Valentine's Day Has to Be Good for Something

Title: Valentine's Day Has to Be Good for Something
Author: Tempest
Series: TOS
Pairing: S/Mc
Rating: PG-13
Summary: After Spock and McCoy have one too many fights, Kirk takes steps to make them reconcile their problems, manifesting in the form of a ship-wide Valentine's Day party.
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. Noa rchiving without permission from the author. Flames and feedback welcomed.
Author's Note: I wrote this as a part of a Valentine's contest, oddly enough, in response to a challenge I, myself, had issued. Funny world. Paraphrased, the challenge includes a ship-wide celebration of Valentine's day, three things associated with Valentine's day, and three endearments. I think I managed to follow my own rules. Enjoy.
Valentine's Day Has to Be Good for Something
By Tempest
February 12, 2003

      Kirk sat at his desk, looking over the final draft of his plan. It was a long shot, for it to work, but he had to do something. He was sick and tired of the two of them doing this. It'd been going on for a month, and it was a month too long.


      For the passed two weeks, ever since the mission to Sarpeidon that had been a complete failure, and had stranded him in the past, as well as Spock and McCoy, in a different time period than him, they had been fighting worse than he had ever seen them.


      The two of them had been together, as far as Kirk knew, for almost two years, shortly after the inadvertent trip to the Mirror Universe. And yes, those two bickered with each other, and they could irritate each other in ways before unimaginable. But Kirk, as their best friend, also knew how much they cared for one another. It had been three months ago that they had brought up the subject of a bond, but then the mission and they hadn't spoken since.


      Kirk sighed to himself. It wasn't so much that they hadn't spoken; so much as it was that they had absolutely nothing to say to each other that was pleasing. Spock refused to go near McCoy, and McCoy, whenever he got near the Vulcan, would make snide comments, and then Spock would implement his most "Vulcan" attitude, which would lead to another one of the Doctor's outbursts. Worse than a personal problem they had, it was interfering with duty and Kirk didn't want to see it any more.


      And what he'd seen earlier in the mess hall had been the straw that broke the camel's back.


      He wasn't sure how it'd started that night, but he'd strolled into the mess to see how the crew was, and to grab himself a sandwich to have before turning in early. And what did he see, but the two of them fighting. It had called the attention of the entire mess hall, and the entire room was silent, with the exception of them.


      "You green-blooded, inhuman, son of a devil!" McCoy had been quipping, just as he entered. "You just don't understand feelings, do you? You have no Goddamned consideration for anyone else's feelings, if they don't interest you! WELL, DAMN YOU TOO!"


      Spock, at this point, had a very Vulcan mask, disguising what Kirk could easily identify as anger, and perhaps hurt as well. He, apparently, noticed the audience and decided to, or he was so angry he felt he needed to, revert back to his native tongue for his next comment. "Yani ra wuh T'Vareth ro itisha, lu yani ra it ro aitlusha, Kasemano." Kirk could see he was gritting his teeth.


      This had gone on far enough. He cleared his throat and made his way to the center of the room, stepping in between them, as he had been wont to do, especially in the last few weeks. "Gentleman," Kirk began, and he had to resist saying, 'And I use this term loosely, at present,' "I've watched this fight between the two of you last too long. It's detracting from your efficiency. So, whatever it is, work it out. That is an order. Now, finish your meals, and if I catch you fighting like this again, in a public room, I'll confine you both to the brig, do you understand?"


      Spock had nodded, saying softly, "Yes, Captain," before taking his near empty tray and leaving.


      McCoy was not that easily shut up, and when he turned to challenge, "Jim, now wait a minute..." he caught the look on Kirk's face, the look he used when he was completely serious. McCoy shut his mouth and sat back down, pushing the remnants of his dinner around like a not-quite-subdued child.


      Kirk grabbed his meal, and left, returning to his quarters, to think of a plan. That was when his Earth-date calendar caught his eye, and his idea came to him.


      So for the last three hours, he had been drafting and redrafting his plan, making his arguments airtight and his wording solid. And when he was satisfied, he entered it into the computer system, knowing that it would take care of everything else.


