|Title: I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You
Author: Jazz Man <email@example.com>
Series: TOS (set pre-TOS)
Codes: S, Mc leading to S/Mc - see I'm behaving.
Disclaimer: If only . . .
Summary: This is the first part of my (belated) responce to the challenge
"write an S/Mc about fate". It kind of mutated into something big, and, uh,
I've only written this part. The stories will all be able to stand alone, but
will make much more sense read together. I don't know when I'll get the others
done, hopefully before hell freezes over.
Title's from a Tom Waits song the lyrics of which can be found at
The only other song mentioned that might need the lyrics to understand is
'Shiver Me Timbers' also Tom Waits and the lyrics are at
I don't normally write first person, so any comments on that would be helpful.
If you think I have McCoy say something that sounds wrong please say so.
I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You
I was playing 'African Mailman' when he walked in. It took me a minute to
notice that he was Vulcan, not because we got so many Vulcans in here, but
because he was so attractive. My eyes were drawn to him, it might be a cliché
but it was true. He was on his own, which kind of surprised me. This bar
certainly wasn't the worst on this backwater planet, but it sure as hell wasn't
the best. Things got rough some nights. It wasn't the sort of place a Vulcan
comes into, least of all on his own. I figured he had to be waiting for
someone. Lucky someone.
I had to stop thinking there cause I was beginning to miss a few notes.
Didn't seem like anyone had noticed, 'cept the band. I wasn't entirely sure if
that was good or bad. Then again, if I wanted appreciation I wouldn't be
playing piano in a lousy bar on a lousy planet. My thoughts went back to the
music, and I left solitary Vulcans for another night.
Only thing was I didn't. When I finally took a break he was still sat there.
He was still alone. If I'd had the guts I would've gone and sat next to him,
but he was radiating 'leave me alone' and I was past my best. If he was
waiting for someone they still hadn't shown. If I were him, I would have left
long before now, but I've never been known for my patience. All right,
everyone thinks I'm cranky, and have a real short fuse. The Vulcan seemed to
be prepared to wait.
He was the kind of guy you could stare at all night and not get bored. So
damn dignified looking, I wondered what he'd look like ruffled, you know
straight out of bed? Hmm, who's bed? I wouldn't throw him out of mine, no,
sir. Course it's not like he'd ever jump into it.
I know they say Vulcans ain't got no emotions, but this one seemed to. Sure
he was patient, he was still there, wasn't he? But he had moved to where he
could see the door and he looked so alone.
I was getting called back to the stage. We were about to start taking
requests. About halfway into the evening we would open up and play what the
audience wanted. The bar manager had set up boxes on each table with
everything we knew. All someone had to do was punch up what the wanted to hear
and it'd get sent to our terminal. To my surprise the Vulcan was looking
through the list. I doubted he knew anything - most of what we played was old
Earth music with a bit of Andorian to keep our drummer sweet. Not than anyone
ever asked for that.
'Talking 'Bout a Revolution' was the first request to come through. Why did
they always ask for songs for a female vocalist when Ny wasn't here? One of
these days she's going to move on to bigger and better things and then where
will we be? Anyway I went back
to work. Requests where always more challenging, we all had to be on the ball.
Towards the end of the requests 'Shiver Me Timers' came up. To my surprise it
was the Vulcan who had requested it. Who ever heard of a Vulcan who liked Tom
Waits? It was right about then I realised he was more than just a pretty face.
He was still alone when
we played for him. I watched him as I played, the familiar song falling easily
from my lips. He understood the song, though I guess it was the call of the
stars not the sea that took him so far from home.
I kept an eye on him most of the rest of the night. I figured if he was still
here at the end of the night I'd go and speak to him. Wasn't like I had
anything to lose. As the last notes died I looked round to where he had been
sat and found him gone.
I yawned widely as I picked up my coffee. I winced slightly as I took a sip.
Far too hot. Why did I always get early shifts after late nights? At least
not many people wanted a doctor at six in the morning.
I was sat in the front office with my feet up and was about to nod off when my
first patient entered.
"I'm Doctor McCoy," I said looking up, "How can I help you?"
