Title: Come Hither and Welcome (3/?)
Fandom: Star Trek TOS
Summary: When Bones retreats, Kirk and Spock follow—which leads to a mystery; and this particular Mystery’s name is Leonard McCoy.
Previous Parts: 1 | 2
“Can I help you, Sirs?” a stern-faced lady queries to the strangers as she appears from a side parlour onto the main foyer. Kirk had been eyeing the lush surroundings with surprise and Spock studied an antique painting over a side table.
Jim flashes his most charming smile. “Morning, Madame. We are looking for Doctor McCoy. Can you help us?”
Her stoic expression rivals Spock’s when she replies, “I am afraid that I cannot assist you in such a matter.” Jim is about to speak but she bides them to follow her into the parlour from which she came. The woman gestures to a portrait sharply. “This is the late Doctor McCoy. You must understand, gentlemen, that your request cannot be fulfilled.”
“Fascinating.” Both of Spock’s eyebrows have ascended towards his hairline. “I presume that this must be Doctor McCoy’s ancestor.”
Jim agrees with a grunt, in awe at the uncanny resemblance this doctor bears to Bones. Then he turns on their hostess. “We want Leonard McCoy, who is very much alive.” His eyes narrow. “But you already knew that, didn’t you? Where’s Bones?”
“There is no Leonard McCoy listed in our guest registry. You may peruse the book for yourselves. However, unless I can help you in any other way, I must ask that you take your leave. This is private property.”
The Captain just crosses his arms and smiles. “Well, if you accommodate guests, then consider us your newest ones.”
“I apologize but a reservation is required. If you would like, we can decide on suitable future date for your stay, though I must warn you both that we have no openings for the next three months.”
Jim obviously does not appreciate her polite dismissal any more than he would a blatant order from Starfleet Command. “I don’t like to be very public about this, but I can tell that you are a discerning woman. I am Captain James T. Kirk of the flagship Enterprise and this is my First Officer, Commander Spock. Now,” he pauses for effect. “I need to find my Chief Medical Officer—which would be Doctor McCoy. If I have to go to Command in order to secure your full cooperation, I will.“
She is not impressed. “Captain, Commander. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am unable to accommodate your wishes at this time. You may contact your superiors in Starfleet.” She may not be impressed but Spock is, apparently, that she calls Jim’s bluff.
“How may I address you?” he asks in his solemn Vuclan way.
“My name is Moira. I am the housekeeper of the DeMont Retreat.”
“I am Spock.” He lifts his hand in traditional Vulcan greeting. “Live long and prosper.”
“And you, Mr. Spock.”
“Might I inquire of the services available here at the DeMont?”
Jim looks between the expressionless two and wisely does not interrupt their strange social acceptance of one another.
“If you will follow, Mr. Spock, Captain Kirk.” She leads them through the parlour to an adjacent room that is clearly a small office. They both sit when she gestures to unoccupied chairs. Moira hands them both a PADD and says, “Excuse for one moment, please.” Kirk and Spock scroll through a brochure that emphasizes the very discreet and exclusive policy of this estate. Moira returns to them five minutes later and begins with a firm “Let me tell about our DeMont Retreat.”
Claire halts in the middle of scribbling in an accounting ledger. “Daisy. Yes, what is it?”
“Mistress M says there are two Starfleet officers in the front hall.” Daisy creeps closer to whisper, as if the words might echo. “They’re here for the Doctor, Ma’am.”
Claire blinks and lays her pen to the side. “What is Moira doing with them right now?”
The maid grins broadly. “She’s giving ‘em her favorite spiel on the grounds, Ma’am. Right bored they’ll be, soon.”
She laughs on the inside while managing to maintain a cool expression… barely. “Have two rooms prepared for our guests.”
“Positive.” Claire walks Daisy out into the hall. “Go down to the stables and send Davey to wait for Len. Have him come in through his usual route, understand?”
“Will do, Ma’am!” The maid is off to complete the lady’s biding.
Jim is surprised when Moria leads both himself and Spock without a word up two flights of stairs to a bedroom. She turns and says to the Captain, “You may reside here. Lady DeMont has asked that you dine with her tonight. I hope this suits you?”
