes closed. “When
I was about twelve, I guess, my mother was in an accident. Her public shuttle swerved to miss an air car that had broken down
and hadn’t put out the warning flares. The driver of the shuttle swerved off the road and crashed into the side of a
building. There were seven injuries and two deaths. One was the driver. The other was my mother.” A lump was in his
throat and his voice softened even more, so he was speaking barely above a whisper. Even now, the memory made his heart ache.
“For a long time, it destroyed my father, and he wasn’t
himself. He didn’t pay a lot of attention to anything, and he went on leave from the county hospital. He aged ten years in the days after the accident. So did I, in a way. I was taken out of school for a while
to mourn, and when at the funeral, I placed a lock of my long hair in the coffin. For you see, the very next day, I took advantage
of the fact nobody paid any attention to me and I hacked it all off again. I buried the little girl my mother wanted when
we buried my mother. I started going by Len, which was a way to keep my old name without it being so female. When I went to
school, it’s what I wrote, and my teachers didn’t do anything about it, mostly because the first time they called
my father after the accident, he hung up in the middle of the conversation.
“I dressed in boys clothing and prayed that I wouldn’t
go through puberty. I felt guilty because I prayed for that more than praying for my mother’s soul or for my father’s
happiness. But it’s how I felt. Maybe a month or two after the accident, my father came back to himself. He hadn’t
gone back to work of course, so he got to watch me. And he came to the conclusion that I was a very miserable little cross-dressing
Spock resisted his urge to prompt the doctor with questions.
It was an emotional story. McCoy was as private an individual as most Vulcans and that he was even opening up this much to
him was a feat. Spock simply patted McCoy’s arm in comfort and understanding, while he waited for the doctor to continue.
night, he came into my room, and he sat down on my bed while I was doing my homework, and he put his hands on my shoulders,
telling me to meet his eyes. And he asked in a voice so soft, so completely out of character for him, ‘You want to be
a boy, don’t you?’ I was ashamed that I was putting my problems on him, but I nodded. I guess he thought I’d
grown out of it. But, I hadn’t. And you see, my Dad was the best man in the galaxy. The next day, he took me to a friend
of his, a psychiatrist who specializes in this field and I spent hours in his office, explaining my thoughts, my life, and
my feelings. I took some tests, including that personality test they make Starfleet personnel take. After a few weeks, I was
diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria and approved for hormones. I had to take a hypospray every morning when I woke up. Luckily,
height runs in my family. My mother was 5’11” my Dad 6’4”. As a result, even with all of the influence
of the female hormones in my system, and the second X-chromosome, I reached a more than respectable male height.
“My Dad then took me to a barber, a real one, none of that kiddy salon stuff my mother took me to, and I got
my hair cut just like him. I always wanted to be my Dad. And we went shopping and got me a bunch of clothes, including a suit.
And he gave me his favorite cufflinks and taught me how to tie a tie. But we had to handle the legal stuff, too. By this time,
I was already in puberty, and the shots were doing their best to counteract the effects of what my body wanted to do naturally...”
“Len,” he said as he came into the living room
where I’d been supposedly doing algebra but had actually been drawing pictures of myself with a moustache and beard
just like his. I looked up. “Yeah, Dad?”
“With the testosterone you’re taking, we’re
going to have to pull you out of this school and put you in a private one, to protect your identity.”
I nodded. My doctor had warned me about it and I’d been
expecting it for a while. The only school choices were the public school, one of the religious schools, which would have been
wholly inappropriate, and the one supplemented in part by Starfleet money.
My dad handed me some brochures for the different schools and
after a couple of hours of discussion, we decided that one would be the best. For a variety of reasons. 1) They wouldn’t
know me there. 2) There wouldn’t be a religious dogma pressuring me. And 3) since Starfleet gave it money, it wouldn’t
cost too much. And money was an issue. We had only one income, my mother’s life insurance wasn’t worth that much,
and my dad’s work was so humanitarian in nature we weren’t pulling down too much from it. And my treatment was
“Only one other thing we need to take care of now, Len,”
he said, and he produced a few forms. “We need to change your name officially, so the new school won’t have you
on record as Helen.”
I nodded again. I’d been giving this a lot of thought,
too. “Well?” he asked, “Any ideas?”
“Leonard,” I said softly, “That way I can
still be Len, too.”
My Dad smiled at me. He obviously approved. “And how
about a middle name?”
We’d been studying Earth history and I shook my head,
“No middle name, just an initial,” That’s what studying President Truman and World War II will do to you,
“H.” I said, “To honor Mom.”
My father was silent for a moment, and then he wrote it down,
“Leonard H. McCoy, son of David.” He filled in some of the other vital information for me while I watched with
curiosity and anxiousness. My future was on this form. A few minutes later, he handed me a pen. “You better get used
to signing that, Len.” And so I worked on it for a while.
Later that week I went to an interview in the suit my dad had
bought me and I shaved the stubble on my face, although I hadn’t wanted to. The growth had been making me very happy.