"You?" I don't know who looked more surprised, him or me. The Vulcan had
just walked into my medical centre. He was 'fleet. A lieutenant sporting
sciences blue. He straightened up and made to back away. "I'm sorry, I will
Moving quickly I got between him and the door. "You'll do no such thing. You
came in here to get medical attention and your not leaving on my account."
Nobody got out that easily.
"My apologies. My actions were illogical."
"Damn straight, Lt. . . ."
"Spock. I am Lt. Spock. Science officer onboard the USS Enterprise."
I gently steered him into one of the treatment rooms. "What can I do for you?"
"I have fallen and my injuries require treatment."
I patted the edge of a biobed. "Up you go." He sat gingerly on the bed.
"Where are you hurt?"
Instead of answering he removed his shirt. His chest was covered in angry
bruises and a couple of small gashes. Like as not he had some broken ribs. I
switched on the biobed and took a look at the readings.
"Either you're worse than that looks or you put on fake ears, covered yourself
in lime sauce and began life as an Andorian."
"Where would I hide my antennae?" he asked glancing up at me.
I tossed him a grin. "Lieutenant, I've only just met you."
That seemed to sober him up and he fell silent as I went to scrub up before
treating him. I could have called in a nurse but there didn't seem much point
and besides I wanted the real story out of him. If he'd done that by falling
then I was a Yankee.
"I am only half Vulcan," he said as I walked back to him.
"What's the other half?"
"My mother is Human."
I looked back up at the biobed readings. "I suppose that could make sense.
I'll take a look at your records later, see if it checks out."
"I believe I am functioning within acceptable parameters."
"'Acceptable parameters'?" I asked shaking my head. "Go figure." Before I
began to examine him I explained what I was going to do. "I'm going to check
your ribs out manually and then clean you up and use the dermal regenerator and
a bone knitter if I need to."
He nodded absently as I began. He seemed far away as I completed the physical
"As far as I can tell only two ribs are broken. It could have been worse,
you've taken one hell of a beating."
"I fell," he said.
"Uh huh, into somebody's fist by any chance?" I asked as I got a medical
tricorder. It paid to double-check everything. "If you're worried about it
getting into a report, it won't. I just want to know what happened to you."
I shrugged. "I'm curious and it would help to know the cause of your
injuries." I ran the tricorder over him and noted that I hadn't missed
anything this time. "Lie down," I said getting the bone knitter. "This may
feel a little odd, but if you feel any pain tell me."
As I was working he spoke up. "I was attacked last night after I left the bar
where you were."
"D'you know who did it or why?"
"I know who it was. I do not know why."
"You want to report them?" I asked finishing with the knitter.
"I do not think that would be wise. I have to work with them."
"They're in Starfleet?"
He nodded. "I do not understand why they did this."
"Why were you in the bar?"
He made to sit up but I stilled him with my hand. "I was waiting for one of
I set to work with the dermal regenerator. "They set you up?"
"It would seem so."
"Why the hell would they do that?"
"I do not know." He sounded a little lost as he said that, like a child.
I put a hand on his shoulder. "They're fools and idiots." He didn't respond.
"I was watching you last night, it seemed to me like you were waiting for
someone worth waiting for."
"I thought I was." He spoke quietly, almost like he had forgotten I was
there. "I realise now I was wrong."
I finished working and set the regenerator down. "That's you," I said. He
sat up and pulled on the shirt I handed to him. "Were you're attackers Human?"
"Yes, all three are Human."
"Then how come you're in here and they're not?"
He met me glance as he stood. "Have you ever heard of the Vulcan neck pinch?"
he asked with what could have been the barest hint of a smile. With that he
walked out of the room. I followed him to the main centre doors.
"What did you think of the band?" I called after him.
He turned. "Most proficient and with an admirable selection of music."
I smiled, "Come see us tonight. You'll get to hear Nyota Uhura, best damn
vocalist in the fleet. We start at 2130."
"I will be there," he said inclining his head slightly as he turned to leave.
I walked back into the office with a smile on my face. The day didn't look so
bad after all.