He feels dumbfounded for only a minute, but he recollects himself in time to tell Moira, as she is about to walk off with Spock in tow, “Don’t worry about Spock. We’ll share the room.”
The housekeeper stops, turns to look at him over her shoulder. Again, she has no expression but Jim would bet that her observations and subsequent conclusions are rather quick (and correct). Moira inclines her head to Mr. Spock, who inclines his head in return as if to say Yes, the arrangement is acceptable and thank you. “Very well. I will notify the maids to bring up an extra set of bathroom accoutrements. In the meantime, can I assume that the two bags in the foyer are the only luggage you’ve brought?”
“Yes,” Jim says somewhat contritely.
She nods to them both. “Good day, Captain, Mr. Spock. Dinner begins promptly at seven o’clock. You may dress casually.” With those words, the super-collected Moira leaves them standing in a gorgeously lavish hall decked in apricot and gold.
Jim looks to Spock. “Lady DeMont.”
The question is not only where might Bones be, but is he truly McCoy-DeMont, proprietor of such a wealthy Southern estate? And, above all, why didn’t he mention it?
“Hey there, Dave. Looking for me?”
“Just give me a minute to finish up here, and I’ll come along.” When Davey turns back to his idling in the sterile white halls of the hospital, Leonard adds, “And don’t call me Sir, son. It makes me feel much too old.”
“Yes, S—“ Davey blushes.
“Doctor McCoy will do just fine.”
“Yes, Doctor McCoy.”
Len pats a nurse on the arm and iterates a set of instructions for Old Crombie still wallowing about behind a drawn screen with his aches and pains (it’s arthritis). The old man generally ‘forgets’ to come in for regular shots and osteo-regeneration unless McCoy is “doctoring the folks” as he puts it. Then Len seeks out the upper administrative floor and the office of the hospital director. He trades a few words with the man—a long-time friend—and makes sure that the hospital funds are sufficient this time of year. McCoy knows from experience that it is better to get in all the extra medical supplies and stow them away from the incoming winter days. This part of the country keeps a high ratio of elderly—and despite the advanced technology of this day and age—the human body always needs more care with advanced age.
He finally raps up the day’s rounds and short meetings with the department heads to find Davey not loitering about in the hallway any longer. In fact, the young man is very much engaged—chatting up a pretty brunette nurse. It brings a smile to McCoy’s face.
“Sorry to be interrupting your wooing, son, but didn’t you have a reason for coming down here?”
Davey hangs his head a little which almost makes Leonard feel bad, so he gives the man a sharp slap on the back. “I’m sure Georgette here will be pleased if you offered to take her into town…”
Georgette is as wide-eyed as Davey and they both remind McCoy so much of himself at that age; ‘cause Lord if he didn’t feel awkward as a youngster too. (It’s amazing how far along he’s come since then.) After the two young people fix up a date between them (somewhat shyly), Len takes Davey by the arm and literally has to drag him like a stubborn puppy down the street and out of sight of the hospital.
They slow to nice brisk pace towards the DeMont lands. Eventually, McCoy pulls out of his reverie and says—no doubt disturbing the young man’s reverie too, “Why’d Claire send you to meet me, Dave?”
“Heard there were two fellas come to the estate looking for you, Doctor McCoy.”
Leonard stops in the middle of the path.
“Was one of them Vulcan?”
“You mean the green—“
“Pointy-ears, yeah, yeah—that’s a Vulcan alright. Damn.” Leonard turns in a short (confused) circle like he’s trying to decide which way to run. Then he sighs, quite loudly. “Damn it, Jim, Spock,” he mutters. So his peace only lasts a couple of days. So be it.
“Let’s go home before it gets dark.”
Leonard refuses to go around the back way and keep out of sight. Contrary to Claire’s assumption that he wants to avoid Kirk and Spock, McCoy is set on confronting them. In fact, the more thought he gave the situation, as he and the stable boy approached the main house, the angrier he became.
Were they that damned possessive that he couldn’t be gone for less than a week without being tracked down? McCoy certainly doesn’t consider himself to be attached at the hip to either Jim or Spock. He’s an adult, damn it! He is a grown man who is capable of taking care of himself, can leave when he chooses to, and go where he wants.
