Saavik sat at the computer in Spock’s rehab room, watching him work on the leg press. She noted with some concern that the weights were at the lowest setting and that the exercise seemed to require considerable effort.
“Are you fatigued from your work today?” she asked him.
He stopped the exercise to lower his legs with a sigh. “Perhaps,” he said. He retrieved his cane to carefully stand and transfer to the extension machine. She watched his slow progress and resisted the urge to help him.
“Was the work productive?” she asked as he began to exercise again.
“Indeed,” he said, his voice catching as he concentrated on the movements. “Have you been informed about the current crisis?”
“Yes,” she answered. “Sensor sweeps have revealed nothing at this time.”
He stopped exercising to consider that and rest a moment. “Tell me about your mission to Elaanus,” he said.
“It is a fascinating world,” she answered, “worthy of further study.” She watched him resolutely continue the exercises as he listened. “There is an enormous variety of flora and fauna, many of which exhibit strong bioluminescence. It was this quality en-mass that activated our energy readings.”
“Did any of the life forms appear to be predatory?” Spock asked, still wondering why the Derilians had not settled there.
“Negative,” she said. “We took extensive scans. It would appear that all the animal life is herbivorous.” She paused to consider that unlikely occurrence. “I am not aware of any other world where that is so,” she said.
“Nor I,” Spock said as he moved to the next exercise. “Is it possible that these life forms were introduced to Elaanus from elsewhere?”
“I do not believe that to be the case,” Saavik said. “There is a genetic similarity between the flora and fauna that we studied. Unless all life was brought to this moon, it is reasonable to deduce that it evolved on Elaanus.”
As Spock considered that, she turned back to the computer to access the sensor data from the bridge. She worked quietly while he exercised, the only sounds the gentle slide of the weights and Spock’s deep breathing.
As Doctor McCoy entered the room, he paused to watch them curiously.
“Are you two having a fight?” he asked, raising his eyebrows at them.
They both stopped what they were doing and looked at him strangely.
“I do not understand the question,” Spock said.
McCoy laughed. “Well, I don’t think I’ve seen this much distance or control between you recently,” he said. “So either you’re fighting or you’ve finally finished the joining.”
Spock raised an eyebrow. “I believe you are correct on the latter,” he said. “While coitus is still a desire, it is not overwhelmingly so.”
McCoy shook his head with a grin. “Come on,” he said, “you look exhausted. Let’s get you back to bed.”
Spock stood on his own and limped back to the bed, using the cane for support. Saavik rolled the computer closer so they could look at it together and their fingers briefly touched in the traditional greeting.
McCoy shook his head again. “I suppose you’re going to go all Vulcan on me now,” he said, “and stop being such good company.”
Spock raised both eyebrows at him. “I have never ceased to be Vulcan, Doctor,” he said, “despite my recent behavior.”
McCoy laughed. “Will we ever change, Spock?” he asked after a moment.
Spock studied his face. “Change is inevitable among living organisms,” he said. “However, our relationship does seem to be uncommonly persistent.”
“I’m sure Jim thinks we hate each other sometimes,” the doctor said ruefully.
Spock gave a slight smile. “I have never felt that sentiment towards you, Leonard,” he said. “However...deep irritation frequently comes to mind.”
McCoy stared at him a minute before laughing. “Same here, old friend,” he said, shaking his head. “We’re an unlikely pair, you and I.”
“Indeed,” Spock agreed.
“Well,” McCoy said as he glanced at the bed’s readings more out of habit than concern. “Is it safe to leave you two alone now or should I walk Saavik home?”
Spock looked at him in confusion. “I have no intention of harming Saavik,” he said, “and she is certainly capable of walking to our quarters alone.”
McCoy grinned and shook his head. “Yeah,” he said, “we’ll never change.”
He turned to go but paused at the doorway. “I’ll see you in the morning,” he said, narrowing his eyes, “but don’t forget, our deal’s still on.”
Spock gave him the ghost of a smile. “I have not forgotten, Doctor,” he said, “walking before...hanky panky.” He said the idiom carefully as if the meaning were still unclear.
McCoy laughed. “Right,” he said slowly, eyeing them both closely. “Now don’t stay up too late.”
“Yes, Doctor,” they answered together.
McCoy shook his head again as he left them alone, secure in the knowledge that Vulcans didn’t lie. Theoretically, anyway.