Spock turned up about half an hour before we were due to start. He scanned
the bar and I waved at him and hollered, 'over here'. He nodded that he'd seen
me and went to get a drink.
"Who's he?" asked Jisak the Andorian drummer.
"You mean other than a very handsome man?" asked Nyota watching Spock as he
walked towards us.
"I'll drink to that," said the bass player Christine as she clinked glasses
with Nyota. I resisted the urge to join in.
Jisak's antennae twitched, "I've never really liked Vulcans."
"Play nice," I said as Spock reached our table.
"Doctor," he said.
"Len, please. Sit down," I said gesturing to the seat between me and Jisak.
"How you feeling?"
"Better, thank you."
"Hey, Lenny, you going to introduce us?" asked Nyota.
"I suppose I better," I said smiling. "Spock, this is Nyota Uhura, Christine
Chapel and Jisak something or other unpronounceable."
"Something or other unpronounceable does not sound like an Andorian family
name," he said dryly.
Jisak scowled and said his real name. I can't say it and I couldn't even
begin to spell it so don't ask me.
"Where do you know Len from, Spock?" asked Christine.
Spock glanced at me. "I required his professional services," he said hoping,
I think, that Christine would drop the matter. Course, she didn't.
"Oh?" she said. "What happened?"
"I would prefer not to discuss it."
"Why not?" she asked.
He looked at me, appealing for help. I leaned over to Christine and whispered
into her ear.
"You can't be serious."
I nodded gravely, "Scout's honour."
She looked at Spock then back to me. "Excuse me," she said rising from the
"What did you tell her was wrong with him?" asked Nyota.
"The Vulcan equivalent of syphilis."
She laughed, "Cruel, Len, cruel."
"You lied to her when you had given your word," said Spock
I shook my head, "I never was a Boy Scout. It was for your own good anyway.
Once Christine has a man in her sights she doesn't let go."
"He's right, you know," said Jisak. "She can be most persistent."
"Surely it was not necessary to tell her a lie?"
"She'll get over it," I said confidently. Christine never took much to heart,
save for the pursuit of men. Spock still looked doubtful though.
"So, Spock, do you know any Earth music?" asked Nyota trying to change the
Spock nodded. "My mother is Human, she was most insistent that I learn Earth
music. You play a rather wide selection -"
"Not enough Andorian," interrupted Jisak.
Spock called up a song on the request box. "This song, 'The Tale of Jast', I
heard it once at a diplomatic reception. Would you play it tonight?"
Jisak seemed to puff up, "Of course," he said nodding his head.
"Talking about playing hadn't we better get started?" asked Nyota.
"Yeah, but where's Christine?" I asked. "Can you try and find her, Ny?"
She rose, "Sure."
Jisak also stood and went across to the stage.
"Anything else you'd like us to play?"
"I am confident that whatever you chose will be adequate."
"Are you really? By the end of tonight you're gonna find us more than
"I see you are ready to rise to the challenge."
I blushed slightly and went to start the show.
Ny found Christine at the bar looking sorry for herself. She was embarrassed
at having made a fool of herself, but agreed to come back and play. She came
over to us giving Spock a wary look as she passed and me a glare. Not that I
expected anything else. Most
likely it'd be forgotten by tomorrow. I don't know what we'd've done if she
hadn't come back cause the bar was real busy. The USS Wolf was in orbit and
she'd brought a tanker load of personnel waiting for transfer to more exiting
assignments. With them and the USS Enterprise still circling the planet the
place was crawling with 'fleeters.
By the end of the night all the drunken men and a good part of the drunken
women had proposed to Ny, or at least suggested engaging in certain nocturnal
activities. A couple of wet behind the ears ensigns had started a fight to the
sound of 'Ice Cream Man'
and only calmed down when we got to 'Don't Smoke in Bed'. I was still on early
tomorrow and it was shaping up to become a busy morning.
Spock sat through it all, giving us his attention as he sipped something that
looked suspiciously like water. After we had finished and packed up I went
across to his table.
"What did you think?" I asked siting down.
