The Whole is Greater

Title: The Whole is Greater
Author: Tempest
Series: TOS
Rating: R for implied lovemaking and intensified emotions
Summary: After a mission, Spock reassesses his priorities and comes to a decision, resulting in a proposition for his lover. Preceding "As Dawn Turned to Dusk" and "What Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of"
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters; Paramount does. I own this story; there is a difference. Any under the age of seventeen stay away. The same goes for anybody offended by the idea that two men could deeply and completely love each other. No archiving with permission. Flames and feedback welcomed.
Author's Notes: Thank you Ainzfern, for looking this over for me; you're comments were very helpful. And thanks to Cait N. for helping me outline the bonding ceremony; when you're right, you're right.
The Whole is Greater
By Tempest
June 26, 2002
      The Starship Enterprise, the flagship of Starfleet, had just completed a grueling, thankless mission. The fight with the Klingons had lasted for more than a day on red alert status. And the entire crew had, once again, brushed fingers with death. This time, however, too many lives had been lost and too much damage incurred for the crew to sit idly by and watch, waiting for when the missions would cause their deaths. The crewmembers were beginning to reassess their priorities. And Commander Spock was no exception.

       Spock had been thinking throughout the recent mission about what he would need done for later in his life. How he would survive his next pon farr; what he would do after the five-year mission came to completion; how the rest of his life would be spent. And he knew that he would need to take measures to ensure all of these things, as soon as the Enterprise was once again manageable. These thoughts flittered throughout his mind, as he saw to the repair of the gallant ship. 

      Hours later, after damage control had taken over, he retreated to his quarters for the evening. He entered and expected the usual blast of heat to greet him. The temperature of his quarters was warmer than the ship temperature but not hot. That could only mean one thing.

      "Leonard?" he called into the room. 

      "I'm just washing up, Spock. What's wrong?" McCoy called out from behind a closed door.

      Spock shook his head in negation, although he knew McCoy could not see him. "No, Leonard, nothing is wrong. I was wondering if you had dined this evening." 

      McCoy walked out of the head, pulling a clean shirt over his head and onto his back. Walking over to where Spock stood by the doorway, he replied, "Not yet, Spock. But I figured you 'd be working, so I made us dinner. Is that alright?"

      Spock smiled nearly imperceptibly. "That is quite considerate of you, Leonard. Considering the amount of work that we have had to do, I had not expected you to find the time to prepare dinner, as well." He walked into the work area of his quarters and sat down at the table. 

      "That's why I'm amazing, Spock," McCoy said, his blue eyes glittering with humor. He followed Spock to the table and started putting the food out. He then sat down at the table across from the Vulcan and started to eat.

      "I never doubted that, Leonard." Spock looked across the table at McCoy. He could see many evenings shared like this. He could see himself doing this for a lifetime. Buthe wanted more than what he had now. Not wanting to seem too conspicuous, he just ate and made conversation with the human. 

      The evening progressed, and McCoy started to grow concerned. Spock was still acting as his normal self, but his movements were a bit more nervous than usual. He had been pushing the remnants of his salad around his plate for the past few minutes. He also was refusing to meet McCoy's eyes. "Spock," McCoy asked playfully, "Is something wrong with the food?"

      Spock looked up from his reverie. He had been trying to think of the best way to phrase what he needed to say. Had McCoy caught on? Sensing the humor in the other's words, he responded, "No Leonard, the food is fine." 

      "Well then," McCoy pressed on, more concerned than before, his humor seeming to have only intensified the Vulcan's nervousness. "What's wrong? You've been jumpy all night. Is there anything I can do for you, Spock?"

      Spock decided that he would lose his resolve, if he did not make his move now. He stood up from his chair, walked around the table, and knelt in front of McCoy. Reaching up to take McCoy's hand in his, he cleared his throat. "Leonard," he whispered. "I care for you a great deal. And I desireI wish you to be my adun, my bondmate. Will you consent to a bonding with me?" There was a question in his eyes. 

      McCoy let out a gasp. *He must be joking.* But McCoy stared deep into Spock's eyes, the bottomless brown windows that led to his soul, and he knew that the Vulcan was serious and in need of a response. McCoy covered Spock's hand with his other. "Yes, Spock," he whispered. "I would be honored to be your bondmate."

