Title: When I Was Seventeen...
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.
I Was Seventeen...
*How did I get into this mess?* Leonard McCoy asked himself for the third time in the hour. It was only October of
his senior year and already he was in trouble. He sat straight in a chair with a hard back, standard public school issue,
his body mass confined to something slightly bigger than the width of his shoulders. He was not even able to get a clear view
outside the window. And he was under the ever vigilant watch of the Detention Master.
Of course, he was also very aware of how he had gotten into this mess. And it was all Jim Kirk’s idea. McCoy
turned his head to glare at the young man, Quarterback of the football team, senior tomcat extraordinaire. He had a new girl,
not each weekend, but each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, it seemed. Charismatic, mischievous, and with an unquenchable thirst
for adventure. Everybody knew he was going to apply for the scholarship to Starfleet
Academy. And with his father’s connections, he would easily be
However, his father’s connections had nothing to do with the current situation and McCoy’s misery. Kirk’s
mischief had everything to do with it.
It had all started the day before when, stuck late after class due to football practice, Kirk had approached McCoy
in the science laboratory with a smile. “I have the greatest idea for Senior Prank, and Scotty’s going to help
Scotty...Montgomery Scott, a senior at the school destined to become the next Richard Daystrom. He had built most of
the newest establishments on school grounds. He single-handedly maintained the school’s computer system for students.
He was on every form of crew there was. He tutored other students in the mechanical sciences. He held more keys to places
in the school than the entire cleaning staff held together. He was also quite willing to go off on the weekends and split
a brew between friends, and had an irrepressible sense of humor at times. Apparently, Kirk had managed to use this to his
McCoy was somewhat intrigued and he put down the chemicals he had been mixing to look up at his friend, “So,
what’s the brilliant plan?”
He would soon learn to regret those words.
The brilliant plan, as it were, entailed using Scotty’s
keys to the staff garage to find the Principal’s air car, hotwire it, and take it for a joyride around town. They would
bring it back later that evening and pretend like nothing had happened.
Upon reflection, McCoy had no idea why he had accepted Kirk’s
proposal. He could have easily refused. He had been tired and lonely, he knew, and decided that had a large bearing on his
motivation. He had come out of the closet only three months ago, to his Dad, who had reacted with a “So, we’ll
watch a gay porn movie the night before college.” McCoy counted himself very fortunate that his father was so tolerant.
However, his best friend being Jim Tomcat Kirk, and currently not in a position to double date, he yearned for interaction
with his peers. He spent most afternoons alone in the science labs, which had gotten him in trouble more than once due to
experiments gone awry.
Realizing that he had aided in the prank out of an eagerness
to be loved somehow made the situation worse, and he sighed. To his other side, Scotty sat, his head in a book, seemingly
unfazed by the minor setback of detention. Little seemed to upset the young man, and McCoy idly wondered if Scotty would attend
the Federation Engineering
University. Applicants had to prove outstanding aptitude, and he certainly
had it, and once accepted, the tuition was free and a job with the Galactic Engineering Corps was guaranteed upon graduation.
Such thoughts brought him back to his own uncertain future.
At seventeen, he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. His Father was supportive of anything he wanted, of course,
and that did not make it easier. His Father was a doctor at the local hospital. He was expected by everybody but his father;
it seemed, to follow in his footsteps. Now, all he wanted to do was escape detention. That, however, was quite impossible,
due to the ever-vigilant watch of the Detention Master.
Not that the Detention Master was dangerous. He was mostly
frightening; due to the fact he seemed utterly unapproachable. He was another member of the senior class. A transfer student
from Vulcan. Nobody knew too much about him, except that he had no friends. He barely spoke to anybody. And when he did, it
was either to a teacher, or as a correction of one of the other students. As a Vulcan, he was perceived to be more intelligent
than the rest of the student body, and he spent his time in school proving that to be true.