"Nyota Uhura has a very elegant voice," he said.
I smiled, "I couldn't agree more. We're very lucky to have her."
"Are all the band members in Starfleet?"
"Yeah," I said nodding. "Christine's a nurse, Ny works in communications and
Jisak's a security red shirt."
"Hey, Lenny," shouted the barman, "Scedadle."
Spock and I stood. "Sorry, TJ. I'll see you Monday."
"Sure. Good night."
"Night," I said as Spock and I went outside. I turned to him, "Walk you home?"
He looked at me as though I had suggested dancing naked in the street. That
wouldn't have been such a bad idea if it hadn't been so cold.
"If I let you off on your own, how do I know that the guys who beat on you
last night won't do it again?"
"You would not know."
"Exactly," I said triumphantly. "Now where to?"
"The Fleet Hotel."
I frowned, "I didn't think the Enterprise was on shoreleave here."
"Technically you are correct. We are waiting for a new chief engineer.
However, Captain Pike ordered that all non-essential crew members took
shoreleave until the engineer arrives."
"When are they due?" I asked as we started to walk to the hotel.
"Lt Commander Scott is expected in three days time."
"Scott? Montgomery Scott?"
"Yes. Do you know him?"
I grinned, "I've know Scotty for what seems like forever. He's quite a
character and from what I hear a damn good engineer."
"Captain Pike selected him on the basis of his excellent record."
We walked on silently until Spock spoke up. "You said to the barman that you
would see him on Monday. Does that mean you are not playing tomorrow?"
I nodded, "We don't play Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. TJ has another band
then, they play modern music. I've been told their quite good."
"You have not heard them?"
"Nah, I don't like much modern music. Most of it sounds like someone let a
cat loose in a pan cupboard."
I could almost have sworn he smiled at that, but it was too dark to see
clearly and it might just have been my imagination.
"This must the worst place in the Universe to get shoreleave. There's
practically nothing to do."
"Practically nothing?" he asked turning his face to me.
"There are some pretty spectacular water falls a couple of miles out of town.
Not many people know about them."
He hesitated slightly before asking: "Would you care to show them to me?"
"Sure," I said with a grin, "I'd love to. I finish at 1400 tomorrow. Come by
the medical centre then and we can go from there."
Spock turned up right on time, not that I expected anything else. I'd just
finished so I waved him over to the lockers and went over to them myself.
"How you doing, Spock? No more trouble?"
"None. I believe my attackers have learnt the error of their ways."
"Good. Just let me get changed and then we can go." I went into a side room
to change and came out still pulling on my shirt. "Spock, inside my locker
there's a backpack, can you get it for me?"
"Of course," he said pulling the bag from the locker.
"Thanks," I said taking it from him and stuffing my uniform inside. "Ready?"
"I was ready when I came into the building, Len."
"Yeah, but you ain't gonna to get anywhere without me."
"Perhaps," said Spock leading the way out of the centre.
The walk to the falls didn't take very long and it was certainly worth. Not
for the falls themselves, spectacular as they are, but for Spock's reaction. I
swear his eyes lit up when he saw all that water. 'Fascinating' was all he
said, but if he'd been Human he would have been spouting poetry. He'd calmed
down a bit, and we were now sat down next the lake the falls led into, eating
"Can I ask you a question, Spock?"
"Have you not already done so?"
I scowled at him before asking: "Why did you join Starfleet?"
"To see this," he said.
"Don't be daft, Spock," I said. "Why'd you join up?"
"To visit other worlds, to see more than Vulcan."
"What's Vulcan like?"
"There wasn't a place for you there, was there? Not if you wanted to try
being Human sometimes," I said with sudden inspiration. He nodded gravely.
"That's what you were doing the other day, trying to be more Human, but those
guys were jerks."
"Or perhaps I was foolish to give my trust so quickly."
"You seem to have given it to me."
He looked down at his hands. "I am leaving here in two days, hardly enough
time for my experiments in being Human."
"Two days can feel like a long time, Spock. And you never know, we might meet
again, or you might find someone else like me."
"I do not think so," he said looking up at me.
