Chapter 1: Grooming
McCoy stepped into Spock’s quarters and looked about him curiously.
The first thing anyone would notice about the room was the high temperature. Not surprising really when one considered that the occupant was a demon.
Half-demon, McCoy corrected himself.
The next thing was the reddish tinge to everything. Most likely a conscious effort to fit in with the expected image of his demonic heritage.
McCoy frowned at that. It was his experience that those who made the most effort with appearances were those unhappy to simply be themselves. His own quarters were predominantly still as he found them, except for a few knick knacks he’d been gifted through the years. He was well aware they didn’t represent him.
“I suggest you make use of the sonic shower before we begin.”
The angel’s feathers ruffled in indignation.
“Now see here, they may not be as smooth and perfect as yours but I keep them clean!”
“It is impossible to keep them properly clean when they are so disreputable. I will have time to prepare while you eliminate the surface dirt at least.”
The angel’s eyes blazed but then he turned on his heel and stalked into the bathroom, muttering as he went.
Spock moved swiftly, fetching all the utensils necessary for the task at hand. He was just laying out another towel when the angel reappeared. A glance showed him the purpose of the shower had been successful.
McCoy looked visibly more relaxed. The taut tension, clearly visible in the way he’d held his wings, had been soothed away. He could also see the rigidity of McCoy’s shoulders was gone due to the lack of shirts now adorning the angel.
Spock said nothing but gestured to the stool he’d positioned in the middle of his quarters.
Starfleet hadn’t designed their quarters with wings in mind – an oversight perhaps given the alien species they had on occasion encountered with similar appendages – however the demon had discovered that by careful positioning it was in fact possible to fully stretch them.
For now though it was only necessary to extend one wing at a time.
“Please outstretch your right wing,” he instructed.
There was the briefest of hesitations before the command was obeyed and Spock got his first proper look at the work before him.
The feathers were misaligned, the barbs in the vane weren’t smoothed together and even worse, several were clearly loose.
He tsked unconsciously.
“Alright, so it’s been a while,” McCoy muttered defensively and his wing instinctively pulled in tighter.
“It is no matter,” Spock spoke calmly and reached out to stroke a hand soothingly over the top of the wing. The angel relaxed into the soft touch automatically.
Spock considered his options and decided the first thing to do was to remove the broken and loose feathers.
Running his hand once more over the top layer he then began to work his way into them. Deft fingers shifted the unattached feathers loose and untangled those that were hooked together.
He worked silently in through the primary coverts to the marginal coverts until he reached the scapulars right by the join. Under his palm he felt the angel tense up again and he halted his ministrations, recalling McCoy’s previous bad experience.
Keeping his fingers gently stroking those soft feathers he spoke quietly.
“I have no intention of harming you.”
It occurred to him as he heard himself speak that it was perhaps on odd thing for a demon to say to an angel, yet it was true. There was no reason for him to harm McCoy and in truth he did not wish to see any ill befall him. The angel, this angel, was the first being in almost as long as Spock could remember who judged him entirely on who he was. Not who he should be, nor who they feared him to be, but who he actually was.
It was an experience Spock did not wish to lose.
“I know,” McCoy murmured quietly in reply.
Under his hand, the wing stretched further out, in a clear invitation for the demon to continue. Spock accepted without comment.
Having worked through the top layer he shifted into the secondaries and primaries underneath. This meant ruffling those upper layers he’d sorted through but for this stage it didn’t matter.
As he finished the right wing he gave McCoy a tap on the shoulder.
“The left wing now.”
McCoy glanced to the floor even as he folded the one wing and extended the other. His scowl showed his irritation.
“Did you have to pull so many out?”
Spock followed his glance to see the scattered feathers, with some rather large flight feathers resting amid the smaller downy ones.
“I did not pull any out. Those were already adrift. I assure you that you would have noticed if I had removed any still attached.”
The angel sniffed but turned his eyes back ahead of him, silently allowing Spock to focus on his task again.
As he repeated the procedure on the other side he commented lightly, “Do you not shake free the weak feathers when you molt?”
“Of course I do! It’s just… well, they get damaged in these close confines.”
Spock hummed his understanding.
It was certainly true that there were times he’d caught his wings against doors and sharp edges when being rushed during an emergency. It was entirely possible that sickbay presented more opportunities for both emergencies and sharp corners.
Some days he was severely tempted to reveal them to his shipmates and explain this was why he was unhappy about violation of his personal space.
He worked systematically through the next wing until he was satisfied everything was straight and properly placed.
“I shall have to rinse them now.”
He moved to the replicator and returned with a bottle attached with a mister. McCoy arched a brow at him.
“Wouldn’t it be easier for me to take another shower?”
“It would fail to reach the under layers,” Spock explained simply before instructing, “Right wing please.”
McCoy huffed but obligingly stretched out his wing again. Spock noted with a hint of pride that it moved easier this time.
He quickly set to work spritzing the layers of feathers so they were evenly damp. Inevitably his own sleeves became saturated as well.
“Keep that wing out and outstretch the other.”
McCoy did so and spared another glance at the floor.
“Guess that explains the towels.”
“Do you not lay out towels before your own grooming?”
“I use the bathroom to begin with.”
“The bathroom is not large enough to extend your wings fully. It is no wonder they are improperly cared for.”
“They ain’t improperly cared for! Just because they aren’t up to your immaculate standards-” His eyes flickered back to glance over Spock’s ebony wings. “How do you manage to keep your wings so immaculate?”
“I am willing to devote the time,” Spock replied pointedly. McCoy huffed.
“That’s your trouble,” he explained. “There’s so many better things to do.”
“You seem to forget I am a demon. I’d have thought you would prefer me to spend my time grooming.”
“I have nothing against you grooming, and I certainly prefer it to your hampering of imagination and free thinking, but surely even you must take time off to relax?”
“That is the purpose of my grooming.”
“You mean to tell me you’ve never just enjoyed life? Had a good meal? Listened to a moving singer? Watched a comedy and laughed?”
“I remind you again – I am a demon. Enjoying life is not something we do.”
“You’re half-demon,” McCoy reminded him. “I’d say that meant you could enjoy life, it you let yourself…”
“You may shake them now,” the demon interrupted.
It was impossible to say if the small hurricane that erupted was more vigorous because of the angel’s annoyance but Spock had to take several steps back.
McCoy shook the wings forcefully, shaking off the clinging water droplets, before flapping them powerfully.
The discarded feathers that had lain so innocently on the floor were swirled up into the air so the angel appeared as if captured in a snowglobe.
When everything settled, McCoy looked slightly sheepish.
“Sorry ‘bout the mess.”
Spock shook his head, momentarily unsure of his voice. He gestured to the stool again and McCoy sat quietly.
The demon stepped close once more and eyed the wings awaiting his attention. They were already vastly improved and only required a final coating with oil to protect them and give them a lustrous shine.
He ran his hands over the glands at the base of McCoy’s wings and began stroking his long fingers through the feathers once again. It was infinitely more pleasant now they weren’t being caught continually. Only occasionally he had to pause to straighten a random quill.
The sensation was apparently enjoyable to the angel too and Spock was aware of his relaxed, deep breathing and his almost unconscious pushing of his wings back into his hands.
If he spent slightly longer than necessary with his hands deep in soft angelic feathers then who could blame him? However all good things must come to an end and he finally let his hands drop back to his sides.
“I believe that is all.” He eyed the beautiful wings with a tinge of regret. They were glorious with their pearly opalescence and it seemed almost a shame so few people would be able to appreciate them.
McCoy stood and coughed slightly awkwardly.