Of course, his more sensible self—that he ruefully wants to call his Spock self—reminds Leonard that he is to blame too. After all, didn’t he just up and go without warning? It’s a mess, all of it. And now, Len is caught unprepared. Surely they’ve done some research, and most probably in Spock’s case, formulated a series of logical theories. He only hopes that he won’t lose his temper too much, or that Jim won’t explode either, before they can sit down and talk about the DeMonts.
Leonard enters through the front entrance and finds the housekeeper (good old tough-as-nails Moira) waiting for him—as if she expects no less from Doctor McCoy than to step up to the challenge. (Sometimes this woman is uncannily good.) She says without preamble, “They are in the Revoir Room taking dinner with the Lady.”
Leonard thinks he has steeled himself, but when he pauses in the entryway to the large and decadent dining room, McCoy sees Captain Kirk bouncing Tommy on his knee as the boy shoots rapid-fire questions. It’s quite a sight.
“…and did you get to touch a star, Cap’n Kirk?”
Jim has that very patient (and tender, McCoy thinks) look on his face as he answers. “Why I not only touched them, I roamed all over the stars and back!”
“And did you fight any pirates?”
McCoy clears his throat before Jim can reply to that one. The Captain looks up at his CMO, clearly startled. Spock, however, has been watching McCoy since he turned the corner. It’s Tommy who leans way back (Jim has to make a hasty grab to keep the boy from tumbling off his lap) and announces “PA! Pa!” He squirms until Jim has to set him down on the floor, and points up at Kirk. “Look! It’s the Captain of the Enterprise! And…” The boy squints in the direction of the Vulcan. “…umm… What’s your name again?”
“I am Spock.”
“S’ock. That’s S’ock. He’s from the Enterprise too.”
Leonard cannot help but be amused; he thinks Spock has just earned a new nickname. “Well, I’ll be. To what do we owe the pleasure, Captain and… Spock?” He stops himself just in time from saying S’ock.
Jim’s smile never wavers, though his eyes have grown dark. To stall, Len picks up Tommy and addresses Claire who has been watching them quietly. “Time for bed?” She nods. “Excuse us,” he says to the two officers. Tommy protests all the way out the door.
Jim calls out behind him, “Hey, Bones. See you later.”
He has no doubt of that.
Claire finds Leonard hanging out on the balcony in the dark. She slips alongside him and rests her shoulder against his. “They aren’t like I expected.”
“And what were you expectin’, darlin’?”
She’s quiet. “I thought— Well, we all hear stories about the Enterprise and her Great Captain. I mean, Len, I know that ya’ll must be worth your weight in gold. You’re on that starship and I know you—you wouldn’t waste your time or talents on people who don’t deserve to serve with you. I knew that they must be a special crew…”
“But I wasn’t prepared for how humble he is.”
“Who? Jim?” McCoy barks out a laugh. “Are we talking about the same man? I’d say he’s pretty full of himself!”
Claire smiles. “He’s got charm, if that’s what you mean. He’s got the qualities of a good captain…”
“A great captain,” Len mumbles.
“…and a good man.” She turns to look up at McCoy then, her face intent. “So does Spock. I can see why they mean something special to you.”
“Is it that obvious?”
“From the way you complain about your reckless Captain and, I quote, ‘that computer of a Vulcan.’ Really, Len, who do you think you’re fooling?”
“Next you’ll be giving me that line about how a woman always knows.”
Claire replies, “She does.” When McCoy just hmphs, she laughs at him. “My poor Leonard, all the world’s against you, aren’t they, hon?”
“Sure is looking that way. Claire…” he trails off, unsure of how to say the words.
Luckily, this woman is very astute. She squeezes his hand, saying, “I know. You haven’t told them about us. Don’t beat yourself up over the past; what’s done is done.” Releasing her hold on him, Claire pulls her shawl tightly about her shoulders and steps back. “Besides, I think that Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock might surprise you.”
Whatever Leonard McCoy sees in Claire DeMont’s eyes, it must comfort him. “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” She gestures to the stairs that disappear out of sight into the estate. “Well, go on then! It’ll be okay.”
As McCoy takes the first step away (and towards a confrontation that slightly frightens him), he says softly, “Thank you, Claire. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
She makes no reply. Their mutual understanding runs deep.