And Dancing Equations in Your Head



Title: And Dancing Equations in Your Head
Author: klmeri
Fandom: Star Trek AOS
Pairing: Kirk/Spock/McCoy
Disclaimer: Don’t own nothing but the idea and the math—which comes from my thesis. :P
Summary: It’s a fact of life that your partner will have a quirk that drives you crazy. Spock is no exception.

Written for dark_kaomi because she insisted that I follow through with my threat.

Jim does a semi-conscious visual sweep of the mess hall, locates Doctor McCoy, and falls into the vacant seat across from him. He plants an elbow to prop up his nodding head and observes first the slump of Bones’ shoulders, then the dark circles under those tired eyes.

They stare at each other blankly for a stretch of three minutes.

Finally, Len says, “I can’t take it anymore.”

Jim grunts and tries to look lively as a group of chattering ensigns pass by, greeting their Captain; he is betrayed by the zombie-like sway of his body.

Bones pushes his half-filled cup of coffee across the table. “Here, it’s better than nothing.”

“Been drinking it all morning, Bones,” Jim says with a shudder. But he takes a swallow anyway and makes a face at the lukewarm taste.

“We can’t keep doing this, Jim. Someone’s gotta tell him.”

They both grimace. It’s a fate they’ve acknowledged before, but actually accomplishing the task? Neither volunteers to do so.

Another silence settles, only broken by the intermittent chatter drifting around the room. Jim is starting to doze when Leonard tells him, “I’ve got Beta shift.”

Kirk snaps upright. “But Bones!”

“Jim, I’m sorry but I don’t make the scheduling. And besides, it’s fair. I had three days running with him.”

“But I was there too, last night. Really, can’t we just—”

“—tell Spock he’s driving us crazy?” Bones finishes knowingly.

Jim sighs. “Maybe I can stay in your quarters tonight, since you’ll be busy.”

Bones mutters something like yeah, trying to stay awake. Jim doesn’t comment, particularly because it unnerves him to think of an unsteady doctor with a hypospray in hand. (God, Bones’ patients—those poor bastards.) “Jim—Jim?”


“Pay attention, kid. I was saying that you can’t hide all night. Spock’s already suspicious from our excuses last week.”

He makes a small noise in the back of his throat. Spock has Alpha shift; Jim has Alpha shift. There’s no way he can escape! “Bones, Scotty’s already asking why I’ve missed three of our sessions in a row. And I wanted to be there, Bones, but I can’t if I’ve fallen asleep over my paperwork!” He rubs at his collarbone in memory of the hard edge of a PADD.

“Well, big boo-hoo, Jim. I’m crying crocodile tears. You think you have it bad? I’m a doctor, man! If I can’t focus on my job, people suffer.

Jim mumbles, “You’ve got a staff.”

Bones’ brows come down in a frown. “And you don’t? Hell, Spock can handle the Bridge if you’re feeling so God-damn poorly.” Leonard folds his arms and switches to his this-thought-makes-me-so-grumpy tone. “‘Sides, it’s that blasted Vulcan’s fault anyway that we’re so damn tired in the first place!”

Jim is about to reply (how does Bones work him up so?) when his eye catches a flash of tall blue. He hunkers down with “Red Alert!”

Leonard’s eyes track across the room, pick out the Vulcan quite easily. That the man can say such spectacularly descriptive curses in a hushed voice reminds Jim why he loves Leonard McCoy so dearly. When Spock heads their way, Bones slides away from the table with the loud announcement, “Well, need to head back to Sickbay. Five inoculations today.”

Spock merely raises his eyebrow as they pass him (very speedily), Jim almost stepping on the doctor’s heels. He grins brightly at his First Officer and says, “Later, Spock! I’m due for a physical.”

“Indeed,” Spock agrees. His parting words catch Jim’s ears right before the door slides shut. “Until this evening, Captain.”

Jim clutches at Bones’ waist and sags across the man from behind. While James T. Kirk has a tolerably large amount of pride, he doesn’t care, at the moment, if anybody sees him as a whimpering puddle of despair.