“Well, thank you for your assistance.” He glanced back at the demon and then about the disheveled quarters.
“Do you want some help clearing up?”
“Unnecessary. It will not take long.” So saying Spock paired his fingers and gestured across his quarters. Everything reorganised itself into regimental order.
“Right. Well. Guess I’ll see you tomorrow then.”
As McCoy made towards the door, Spock couldn’t refrain from speaking.
“If you wish me to groom your wings again…”
“Hardly seems necessary.” The angel didn’t meet his eyes. “Not like anyone but you’ll see them. And I don’t use them for flying...”
There was a noticeable hesitation from the angel paused across the room and Spock took a chance.
“Would you maintain them in better condition if you required them for flight?”
“Then would you be amenable to joining me in a flight at our next opportunity?”
That brought McCoy’s gaze back to his. It was surprisingly calculating.
“Sure that wouldn’t be too emotional of you?”
“It is purely a practical consideration,” Spock countered. “Flying is a skill to be practised like any other and flying in partnership allows more intricate manoeuvres to be practised that could prove invaluable.”
The angel finally smiled.
“Sound like fun.”
Chapter 2: Flying
“What a shore leave!” McCoy exclaimed with a shake of his head. “I spent most of it pretending to be dead.”
Spock didn’t look at him.
“I assure you I have not found the experience relaxing.”
This was perfectly true. He naturally knew the angel couldn’t have died but that wasn’t what had bothered him the whole day.
“It is my understanding,” he continued, “that few crew members have found much enjoyment in the vacation thus far.” He hesitated. “Lieutenant Barrows especially was not happy. Are you sure you did not wish to continue your activities with her?”
“Don’t tell me you’re bothered about that little white lie? Wasn’t even a lie really. I do want to take some time to clear my head.”
“And then what?” McCoy echoed, confused.
“It seems likely the Lieutenant will expect to engage you for future rendezvous.”
“Don’t be daft. It was just a little harmless flirting. You know? For fun. She’s no more interested in me than I am in her.”
Spock privately reflected that he wasn’t so sure about that but he kept quiet on the matter.
“Unless you’re having second thoughts about our plans…?” the angel suggested, smile falling.
“Not at all,” Spock insisted. “This time and place is ideal for our purposes. We still have enough leave allocated and in this location if anyone does see two humanoid figures flying overhead they will attribute it to the planet’s unique properties.”
“Right,” McCoy agreed with a happy bounce.
Spock glanced over his companion. The angel’s wings were looking resplendent in the natural light from the planet’s sun. They looked glorious on board ship too but here they veritably glowed.
The demon was aware his own wings, though immaculate, were not so captivating.
He was suddenly startled as he realised McCoy was removing his shirts.
“What are you doing?”
“I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day these shirts always seem to have rubbed me tender round the wing joint. I don’t intend to find out what it’d be like after flying in them.”
Spock considered this carefully and was forced to concede the angel’s point. It was certainly true that the seam edges could begin to chafe just after an ordinary day. McCoy, for once, had made a logical suggestion.
He swiftly removed his own shirts, carefully separating them and folding each perfectly. The angel had simply dropped his in a rumpled heap. As Spock bent to lay his next to them he was surprised to feel McCoy’s fingers delicately tracing over the join between wing and back.
“I could give you a lotion for any rubbing. Even rub it on for you. If you can’t reach.”
“That would be…” Spock stood and turned to him, intent on removing the sensual contact but found himself face to face with the bare chested angel.
“Most generous,” he finished unexpectedly. He risked a slight smile. “I would have to offer to return the favour. It would not do to be indebted to an angel.”
“I might just take you up on that.” McCoy’s eyes glowed to rival his wings and Spock wanted nothing so much as to bask in it.
Instead he received a face full of feathers as McCoy turned and dove off the cliff side with a joyous laugh.
In seconds the demon had recovered himself and swept after the angel.
The feeling of freedom that came with flight was positively exhilarating. For a demon especially the sensation was intoxicating and he couldn’t help the flash of guilt that accompanied it. His father would not approve of his enjoyment.
He beat his wings powerfully to catch up with McCoy and told himself his purpose was entirely logical.
Whether because the angel wasn’t trying or was simply out of practise, the demon overtook him with ease. However McCoy laughed delightedly and twisted suddenly so that Spock had to turn and try hard again to keep up.
It didn’t take long and this time when McCoy rotated the other way Spock was more prepared and didn’t lose so much distance. By the third time he was already anticipating the move.
Which was when the angel surprised him again by latching onto him.
Hands clasped firmly together and caught off guard, Spock was pulled into a free fall. He blinked, startled at the angel, while McCoy looked positively delighted at the game. Their motion meant they were spinning about each other, gaining speed in their descent.
Spock swiftly calculated exactly when they’d need to release to ensure they didn’t crash. As the moment drew near though he began recalculating. The angel’s wings were not up to his standard… he was out of practise… what if McCoy didn’t register the urgency in time to let go…
With time to spare, Spock forcefully disengaged their hands and all but pushed McCoy into a sideways drift to slow his fall. As he completed his own circle to return to his companion, he caught a fond look directed his way from the angel.
With a curse at his own illogicality Spock set off in a climb. He glanced back once to see whether McCoy was following but otherwise focused his attention on gaining height and pulling away from the angel. The purpose was to challenge himself after all, not have fun.
As he felt the air thinning about him he glanced back once again.
McCoy had lost ground and was clearly struggling. Spock recognised at once that his weaker left wing was failing him and he was unable to maintain level flight. He unhesitatingly swooped back down and once again caught McCoy’s hand.
This time though there was no fond look and he even tried to pull away from him.
“You will fall,” Spock insisted. “Let me assist you.”
McCoy’s mouth set in a determined line but then his wing all but gave out on him and he literally fell into the demon’s arms. Spock held tight and began a slow gliding descent back to the cliff side.
As they returned to solid ground McCoy pulled irritably away and sank wearily to his knees, his wings shuddering and hunched about himself.
“I… apologise,” Spock offered carefully.
The angel glared at him.
“For what? Showing off or trying to get me killed?”
Spock let himself sink to his own knees at a safe distance.
“Neither. I was… angry at myself for enjoying the flight. I should not have taken it out on you.”
McCoy seemed puzzled.
“Why’d you be angry at enjoying yourself? Wasn’t that the point?”
“The point was to practise. I am a demon. I should not be enjoying life.”
Something in the angel softened and he visibly relaxed.
“Yer a half-demon,” he insisted again. “That’s a fact. The sooner you accept that about yourself the better off you’ll be.”
“Perhaps.” Spock shifted closer. “Are you in discomfort?”
The angel’s wings tightened again.
“The muscle seized up. On the… injured side. I’ll be alright.”
“I could-” Spock began but McCoy was standing before he could finish.
“You don’t have to-”
Spock hadn’t intended to say that but he couldn’t stop himself. The angel froze and for a moment Spock wondered if he’d simply leave. Then McCoy lowered himself back to his knees in a silent assent.
The demon let out a breath he hadn’t realised he’d been holding. For reasons he couldn’t fully comprehend, he did not want the angel to leave just yet. And certainly not in anger.
Cautiously he reached a hand across to run over the slight scar line on the left wing join. Beneath his touch he felt the angel shiver.
Spock shifted to a more comfortable position and set about soothing the tense muscles. He had caused this damage unnecessarily. It only made sense that he should do what he could to ease it now.
He let his hands trace over the surface of the skin, learning the stretches of tendons beneath, before he began pressing in his fingertips. Over the wider stretches he used the heel of his hand to force the pressure out. The faint sounds of feathers rustling lent a soothing cadence to their quiet breathing.