      Kirk crossed his arms, and smiled, looking at the computer screen. If this didn't help them solve their problems, nothing would. After all, Valentine's Day was in a couple of days, and it had to be good for something.


"He's got to be kidding!" exclaimed McCoy, the next day, when he heard the ship-wide announcement. "Mandatory Valentine's Day celebration? Since when does he have the brass to do that?"


Dr. M'Benga moved into the doorway leading to McCoy's office and crossed his arms, tilting his head sideways in a way that Spock often did when he was dealing with on of McCoy's "illogical outbursts." In a calm voice, one that he had trouble keeping steady, because he was ready to burst out laughing with the news of the announcement, he asked, "Len, what's the big deal with it? The Captain had decided that a ship-wide celebration of Valentine's Day might boost crew morale, and as far as I can see, he's correct; it will."


McCoy sighed, "Geoff, don't you have work to do?"


M'Benga nodded, a grin still on his face, "Unfortunately I do. I must go pick up the decorations for sickbay, since I'm sure you would prefer to not. Just remember, Len, your office will need to be decorated too." With that, M'Benga turned and exited sickbay.


McCoy shook his head and collapsed down into his chair. *What is wrong with this entire ship?* He sighed to himself and turned back to his work.


Meanwhile, on the bridge, Mr. Spock was having a similar reaction, or the Vulcan equivalent thereof. He had raised his eyebrow and tilted his head to the left ever so slightly, "Captain, are you sure this is logical?"


Kirk had merely grinned, "Sure is, Spock. It'll help everybody feel a bit better about being in space at this time of year. Come on, the rec-rooms need decorating, and I need some help." With that, Kirk had stood up from his chair and walked to the turbolift, "Scotty, you have the con."


Spock had stood there, almost a statue for more than a minute, but when he heard Kirk's inquiry, "Are you coming, Mr. Spock?" he moved into the turbolift with a nod, and waited for the doors to close. It would be a very long day.


      The next day, McCoy entered his cabin and let the doors slide shut behind him. He was tired. He was tired of the "holiday" spirit, he was tired of the decorations, and he was tired of this entire life he had. Most of all, he was tired of love.


      It had been more than two weeks since that mission to Sarpeidon, more than two weeks since he and Spock had been trapped in that Ice Age, more than two weeks since Spock had fallen in love with that Zarabeth woman and had almost killed him for speaking against her. The way Spock had looked at her, the way he had smiled, and had laughed, the way he had touched her, and how he had called her beautiful, the sounds and the images still were fresh within his memory.


      He had no real claim to the Vulcan, he knew. They were lovers, nothing more. They weren't bondmates, they weren't married, and they didn't even live together. But the thought of her, she, a woman his Vulcan had just met, worming her way into his affections, doing something it had taken him more than a year to do, made him sick to his stomach and made his throat tighten in pain.


      And worse yet, Spock had yet to care what he felt. He had yet to realize why what happened hurt him. And he shrugged it off as another illogical human behavior and refused to deal with him until he managed to forget it. Not likely. And so for the last two weeks, McCoy had been sleeping in his assigned quarters, rather than in Spock's, in the circle of those warm Vulcan arms. He sighed to himself, as he picked up the bottle of brandy Scotty had gotten him for Christmas and poured himself a glass, taking a sip. Maybe he and Spock weren't meant to be together. But why did he still care so much? *Admit it,* his brain told him, *You love him too much to let him go, and you'll just keep being angry with him forever if you have to, but it's not going to change anything.* And now Kirk was demanding they all celebrate Valentine's Day. It was insult to injury. And he wanted no part of it. With another sigh, he finished his brandy and removed his tunic, deciding that a shower might make him relax before he returned to sickbay for his second shift.