Apparently, Bones is having none of it. The man turns around and hauls Jim up by the armpits. “For Christ’s sake, get ahold of yourself!”

“Says the lucky man who—”

“Don’t finish that statement, kid, or I’ll drop you on your ass.”

Jim widens his stance a little (’cause this is one sincere threat; Jim knows from experience).

Leonard releases him. “You’d think as a genius, Spock would have figured out we’re trying to avoid sleepin’ with him.”

“Uhura says he’s pretty obtuse about—”

“Wait. You talked to Uhura?”

Jim shuffles his feet. “I figured she’d know about the kind of trouble we’re having.”

McCoy looks like he can’t decide between bitching at Jim for discussing their private business with Spock’s ex, or thanking Jim for attempting to find a solution to their (growing-rapidly-serious) problem with Spock. He does neither.

“Anyway, she says she never could find a way to make him stop.” Jim pauses. “If we succeed, Uhura wants a report.”

If we succeed, Jim. That’s one big if.” Bones turns on his heel and heads to the nearest turbolift. When Jim gets dragged along too, the Captain starts protesting.

“Hey, what? Bones, stop! I have Bridge duty.”

Len pushes him into the lift and orders the descent to Sickbay. Jim makes a show of rubbing his arm.

“I think you bruised me.”

Leonard bounces a little. “I’ll take a look at it afterwards.”

Afterwards? Jim says, with great trepidation, “Afterwards, Bones?” His stomach protests the coffee (it might just be nerves).

Bones stares at him, into him, until the doctor cannot maintain his serious expression any longer. There’s maniacal glee in his eyes when he tells the Captain, “Why, for your physical, Jim my boy. Didn’t you say you’re due?”

Jim hangs his head in defeat. When up against a lover, he may just very well believe in the no-win scenario.

Spock greets his Captain from his favorite meditation position in the center of the floor. Jim smiles, already pulling off his shirt, and heads into the bathroom. Hearing the snick of the lock, his smile drops and he leans against the bathroom sink, thinking his new nightly mantra: Okay, you can do this, Kirk. Maybe tonight will be different. Maybe tonight—


He jumps at the voice on the other side of the door. When the door slides back, Jim asks, “Yeah, Spock?”

“I must retire at this time. I wish to say—” Spock blinks. “—good night.”

Jim’s smile is genuine, then. “Night, Spock. I’ll be with you in a second, okay?”

He forgets for the time being his fear and takes a quick shower. Spock is already on his back on the right side of the bed, eyes closed, doing his (Jim terms it) impression of the dead. There is not a stir as Jim slides under the covering and wiggles closer to that Vulcan heat.

After giving his pillow a few good punches (Spock claims that this activity is illogical), Kirk settles down with a content sigh. His exhaustion comes back full-force and Jim barely has time for the thought of why being in bed with Spock can turn into another long, sleepless night.

“…? a Banach space X on which every operator …”

Jim’s brain starts signaling Wake up, wake up! He moans, listens for a moment, and then flings an arm over his eyes.

” …is the sum of a scalar multiple of the identity and a compact operator, thus a useful example under which a Banach…”

Nothing can help him now. Spock’s monotone is pillow-over-the-head-defiant. Jim rolls onto his side, hands against his ears. He’s fully, teeth-grindingly awake after possibly three hours of unbroken sleep with a running total of seven hours in one week.

Spock continues on, oblivious in his Vulcan sleep. “…Let I=3x [?]^? be an index-set with ?_1 and let the projection ||?||_G from the previously stated Definition 3.3.1. be given by the first and second coordinates respectively…”

Jim gives up and slides out of bed. He doesn’t care if he’s naked and it’s cold. Wandering into the next room, Jim leans over his computer desk and punches in a call to Sickbay.

Bones picks up immediately. “Been waiting, Jimmy. What part is he on?”

“I don’t know,” he all but weeps. “I think he’s building the norm that leads to that other norm-thingy with the square-bracket operation to make a separable Banach space before…” Jim is babbling (not quite hysterically) and they both know it.