McCoy’s skin was pale beneath his own tinted hands and Spock couldn’t help but notice the juxtaposition. The pearlescent pink alongside his own green tinge. It drew his attention back again and again to the imperfection of the angel’s scar and the demon found his fingers tracing along it more often than was logical.
Finally McCoy snapped himself away and Spock wondered if the attention to his damaged joint was disturbing to him.
The angel turned though with bright clear eyes.
“Guess I should offer to return the favour huh?” he suggested. “Wouldn’t do to be indebted to a demon after all,” he drawled with a smile.
Spock instinctively shifted away from the alluring opportunity.
“As a demon, I should try to keep you indebted,” he pointed out.
“Is that what this is about?” he queried. “The massage? The grooming?”
“It would be the logical conclusion.”
The angel drew back.
“You want me indebted?”
“I am a demon,” Spock repeated.
Spock knew as he said it that the words would hurt McCoy but he couldn’t help the automatic instinct to retreat from pleasure. It was what he had been taught to do. What his demonic side urged him to do.
“I guess you are at that. And here I thought there was some humanity in you. Something that might enjoy some friendly company.”
“I do-” Spock began but McCoy was no longer in the mood to listen.
He stood with an irritable ruffle of his wings and snatched up his shirts, beginning the awkward business of getting them back the right way out.
“I can assist-” Spock started to offer but McCoy pulled himself further away.
“Don’t need your help to get dressed,” he snapped. “Wouldn’t want to find myself any further indebted.”
“I do not consider you in my debt,” Spock said quietly, gathering his own shirts. “I offered my help freely.”
McCoy glanced at him a long moment before shaking his head.
“I don’t understand you Spock,” he admitted. “Perhaps angels and demons really aren’t supposed to get along.”
“Perhaps,” Spock murmured softly, watching as the angel stalked off.
Chapter 3: Coming To Terms
“Enough!” Jim snapped.
McCoy and Spock started and looked to the captain suddenly realising the meeting room had emptied.
“Do you two even remember what the discussion was supposed to be about?”
McCoy’s wings fluttered huffily as Spock opened his mouth to reply, only to be over ridden by Jim.
“Ever since you two got back from that Shore Leave planet you’ve been snapping at each other worse than ever. Now I don’t know what caused it but you’re both going to stay in this room until you can behave like civilised beings. Because celestial or not, you are both stuck here and it’ll be in all our interests if you can at least talk civilly!”
Jim stormed out and silence fell.
The angel crossed his arms and eyed the demon warily. He wasn’t sure what to expect from Spock recently. At times the demon seemed almost contrite, offering little signs of friendship, while at others he could turn positively harsh and offer nothing but criticism.
Spock maintained his usual rigid demeanour and McCoy eventually let out a defeated sigh.
“I just don’t know how to behave around you anymore,” he admitted. “You’re really not so bad… I don’t enjoy fighting with you like this… but you didn’t exactly react well to me being friendly. So… what do you want from me Spock?”
Spock eyed him hesitantly.
“What I want from you…” he licked his lips nervously, “is not consistent with my own nature.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I am a demon,” Spock said to which McCoy rolled his eyes but said nothing, allowing Spock to continue. “We act within the rules. It is what we are. Just as angels are unfettered. You follow your passions. It is almost implicit that an angel and demon cannot become friends.”
He fixed McCoy with an open stare as he continued.
“However I did enjoy our time together and do not wish to lose your companionship.”
“So,” McCoy summarised, “you want to be friends with me but you don’t feel you can because it’s against the rules?”
McCoy huffed out a sigh.
“I’d like to be friends with you too Spock.” He offered a wry smile. “Aren’t many people we can really be ourselves with.”
“That is true,” Spock acknowledged before suggesting hesitantly, “My human heritage allows me some freedom but I cannot act completely without guidelines. I do not wish a repeat of my instinctive reaction. It may therefore be necessary to agree some rules.”
“Yes. For my own comfort and your safety. I believe I may only indulge my human side within the limits of my demonic heritage. I cannot forgo rules altogether. Therefore we must agree terms for our… friendship.”
McCoy’s suspicious gaze faded.
“Alright,” he agreed. “So what terms do you want in this Arrangement?”
Spock relaxed. It was hardly visible but the angel noticed.
“Firstly, may I suggest we agree a truce to engagements when mortals are not present? Our duties are to present our arguments to them after all, not to each other.”
“Agreed. Although we can still have separate arguments can’t we?”
The demon considered this.
“As we cannot realistically expect to agree on a wide variety of issues then that would be logical. I’d suggest we analyse them on a case by case basis.”
“If either of us are getting genuinely upset then we stop. Okay?”
“Can I make a suggestion?” McCoy asked. “No taking advantage in each others’ absence. You get far more access to the captain on the bridge than I do.”
Spock hesitated but nodded.
“That would seem to be fair. Perhaps we could each endeavour to ensure both arguments are presented? For example when you are occupied in sickbay or I am away on a mission?”
McCoy blinked, honestly surprised at the offer.
“Yeah, that’d make sense.” He drew himself back together. “And no hiding information.”
“Indeed,” Spock replied readily enough. “It would hardly be a worthwhile victory if my opponent was handicapped.”
The angel could swear he saw amusement in those dark eyes before they turned nervous.
“It would facilitate such an arrangement if we agreed regular meetings to exchange information.”
“More meetings?” McCoy frowned in distaste. “Like we don’t have enough of those already.”
“Perhaps my choice of wording was poor,” Spock allowed. “I was thinking along more informal lines.”
“Social visits?” McCoy queried. At Spock’s nod he grinned delightedly. “That sounds far more suitable.”
Spock coughed awkwardly.
“Then perhaps I might suggest you join me in my quarters for dinner? Unless you have more terms to add now?”
“No. That sounds fine.”
As the angel stood, Spock took note of his wings. While he could see signs that McCoy had been cleaning his wings, they were not as immaculate as they might be.
Demon wings tended to be flat and fine, and if left untended lent towards looking limp. Angel wings if left ungroomed were apt to become fluffy.
“It might also be beneficial to assist each other with grooming,” he suggested.
McCoy glanced to Spock’s sleek feathers and then back to his own.
“You thinking of going flying again?”
“Not at present.”
“Then they’re fine as they are.”
Spock said nothing, knowing his point would be made for him.
Indeed as they walked towards the demon’s quarters, the reason for McCoy’s predominantly grumpy mood was easily recognisable.
While Spock kept his wings tightly tucked in, the angel’s unruly mass of feathers was consistently catching against bulkheads, crewman and particularly in the confines of the turbolift.
As they finally approached Spock’s doorway, he suggested: “Perhaps you might consider spraying them in the morning? I have an oil that is designed to lend glossiness.”
McCoy glanced at him swiftly.
“You wouldn’t mind me borrowing it?”
“I should not have suggested it if I minded.”
Spock led them into his quarters and then hesitated. It was reasonable to say he was unused to entertaining guests and for a moment he was unsure what to do. Then he recalled his visits to Jim’s room.
“Would you care for a drink?”
“I do not have any alcoholic beverages.” He blinked as he realised he was quite unprepared for visitors. “And the replicator does not provide such intoxicating drinks.”
“Just get me a water,” McCoy sighed at him.
Spock did so and watched as the angel hovered his hand over the glass. Seconds later the drink was clearly not water anymore.
McCoy took a sip and his face relaxed into a smile.
“Won’t you join me?” he suggested with a gesture towards Spock’s glass of water.
“I do not possess the same ability to taste. It would be wasted.”
