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Thread Contributor: SpockMirror, Mirror... Mirror?
Star Trek-TOS

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#1
Spock walked away from the cell holding the James Kirk from the mirror universe. That he was not the Captain had quickly become apparent, just as it had become apparent that the man offered no solutions for rectifying the situation.

Spock resisted the illogical urge to sigh. Doing so would not allow him to find a way to rescue Kirk, McCoy, Uhura, or Scott any sooner, nor would it likely serve to relieve him of his concern for his crewmates. It was simply...illogical.

Instead he returned to the transporter room, where he immersed himself in theoretical models and simulations, as well as aiding Mr. Kyle in repairing the ion damage to the transporter, for several hours. During that time, yet another facet of the situation grew clear to him: although refitting the transporter to send a team to the mirror universe would be possible, doing so from their end would not be advisable for much longer. To avoid losing their chance at success, it would be necessary to test make the attempt at interface immediately and without any of the usual, Starfleet-mandated safeguards. (That did he did not relish the prospect of leaving the away team stranded for longer than necessary was simply incidental.) As such, the only logical solution would be for him to test the refitted transporter himself.

He stepped into the transporter pad, checked his phaser and tricorder, then nodded to Kyle to activate the transporter beam. He would, if all went as planned, appear on the other universe's transporter pad.

All did not go as planned.

Instead Spock found himself in what appeared to be a landside doctor's office, full of a mixture of federation equipment as well as some that Spock did not recognize.

Perhaps even more perplexing was that he was faced with a single familiar face, with yet one that did not exhibit the properties of matter that Spock would have expected. Another current of unwelcome worry shot through him. That he did not fully understand the situation did not bode well for his ability to resolve it as efficiently as he'd hoped, given the doctor's strange appearance and the fact that none it the other landing party members were present (Jim wasn't present).

"Doctor," Spock said in greeting, "I am here to return you and the rest of the landing party to the Enterprise. Where are we? And where are the Captain, Uhura, and Scott? And why," he narrowed his eyes slightly, to be certain they were not deceiving him, "are you translucent?"
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Star Trek-AOS

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#2
Almost a year.

McCoy has long since given up expecting to see Jim walk in, stopped dreaming of waking up to the familiar glitter of the transporter, returning Scotty snarky quip that would hide how deeply affected both men were.

What he hasn’t managed to stop doing is answering questions that his brain supplies in a familiar supercilious voice while he works. And in his heart of heart while it is growing faint and cold, he hasn’t been able to put aside his belief that his crew that Jim had him simply vanish.

Of course being dead really put a damper on any lingering hopes.

‘Doctor-‘

Bones never put stock in the old wives tale about time moving slower, but here was his ghostly white ass turning slowly enough to feel covered in his granddaddies best molasses. “You-“ a wide elated grin spread across his features, for just a second he was found, and the ever present stress lines smoothed out into pure glee.

He didn’t notice the little details that were off with Spock’s uniform; and sure he’d met (and had some long conversations with) Ambasssor Spock but unlike Jimmy who the Narda event’s radiation had enough of an effect to actually change his hair and eye color between the universes. Spock looked the damn same.

Of course being Leonard McCoy that glee was quickly overtaken by the realization that- “you green blooded son of a bitch! You couldn’t have shown up three damn months ago!”

‘Doctor why are you translucent?’

Yeah for THAT reason! “Because I’m dead got blown out a faulty airlock-“ wait wait hold up, hold the phone and dial Aunt Judy back; the landing party??

Now Leo was no idiot and in fact he had quite a few pieces of paper that stated he was a bonafide genius, so the combined knowledge of the last year and multiverse pinged with the tiny irregularities in Spock’s uniform-

“Damn,” If a Ghost could pale, Leo went sheet white shoulders slumping, “You ain’t him.” Three simple words holding the shattering of his final die hard hopes where all the expression of grief McCoy was going to allow himself.

“Right-“ no reason to fall to pieces now, what it was what it was. “Seems ta be good odds I’m not your McCoy.” He states matter of factly, rolling his shoulders back, squaring off to meet Spock’s gaze as calmly as he could. “And seems ya are on a mission t’ find your captain and crew.” Leo nodded briskly once. “So let’s see about getting you home.”

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#3
The doctor smiled the sort of wide smile he usually reserved for "getting the last word," or shore leave excursions that involved mint juleps. Or (and the thought arose unbidden), the type of smile that had cracked Spock's face not so long ago, when he'd learned that he had not killed his Captain on Vulcan.