      Imperceptibly, Spock sighed. He had feared rejection, but the warmth in McCoy's gaze held not just acceptance but love and desire. His lips twitched slightly, curved into a tiny grin. He stood, pulling McCoy's hands to his mouth. He kissed the palm of each one slowly, allowing the warmth to travel up McCoy's arms. 

      McCoy stood up too. He was nearly in shock of the fact that Spock wanted to bond with him. This was easily the happiest moment of his life, even more so than when they had first made love. This was a promise until the end of time. He needed desperately to communicate his love to hisfiancé. Very gently, he tugged his hands out of Spock's warm grasp and used them to pull the Vulcan into a tight embrace and to trace Spock's broad shoulders, so strong of muscle but still soft under his hands.

      He touched his lips to those of the Vulcan. He traced the outline of the firm, full lips with his tongue, reveling in the spicy/sweet taste Spock possessed. He put his soul into that kiss, letting it communicate his anticipation. When the desire for air became too great, he pulled back, only to lick and kiss his way up to Spock's wonderfully, pointed ears. *I love those ears. I'm glad he finally figured out why I talked about them so much.* Breathing lightly into one, he whispered, "Oh Spock, I love you so very much." 

      Spock lifted one hand to McCoy's face. He traced his cheek with a long, slender finger, in slow circles. He bent down to kiss McCoy's temple. *I will touch him the way I wish to very soon. I will touch him here,* his lips caressed the human's temple again, *and I will know the beauty that is his mind. Our minds will link; we will become One.* He pulled McCoy even closer to him. Quietly, he murmured into McCoy's neck, "I love thee, my Leonard."

      They stood together for a long moment. Then Spock took McCoy by the hand and led him to the sleeping alcove. "I believe we are expected to consummate such a declaration." He removed his tunic and started to remove his trousers, only to have his hands stopped by McCoy.  

      "Let me, Spock." McCoy carefully removed Spock's trousers and then gently pushed him onto the bed.

      Spock sat up quickly enough to pull McCoy down onto the bed with him. Soon enough, he had removed the human's uniform as well. He shifted their positions slightly, so he lay on top of McCoy. He captured the human's mouth with his own. Sucking the bottom lip, he brushed his tongue across the part, knocking. McCoy parted his lips, and Spock tongue delved deeper into his mouth. 

      McCoy began to moan and shiver. Spock moved from his mouth and began to suckle one of his nipples. He put his hands to good use and started to caress as much of McCoy's skin as he could reach. He felt the human tense slightly under his assault. He let slip the nipple from his mouth and moved his hands to McCoy's shoulders. He gently massaged the cool body, relaxing and comforting him.

      McCoy sighed, as he felt Spock's hands on his skin. He reached up to run his fingers through the silky black hair of his lover and then moved them down to twine in the soft chest hair. He was making tiny rings on Spock's chest with his fingers. After a few blissful moments, he moved his hand to caress Spock's face. He moved his fingers over the Vulcan's features: his upswept eyebrows that so often showed his thoughts, the sable eyes that revealed his feelings, the full lips, the prominent jaw, the soft cheeks, and finally, his deceivingly delicate ears. He traced the shape of one and then the other. 

      The waves of relaxation and bliss were starting to overtake them. They clasped themselves to each other and moved together. The ecstasy swept over them, and McCoy cried out in delight, a sound ripped from his very soul, as he joined with his beloved.

      The world seemingly paused for them. Nothing existed beyond each other, and they were happy. After time started again, McCoy settled back into his body, and consciousness was with him once more. He leaned over to plant a kiss on Spock's neck. "Spock," he whispered, "You know we're going to have to tell people about us, right?" 

      Spock was still a little dazed from the rush of desire; he blinked. "Who do you mean, Leonard?"

      "Well, at the very least, your parents and Jim. He'd want to be there for us, Spock." Blue eyes stared into brown, waiting for a response. 

      Spock nodded. "You are right, of course, Leonard. I will call my parents during the shift today to inform them of our intention to bond. My father can schedule a time and a healer for the ceremony. My mother would plan the reception."

      "What about Jim, Spock?"

       "We shall tell him together, my Leonard. I think that, perhaps, we should invite him for dinner in my quarters and then reveal ourselves."

      "That's fine, Spock," McCoy said, as he snuggled up against Spock's chest. "We'll take care of it tomorrow. I'm too relaxed and happy to do much thinking now." He yawned and pillowed his head on Spock's shoulder. 

      Spock's strong arms wrapped around McCoy, holding him close. He ran his fingers once down the length of the human. He then put his head to the pillow, and sleep overcame him, overcame both of them. They dreamt of the promise of a life together, bonded.