The angel settled himself comfortably at one end of the small sofa and after a brief pause, Spock sat himself at the other end.
“I heard demons don’t have feelings at all. That true?”
“Most demons were desensitized in the Fall. They lost nearly all their ability to feel.”
“Not all demons are fallen angels though,” McCoy pointed out.
“No,” Spock agreed. “There has been a lot of interbreeding since then. Some lines of demons developed quite enhanced senses.”
“And you’re part human,” McCoy pressed. “What does that mean as far as your senses go?”
Spock looked into his glass of water.
“My sense of taste is my poorest sense. I find very little distinction between most flavours I have encountered.”
“I believe my sight is akin to your own. I can see into the ethereal spectrum.”
“You see this?” McCoy queried and Spock glanced over. A halo was illuminating the angel.
“Yes,” he answered shortly. The halo faded away again. “My hearing is perhaps in advance of your own.”
“You are attuned to the celestial bandwidth. I also perceive sounds to the upper levels of a human’s hearing. Slightly beyond even.”
“Huh. So you should appreciate fine music.”
“I appreciate the expertise shown in producing it.”
McCoy grinned widely.
“It’s just us here Spock. You can say if you like something.”
“I find a certain… interest in listening to the humans singing.”
McCoy’s grin faded to something soft and fond.
“I’ll have to sing for you someday. See how you like the music of angels.”
Spock fixed his eyes on his hands.
“Touch is undoubtedly my most sensitive sense.”
“Really?” McCoy sat forward with interest.
“Indeed. My hands… are quite sensitive.”
The angel reached over to hold onto one of Spock’s hands, turning it carefully and examining it. With a slight tilt of his head he experimentally ran his fingers across the palm.
“So you feel this?”
Spock pulled his hand away and hoped the angel hadn’t seen his shudder.
“Yes,” he admitted.
McCoy continued to watch him intently a moment before leaning back and picking up his drink again.
“Well,” he drawled. “If you don’t have a sense of taste, I’m going to choose dinner myself. That alright?”
Spock nodded and merely watched as McCoy rose and headed across to the replicator. He could still feel the lingering tingle of those fingers in his palm and he tried hard not to imagine digging his hands back into those soft feathers.
Moments later McCoy turned with two plates and gestured with his head towards the table.
“Come and get it,” he suggested.
Spock took a calming breath and joined the angel.
“What is this?” he queried as he took his seat.
“Old Earth Italian. You ever have that before?”
“Well I like it.” As if to back up his statement McCoy dug in with gusto.
Spock more delicately tasted his. As he expected, there was nothing to distinguish this meal from any other he’d encountered. It was however interesting to watch the angel’s appreciation of the food.
“Would you care to finish my bread?” Spock held out the piece to the angel who had used all his bread mopping up left over sauce but still had some remaining.
“Thanks,” McCoy smiled and caught the bread, letting his fingers brush over Spock’s playfully.
The demon blushed and at that moment the door swooshed open.
“There you are!” Kirk strode in before taking in the scene. McCoy smirking, Spock blushing and the remains of a dinner for two.
“A demon getting intimate with an angel… isn’t that a sign of the Apocalypse?” he asked as he sat on the arm of the sofa.
McCoy turned to face him.
“Eating pasta is hardly getting intimate. Besides, he’s a half-demon.”
“To which religious texts do you refer?” Spock asked, being interested in all variations of scriptures.
“I don’t know.” Jim shrugged. “Sure I read it somewhere.”
“Didn’t think you were one for religious study,” McCoy commented.
“Thought I should brush up on it when you two showed up.”
“Waste of time,” the angel muttered and Jim decided to change topics before he heard a lecture on natural goodness and tolerance.
“So does this mean you two aren’t going to bug me so much?” he asked gesturing to the remains of their meal.
“Don’t you believe it,” McCoy smirked. “We just agreed to stop baiting each other. You’re still fair game.”
As the two celestial beings exchanged looks across the table, Jim realised he never should have forced them to work out their issues.
Chapter 4: Have Your Back
Overall, Spock felt the journey to Organia had been successful.
His captain had become so locked into his regulated thought patterns that he’d actually argued against the cessation of hostilities with the Klingons. Spock brought to mind several phrases of Jim’s that he looked forward to repeating to the angel. His reference to ‘proper channels’ was perhaps the most encouraging sign of Spock’s influence at work.
Even now he knew how McCoy would react. He’d rant about close-minded thinking, the devolution of humanity and the lack of pure emotion. Then he and Spock would switch to more pleasant topics of conversation until McCoy could harangue the captain in person.
Spock had also discovered a new tune for his lyre that he intended to play for the angel. Following McCoy’s initial discovery that Spock could appreciate music, it had become something of a ritual part of their meetings to trial something different.
However as he stepped into sickbay to find his celestial counterpart, he found Nurse Chapel in a state of some distress.
“Oh Mister Spock! It happened so suddenly. McCoy he’s…” She buried her face into her hands.
“What has happened Nurse? Where is the doctor?”
With a deep breath she recovered herself and looked him full in the face.
“The Klingon vessels must have restored power sooner than we did. They beamed in and took the doctor. He’s gone.”
Spock didn’t listen to anything more. He simply turned and strode out of the room.
He realised he was heading towards the bridge when he suddenly stopped.
The angel had been kidnapped.
He knew McCoy couldn’t really be hurt by the Klingons but that wasn’t the point. He shouldn’t be there. He should be here. With Spock.
To balance the forces acting upon Captain Kirk of course. There was a reason they worked in pairs. It wasn’t a fair test otherwise.
Besides which they had an appointment for this evening. It was not right to disrupt a pre-arranged schedule without any warning like this.
It was therefore perfectly within his own responsibility as the angel’s counterpart to restore him to his rightful place. And completely unnecessary to go through human channels.
Thus decided, he raised his hands and pressed his fingertips together as he focused his energy.
Instants later he appeared on the Klingon ship.
The vessel was quite different to the Federation starship and Spock allowed himself a moment to adjust. His vision moved further into octarine to compensate but mostly he focused on sensing the celestial energy key to angels and demons.
He began following the narrow corridor towards where his companion was but in moments encountered the first of the ship’s crew.
It was clear the Klingon was not expecting to find anyone let alone a solitary Starfleet officer and his reactions were dulled by surprise.
Spock had no such delay and unhesitatingly punched the man with a knockout blow before he could raise any alarm. However he then hesitated as he considered whether he’d utilised the most efficient manner of attack.
It seemed correct though and, considering the Klingons’ penchant for violence, surely it was only reasonable to treat them on their own terms. Thus decided he set off with greater determination.
Moving with supernatural speed, he quickly surprised and overcame every Klingon between him and his goal, all without giving any of them time to raise an alarm.
“Spock!” McCoy greeted him with pleasure before frowning in confusion. “Where’s the rest of the rescue party.”
Spock ignored the question as his eyes swept over the angel’s form.
“Are you injured in any way? Were you coerced into any undesirable action?”
“I’m fine and no,” McCoy responded briefly before continuing with his own line of questioning.
“How come you’re on your own? Jim would never have sanctioned a one man raid on a Klingon vessel.”
Spock continued to ignore the question and instead focused on ripping the bars from the walls.
“Why did you not simply free yourself?” he demanded with a touch of irritation. There was evidence that the angel’s wings had suffered in his recent experience. Probably from being dragged down these narrow corridors.
“Because I thought we were playing by Starfleet rules. How’s Jim going to explain this to headquarters hmm?”
“Our own assignments take precedence over our temporary Starfleet duties,” Spock reminded him.
McCoy continued to stare but then sighed.