The epithets were not entirely unexpected, yet the following words made little sense.

"Doctor, in my timeline you have only been missing for five-point-eight hours," Spock said apologetically. He was loathe to imagine the horrors that could have befallen the rest of the landing party if such a time dilation existed, and he pushed away the unwelcome emotion.

His eyebrow climbed at the rest. "Dead?" The doctor was, in fact, translucent, like a mythical Terran ghost, but that was hardly a property of one who was dead. "I fail to understand--"

But he stopped as McCoy slumped, defeat coloring the other man's features. Spock clamped his hands behind his back and suppressed another sigh. It certainly seemed unlikely that he had found his landing party, with meant that the real McCoy, along with Jim and the others, were still in danger.

Yet, there was no logic in helping one McCoy over another, and Spock's sympathies seemed to agree. This Doctor McCoy--wherever he had come from--was much like his own, and Spock could not, would not, simply abandon him to his fate.

He was fairly certain that the real McCoy, wherever he was, would probably agree with the sentiment.

"Doctor, if you are trapped in this place against your will, it is in my prerogative as a Starfleet officer to temporarily delay the search for the landing party in order to aid you,." McCoy did, of course, know the regulation, but Spock was reasonably certain that quoting it would lessen the chances that McCoy would argue with his choice. "So, if you do not mind. What is this place, and why were you expecting another version of myself to be here three months ago?"

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#4
Considering Ambassador Spock had stated that the similarities between himself and his counterpart were fair to being identical when it came to personality, if a few shifts in history (there apparently he’d had the daughter he’d wanted before his divorce), and that HE would tell HIS Spock to help another him...yeah one could assume the reverse was true.

Which was why with a small shake of his head Leo pushed aside Spock's offer, he’d been languishing here for a year, verus Spock's away party had only been gone a few hours- “Critical time difference-” his eyes flicked down over the signal full band below a staggered gold braided onto Spock’s blue tunic- “Lt. Cmd-” Huh gold not silver should have spotted that before. “I’ve been here for almost a year. Your crew needs rescuing.” Leo nodded, that was that, and if he had to he’d pull rank on the son of a bitch-(wouldn’t THAT be fun. First time he could too!) the two full bands around his own white Hospital stationed uniform proclaimed the full Cmr rank he’d pulled half way into the 5 year voyage.

“Common walk and talk.” McCoy hovered a hand over Spock’s arm, clearly if he was corporal he would have taken his elbow to lead him into the lab. “Interdimensional meeting place. ‘Lost things find their way’ What I’ve gotten is that this is a weak spot in the fabric of the multiverse. My shuttle got pulled into a gravimetric anomaly on the way back from shore leave. Dumped here with an Orion girl that stowed away-” he kept talking leading Spock to where the Type 2 shuttle was parked. “We figured out how to get back...but on the way I didn’t make it. She made contact and came back-” he shrugged. “But probably said i was dead. Anyway. I know where the fissure is to MY version of the multiverse is. Figure with your big brain we can maybe tweak the portal to your quantum signature. If not...well there's probably someone that can figure it out here.”

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Star Trek-TOS

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#5
Spock tilted his head slightly at the doctor's surprisingly apt use of logic.

"Indeed. Their situation may be critical." Only a practiced be ear might have picked up on the worry in Spock's voice, but then, Doctor McCoy had always been more perceptive than most (often to the point of infuriation).

He nodded in understanding as McCoy explained the existence of the multiversal hub, leading him to his shuttle. It seemed likely that, in his attempt to traverse the universes, Spock too had been pulled into the convergence.

Which was... troubling, to say the least. The captain and the others were in danger, and it was Spock's duty to return them to safety. He could not afford to waste the time developing a portal to return to his universe. Not when his crewmates' lives--and the lives of his friends--were at stake.

Yet, there was no logical alternative. He had gambled, and lost.

What would his own McCoy call it? An act of desperation.

He only squared his shoulders and said, "Doctor. If you are in no immediate danger, as you say--it is imperative that I return. The Captain, and the rest of the landing party, are likely trapped in a savage universe parallel to our own, and I must find it. If you would, then, please. show me to the portal."
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#6
The shuttle, like all the ‘Fleet tech he’d scavenged from it before his death no longer recognized him as..well alive. “Open her up.” He gestured grumpily for Spock to proceed him, “the coordinates for my universe are set-“ Leo’s grumpy frown took on a deeper set, there was something funny going on; his features were going even more translucent, and THAT was new-

Also he was getting the oddest...well whisper might be the best description, that sounded a hell of lot like Spock- “Everything we do on that damn ship is an ‘act of desperation’” he snorted, responding to the words unspoken.