      Meanwhile, across the fifth deck, in Spock's assigned quarters, the Vulcan sat at his computer terminal. He had only one shift that day, and after a long period of meditation, had come to one conclusion: He was lonely. He missed McCoy. And he did not wish to fight, but the human had other plans. He still did not quite understand why Zarabeth had bothered to Doctor to the extent she had, and he had no idea why McCoy was behaving in this manner. But she had, and he was, and Spock was doing his Vulcan best to understand the reasoning. He had come to precious little conclusions after his meditation, and then Kirk had called his quarters, reminding him that the Valentine's Day celebration was going to be in recreation room 1.


      This, Spock found more curious than McCoy's anger. Leonard had a tendency to be overly emotional, and even though the recent anger was worse than usual, it made sense, somehow. But the Captain's obsession with the upcoming Terran holiday mystified Spock. It was almost as if he were planning something, but what? *A party,* his brain immediately answered. Whatever was to come in the next few days, the Vulcan was sure it would not be enjoyable.


      Kirk sat at one of the tables in the mess hall, near the front. He was waiting for McCoy and Spock to arrive. They had promised to meat him for dinner, although neither, he knew, was aware that the other was attending. But after the lecture he had given the other day, he knew they would not fight as they had been.


      "Captain," the deep voice sounded behind him, and he turned his head to look.


      "Spock, hi. How was your afternoon off?"


      The Vulcan sat down in a chair beside the captain. "It was insightful in many ways, Captain. And your duty shift?"


      Kirk smiled at him, "It was fine; the bridge was quiet. It made for a nice treat."


      The Vulcan nodded, folding his hands in his lap. It was at that time another voice made its presence known. "Jim?"


      Kirk smiled and put his hand up, "Over here, Bones!"


      McCoy walked his way passed the other tables to Kirk, "Hiya Jim, how are you?" Before Kirk answered, McCoy seemed to realize Spock was there. Not wanting to fight, McCoy muttered, "Hello, Mr. Spock," before sitting down at the other side of the table.


      Kirk, not letting himself be discouraged, continued to smile. "You two just sit tight; I'll go get the meals." He stood and walked to the replicator. It was time for phase one of his plan to commence.


      At the replicator, he quickly keyed in the special code he had installed for his mandate, and once the trays arrived, he carefully balanced them on top of each other in his hands as he walked back to the table, laying them out before each of his friends, before putting his down and reseating himself.


      Spock, in his usual manner, set his napkin in his lap, before removing the cover from the plate, but McCoy tore the lid right off, hungry from a double shift. It was one second later, that his exclamation left his lips, "What the Hell?"


      Spock, at that, removed the lid to his dinner, and his eyebrow shot skyward.


      Kirk stifled a laugh, waiting and watching. This was one of his more creative plans that he had used over the years and he hoped that it was enough to put the two of them in a more diplomatic mood.


      McCoy reached into his plate, removing a handful of the colorful garnish that surrounded his fish. Small, colorful hearts rested in his hands. He sighed, taking a closer look at one of them, which said simply, "My love." Turning to Kirk, he asked, "Jim, I hope to hell, you don't find this amusing."


      Kirk, not quite able to hide his grin, shook his head and reached onto McCoy's plate to grab a small pink heart and pop it into his mouth. "Not at all Bones. But admit it, it's a sweet thing. I think Scotty's definitely in the holiday spirit."


      McCoy sighed loudly, putting the lid back on his tray. "Jim, don't rub it in. It's bad enough that you're forcing me to celebrate this stupid holiday, but this is just low. Do us all a favor and stop forcing this on us, alright?" With that, the doctor rose to his feet and headed for the door.


      Kirk turned to face him, rising from his own chair, "Bones, what about dinner?"


      McCoy turned back for but a moment; "I'll eat something in my quarters." And then, he was gone.


      Kirk sat down in his chair, putting his hands back on the table. He turned and looked at the Vulcan. "It wasn't that offensive, Spock, was it?"


      The Vulcan, during this entire exchange, had been using his knife to shuffle the hearts to the side of his rice. "It could, Captain, seem insensitive. You know how the Doctor can have his mood swings."


      Kirk nodded and sighed, running a hand through his hair. Phase One was a failure, but that did not mean that phase Two would be as well. He just needed to be more coordinated in his attempts.