“Best get out of here before we cause any more trouble. I’m sure Jim will think up something to explain this.”
“Should I request a beam out?” Spock offered, belatedly realising that McCoy was seemingly not pleased to be rescued in such a manner.
However the angel waved the suggestion away.
“You know those things make me nervous. And if you came unofficially it’s probably best to return the same way. Come on.”
With a slight bounce the angel disappeared in a nimbus of light. Seconds later, Spock followed.
He reappeared with the angel in the doctor’s office. Outside, Nurse Chapel’s voice was clear.
“- and then they stunned me.”
“And why didn’t you report this sooner?” That was Jim’s voice.
“I did!” she protested. “I told Mister Spock. I assumed he’d have told you.”
McCoy stepped out of his office before anything further could be said.
“Doctor!” Chapel’s amazement was clear.
Jim turned to survey the angel, his glance switching quickly to the demon as he entered the main ward behind McCoy.
“What’s going on in here?” McCoy bluffed with a relaxed smile.
Out of sight of the Nurse, Jim frowned at him.
“But Doctor,” she looked confused. “The Klingons…”
“Didn’t get me,” he interrupted. “As you can see.” He stepped closer and laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “You were stunned weren’t you?” he reminded her. “You only assumed they took me.”
“Yes,” she admitted. “I awoke… and you were gone. They’d said they wanted a biological weapon.”
“Your reasoning was sound,” Spock suggested. “However I was able to find the doctor without difficulty.”
“Yes.” She nodded and gave a shaky smile. “I was worried though.”
McCoy smiled kindly and patted her shoulder again.
“Why don’t you take off early Christine? Next shift will be here-”
He was interrupted by the arrival of M’Benga and Lara and he turned a surprised glance to Jim.
“I had to assume you were missing. I requested the next shift early.”
“Right.” McCoy nodded.
“Come on,” Jim suggested. “I’d like a quick word with you and Mister Spock.”
The angel and demon followed the captain out and as soon as they were clear Jim turned to him.
“Do either of you mind telling me what happened? Did the Klingons kidnap you? And how did you get back?”
“Jim,” McCoy sighed. “Do you really want us to answer that?”
“If we answer, you will be obliged to report the incident to Starfleet,” Spock added. “And that will raise more questions than you will be able to easily answer.”
Jim looked hard at them both before sighing in defeat.
“You’re right. I don’t need to know. I have to submit enough odd reports because of you two already.”
He eyed McCoy again, apparently noting the somewhat tired slump to his shoulders.
“Make the most of the extra free time and get some rest,” he ordered.
McCoy nodded and headed off towards the living quarters. Spock fell into step beside him.
“Do you wish to rearrange our meeting?” he queried.
“Are you kidding? I need a chance to unwind more than ever right now.”
Spock didn’t respond but a smile touched his lips none-the-less.
“You’ve got to admire their quick thinking,” McCoy commented apropos of nothing. “Soon as they realised conventional warfare was out they turned straight to biological.”
“I do not have to admire their quick thinking,” Spock replied tersely. “They are irrational and illogical.”
The angel glanced at him speculatively.
“Were you worried about me?” he asked, pausing as they reached the demon’s room.
Spock didn’t answer directly. He merely opened the door and suggested, “You should allow me to check your wings for damage.”
McCoy stepped inside and settled himself in the best position for stretching out his wings. Spock moved close and silently ran his hands along the tops, seemingly to ensure they were laid out fully.
Neither spoke as the demon then set about stoking down the disturbed feathers and running together the separated barbs. He worked methodically, letting his hands run over every inch of the angel’s wings. Finally he rested his hands firmly against the joints and kneaded into the muscles.
To his slight surprise, McCoy pulled away and turned.
“You know,” he murmured. “It’s traditional to reward a rescuer.”
“You hardly needed rescuing,” Spock pointed out.
“Well how about a thank you for looking after my wings?”
Spock found himself caught in the angel’s piercing gaze and he merely nodded. He watched fascinated as the other being moved close and placed a palm against his cheek. Unsure what to expect, the demon held very still as the angel leaned in close.
The touch of lips against his surprised him with their gentle pressure and warmth but he did not know what to do. It was very much an instinctive gesture that he knew demons should not partake in.
However the angel had said it was a traditional gesture in this situation.
Apparently he’d been internally debating the touch too long because McCoy pulled away with an apology.
“Sorry,” he murmured, lowering his eyes.
Spock remained still, unsure how to react. Instinctively he wet his lips.
He suddenly wanted to chase the angel’s lips but McCoy had already stepped away.
“This wasn’t part of our agreement was it?” he said ruefully. “I better go now.”
Spock blinked, surprised. He wanted very much to act impulsively.
“I thought you would have dinner here,” he pointed out, trying to balance his wants with their pre-laid plans. He knew he could end up hurting McCoy if he responded spontaneously.
“I honestly can’t say I won’t do something rash if I stay here,” the angel answered and Spock realised McCoy must remember his erratic behaviour after their first attempt at friendly behaviour. Doubtless he also did not want a repeat of that. “Thank you again for your assistance today.”
Spock felt the formality almost like a wall falling between them. He wished very much to move their self-imposed boundaries but he did not know how to ask.
“It was only logical,” he replied instead.
Something flickered in the angel’s eyes but then he smiled again, turned and was gone.
Chapter 5: Run Amok
“What’s this Jim tells me about hightailing it to Vulcan. He said you’re dying! You can’t die.”
Spock wondered briefly if he shouldn’t have charmed his door against uninvited celestial visitors but dismissed the thought immediately. The only celestial visitor he was likely to receive was McCoy and generally he welcomed the angel’s company.
It was only now that it was likely to prove awkward. He turned to face him as he answered.
“I can however be discorporated.”
McCoy stared at the uptight demon and frowned.
“What’s going on?” he asked softly.
“My father has procured a bride for me.”
“A bride? What in hell for?”
Spock quirked an eyebrow.
“An apt expression in this case. I believe he was disturbed by the recent use of my powers against the Klingons. He feels a… lifelong partner would mold me into a more suitable son.”
“A more suitable son? Does that mean a more demonic son?”
“That is his wish.”
“His wish! He’s the damn fool who mated with a human. If he’d wanted a pure demonic son then that was his mistake right there!”
Spock did not reply. It was useless to argue over what was done. Or indeed what his father would command.
McCoy apparently took his silence as argument enough.
“You want to know something? You’re no more half ‘n’ half than anyone else. We’re all mixes, if not species-wise then by our experiences. Everyone’s unique. Ignoring that fact… that’s illogical.”
“It is not that I disagree with you,” Spock assured him. “Only it is useless to try and change my father’s mind. If I refuse he is apt to use… persuasion.”
“Damn demons,” McCoy muttered. “Can’t you refuse her? Say you want to choose your own spouse?”
Spock was suddenly reminded of the press of the angel’s lips against his but dismissed the thought immediately. McCoy had only offered the kiss as a thank you. Nothing more.
“I believe in that event my father would simply bring me home to ensure I chose from his selection.”
They stood in silence a moment before McCoy continued quietly.
“I am to meet my bride on the planet Vulcan in 3 days time.”
“Vulcan.” The angel snorted. “Demons do like melodrama don’t they?”
Spock chose not to reply to that remark.
Certainly the elders gathered did not look pleased at their arrival. Nor did the arriving bridal party.
“Spock, are our ceremonies for outworlders?” the apparent matriarch demanded with a disdainful look to his companions.
Spock stepped towards her.
“They are not outworlders, T’Pau. James Kirk is my protégé and Leonard McCoy is… my friend. I am permitted this.”