I smiled gently. We sat in companionable silence for a while, just eating
lunch. I don't think he'd planed on saying so much to me. But he had, and all
the preconceptions I might have had about Vulcans went straight out the window.
I wasn't sure what he wanted
out of the two days, but even then, without knowing why, I knew I would do
anything I could to make sure he got it. But first there was something I
"Do you mind if I go for a swim, Spock?"
He looked a little surprised. "I can see no reason why I would object," he
"Good," I said standing. I stripped down to my briefs and headed for the
lake. Once I got over the cold shock I began to swim with strong even strokes.
Out of the water I might be the sort of guy who trips over his own feet, but,
forgetting modesty, I'm
positively graceful when I swim. I swam for a bit, burning out the strain of
the day and finally got out of the water and went back to Spock.
"Did your swim prove enjoyable?"
"Yeah," I said taking a towel from my backpack and drying off. "You should
have joined me."
"I cannot swim."
"You can't swim? You've got to be kidding."
"I assure you I am not. Vulcans do not swim."
I laughed and asked: "Would you like to learn?"
He looked at me, then at the water and then back again. "I would."
"Play your cards right and I'll give you a lesson tomorrow. The water's
probably to cold for you just now."
"How will playing cards help me?"
"That all depends on how well you bluff."
He stared blankly as I started to get dressed.
"I do not understand."
"What I mean is, well I'll only give you a lesson if you do certain things."
"Certain things?" he asked.
"That's not what I meant. What do I mean?" I paused for a moment looking
down at him. "Wait a minute, you know exactly what I meant, don't you?" He
conceded that he did. "Remind me never to play poker with you."
"I shall endeavour to remember to do so."
"I'm sure you won't."
The next day found us up at the lake again. I had considered a swimming pool
for Spock's lesson, but figured he'd prefer privacy over warmth.
He was dressed in a tight fitting T-shirt and shorts that left little to the
imagination. I wondered how long my concentration would last and if you could
get thrown out of Starfleet for ogling Vulcan science officers.
He'd hesitated over coming into the water and tried to suppress a shiver at
the cold. I didn't think it was that bad, but to him it was probably freezing.
I smiled in what I hoped was an encouraging way and walked backwards into
deeper water until only my head and shoulders were above water. "Come over
here, Spock, and we'll try something easy."
He looked a little suspicious, but moved closer anyway. "What would you have
I decided it was best to take that question in the spirit it was meant and
said: "I want you to lie on your back and float."
"Is that all?" he asked raising an eyebrow.
"You've got to start somewhere," I said. "And I'll be right here to catch you
if you can't do it."
He looked at me for a moment and then did what I asked. For a split second he
floated then he bent in the middle and went under. Before I had time to react
he was up again and stood coughing and spluttering.
Once I realised he was okay, I had to stop myself from laughing. I tried for
sympathetic and concerned. I failed. "Maybe Vulcans are just too dense to
float," I said laughing.
That earned me an almost glare. Spock looked across at the bank and then back
"I'm sorry, Spock, I didn't mean it. You were doing fine until you bent up.
You need to be a bit more confident. Like this," I said floating around
"I will try," he said. This time he got it right and there was an
unmistakable air of triumph about him.
For an unemotional race Vulcans sure are bull-headed. Spock insisted on
staying up at the lake for most of the day. He seemed very determined to
learn, and much as I'm loath to admit it, he was very quick to learn. I don't
know how long it took me to learn to swim, but by the end of the morning he had
the basics down. He pulled himself along with strong strokes, but his
technique was practically non-existent.
When he finally called it a day, I suggested dinner. We got some vegetarian
stuff for Spock and headed back to my apartment.
I keyed in the lock code and called out, "Hippocrates."
The cat came running, he probably wanted to know where his dinner was. He
ignored me and went straight to Spock, walking round his feet and doing a good
job of stopping him in his tracks.