      McCoy awoke to the feel of a warm hand on his chest. He looked up to see Spock caressing his chest gently, his fingers moving lightly over the skin. McCoy smiled voluptuously. "Let me guess, Spock, I'm going to be late for my shift and don't have time for a shower, because I overslept?" 

      A light lit in Spock's eyes. His hand moved to muss the light layer of chest hair. "You are quite correct, Leonard. And if you do not dress right now, you will be late, and I would prefer you to not have to call the Admiral from my quarters concerning this matter." He moved his hand to McCoy's shoulder to give him a boost.

      McCoy slipped out of bed and moved to the closet where they kept his extra uniforms for their "sleepovers." As he started to put one on, he turned to look at Spock. The Vulcan was staring at him, watching him dress. He thought about how they would soon be doing this everyday, without having to worry about being caught. And he smiled. 

      He finished dressing, as quickly as humanly possible. He walked to the Vulcan and asked, "I don't suppose I have time for a cup of coffee, do I?"

      The Vulcan shook his head. "I apologize, Leonard. I should have woken you earlier, but you were sleeping so soundly and peacefully that I" His voice trailed off. 

      McCoy nodded in understanding; Spock was still sensitive about speaking of emotions. The proposal last night was so un-Vulcan; Spock had never done anything so emotional. McCoy leaned in close to the Vulcan and brushed his lips across Spock's. "I understand, honey. Don't worry about it; it's no big deal."

      The Vulcan just looked at him. Finally, he said, "I will invite the Admiral here for dinner at 1930. Will you be able to be here then?" 

      McCoy nodded. "Yeah, I'll be there. I can cook too, if you like."

      "That would be much appreciated, Leonard."

       "Okay, Spock," McCoy said, "I'll be over early then." He leaned over and pecked Spock on the cheek. "I'll see you later, Spock." With that, McCoy left Spock's quarters and the Vulcan and headed off for another day of saving lives, all the while thinking of what to say to Kirk when they met.

The day passed quickly for both, and soon enough, McCoy found himself back in Spock's quarters, cooking once more, for three this time. He spent most of the time thinking about what Kirk's reaction would be.  

At 1915, Spock walked into his quarters. He changed shirts and walked over to where McCoy stood by the replicator. He wrapped his arms around the human and held him close for a long moment, before leaning in to nuzzle his ear. "Are you ready for this evening, my Leonard?" he murmured into McCoy's neck.

      "As ready as I'll ever be, Spock." McCoy turned to meet Spock's eyes, silently communicating love. They both picked up the dishes and set the table. It was then the door chime buzzed, the sound echoing throughout the room. 

      Spock and McCoy shared one last glance. "Enter," Spock called to the person at the door.

      The door slid open to reveal Admiral James Kirk, Commander and friend to both for many years. He was smiling. "So, Spock, what do you have planned for dinner?" The words were tinted with humor and ease. 

      "Good evening, Admiral. I trust you have had no difficulties since your shift ended," the Vulcan greeted.

      "I'm fine, Spock; thank you. And Bones, you look well. How are you?" Kirk asked, as he moved to take a seat at the table 

     "I'm just dandy, Jim. Lucky for you, we're having spaghetti tonight. And I know that's one of your favorites," McCoy said with a slightly nervous smile. He looked toward Spock and met the Vulcan's eyes. They were dark and warm, full of reassurance. Feeling better, he took as seat at the table across from Kirk. Spock followed suit. 

      Soon enough, the three were devouring the food in front of them; Kirk was pleased to have some real food, as a contrast to the replicated supplies. He was updating them on some command situation information, but something seemed out of place to him. Although McCoy was interjecting comments, he was not being his usual talkative self. Even Spock seemed a little more reserved than usual. He tried his best not to take notice. *Besides,* he thought to himself, *these are my two best friends. Nothing that they do could possibly surprise me.* But that thought had not prepared him for what happened next.

      McCoy pushed his plate aside and cleared his throat. "Jim," he said seriously, "Spock and I have something to tell you." 

      Kirk met his eyes with the open ease and friendship. *At least they're going to tell me what's been bothering them.* "What is it, Bones? You both should know that you can tell me anything."

      McCoy nodded at Kirk and then quickly shared a glance with Spock. He sighed softly, "Jim, I don't really know how to tell you this, but Spock and I arewell, we're" his voice trailed off. 