T’Pau arched an eyebrow at the angel but said nothing.
One of the bride’s companions approached the matriarch.
“It is an insult to T’Pring! No angel should be-”
T’Pau raised a hand effectively cutting him off.
“Spock is correct. He is allowed to choose companions to stand with him as protection against betrayal. No rule states he may not bring an angel.”
That seemingly closed the matter as the objector slunk back to his own comrades.
Spock approached the ritual gong in the centre of the ceremonial ground and struck it firmly.
“Kah-if-farr,” he announced clearly.
His bride, T’Pring, approached from the wedding party. Her wings looked like glossy silk falling down her back and McCoy instinctively drew his own messy appendages in further.
As Spock raised the hammer to strike again though, T’Pring shot out her hand.
“Kal-if-fee!” she declared.
Spock showed no surprise but turned expectantly to T’Pau.
“What is it?” Jim asked in confusion. “What happened?”
“She chooses the challenge,” T’Pau answered calmly.
“Ma'am,” McCoy spoke up. “I don't understand. Are you trying to say that she rejected him? That she doesn't want him?”
He felt the weight of everyone’s disapproval but ignored it to focus on what was important right then. T’Pau showed no qualms about addressing him back.
“He will have to fight for her,” she explained. “It is her right. T'Pring, thee has chosen the kal-if-fee, the challenge. Thee are prepared to become the property of the victor?”
“I am prepared.”
“Spock, does thee accept the challenge according to our laws and customs?”
Spock nodded curtly.
“T'Pring, thee will choose thy champion.”
McCoy had no doubt about who she would choose. The one who had rushed to her defence by objecting to his presence. He wondered if Spock could actually beat him?
He heard her declaration but it took him a second to realise she was stood in front of Jim. Unsurprisingly her previous defendant once again spoke out.
“No! I am to be the one. It was agreed.”
“Be silent,” T’Pau commanded. The fool looked about to speak again but T’Pau flexed her powerful wings and he shrank back.
She then turned her attention on the human.
“Kirk? T'Pring is within her rights, but our laws and customs are not binding on thee. Thee are free to decline with no harm on thyself.”
McCoy felt sure Jim would decline the invite. Only an absolute idiot would accept a challenge from a demon…
“I accept the challenge.”
McCoy sighed. He really should have known. Jim could never resist showing off.
“No,” he told the man firmly. “She said their laws and customs were not binding on you.”
“If I get into any trouble, I'll quit. And Spock wins, and honour is satisfied.”
McCoy glanced to where Spock was looking troubled.
He was about to object again when T’Pau’s cool voice rang out.
“Here begins the act of combat for possession of the woman, T'Pring. As it was at the time of the beginning, so it is now. Bring forth the lirpa.”
McCoy felt a shiver of fear at the sight of the wickedly sharp blades.
“If both survive the lirpa, combat will continue with the ahn woon,” T’Pau added casually.
“What do you mean, if both survive?” Jim finally looked nervous.
“This combat is to the death.” T’Pau’s eyes showed no hint of emotion as she essentially confirmed Jim’s death sentence.
McCoy looked in panic between the human and demon being pushed into the arena. T’Pring was clearly fiendishly clever. She wanted to disgrace Spock and she’d found a fool proof way of doing so. Whether Spock was killed by a mere human, forever confirming his status as sub-standard, or killed his protégé, forever tarred himself with the scandal, he was ruined.
Either way, McCoy looked set to lose the closest friend he’d ever had. And someone he’d thought might become more.
As the thoughts whirled in his mind, Spock and Jim were sparring in deadly earnest. While Spock clearly had demonic speed and strength on his side, Kirk was a highly trained Starfleet officer capable of out manoeuvring his enemy. For the moment it was balanced.
“Kroykah!” T’Pau declared and both combatants stopped, Jim breathing heavily, and suddenly McCoy knew what he could do. He turned to T’Pau.
“Is this Vulcan chivalry? The air's too hot and thin for Kirk. He's not used to it.”
“The air is the air.” One wing shrugged. “What can be done?”
“I can compensate for the atmosphere and the temperature with this.” He pulled a hypo out of his pouch. “At least it'll give Kirk a fighting chance.”
T’Pau eyed him thoughtfully.
“Thee may proceed.”
With a hasty nod he rushed to Jim and swiftly injected him.
“It's a tri-ox compound. It'll help you breathe. Now be careful!”
McCoy risked one glance to Spock, willing him to trust in him, before returning to his position outside the combat area.
“The ahn woon,” T’Pau announced.
Two long weighted straps were presented to the fighters and after a brief hesitation Spock lashed out decisively.
Jim was caught off-guard by the aggressive move and went down hard. Almost immediately Spock was on him, wrapping the ahn woon tight about his neck and pulling tight.
As the human fell limp and unresponsive, T’Pau finally gave the command.
McCoy rushed over to free Jim from the strangle hold.
“Get your hands off of him, Spock! He's finished. He's dead.”
Around him he could sense the demons eager to capture the defenceless human from him and he snapped open his communicator.
“McCoy to Enterprise. Beam me and my patient up.”
He used his wings to shield the immortal remains of Jim from the darkness until the transporter beam caught him and returned him to the relative safety of the ship.
He knew he had mere seconds before the medical team arrived, alerted by the transporter operator, and he didn’t waste any time.
Leaning close to hide what he was doing, he rested one hand on Jim’s head and the other over his heart. Moments later, life returned to the still form and he breathed a sudden deep breath.
Just in time as the doors swooshed open to reveal Chapel pushing a gurney.
“Doctor?” she queried.
“He’ll be alright. Suffered oxygen deprivation. Get him along to sickbay, administer a tri-ox and monitor him until I get there.”
She nodded and escorted the rather disorientated captain away.
McCoy waited for Spock.
When the half-demon appeared he seemed surprised to see the angel.
“Jim?” he asked.
“Fine,” McCoy answered shortly before turning to the transporter operator. “Give us a minute.”
The man glanced at the senior officer before nodding and leaving them to it. McCoy turned back to Spock.
“I performed a small miracle,” he admitted.
“You brought him back to life,” Spock translated.
“He was barely dead,” McCoy objected. “And I can explain it all in medical terms.”
“I am grateful.”
“What about T’Pring?” the angel questioned hesitantly.
“I gave her to Stonn. It would have been unseemly to have taken her as my bride once she had challenged me.”
“I’m glad. I mean…” McCoy flustered slightly. “She didn’t seem like the right fit for you really.”
“No. I do not believe she was.”
“Will your father be angry?”
Spock considered this.
“Since T’Pring was the one who issued the challenge, I do not believe he can hold me accountable. However I do not expect him to be pleased.”
“Well. Whatever happens, we’ll face it together, yeah?”
Chapter 6: Babel
The whole situation felt incredibly awkward.
Jim was standing with Spock and McCoy preparing to welcome the ambassador from Vulcan, knowing he’d have to appear completely unaware of the reality of the situation.
Officially, Starfleet knew nothing about the otherworldly nature of his First Officer and CMO. Nor Spock’s relationship to the ambassador or the likely real reason for the dignitary’s visit.
So Jim had to greet the demon formally, not acknowledging that the man was here presumably to punish his wayward son for his failure to take T’Pring as his bride, and without recognising his demonic nature.
He glanced at McCoy who looked every bit as awkward as he felt. It couldn’t be easy for an angel to play nice with a demon.
A full demon at any rate.
The bosun’s whistle announced the official arrival of their guest and Jim straightened.
The man approaching exuded coldness. His wings, larger than Spock’s, seemed to absorb light. Jim had always thought Spock’s wings were black – he knew better now.