He had been placed as Detention Master as a means of earning
the last credits he needed for graduation. The local school was hardly perfect in their curriculum and they had the options
of two Language and Cultural Studies: Vulcan and Andorian. The Detention Master had tested out of Vulcan due to his life prior
to transfer and had completed the Andorian studies courses with record speed. With no other options available, they had assigned
him work-study for the last cultural credits. It worked out to him running detention for the administration.
It was no skin off his chin, the other students thought; he
had nothing better to do with his time anyway. And besides, everybody was afraid of him, and nobody, not even Kirk, had the
chutzpah to pull a prank on him.
McCoy wanted to pass the time; he was bored out of his mind,
and glancing once more at Kirk, he noticed he had somehow managed to produce a copy of “Orion Slave Women Exposed: Autumn
Issue.” He was incorrigible.
McCoy glanced around, trying to find a proper beam from which
to hang himself, when his eyes fell on a 3-D chessboard. He played chess with his father, and although hardly an expert, considered
himself good enough to challenge. And the Detention Vulcan looked about as bored as he felt. Carefully, he rose from his chair,
pausing to see if the Vulcan would react. When he said nothing, McCoy made his way to the desk where the Vulcan sat. Now if
only he could remember his name. Something with an “S.” Surak? No, that was their founder. *Come on, Len,* he
thought to himself, *He’s in your math class.* Spike? No, that was too human a name. Then it finally came to him, “Spock,”
he said, carefully.
The Vulcan turned around to face him, not looking particularly
pleased at being approached. *So it is Spock,* he thought, *A combination of Spike and cock. I’m going to have to remember
“Yes?” The Vulcan replied, his expression impassive
but his voice cold.
“I noticed there’s a tri-dimensional chess set
on that table by the window.”
“Your powers of observation are simply astounding. If
they are to be matched in an inverse relationship with your behavior patterns, I am at a loss for why you are not in here
more often.” That was probably why the Vulcan had no friends.
Not to be dissuaded, as his sanity for the afternoon depended
on it, McCoy continued. “Yeah, well, I was wondering if you wanted to play a game?”
The Vulcan’s eyebrow rose in curiosity. “You are
in detention to be punished. Do you think the goal is to allow you to be entertained?”
“You’re running detention instead of learning.
You look bored out of your skull. There’s nothing intellectually stimulating in the slightest about guarding the door
against a bunch of humans who are in here for minor misdeeds. Now, there’s no reason to punish you. Besides, the goal
of detention is to detain the guilty parties. I’d remain detained, as will everybody else.” McCoy rocked back
on his feet, proud of himself for thinking of that off the top of his head.
Spock regarded him for a long moment, before inclining his
head slightly. “I defer to your logic.” The Vulcan rose from the desk chair to retrieve the chess set. McCoy went
around and pulled a chair over from the front row.
As the Vulcan set the game up, McCoy made himself comfortable. “Ebony or ivory?” he asked.
Spock had just finished setting up the last piece, “I fail to grasp the significance of the preference.”
“Do you want the black pieces, or the white
“Black,” the Vulcan responded. “And you may take first move, as your skill is undoubtedly not as
refined as mine.”
*Apparently they don’t teach manners on Vulcan,* McCoy thought to himself, but he took advantage of the first
move and settled in for a long game.
Five-o-clock had rolled around sooner than McCoy had expected;
the game was at a standstill, with him on the defensive. The Vulcan had been right; his skills were inferior.
Scotty had stepped out quickly, no doubt a technical matter
to take care of, or at least homework. Kirk had stopped long enough to give him advice on a move, before he left too.
The advice had lost him one of his three remaining pawns, proving
that any idea Kirk thought was good was probably flawed somehow.
Not more than two dozen moves later, Spock had trapped him
in checkmate. He tipped his king over. “Impressive.”
“Vulcans are trained in logic. Chess is a game of logic.
It follows that I would be skilled in chess.” Spock rose to put the game away. McCoy put his chair back in place.