But it was pretty strict and I needed to get accepted. They approved me and I started at the school then.
“Everything worked out pretty well after that, for a
while. I kept taking my hormones and going to therapy; I went to school and was treated like another teenage boy. I started
growing a beard and sideburns, and my voice was deepening very nicely. I also, thankfully, hadn’t grown breasts. The
treatments had started just in the nick of time for that. I still couldn’t be on the sports teams because of the public
showers and changing rooms, but I lived with it. Unfortunately, adolescence breeds hormones and hormones mean sex. It was
on my mind constantly and my female reproductive system was still there. Now, you know the difference sexually between a man
and a woman and I was embarrassed as all hell. I couldn’t get it up in the traditional sense, and I was starting to
realize that I was bisexual, but with an extremely heavy emphasis on homosexual encounters. The first woman I felt anything
for was years down the line. I thought some women looked pretty and wouldn’t mind an encounter with them, so my teenage
mind thought, but my first crush was on my male teacher. That was embarrassing.
“My doctor kept telling me that it was normal. That gender
and sexuality aren’t the same thing and I was every bit the boy I was, I just liked other boys. It calmed me down for
a while, but I was guarded for those years. Just in case of a slip up.
“The happiest moment came senior year, though, on the
vacation after my eighteenth birthday, I was finally able to get the surgeries I needed. They removed my reproductive track
and worked a bit on my chest. Then they removed my labia and sculpted my clitoris, which had grown extremely large due to
the testosterone, into a penis. They gave me a pair of testicles, too, and a catheter that would work so I could stand up
to take a piss. It’s a bit shorter than the average man’s penis, but I’m happy with it. At prom that year,
I went skinny dipping I was so damned happy. This was all because of my Dad, of course, being the best person I’ve ever
known. The next fall, I went off to university, roomed in an all boys dormitory, pledged a Frat, dated, and studied medicine,
and I’d never been happier.
“I still had to take the hormones, but I got them changed
to pill form so I didn’t have to worry about having a loaded hypo spray around the dorm. I still take a pill every morning
when I wake up. I mostly dated bisexual women, who didn’t mind the fact I used a prosthetic. I had some encounters with
men, most of them like me, who were accepting. I’ve been celibate since I entered into Starfleet. I just couldn’t
take letting my secret slip out.” McCoy paused in his story, looking down at his hands. The only way to continue the
tale was to explain what he had done to his Dad, the best man in the galaxy, and that was the only part of his past more secret
than this, that nobody knew. He took in a long, ragged breath. His entire face was flushed red with embarrassment and he was
afraid to look at Spock.
The Vulcan placed a hand on the side of McCoy’s face,
prompting him to look up. “Leonard, your courage is most admirable, but you have not explained why you objected to a
sexual relationship with me. Size is not the only thing that matters, especially to Vulcans. It is what is in the minds of
partners that matters.”
“You just don’t get it. I didn’t want anybody
to find out, I still don’t, least of all my friends, and I still can’t function the way a normal man would. I
can orgasm. I can’t ejaculate. I don’t have semen, and I don’t have that capability. And I don’t want
to be treated like a lady. I’m not.”
Spock met his eyes, speaking slowly to make certain that McCoy
understood every word. “I do not see you as a lady. I see you as Leonard McCoy. I accept what you have told me, and
I shall keep your secret. I promise. I will also respect your decision regarding our relationship, but I still desire you,
for all you are. Should you change your mind, my cabin will be unlocked.” Surprisingly, Spock leaned over and brushed
his lips against the doctor’s, before dropping his hands and rising.
He reengaged the computer feed, making certain that their entire
conversation had not been recorded. Spock turned around once more to fact the doctor, “Consider it,” he said,
before he left McCoy to himself, just as the doctor had wished to be earlier.
McCoy calmed himself, still somewhat unnerved for having revealed
himself to a friend. M’Benga knew as his doctor. He had learned it in a private medical briefing, and it never came
up outside. He had not had to actually explain the situation to anybody since his father, and one terrible personal ad he
had placed back in his younger years.
After a few minutes of quiet, he rose and walked around the
transporter room. He shook his head at the device that had inadvertently brought the entire situation to light and then he
left, making his way to his own quarters.
On the way, he passed Spock’s, and the words of Spock’s
proposal were fresh in his mind. Perhaps Spock understood, and perhaps, some day, he would be able to act on the emotions
he felt so strongly. Perhaps one day, he would be able to feel the Vulcan’s presence, body and mind, since he knew,
and there was no longer anything to fear. But now, he could not bring himself to ring the Vulcan’s door chime.
Instead, he went back to his quarters, picked up his bottle
of pills and took one with a glass of water. He looked down at his hands, at the ring on his left pinky, the ring his father
had given him, passed down from McCoy father to son, generation to generation. He smiled and looked up, stared at himself
in the mirror. Six feet tall, blue eyes just like his father, graying hair and crows feet. He might not be perfect, but he
was all man.