      Spock picked up where McCoy had stopped, "We are to be bonded."

      Kirk looked at them both for a long moment. *This is what's been bothering them? That's good news. Never knew they wanted each other, but, hey, love is love.* A grin broke out on Kirk's face. "That's wonderful, guys. Congratulations." He reached out to shake McCoy's hand and then Spock's. "So, when's the ceremony?"  

      *The Admiral took that surprisingly well. I wonder if he suspected. Either way, this bonding shall take place, and for that I am grateful.* A feeling of warmth flooded Spock at the thought of the bonding. He turned slightly, so he could face both McCoy and Kirk. Although he was addressing Kirk's question, he was mainly letting his lover know what had happened earlier with his father. "I called Ambassador Sarek during my break today and informed him of the plans to bond. He says that he is most pleased and can arrange a healer for a ceremony in 2.47 standard weeks, providing the Enterprise can get clearance to go."

      McCoy turned to look at Kirk. There was a joyful question in his eyes. "You going to help us?" 

      Kirk nodded. "I can get you there in time. But answer two questions for me. How long will you need to stay down there, and what do you want me to do?"

      McCoy grinned, and Spock half-smiled. Thinking for a moment, Spock said, "It is customary for the mother of the male to throw a small celebration, but an officer's gathering onboard afterwards would be much appreciated. Of course, we wish you to stand by us at the ceremony." He looked toward McCoy, who nodded in agreement. 

      Kirk nodded as well. "Done," he said. More sentimentally, he added, "You know I'd come. I wouldn't miss this for all the women on Orion."

      The three sat talking of plans, for another half hour. Finally, Kirk rose to his feet. "It's getting late, and I have the early shift tomorrow. Goodnight to you both, and again, congratulations. I couldn't have picked better myself." He patted McCoy's shoulder, and on impulse, Spock's as well. And he turned to leave. 

      "Thanks Jim, for everything. Goodnight," McCoy called out behind him.

      "Yes, thank you, Jim," Spock echoed quietly. 

      The door swished shut, as the Captain left Spock's quarters, leaving the two lovers to themselves.

McCoy turned to look at Spock, said, "That went really well, Spock."

      Spock seemed lost in thought, but only momentarily. He turned to face McCoy, and he flashed the human one of his lovely half-smiles. Enfolding McCoy in his arms, he lifted the human and carried him to the bedroom area. He laid McCoy down on the bed and sat down next to him. He pulled him close so that McCoy's head was resting under his chin. 

      "Leonard, there are some things that you should know in preparation for the bonding ceremony."

      McCoy leaned back against his lover's warmth and concentrated on the resonant voice. "Tell me everything I need to know, Spock." 

      Spock took a deep breath and began to speak, explaining. "Sarek will find a Vulcan Healer Priestess to perform the ceremony. It will consist of much listening, as well as some speaking. You will be asked questions about your devotion and your affection. Answer the questions honestly. When the official part of the ceremony is completed, she will meld with both of us, creating the life bond. When she is finished, you and I will be bonded, mates. Do you understand, Leonard?"

      McCoy was already trying to imagine what the ceremony would be like. "Yes, Spock. That sounds pretty good. What then?" 

      Spock smiled mentally at the mental air his lover produced, calmness and inquisitiveness. "We will then have a celebration, which will be prepared by my mother. It will be done to welcome us into the family, the skan, as well as into society, us as mates."

      "Where'll this ceremony be, Spock?" 

      "I have no doubt that my mother and father will choose a suitable location," Spock paused, picking up on the hidden meaning of McCoy's question. "No, it will not be in the same place as my kun-ut-kali-fee. My parents will choose a different location, more suitable to us."

      "That sounds great, Spock." McCoy snuggled up closer to the Vulcan.  

      "Leonard, there is one thing you must do for the ceremony," Spock stated, all serious.

      "What is it Spock? Are you going to ask me what stone I want for our rings?" 

      Spock turned McCoy in his arms so that he could look into the blue depths. "Leonard," he whispered, "Vulcan custom does not accept the exchanging of rings. We have our own way of pledging ourselves through material objects." He almost smiled as he saw the look of confusion in his lover's face. He continued, "We do give a gift to our bondmate on the day of the ceremony, something that can be held in his hands. The gift you choose is supposed to be a tangible representation of your soul, which you are also giving your bondmate."