“However,” the Vulcan continued, as he returned
to the desk to retrieve his school books, “You lasted much longer than I thought you would.”
“Coming from a Vulcan, I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“It was meant as one.”
“Yeah, well,” McCoy’s hand was rubbing at
his neck. He had no idea how to speak to this guy. He took a breath, smiled awkwardly, and finished, “I should probably
get home now. My father will want me back before dark.”
The Vulcan nodded at him, and as McCoy left the room, he could
still feel Spock’s eyes, watching as he walked.
“Dad, I’m home!” McCoy shouted as he tossed his book bag on the
floor, hanging his jacket up.
nearly six. Why’re you late?” The elder McCoy’s voice came from deep within the kitchen and his son went
in search for him.
David McCoy was sitting at the kitchen table. It was set for
the two of them, and he had half a glass of red wine he was casually sipping.
Leonard went to the refrigeration unit and took out a bottle
of root beer. “Well, I was in detention.”
David’s expression did not shift. He just took another
sip from his glass. “And what’d Jim Kirk talk you into doing this time?”
“Why do you assume Jim had something to do with it? What
if I just went wild and slugged somebody?”
His question was simply met with a knowing stare from his father,
and Leonard sighed, popping open his bottle and taking a swig. “Fine. Jim wanted to pull a senior prank, so me and him
and Scotty stole the principal’s car for a joy ride. Then we got caught.”
His father’s reaction was a grin and a chuckle. “So,
how’d it handle?”
The one thing he could count on with his father was to never
upset him. He had been raised alone, by his father, since the death of his mother when he was four years old. He barely remembered
his mother and ever since then, his dad had played both mother and father, and had settled into quite a permissive parenting
“Jim did the driving. I sat in the back and tried not
to be seen by anybody. But...it was really comfortable. I’d like a car like that someday.” Leonard sat down at
the table, across from his father.
bet,” his father replied. Finishing with his wine glass, he rose to refill it, and got their dinner out of the oven.
It was Wednesday; that meant spaghetti and meatballs.
Filling his plate up, Leonard decided to change the topic of
conversation. He really did not want to ruminate on Jim Kirk’s influence, his deed, and his subsequent detention. Especially
since he had enough trouble getting the incident with the Detention Master out of his mind. It was strange; after the initial
exchange, the Vulcan had seemed...pleasant.
His father apparently sensed his train of thought and began
telling him about his day at the hospital, and a fight that had broken out between one of the residents and the head nurse.
They ate, and Leonard lost himself in the story his father told. When his father spoke of his work; that was when Leonard
had his strongest compulsion for following in his footsteps. He feared, though, that he could never live up to his accomplishments.
How could Leonard ever become David McCoy? If he could not fill his father’s shoes, should he even bother? The thoughts
ran through his mind while his father talked; this was why he had no direction for his future.
Dinner had been pleasant enough. Leonard enjoyed the time he
spent with his father, especially since as he had gotten older, his father had taken more and more night shifts. Besides,
he counted himself lucky, how many people had a father and a buddy in the same package?
Due to the detention, and the chess game, he had managed to
get none of his homework done for the next day.
*Isaac Newton,* McCoy thought to himself as he slid his books
back into his bag, *was nothing more than a young precursor to the Marquis de Sade.* It was the only explanation he had for
why somebody at the age of nineteen would decide to invent calculus, disclose it to others, so that centuries down the line
he would have to learn it in school.
Turning around, he noticed he was the last one left in class.
Not that it was strange; calculus seemed to drain him of his will, his energy, and while others ran to free themselves of
the environment as quickly as they could, he found he could only trudge along.
*It wasn’t enough that the man creates gravity and three
primary laws of physics, but he had to have his hands in math too. The plague should have wiped him out when he was in school...*
McCoy’s thoughts focused on historical “what if” scenarios that would have spared him his current misery
as he made his way to the door.
“Leonard.” A soft, calm voice called. The sound
roused him from his inner musings. He looked up, finding himself face to face with the Detention Master. Only, neither of
them was in the Detention setting, and he looked much less menacing.