Bones sighs. “I’m a doctor, not a mathematician. But I’d say he ain’t even close to the main theorem.”

Jim tries to remember the specifics of the proof (he’s been listening to it for weeks) but his brain gives a jolt, a groan, and quits thinking all together. There is a thunk as his head connects with the desk.



Doctor McCoy, always a sympathetic fellow, says “C’mon down here, Jim, and you can take a nap in my office.”


“Yeah, really. I’ll even wake you up in two hours, so you can hightail it back before Spock gets up.”

“Bones, I love you.”

“And I love you too, but not enough to take the fall if you get caught.”

“I can live with that. Let me put on some pants.”

“Don’t forget your underwear and a shirt, Jim.”

Jim cannot help but laugh. “Wouldn’t be the first time.” His eyes twinkle with remembrance.

“Nor the first time your crew got a sight more than they should’ve,” Bones adds. There is a loving exasperation in his voice, though McCoy would just deny it if Jim told him so. He’s learned long ago to let Bones keep his illusions; not surprisingly, Spock picked up on that quickly too—though Jim suspects the Vulcan may, with a calm deliberation, rile Bones with his causal remarks. (Jim knows that in Bones’ case, the doctor does do it on purpose—and freely admits to his guilt without repentance.) Their relationship is quirky, to say the least. Jim finds it entertaining, when he’s in a good mood.

With a care born of practice, Jim silently pulls on some clothes, scrubs a hand over his eyes, and stoops over the sleeping Spock on the bed. The Vulcan is curled on his side and still mumbling away.

“…For some arbitrary K ? K, choose ?_0, ?_0 ? G such that the pair {?_0, ?_0} ? K. If ? ? _1 belonging to both G…”

Jim leans down, places a kiss on his lover’s cheek and tells him, “Hope you finish that proof in record time. Sweet dreams.”

It may drive them crazy—being sleep-deprived because of a nearly solved mathematical theorem chugging away in the Vulcan’s brain—but with a little more patience, and a bucket full of wishes, Jim and Leonard pray that they can wait this out. After all, Spock is on the verge of one of his infamous breakthroughs (they think) and so it’s no wonder that his dreams are filled with dancing equations, non-reflexive separable Banach spaces with few operators, and whatever else that entails.

Then again, Jim realizes as he walks to Sickbay, Uhura never answered his last (tentatively hopeful) question…

It’ll stop eventually, right?


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About KLMeri

Owner of SpaceTrio. Co-mod of McSpirk Holiday Fest. Fanfiction author of stories about Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.


  1. romennim

    oh god, that was fantastic! and hilarious :) I loved your take on their day-to-day (or night-to-night) problems… after all, it can’t always be perfect, can it? :)

    • writer_klmeri

      Wow, you’re fast! I’m still fixing the errors… :) I’ve always wanted to make Spock babble math. I feel all warm inside now. :D And no, there definitely have to be some flaws they try to work through (or accept).

  2. ntjnke

    This is really cute and an idea I’ve never read before. I think I read a profic once where Sarek said that Vulcans don’t dream because it would be an illogical waste of time. This fic made me think about that and giggle. o/

    • writer_klmeri

      I could actually accept the fact that Vulcans don’t dream (and may have said something like that in a previous fic), but Spock is only half-Vulcan… so I like to think that when his mind is “stressed” over a particularly tough problem, he thinks about it even when asleep. :) Spock totally wouldn’t call it a dream, though. That would be -gasp- highly illogical! Thank you!

  3. dark_kaomi

    Yes yes yes! That was fantastic! More than I could have hoped for! I was grinning through the whole thing. Everyone’s reaction was amazing and I feel so bad for Jim and Leonard. The last scene was the best part though because even though Spock is causing problems they still love him and don’t blame him. Eeeee wonderful.

  4. weepingnaiad

    I can believe that Spock’s mind would not rest completely while he slept and that it would still be furiously working on problems! Hard for his mates, though. :D

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