      McCoy looked at Spock's face, amazed with the sensitivity of Vulcan customs. *Sure beats rings, which serve to be a tangible form of the handcuffs that keep you together, legally.* He continued to watch the Vulcan's lips move, wishing to kiss the lips but waiting for Spock to finish. 

      "What I need you to do, Leonard, is find something, an object, that you feels represents your spirit. The object must mean something to the heart. Price does not matter, nor does antiquity. It simply must represent your spirit, your soul, you. Can you find something by the ceremony?"

      McCoy sat, thinking about what he'd choose. *It'll be tough, but I'll get the perfect 'me' gift.* He turned back to stare into Spock's eyes. "Of course, Spock. I'll get you the best thing I can." 

      Spock nodded appreciatively, and then, picking up on the human's desire, kissed him passionately. Spock pulled back slightly and arranged McCoy comfortably on his chest and thighs, their nighttime position. "Sleep well, my Leonard," the Vulcan told his human.

      "Goodnight, Spock. I'll see you in the morning."


      Two weeks and three days went by quickly, and soon, Spock and McCoy were beaming down to the House of Sarek to prepare for the bonding ceremony the next day. As soon as they were both safely down on the planet, McCoy laid a hand on Spock's arm. Spock looked down at him, reassurance in his eyes. Together they stepped up to the gate of the impressive, Vulcan house, and Spock rang for entry.

      Out of the house, came Ambassador Sarek. He opened the gate and held his hand out in the Vulcan gesture of greeting. Spock mirrored the gesture, and then Sarek spoke, "Greetings my son, Doctor, I welcome you to my home." 

      Spock replied, "Thank you, father, Leonard and I are most gracious for your hospitality."

      The two Vulcans and the human walked back into the house where Amanda waited. Amanda came out to greet her son. "Spock, its so good to see you. And Dr. McCoy, welcome to our home. Is there anything I can do to make your stay more comfortable?" 

      McCoy chuckled; feeling more relaxed than he thought he would. Spock's parents had taken this better than he had hoped. "No thank you, Amanda. I'm perfectly fine. It is good to see you again." McCoy's drawl had thickened slightly, as it normally did during cordial greetings. He shook her hand and gave her a smile.

      Sarek took the two men up to a room on the second story of the vast house. The room was larger than the bridge of the Enterprise and twice as inviting. Ancient Vulcan artwork adorned the walls, and a window and terrace gave way to the hot Vulcan sun. A large bed of silk stood out in the middle. 

      "I had this room prepared for you, my son. I hope you find it satisfactory. Join me and your mother, once you both are settled in." With that, Sarek left the two men to themselves.

      McCoy threw his bag down on the bed and looked at Spock. "Look's like I'm marrying a rich man," he said humorously. Spock picked up on McCoy's mood. "Are you only bonding with me for my family's wealth, Leonard?" His eyes betrayed his words, smiling at his mate-to-be. 

      "Nah, you know better, Spock. You're also good in bed." McCoy smiled mischievously. "But, God, this place is nice. Who knew Ambassadors made *this* kind of money? Maybe I entered the wrong field." As he spoke, McCoy walked into the bathroom, exploring.

      Spock took it upon himself to unpack for both himself and Dr. McCoy. He was putting their clothing away when he heard McCoy exclaim, "Spock, we have a *hot tub.* Do you know what this means?"  

      Spock finished putting away the few belongings they had taken with them to Vulcan. "Ambassador Sarek, although he may not appear to do so, appreciates luxury, Leonard. And I'm sure we can put it to good use, before we need to go back to the ship. Come now, Leonard. My parents are waiting."

      Taking McCoy's hand in his, Spock led the compliant doctor down to the living area of the house. Amanda and Sarek were seated on a satin covered couch. Spock and McCoy took seats on the couch opposite the ambassador and his wife. 

      Ambassador Sarek spoke first. "My son, Doctor, on behalf of both myself and my wife, I wish to congratulate you on your relationship, and we wish you a long and fruitful bonding."

      Spock replied, his hand still in McCoy's, "Thank you father. Both Leonard and I appreciate your aid, and we thank you for your blessing." 

      Amanda added, "Are there any questions you have that we may be able to answer?"

      "I have a couple," McCoy responded. "Spock here had been trying to explain everything, but I'm still confused about a few things. Where is the ceremony going to be?" 

      Amanda answered that, before her husban could open his mouth. "I have a vast garden that will be used. It should be a perfect place." She smiled at them both.