As he stopped before him, Jim looked for any trace of emotion in his face and saw none. He glanced at his eyes and a shiver ran down his spine.
Quickly he turned to his officers,
“My First Officer, Commander Spock,” he recited, flashing his eyes to their guest to see if that provoked any response.
The ambassador remained immobile.
“Chief Medical Officer, Doctor McCoy,” Jim continued, again looking to see if that garnered a reaction. This time there was a subtle stiffening. Jim hadn’t realised the demon could get any more rigid.
The ambassador immediately turned away and gestured.
“My aides and she who is my wife.”
Compared to the ambassador, his wife practically glowed. Her face was lit with a genuine smile of happiness and her clothing was loose and light where his was heavy and dark. Her eyes fixed on her son, and then shimmered across to McCoy, never losing their gleam.
“My wife, attend.” Sarek did not speak harshly but with a conviction that she would obey. Somewhat to Jim’s surprise, she returned her gaze to her husband unhesitatingly.
“We shall go to our quarters,” he announced and without further ado, led his wife away.
Jim let out a breath he hadn’t realised he was holding.
“Well, that went better than I expected.”
“I don’t understand,” McCoy muttered. “Why’d he come just to ignore you?”
“My father does nothing without a reason. I fear it will become clear in time.”
So far Sarek had been pretending that Spock did not exist, or at least that he had no connection to him, yet he had been engaging in debates with the other diplomats.
McCoy wondered how many of them were aware of his true origins. They were all so cagey and duplicitous that it was impossible to say for sure who knew what.
He was however intrigued to speak with Amanda, Spock’s human mother, and made the most of the ambassador’s talks with the other diplomats to try and accost her.
She was more wily than he had expected though and managed to catch him by surprise.
“So you’re the angel my son rejected his demon bride for.”
McCoy spun around, only just avoiding dipping his wings in the large punch bowl.
“You got that wrong,” he told her, recovering himself. “She rejected him.”
Amanda gave him a pitying look.
“If he had wanted her he’d never have invited you to attend.”
McCoy blinked at her and wondered where she’d got that idea from.
“He doesn’t want me. I mean,” he flustered for something logical to say. “He set up the terms of our agreement. He didn’t include anything about… well, it was purely business.”
“That may have been so but I’ve seen the way he looks at you.”
McCoy glanced across the room. Spock briefly looked his way but there was nothing unusual in his look.
“How’s that?” the angel asked.
Amanda stepped closer and laid a hand on his arm.
“Frequently,” she replied before tilting her head inquisitively. “Haven’t you ever considered something more?”
McCoy fought his blush as he remembered gentle hands soothing his wings and the press of lips beneath his own. Amanda quickly interpreted his silence as an affirmation.
“You found that which is human in my son.” She smiled at him but McCoy wasn’t quite ready to be convinced.
“Not sure if that’s really a good thing. The demons won’t accept him like that.”
“Now don’t be a fool,” Amanda scolded. “Do you really think they’d ever accept a half-human? But I think, with you, he’s found acceptance.”
McCoy glanced again at the half-demon to find Spock once again glancing in his direction.
“He has so much potential,” the angel confessed. “He could be the best of both worlds.”
Amanda smiled warmly again.
“With you to help him, I think that’s true.”
“I spoke to the angel,” she began.
“Oh?” Spoke tried to feign disinterest. “What did you speak about?”
“About you. About his interest in you.”
“He is not interested in me.”
Amanda arched a brow at him.
“I remember you once telling me you would never lie to me,” she challenged.
Spock looked as discomforted as any child being rebuked by their mother.
“He did show some interest,” he confessed. “But I was unable to respond. There is no precedence for this. I find myself growing hurtful when I have no guide to follow.”
“No guide to follow!” she huffed. “What about your father and me? Aren’t we an example of a mismatched couple?”
“It is not the same,” Spock replied. “A human and a demon is not so far fetched as an angel and a demon.”
“Half demon,” his mother corrected forcefully. “Trust me, we were considered just as inappropriate.”
Spock looked worried still and Amanda leant forward to speak softly to him.
“I know it seems like a leap into the unknown but it isn’t really. People of all species have been marrying for millennia. There’s plenty of precedence, the question is whether you want to. I believe he could make you happy, Spock.”
He looked into her eyes, soft human eyes that he trusted more than any others.
“I would like to wed the angel,” he admitted. “Very much.”
She smiled happily.
“Here,” she said pulling the ring from her finger. “You’ll need this.”
“Your wedding band?”
“That’s more than just ornamental.” She gave him a hard look. “Did you really think your father was just allowed to marry me?”
Spock stopped short. He had never considered the mechanics of how his parents were joined.
“This ring,” she explained, “allows any being to bind themselves to any other being. So long as it’s given and received willingly. Those two people will be forever bonded.”
Spock took the ring reverentially.
“How?” he queried.
“I don’t know anything about its origins or how it works but when T’Pau saw this on my finger she made no objection to my marriage with your father. She won’t if you give it to the angel either.”
“I am uncertain whether McCoy would be willing,” he admitted. “When we kissed… he left.”
“He left because he didn’t want to push you. Because he knows you can’t handle unpremeditated advances.”
Spock sought the truth in his mother’s eyes. She laid her hand upon his arm.
“There’s only one way to find out for sure.”
Spock had one final concern to address.
“What about my father? He is already angry at me.”
“So he’ll give you the silent treatment longer.” She waved this aside. “Leave your father to me. Demons have nothing on humans.”
He recognised the look on her face. She looked… mischievous.
Spock finalised realised something.
“My father did not arrange this visit, did he?”
Amanda smiled enigmatically.
The location seemed propitious to the demon. This was where he had first made the offer to groom McCoy’s wings. Where they had first spoken of themselves in any personal way.
The angel must have sensed someone joining him because he glanced briefly back.
“Oh. It’s you. How’s everything with your parents?”
The demon approached softly.
“My father continues silent to me. My mother… has been offering me advice.”
Spock noted the slight shimmer pass across white feathers.
“Indeed. She has been instructing me in precedence. And in etiquette.”
“Precedence for what?”
It occurred to Spock that since that first glance, McCoy had been deliberately avoiding looking at him. A sign that he wanted to keep his distance?
“Angel,” Spock murmured quietly.
McCoy’s eyes came to him at last, full of emotions Spock couldn’t begin to name.
“Precedence for unions,” he explained. “Etiquette for engagements.”
He pulled his mother’s ring out from his pocket and held it out to the angel.
McCoy’s eyes widened.
“You sure you know what you’re doing Spock? What you’re offering?”
“I am offering to bind myself to you faithfully. I am asking that you be willing to do the same for me. I recognise I am not what many would choose, being neither human nor-”
He was cut off as the angel kissed him firmly.
“You have no idea how amazing you are, do you?” he finally said as he released the demon’s lips.
“I am… gratified you think so. Does that mean you accept my proposal?”
In answer McCoy held out his hand, fingers spread for Spock to place the ring upon.
As the band settled into place they both felt the shift in perspectives.
For McCoy it was akin to someone laying gridlines upon a map that had previously been only swirls of colour.
For Spock it was like stepping from a narrow canyon into a wide valley, open and inviting.
And for both of them it provided the echo of thought patterns not their own.
“Wow,” McCoy muttered. “So that’s what it’s like to be bonded?”
Spock focused his suddenly scattered thoughts and recalled his plan.
“Computer, register marriage of First Officer Spock and CMO Leonard McCoy. Voice authorisation, Spock, Commander.”