      The day before Valentine's Day, and Kirk had another plan underway. This one, he decided, was bound to make the two of them get along. His plan, this time, was less original than his last, but he considered it foolproof. And for that reason, he was standing in the middle of Spock's quarters, dropping off the second of the two notes he had created.


      It had taken him a while, for he had made the cards by hand, not to mention that he had no idea how they talked to each other in private, although he believed he had gotten their respective voices right, and thus was truly proud of them. And as he looked at the card, waiting on Spock's pillow, Kirk allowed himself a grin. This would work for sure, and then everything would be right with the universe. It was shear coincidence that they both were staying late from their shifts today, but he used it to his advantage. Knowing that McCoy, had he been caught in there, could have, in his current mood, easily killed him, he had delivered his first, knowing that he could, if necessary, lie to Spock and end up with a chess game.


      Still smiling, Kirk exited the Vulcan's quarters, certain that they would be reconciled by the end of the evening.


      McCoy, weary from his shift, and more so from the current theme entered his quarters. He sat down on his bed, leaning back against the wall and letting his eyes close for a few minutes. He had only another day, one with a party to survive, and then this business would be through.


      Valentine's Day. He should be spending it with Spock, lost in the Vulcan's arms, but instead, he would be in some large, mandated ship wide gathering, with Captain Smiles-a-lot dictating the entire thing, trying to force him to have fun. If only the Vulcan would apologize, he would be up and over in his quarters before one could say, "Shift change."


      McCoy slid down against the wall, so that his head lay on the pillow of his hard Starfleet-issued bunk. The pillow felt wrong. Opening his eyes, he moved his head to take a look.


      And there, on his pillow, rested a red, heart-shaped piece of paper. He picked it up; it appeared to be from Spock.


      The doctor's heart skipped a beat. Maybe Spock finally understood and wanted to make amends. He opened the card and read through it.


"Leonard, Dearest:


      These passed few weeks have been unpleasant, not having you at my side, and I wish to remedy this. If we could meet, after your shift, to talk, I would be most grateful. We must put aside our differences and stop being angry at one another. A plea, Leonard, a plea. Remember, we had agreed to bond at a later date, even if it is years, and I wish nothing to jeopardize this.

      Sincerely your love,



      McCoy flushed with anger. The damned Vulcan just had no idea what was wrong, did he? And he dared think that he could just make it up to him, not even by apologizing, but by writing it off, and looking into the ship's library to assign them pet names they would never use. He crumpled the paper into a ball and dropped it into the recycler.


      Spock entered his quarters and sat down on his bed, noticing with curiosity that there was a red card on his pillow. With hope improper of a Vulcan, he looked at it, checking to see if it was from his lover. He was about to assume it was, and open it, but when he looked more closely, he realized it was not McCoy's handwriting. It was too small and clear to be the Doctor's. Spock sighed to himself, most likely Nurse Chapel, seeing that he and McCoy were having a "rough spot," was attempting to take advantage.


      Had he been in a better mood, he would have left to return it to her, but as he was not, he put it in the recycler, without ever opening it.


      Valentine's Day, and McCoy was every bit as miserable as he had anticipated. He had arrived not five minutes ago, and Kirk had already handed him a glass of very pink, and very bad, punch, and told him to stand on one side of the dance floor, while the women were on the other. And the illustrious Captain Kirk was actually pairing them off, one by one, as dance partners, while cheesy twentieth century music played over the loudspeakers. McCoy was not completely sure, but he thought the present song was "All my Loving."


      Sighing, he looked around at some of the other men, not seeing Spock anywhere in sight. He wondered how the Vulcan had managed to avoid the mandate, and more importantly, he found himself wondering what Spock was doing instead.


      Kirk's voice calling his name brought him from his thoughts. "Bones! You're going to be paired with Christine, all right?"


      McCoy nodded; at least he was dancing with a friend on this miserable evening. Like a true gentleman, he walked over to her, bowed and offered his hand. The nurse smiled and took it, and they began to dance.