      An audible sigh of relief escaped McCoy's lips. Spock's grip tightened slightly on the doctor's hand. "That answers question number one. Question number two is what will I need for the reception afterward?" 

      "Absolutely nothing, my husband and I have arranged everything. Isn't that right, Sarek?" She looked at her husband with innocent eyes.

      "My aduna is correct. We have taken care of what needed to be done. The Healer Priestess T'Vis shall perform the bonding. Have you selected a bre'i'khaz'el?" 

      "A what?"

      "What humans call a "best man" Leonard. We have decided that James Kirk shall be out bre'i'khaz'el for the ceremony. He will be beaming down tomorrow before the bonding."   

      "He is a good choice, Spock. He is aware of what is needed?"

      "He is father."

      "Excellent. Do you have any other questions?" 

      "Just one," McCoy replied, a serious look entering his eyes, "Will I have to wear one of those Vulcan robes?"

      "No Doctor, a suit will be acceptable, if you would be more comfortable in one." 

      McCoy smiled gratefully. "That answers all of my questions." He turned to face Spock, giving him a look.

      Spock picked up on what the human wanted. "Mother, father, it is late. Leonard and I request to take our leave for the night." 

      "Of course, my son. Rest well for the ceremony."

      "Goodnight, Spock. Goodnight Leonard." 

      "Goodnight Amanda, Ambassador."

      As the two men went up the staircase to their room, McCoy asked, "Can we try out the hot tub now, Spock?"


0900 on the Enterprise, Captain Kirk stood in front of a mirror, fixing the collar on his dress uniform. He looked himself over and decided he looked decent enough for the ceremony. 

*Today's the day,* he thought. *I still can't believe they're actually marrying each other.* He smiled at the thought. He had to admit that since that revelation, he had noticed small things that showed how they cared. They had been arguing less. And Spock was smiling more. And there were small touches that he had neglected to notice before. He knew they were happy.

Kirk walked to his dresser and picked up the oak box. He held it in his hands, thinking about his job for later that day. Spock and McCoy had explained it to him, well, Spock had. McCoy had listened to the explanation. The last couple of days, both men had separately came knocking on his door to drop off an item, giving the reason "Bonding ceremony," before leaving. He had put both things in the box, and now waited to take them down.

He could not wait to do a final check on his friends, while they were still, technically, single. With a final look in the mirror, he left his quarters and went to the transporter room, to be beamed down to Vulcan for the ceremony.  


1000 on Vulcan, McCoy stood in front of Spock, while the Vulcan adjusted his vest. "Is it straight yet, Spock?" McCoy asked. He knew he was beginning to sound a little obsessed, but he truly wanted the day to be perfect.

"Leonard, it is fine. You look fine."

McCoy looked a little concerned. "Just fine, Spock?"

Spock sighed, inaudible to the human ear. "You look as beautiful, as you did the day I met you, Leonard." He pulled the human into a gentle kiss. "Tell me what is bothering you."

"I'm sorry, Spock. I just want today to be wonderful and memorable." He looked slightly embarrassed at Spock.

"Leonard, we are joining. Today will be'wonderful,' and I will most certainly remember it until the day of my death. Please, try to calm down. Everything will be fine."

McCoy sat down and massaged the muscles of his neck with his right hand. "I'm trying, Spock. I really am. But I'm going to be bonded, forever, to you. And as happy as I am, I'm still nervous."

Spock moved McCoy's hand away from his neck and began to massage it for the human. "I know, Leonard. It is a big step. But you wish it, do you not?"

McCoy let his eyes slip shut, as the Vulcan's warm hands eased the tension in his neck. "You know I do, Spock. I want it. I want you."

Spock's hands moved from the human's neckto his shoulders. "And I want you. Do not worry about anything else. Just concentrate on the ceremony. And afterwards, we will be One."

McCoy turned his head to look at Spock, "You're right. I'm sorry." And then, he reached up to pull the Vulcan into asomewhat passionate, and very comforting kiss. The silk of the Vulcan robes surrounding Spock's body rustled.

It was this moment that Kirk chose to walk into the room. He stared at his friends, slightly amused. He cleared his throat and said jokingly, "If you two would rather be alone, I can leave."

McCoy let go of Spock. "Jim," he said, "I think you're early." McCoy straightened out his vest and stood. The Vulcan followed suit.

"Yeah, I just wanted to wish you both good luck. And to let you know that I hope you both find happiness with each other."