“Acknowledged. Awaiting secondary authorisation.”
“McCoy,” the angel spoke clearly even as he wrapped his arms about Spock’s neck. “Leonard Horatio. Lieutenant Commander.”
“Acknowledged. Submitting for approval.”
“That’ll throw Jim for a loop.”
Spock ignored the comment in favour of scooping his new mate into his arms.
“What do you think you’re doing now?” the angel drawled.
“I was informed there was one final stage to cement our bonding.”
McCoy arched a brow as he was carried out of the room.
“Yeah? Your room or mine then?”
“Our room,” Spock decided and silenced any further queries with a kiss.
Chapter 7: Inspirational
Spock had not relinquished his hold on the angel yet.
They were stood in the demon’s quarters, those having been nearest, and he was conducting a thorough investigation of the inside of McCoy’s mouth.
“Your taste,” he murmured as he broke away in awe.
“Do you like it?”
“I wish to discover every possible taste,” Spock admitted as he moved his lips to the angel’s neck. “There is a difference between your mouth, lips and skin.”
“Sure there is.” McCoy gasped as he felt a nip but pressed on. “I probably don’t need to say this… but I haven’t ever done this before.”
“I have not either.”
“Right. So.” McCoy shifted awkwardly. “Do we need to set up any ground rules for you or anything?”
“Negative. The state of matrimony provides sufficient precedence. And there are sufficient reference materials to follow. I should like to penetrate you. Now.”
“Hold up there.” The angel smiled even as he pushed Spock back a little. “I’m all for that idea but there’s a way of doing these things you know. You don’t just leap straight in.”
Spock smiled slightly.
“I did not ever think to hear you advising me upon the correct way of proceeding.”
“Well.” McCoy pulled him forward again to lick at his ear. “Guess marriage changes a guy.”
Spock was sufficiently distracted by the pleasant sensations running over his ear but quickly recovered his sense of purpose.
“The bed?” he queried.
“Bed,” McCoy confirmed.
The demon lifted the angel again to move him into the bedroom.
“You plan on letting me go any time soon?” McCoy asked in amusement.
“Negative. I never wish to let you go.”
“Then I’ll never ask you too,” McCoy promised, allowing Spock to manhandle him onto the bed.
Spock rewarded that remark with a deeper kiss. He didn’t think he’d ever get enough of tasting the angel.
A tugging at his shirt reminded him of what he intended though and he relinquished McCoy’s mouth temporarily.
“You could…” Spock paused as both his shirts were yanked over his head, catching on one wing until he shifted it free. “Miracle the clothes away,” he continued.
The angel gave him a disapproving look.
“And where would be the fun in that?” he asked, hands already reaching for the demon’s belt buckle.
Spock briskly gestured at McCoy’s clothes rendering him naked. The angel gasped in shock.
“The fun would be in having you fully exposed for me.”
McCoy pushed Spock back off the bed so he had to stand again. Then he dove once more for the fastenings that were already struggling against the demon’s excitement.
Spock would have to admit that having the angel so close and focused was worth the time spent in removing his pants.
Especially when warm lips closed around him.
The noise he made was beyond the range of mortal hearing.
McCoy sat back with a smirk, satisfied that he’d made his point.
But neither really wanted to prolong this. Both knew they’d have many more chances to explore and discover. Right now, all that mattered was sealing their union.
Without a word, McCoy turned and crawled further up onto the bed, wings fluttering in anticipation. Spock crawled hastily after him and then hesitated.
He knew what to do next – they both did, after all they’d both been around long enough – yet part of Spock was suddenly terrified.
What if he did something wrong? Research was hardly a substitute for experience. What if the angel changed his mind? Could he really bring happiness to such an emotional being?
McCoy looked back over his shoulder to find out what was holding up the demon.
“Darlin’?” he queried.
And just like that, Spock’s worry disappeared.
McCoy had chosen him. He had accepted him as he was. They would discover all new things together and learn to please each other to the best of their abilities.
Spock leant forward and placed a fond kiss right between the angel’s wing blades. It prompted another shiver through the feathers and McCoy’s head dropped down to inhale sharply.
The demon took the opportunity to cast a quick charm and then he shifted forward to breach his angel for the first time.
The sensation was unlike anything either of them had ever experienced and both forgot to breath. Fortunately neither really needed to.
Spock kept sliding until he was completely encased and then he waited, letting his hands massage over the soft whiteness of his angel’s beautiful wings. They responded to his touch, pushing into his hands instinctively and he responded by griping them more firmly.
The need to understand this act in its entirety spurred Spock on. He knew he’d want to explore the angel later, letting his tongue trace every inch of him, but right now he wanted to know what it felt like to find completion with another being. With his beloved.
This position had two major advantages – he could dig his hands into soft feathers to secure a firm grip and he could utilise his own wings to provide added impetus. The room was quickly filled with the sounds of wings beating rhythmically, the bed squeaking in unison, all followed by sharp gasps from his partner.
Then McCoy came with a hoarse cry.
The angel slid down to lie flat on the bed. Spock let himself shift out and felt the feathers run freely between his fingers before moving to lie next to him, pausing only to cast a cleaning charm.
“My husband,” McCoy purred.
“Say that again,” Spock murmured.
Spock drew him into a tender kiss, feeling the emotions flow into his being from his chosen mate. He wanted to stay forever in the moment.
However life on the starship apparently hadn’t halted because there was a new couple and there was a rather insistent chiming at their door.
McCoy groaned and buried his face in the pillow.
Spock however, still conditioned to respond properly, raised himself and moved to see who was waiting. He remembered to miracle himself back into proper attire just before the door slid open.
“Spock.” Jim didn’t wait for an invite before strolling in. “I think something’s wrong with the computer. Or someone’s pranking you.”
“Really captain? What makes you believe that?”
“This!” He shoved a PADD in his First Officer’s direction. Spock glanced to confirm it displayed the notification of his recent nuptials. “I mean that’s crazy isn’t it? I know you two have worked out how to get along but really? What could have prompted it to do this?”
“I would suggest my own authorisation did.”
Jim stared at him blankly before his brain finally started to process again.
“You’re trying to prank McCoy? Why? I didn’t think demons went in for that sort of thing?”
“Half demon, Jim,” McCoy corrected, stepping out from the bedroom. Unlike Spock, he remained mostly naked, only wearing his pants. “And no, they don’t indulge in pranks.”
Jim sat down heavily and stared between the two of them.
“What’s going on?” he eventually asked.
“Simply what the computer has already told you,” Spock replied. “McCoy and myself are now unified by marriage.”
McCoy stepped forward to show off his wedding ring. Jim looked at it mutely before questioning again.
“But, you’re a demon Spock. Half demon,” he amended, seeing McCoy open his mouth to correct him again. “And McCoy’s an angel.”
“So?” McCoy challenged.
“Well, you’re supposed to be on opposite sides! Isn’t that what you told me? One to advise rules, one to advise emotions.”
“Broadly speaking,” Spock allowed. “And we will continue to do so.”
“Being married doesn’t mean we’ll suddenly start agreeing,” McCoy added.
Jim looked between the pair and sighed.
“And you’re happy? Together?”
He watched the demon and angel share an inordinately fond look before they replied in unison.
Jim finally smiled and pushed himself back to his feet.
“Well, in that case, my deepest congratulations.”
He shook McCoy’s hand and clapped Spock on the shoulder.
“Just reassure me about one thing,” he said. “Does this signify the Apocalypse?”
Spock arched an eyebrow at him.
“It does not.”
McCoy however eyed his demon up and down.
“I will say this though,” he drawled. “The earth certainly moved for me.”