“Hi.” He had certainly not been expecting the Vulcan
to be waiting for him. He never associated with anybody.
“I have noticed that you have considerable difficulty
with calculus.” What a way to greet somebody.
“Yeah, well, I’m not the only one. I doubt you
Vulcans have trouble with math, but the rest of us get confused.”
“Yes. I intend to offer you my services.” The Vulcan
certainly looked awkward as he spoke. As a matter of fact, his eyes were on the floor.
“Did you just offer to tutor me?” McCoy’s
mouth was slightly agape.
“I believe that is what I said, yes.” The Vulcan
still would not look up.
“Well,” McCoy said, a grin on his face, anything
to diffuse the awkward situation, “consider it a deal. When do you want to start?”
“Today, if it would be convenient for you.”
“No problem. My place or yours?”
“Neither. The Detention Room, I must work this afternoon,
but as you have established, I can multi-task.” Was that a joke? McCoy couldn’t tell.
McCoy nodded. It would be good to be in the detention room,
for once, without it going on his permanent record. “I’ll see you then. And you’ll have your work cut out
for you.” Before Spock could respond, he’d left, making his way to his next class.
“I get the method. I get the principle. I just don’t
see why we have to learn it. It’s got no practical applications.” McCoy pushed his text book away towards Spock.
Spock sat behind the desk in the detention room, McCoy in a chair pulled up to the side. Only one other occupant sat in the
main collection of chairs, a freshman girl. She’d been late to first period and her teacher, overworked and underpaid,
had hardly been sympathetic. She ignored the two older boys at the front of the room, her eyes glued to the clock, wishing
for time to fast forward.
“It has many practical applications. It is the primary
form of mathematics used in the fields of software development and is a contributing tool to mathematical research and space
engineering.” Spock pushed the textbook back towards him, tapping the last of the homework problems that had yet to
“Do I look like I’m going to spend my life programming
“My mother has told me numerous times to ‘never
judge a book by its cover,’ Leonard.”
Spock’s comment was met with an icy glare. McCoy refused
to take the book back. “Try anyway.”
Spock suppressed a sigh. Although he was Vulcan, he had difficulty
suppressing his emotions, especially irritation. That particular emotion had been tested many times since moving to Earth.
“I cannot say that I foresee you becoming an applied mathematician or a computer scientist.”
“You’re damned right you can’t! There’s
no way I’m tackling this for my career.” The human’s voice was tinged with anger. Not directed at anyone
specifically, but it was the result of a McCoy left to stew in his own aggravation.
Spock was at a loss for how to argue this point; McCoy was
suddenly unwilling to try and learn it, when the fact was that it was required. “Then study it for the sake of knowledge.”
McCoy had a retort on his tongue, but he let it die when he
heard what was almost a note of desperation, almost a plea in the other boy’s voice, that they end the debate. He didn’t
understand Spock, but he’d come to like him enough, and if this argument was grating him that much...he could tone it
down. He sighed, and opened the book again. “Explain problem nine again.”
Spock had tutored Leonard McCoy for the past three weeks after
school in the detention room, and he had come to two very different, very important conclusions. The first one was hardly
surprising: McCoy was a quick learner and had no need of tutoring, save for the fact that he was easily frustrated and would
simply refuse to try to grasp the material. If he was slightly more open minded, the tutoring sessions would be completely
unnecessary. The second conclusion followed from the first, and Spock found it to be quite a shock: He hoped Leonard McCoy
would remain as stubborn as he was, because he had no desire for the tutoring sessions to end. More so, he wished, dearly,
that they could occur in a more private location. Like one of their houses.
He had never been to a peer’s house before, and did not
know the proper way to gain an invitation. Thus, he resolved that he would invite Leonard McCoy over to his house to study
one night. Uncertain of how his parents might react, he would choose a day when they were occupied. Like next week.
To Be Continued