On impulse, McCoy walked to Kirk and hugged him, then upon releasing him, squeezed his shoulder. "Thanks Jim. This really means a lot to us. More than you may think."

Kirk smiled. "I told you Bones, anything you guys need, I'll do for you. What are friends for?"

"A lot of people wouldn't have been so supportive and accepting."

"I'm not most people, Bones. You know that."

"Yeah, you're 'James Kirk.' Thanks for being there." McCoy moved to the bathroom. "Now if you two will excuse me, I need to straighten out this vest."

Spock walked to the captain. "I, too, wish to thank you, Jim. I also must ask if you have the gifts."

Kirk held up the box. "I have them right here, Spock. I won't let either of you down." The Vulcan took Kirk's hand in his for a firm shake.

"Good luck, Spock. And you take care of him, you hear?"

"Yes Captain," the Vulcan said. "Leonard is in good hands. Tell my parents we will be down shortly."

"Can do, Spock," Kirk said, with a grin. He turned on his heel and walked out of the room.

From the bathroom, a small cry of frustration could be heard. *I better go check on, Leonard,* Spock thought tohimself, *before he rips his vest in half.*

Five minutes and three kisses later, Spock and McCoy came down the stairs. They walked into the vast gardens that belongedto Amanda, and took their places for the ceremony to begin.

At a stone alter in the middle of the garden, surrounded by two large cylinders, lit with burning white flames, stood a very serious Vulcan woman, some hundred years in age, wearing ceremonial Vulcan garb, the Vulcan Healer Priestess T'Vis. Off to the side stood James Kirk, dressed in Starfleet's best, the oak box held in front of him. On a benchin front of the alter, sat Sarek and Amanda, dressed in Vulcan robes as well.

Spock and McCoy stood in front of Healer T'Vis, Spock to her left, and McCoy to her right. With a nod from Spock, the ceremony began. There was no turning back.

T'Vis began to speak. "Spock Cha'Sarek andLeonard McCoy, you are both entering into a lifebond with one another. The lifebond is a bond, both mental and physical, that requires deep trust from your bondmate. And once made, it can only be severed by death. Do you understand the commitment you are about to make to each other?"

Spock nodded in the affirmative, and with a glance in Spock's direction, and a look of love in his eyes, so did McCoy. Although nobody was looking in his direction at that moment, all concentrationon the two men at the alter, Kirk was grinning with happiness for his friends.

T'Vis turned to Kirk, gesturing for him to open the oak box. Kirk complied, and T'Vis removed a book, before turning back to the two mates-to-be.

She handed the book to Spock, who placed his right hand palm down on top of it. "Spock Cha'Sarek, this is a symbol of the abiding love, commitment, and trust you place in your mate. Do you give of thisgift, and yourself, freely to him?"

Spock closed his eyes, as he spoke in a deep and quiet whisper, "Yes."

T'Vis nodded and turned back to Kirk, placing the book back in the box, and removing a ball shaped object, before turning to McCoy.

Handing the object to McCoy, who, like Spock, placed his right palm on top ofit, T'Vis said, "Leonard McCoy, this is a symbol of the abiding love, commitment, and trust you place in your mate. Do you give of this gift, and yourself, freely to him?"

McCoy took a deep breath, and swallowed, before whispering, "Yes" with a nod.

Once again nodding, T'Vis turned back to Kirk, placing the objects in the box. A Vulcan blessing, roughly translated into English, as "As one goes to the other, the souls of two become the soul of One."

She stepped back and motioned for Spock and McCoy to go to the box. As they stepped up, McCoy turned to look at Kirk. Kirk could see both nervousness and happiness in his eyes. He gave McCoy an encouraging smile.

Spock turned toward Kirk, a look of appreciation crossing his features, as he took the book from the box. Holding itin his hands, he looked to McCoy, their eyes meeting.

"Leonard, this book symbolizes the part of me that only you can touch. It is the part of my soul that belongs to you. With it, I pledge my never-ending honesty, trust, loyalty and friendship to you, in life and thereafter."

McCoy turned slightly to face Kirk, who, with a grin in his eyes, handed him the globe. Clasping both of his hands around it, McCoy turned back so he could face Spock and look him in the eyes.

"Spock, this..." he felt like laughing, maybe his gift was not serious enough? He continued. "This snow globe represents all I really am, and how I belong to you." *I really hope paraphrasing is okay.* "You mean the universe to me, and I promise to honor you as long as I live, and then some. My love is yours."

