Summary: After "Journey to Babel", Kirk and Spock drive everyone nuts
by having long conversations across Sickbay while recuperating from their various adventures.
Betas: Hy & Gamin

For the Love of Peace and Quiet

by Farfalla the Butterfly-Kitten
blueberrysnail (at) yahoo.com


Dr. McCoy and Nurse Chapel both reached for the aspirin bottle the medical staff kept on the top shelf in the Sickbay lounge at exactly the same time. Their hands collided, sending the bottle sprawling across the deck with a musical rattle.

Christine's silvery-blue eyes followed Leonard as he dipped down to retrieve the bottle. "You, too?"

"What, me too?" He stood back up and popped open the lid, then shook out a pill for himself.

"Headache?"

"Yeah." Leonard nodded and handed her the bottle. "Think they'll ever shut up?"

"They're very good friends, and they haven't had this much leisure time together in months," Christine said apologetically as she doled herself out an aspirin.

"I feel like I'm a father at a sleepover party." Leonard rubbed his eyes wearily, then put the pill in his mouth and gulped some water from a nearby glass. "I can't understand it. Put most people that work as hard as they do flat in a comfortable bed for a few hours, they'll take advantage of the opportunity and get some damned sleep! You know I would--I'm dying for some shut-eye."

"Sarek's surgery took a lot out of you." Christine paused. "That was quite a feat you performed--your first Vulcan surgery during a space battle."

"It wouldn't have done any good if one of those shots from the Orions had blown us to Kingdom Come," Leonard muttered. Half of his fatigue was simply caused by his body unwinding from one of the most stressful nights of his career. First Spock's alien father had had what turned out to be his fourth heart attack and needed emergency surgery, and then Captain Kirk had been stabbed in the back by a disguised Orion spy. Mix in Spock's crazy Vulcan stubbornness and an Orion ship on a suicide mission to blow up the Enterprise, not to mention Lady Amanda Grayson hovering around like a pink and red hummingbird in her feathered shawl, and it was enough to give the Easter Island statues a headache.

"I knew he'd save us," said Christine. What she didn't say was how scared she had been that they wouldn't be able to save Sarek, or that Spock would be in serious danger from the drug they were using to increase his blood production rate.

"We're lucky that Jim was back up there on the bridge," said Leonard. He took another drink from his water glass. After the battle was won and the surgery completed successfully, he had confined both Kirk and Spock to their respective Sickbay beds to recuperate, on opposite sides of the room. He'd expected them to sleep through the morning, after all the excitement.

Instead, after only an hour of napping, the pair's eyes had floated open at almost the same time, and the chatting had begun. It started, of course, with a quite professional discussion of the fallout of recent events, both political and military, and morphed into debate over the practicality and prudence of using a single ship to transport together so many beings of high importance from such diverse cultures. Then, with all topics of business exhausted, they'd moved on to more pleasant areas of conversation.

For hours they'd filled the Sickbay with their relaxed voices, Jim's animated but casual like a mountain creek rushing over slippery rocks, Spock's deep and calculated in a measured purr. They had traded stories from childhood and from missions before they'd met, taught each other more of their favorite random facts--Spock from science and Jim's from history--and soaked up the warmth of their friendship like happy sponges.

The doctor and nurse found it a pleasant and heartwarming backdrop--for the first several hours. Their friendship was one of the strongest Dr. McCoy had ever seen, and even crewmembers who didn't know them personally were touched by the degree of closeness between the two highest ranking officers. But finally, after more than half a day of enduring the endless volley of words slung across the room between the two men propped up on their elbows, both the doctor and his head nurse were ready for some silence.

They'd moved Sarek into a private room hours ago so that he could be monitored by Dr. M'Benga, who was more awake than McCoy was after his night of surgery, and so Amanda could get some rest on a cot beside him. She certainly wasn't going back to their cabin at a time like this. "If we hadn't sent Sarek into that other room," Leonard mused to Christine, "we'd have an excuse to tell them to keep it down."