      McCoy figured they had been dancing for about ten minutes when they bumped into two very familiar people. "Sugar" had been playing, when he, moving backwards, bumped into a certain communications officer, dancing with a Vulcan he did not wish to see.


      "Oh!" said Uhura, smiling at them, and stopping, so that both she and her dance partner stood stationary. McCoy and Chapel followed suit, causing a small congregation in the middle of the dance floor. "How are you both doing this evening?"


      McCoy sighed, "I'm fine, Nyota, and how are you, m'dear?"


      Uhura laughed, playfully nudging Chapel, "You got the smooth gentleman, and I have trouble getting my guy to take my hand to dance. How do you like that?"


      Chapel smiled and shrugged, "Luck of the draw, I guess. Want to swap?"


      McCoy sighed again. Two women were getting his Vulcan. This could not get any worse.


      It was at that moment that a grinning Kirk and an equally grinning M'Benga joined them. They looked at each other, and Kirk nodded, as though they were beginning a script. M'Benga began, moving towards Chapel. "Miss Chapel, I have watched you on the dance floor from afar, and thanks to the assistance of the good Captain Kirk, I have mustered the courage to ask you this. May I have this dance?" He offered his hand.


      Then, Kirk took his turn, a grin on his face; he walked to Uhura. "Nyota, your beauty is unmatched by any onboard. I would be honored if you would allow me to share in this for the evening."


      Uhura looked over at Chapel, who shrugged ever so slightly before taking M'Benga's hand. "It would be my pleasure, Doctor." They moved out, not before M'Benga could give Kirk a nod.


      Uhura took Chapel's example and replied, "Captain Kirk, Sugar, I can think of no greater honor," while taking his hand.


      Before they moved back into the crowds of dancers, Kirk turned back to face the two men. "Why don't you gentlemen take advantage of the music and have a dance. That's an order." And then, he and Uhura disappeared into the crowds.


      McCoy sighed and looked at the Vulcan. He was still hurt, but he yearned so much to be in those strong arms. "I don't want to disobey orders," he said, moving closer and taking the Vulcan's hands.


      The Vulcan nodded and took hold. At that moment, as if on cue, the speakers began to play a slow song, idly McCoy identified it as "Love of my Life." With practiced ease, they began to move together in tune with the music.


      Spock put his arm around McCoy's waist, pulling him in closer as he prepared himself to say what he had been contemplating. "Leonard," he whispered into the rounded ear, as they made another turn, "I have been thinking and I owe you an apology."


      McCoy looked up, into the dark eyes, which remained serious, despite the slightly ridiculous atmosphere.


      Spock continued, keeping his voice low, "It had not occurred to me that my behavior with Zarabeth could have hurt you in the way it did, and the fact that I seemed ignorant to your hurt, only served to make it worse. Although I was not in control of my actions at the time, I certainly should have made sure that you were all right, when we returned. I was insensitive, my qomi, and for this, I am sorry."


      McCoy smiled at him, and moved in a little more closely as they continued to dance. "The apology's accepted, Spock."


      The Vulcan nodded and as the song grew to an end, it only seemed right for the two of them to engage in a tender kiss, as they moved together across the floor, seemingly not being affected by the gravity units.


      Nearby, Kirk watched, still dancing with Uhura, and he smiled to himself. *Mission accomplished,* he thought, returning his full attention to the woman in his arms.


      The celebration was winding down and when the time seemed acceptable, Spock and McCoy exited, sneaking out before Kirk could catch them and order them to stay the duration. As they exited the recreation room, McCoy took Spock's hand and held it, turning to look at him, a mischievous look in his eyes. "We have more than two weeks to make up for, Sweetheart, your quarters or mine?"


      Spock squeezed the Doctor's hand and replied simply, "Yours are closer, Leonard."


      McCoy nodded and they continued to walk, quickly arriving at the quarters in question. The doors opened and Vulcan and human entered, the last thing heard by any passersby the sound of the doors whooshing closed and two voiced, one muttering "Door Lock" while the other whispered, "Happy Valentine's Day." And that it was.



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