Spock took a step closer to McCoy, and he handed the book to his human. An old book, black covered, with the word "Ni'var," (Vulcan for two halves that make One) in the middle of the cover. It was a book of Vulcan poetry, all the passions Vulcans have, but won't easily admit to, written in words for the heart.

McCoy looked up, a grin on his face, his heart already melted by the Vulcan's gift. Spock met his eyes, a tender almost smile threatening his features.

McCoy knew he should give his gift now. He handed the snow globe to Spock for his inspection. McCoy grinned nervously, as the Vulcan turned it over in his hands.

Spock had been surprised when McCoy had said, "Snow globe." But here it was. The gift was an antique, gold-plated on the bottom, and a key that would play a song. Spock could not help but wonder whatsong. And inside the globe there was an old-fashioned house with a garden and two people holding hands in the middle, Wherever McCoy had found this, Spock could not fathom.

Spock met McCoy's eyes, a smile plain on his face, only momentary, but there. McCoy let out a small sigh; Spock liked it.

Then they both turned back to T'Vis. She stepped up and began, once more, to speak. "As it was in the dawn of our time, so it is now. With this bond, you two will be One."

She motioned for both to come forward;they did. She placed her right hand on Spock's temple, on the meld points, and placed her left on McCoy's meld points. She motioned for Spock to place hisright hand on McCoy's face, and for McCoy to do the same to Spock.

She initiated a shallow meld with each, until a three-way meld could be made. Then, she deepened the meld, weaving the two other minds together. After a few minutes, she removed herself from themeld, the contact between the two keeping the meld together.

//My God, Spock, it's beautiful; you're beautiful.//

//No, my mate, We are. Together, forever.//

A couple of minutes went by, the two men standing seemingly frozen, as their minds joined. Finally, they dropped theirhands, and together, the turned once more to face T'Vis.

"May your shared soul never again see pain or sorrow."

They nodded, and their paired fingers cameup to touch, the Vulcan equivalent of kissing the bride. With that, the ceremony was over.


Half an hour later, inside of the House of Sarek, Spock and McCoy sat at a table, surrounded by Vulcan relatives. McCoy was looking at the book.


"Yes, my mate?" Spock turned his attention from the snow globe, which he had wound and was playing softly, "Strangers in the Night," to focus on the doctor.

"How am I going to read this?" He smiled at the Vulcan.

"Do you believe I had not thought thisover, Leonard? We can sit on the bed, with you in my arms, and I can read the poems to you. How does that sound?"

McCoy's face broke out into a huge grin."It looks like I married ever the romantic," he reached out across the table to take Spock's hand in his, "I love you, Spock."

"And I, you, my qomi."

They sat there, staring into each other's eyes, their hands linked, until Kirk came seemingly out of the blue. "Hey guys," he said, startling the mates out of their reverie. "I just wanted to congratulate you guys again, wish you the best of luck, and give you these,"from behind his back he pulled two packages. He handed one to each man. "I wasn't sure if wedding gifts are in Vulcan custom, but I didn't care. I just hope you guys enjoy them." He turned to wink at McCoy. "I'm sure you'll get gooduse out of yours. Now if you two will excuse me, there is a beautiful Vulcan woman waiting for me in the garden." With that, he disappeared into the crowd.

Spock raised his eyebrow, "That was unexpected."

McCoy grinned, "Yeah, but you know Jim. Let's see what he got us. You go first."

Spock carefully unwrapped the paper from the gift. It was a cookbook, a collection of the vegetarian foods from every planet in the Federation. He showed it to McCoy. "It is your turn, Leonard."

McCoy ripped through the paper like a toddler on his birthday. He looked inside and burst out laughing. Spock's other eyebrow raised, and the gift was pushed towards him. He began to blush green.

The box contained a bottle of sandalwood massage oil, some sandalwood candles, and cinnamon flavored cookies. Everything you need to get a Vulcan up and running.

"That sneaky devil," McCoy said once he stopped laughing. "I wonder how he figured this out."

"I am not sure, Leonard. Although it explains the look he gave you. I do not see how it will be used."

McCoy smiled, "Come on, Spock, Jim's letting us take a honeymoon on Theta Nympho VI. We'll put all this to good use. A whole week's worth." With that, he leaned over and captured the Vulcan's lips. 

This bonding was going to work out justfine. They both could feel it in their minds, their hearts and their Soul.



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