"I think it's safe to go back in..." She peered around the corner into the main Sickbay area. "Looks like Spock drifted off to sleep."

"Finally," Leonard groused. "What's Jim doing?"

"Just lying there... looks like he's trying to fall asleep too."

They stood there in the lounge for a few more moments, simply enjoying the silence. Then Leonard reached out with one hand and patted her arm gently, ending the gesture with a squeeze. "You did very well last night."

"Thank you." Christine smiled.

"We should get back in there. It's bad procedure to leave Sickbay unmanned." Light from somewhere reflected itself in his blue eyes.

"Be careful, Doctor, I might write you up for that." Her eyes twinkled right back.

"When those two wake up again they're gonna be just as noisy as before," he commented, leading her back into the Sickbay.

"What makes it worse is that they have to shout across the room," said Christine. "Maybe we could move Jim's biobed so that they'd be close enough to talk in softer voices."

Leonard stopped walking for a moment. "You're serious?"

Christine seemed like she'd almost surprised herself with the idea. "Y--yeah! Why not? The deck panels can detach and move around, right?"

"We better do it while Jim's asleep, or he'll try to hop out of bed and help us," Leonard quipped. "Get Charles and Yamamoto in here to help; we can't move that by ourselves."

"Okay." She flashed him a smile before flitting out of the room.

Fifteen minutes later, the four of them had successfully detached the biobed panel from its protective fastenings to the deck, and with a signal from McCoy, it was lifted into the air. Jim's head rolled gently on the pillow but his nap was otherwise undisturbed. When the biobed was placed with utmost care in its new location next to Spock's, his only reaction was to smile in his sleep and snuggle into the blankets.

Christine smiled. What an incredible man was Captain Kirk--he could stare death in the blue-skinned face hours earlier, yet still retain such fresh, boyish charm.

Kirk slept for several hours, then drifted awake around dinnertime. "Nurse Chapel?"

"Hm? Are you comfortable, Captain?"

"Yes, very, thank you." Kirk propped himself up on his elbows and regarded his new surroundings, which included a peacefully snoozing Vulcan. "I see I've got new quarters."

"Yes," Christine smirked. "Dr. McCoy and I thought you'd be more comfortable chatting as you recuperate tomorrow if your beds were closer together."

"Got tired of us yelling across the room?" Kirk grinned at her. "I'm sorry about that. Spock had such a bad day yesterday... and the chatting was helping him get back to normal."

"I know," said Christine. "That's why we didn't shush you."

"Where's Bones?"

"Asleep."

"He deserves it. How's Sarek?"

"Getting better every hour. Amanda hasn't left his side."

"That's devotion." Kirk took a deep breath and let himself down against the pillow. He turned his head toward Spock. "He's been asleep this whole time, too?"

"Yes, Captain," said Christine. "And he's been getting better, too. The drug's almost out of his system. We just want to keep him here another day to make sure everything's all right. His human half, well, complicates things."

"We know," Kirk said wryly, still looking at his sleeping friend.

The Vulcan looked so soft and relaxed in sleep, dark and full lashes falling over a pale, noble face. A few strands of straight black hair fell in random directions, unglued from their usual perfection. His hands rested at his sides, the long, usually-busy and nimble fingers folded in spidery repose.

On impulse, Kirk took Spock's nearest hand in his own. He didn't have that far to reach, thanks to the efforts of McCoy, Chapel, and the other two nurses. He cradled it and stroked the Vulcan's palm once or twice idly. He couldn't be sure whether it was his own imagination or the scientific reality of his friend's alien species, but he definitely felt the calm song of connection when he held Spock's hand like this.

When Spock awoke, a thought came into his mind right before he opened his eyes. T'hy'la. Neither of them said it; it was simply the most perfect word to describe what existed. He wondered why their minds were suddenly so attuned.

He opened his eyes and looked into Jim's, and realized where his hand was. "Jim?" he murmured with surprise. Jim had been on the other side of the room when he'd fallen asleep...

Fascinating... he had been dreaming of someone giving him a great, big present, and look who was here, right beside him...