"What does the creature want?" asked Spock looking down at Hippocrates as
though he were some kind of alien life form. Actually that didn't sound too
I crouched down and clicked my fingers. Hippocrates, deciding it was probably
a good idea, came over to me. I picked him up and stood back up then walked
into the kitchen. "This creature, Spock, is my cat. And he wants his dinner,"
I said putting the food on the
worktop and the cat on the floor. I took a tin of cat food from the cupboard
and fed Hippocrates. As I did so Spock took a discrete look around. "It's not
much, but it's home," I said washing my hands.
"Your apartment is much larger than my quarters aboard the Enterprise."
"That's one of the perks of a planetside assignment, Spock."
"I do not believe that I would be suited to a planetside assignment."
I smiled, "What's the Enterprise like?"
"She is the flagship and is what you would expect for such a vessel. It is a
privilege to serve aboard her."
"So, you like the ship, huh? What about the crew?" I asked as I started
"They are the best that Starfleet has, or at least most of them are."
"You mean the people who attacked you?"
He nodded, "Yes."
"What happened?" I asked quietly.
"I told you that I had arranged to meet one of them." I nodded. "He also
works in the science department aboard the Enterprise. Over the past few
months we have worked
together on many projects. I had hoped that I would be able to allow myself to
relax in his company. I was wrong."
"Did they say anything when the attacked you?"
"Only that 'alien scum' should stay away from Humans."
"'Alien scum'? What a stupid idea to have. As if any race is of less value
than any other." I moved round the worktop and stood closer to him. "For dumb
ideas Humans are top of the pile, Spock. I wouldn't worry about it. You can't
let people like that get you
"Then I am glad for someone like you to get me up."
I bit back a laugh, before wondering if he knew what he had said. It struck
me then how close we were standing. Close enough that if I reached up a
little, I could kiss him.
It was at that very moment the Hippocrates chose to jump onto the worktop,
startling both of us into movement. I retreated to the safety of the kitchen
side of the work top and Spock took a seat.
I lifted up a chopping knife and brandished it at the cat. "If you come
anywhere near the food, you're a goner, cat."
"It is not logical to threaten an animal who does not understand."
"You obviously don't know cats, Spock, he understands well enough." I turned
to the cat, "Go talk to him, furball."
Hippocrates sniffed cautiously at Spock. After realising that he was neither
a threat or something to eat, he went to demand his rightful affection. Spock
looked rather lost.
"What do I do?"
"Stroke him. He doesn't bite," I laughed, "At least, not often."
"What's your next mission?" I asked later when we were sat listening to music
"We are to chart a nebula in the Licatha sector. It is primarily a science
"So you're looking forward to it?"
He looked at me then said: "Yes, I suppose I am."
"But?" I asked.
"I am reluctant to leave this place after such a short time here."
"I can hardly wait to leave this place. It's nothin special." But
even then I knew that whatever happened I would look back fondly on this place.
"If the band weren't here I think I'd go mad."
"You do not strike me as the sort of person who would go mad. I would say
that you are a survivor."
"And you, Spock, what are you?"
"Adrift," he said looking at me, "Adrift in stormy seas."
"I would be your anchor if I could," I said hoping it didn't sound as stupid
to him as it did to me.
"Perhaps you already have been," he said. What he did next surprised both of
us. He leaned forward and kissed me.
It took me a few seconds to realise what he had down. I moved my hand to his
cheek and kissed him back.
"Pike to Spock, come in please, Mr Spock."
He started then pulled his communicator from his pocket. "Spock here,
"Spock, the Enterprise is being called away to the Klingon neutral zone. We
are to pick Commander Scott up en route. You need to pack and get to the
transport centre. We leave in an hour."
"Good. Pike out."
"I have to go," he said.
I walked Spock back to the Fleet Hotel and then to the transport centre. We
promised to keep in touch and meet up when next we could. I wasn't sure we
would, but I had a feeling that this wasn't the last I would see of Lt Spock.
Meanwhile life went on. I went out to the bar and we played. When the last
request came through I looked over to the table it came from, surprised to find
no one there. It was the table Spock had sat at on the second night. 'I Hope
That I Don't Fall in Love With
You'. A song I could well understand at that moment. As I sang the last
lines, I felt more than a little sandness.
"And I think that I just fell in love with you."