Now during one of his ‘talks’ with Ambassador Spock, Leo had allowed the old lonely man his request for a mind meld- that sharing had left an imprint, along with fragments of knowledge that Leo had quietly used over the years. Things like his undiagnosed Xenopolycythemia that Ambassador Spock informed him of in time to develop the cure based on his memories.

Now unknowingly it seemed perhaps the fact that a version of him had once held Spock’s mind, mixed with him melding with an older Spock along with his current ghostly status was providing a level of..attenuation between the two men.

“I’m not sure what will happen if I try and go with. Right now anything I try an touch doesn’t seem to work.” He snorted waving his hand through the interior console.

Maybe it was how long it had been since he’d been around any version of the crew but McCoys brain was going a mile a second- “ya beamed in. The shuttle doesn’t have a on board system but-“ he spun on his heel in the cramped space. “There’s a ‘Fleet ship up in orbit. I scavenged some tech from her before-“ he gestured impatiently to himself. “She’s more advanced than what I know but maybe we can use her systems to beam ya back!”

But Spock was going to have to drive.

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#7
Spock opened the shuttle door. The panel was subtly different from those of his own universe, but simple enough to understand. He climbed into the shuttle, then turned around to await McCoy's arrival--just in time to see the doctor fade in and out of reality as he spoke the words that had only just passed through Spock's mind.

Spock's eyebrow climbed. Was it possible that this versionn of Doctor McCoy was...a telepath?

No, he decided. Even if he could believe that the man had the mental discipline for such study, his own McCoy's esper score was below even human normal. The doctor's echoing of his own thoughts must have been happenstance. Or, perhaps every McCoy was simply as annoyingly perceptive as his own. Spock had not thought his fears for the landing party's lives had been so obvious.

"I agree that it will be useful to examine this Starfleet vessel. As you Earthmen often say... I'll drive," Spock said. But he paused then, because the doctor's telepathy had not been the only concerning aspect of the previous few minutes. "Also, I must ask. Do you frequently phase out of view?"

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#8
‘Earthmen’ McCoys eyebrows climbed at that, well that was a new one. “She’s the U.S.S Potemkin-“ Leo gestured at the panel that Jim had forced him though learning, a CMO needed to be versed in shuttle systems even if it was a passing acquaintance, and since they’d met Jimmy had pushed the reluctant sounther who only wanted a star base posting to expand his skills for the ship that Jim had been so sure he’d be someday captaining. “Her warp core looks like it was ejected pretty violently, got her up to emergency power-“ be impressed Spock he did know vaguely how to whistle the tune, plus he’d had some help. “She was some kinda deep space research vessel-“ as they cleared the planets atmosphere Spock would see the strangeness of it; the way it shifted to the eyes, sometimes impossibly flat, sliding between colors and geographic features. At one point seeming to be balanced on the back of a quartet of elephants. “Don’t Look down.” He quipped with a snort.

The weapon scarred side of the once chubby science vessel was clearly visible under the coordinates that McCoy recited.

“No.” Came the answer at long last, the word spoken quietly enough to be overlooked.

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#9
"The Potempkin," Spock echoed. In his recollection, there was no currently-active Starfleet research vessel with such a name. Another fascinating divergence. Nearly as fascinating as this Doctor McCoy's understanding of warp core technology. "You returned the ship to emergency power?" he asked curiously. "Interesting. Did you learn how to do so at the academy?

'Don't look down' might have been good advice, had Spock not anticipated a rather unusual landscape in the nexus of many universes. He wondered, with a sharp feeling almost like wanting, whether the universe in which the landing party was trapped was represented in the patchwork below them. If, perhaps, finding them and saving them from whatever horrors the mirror universe had to offer could be as simple as...falling, in the right direction.

He blinked. Such thoughts were not productive.

McCoy's admission made him look up sharply. He had assumed, wrongly, that the phasing must have been a side effect the doctor's unusual condition. If that were not so, then it stood to reason that the phasing was the result of an external catalyst, and Spock's arrival was the most proximal potential cause for the anomaly. His mind ran through several equations, the multiverse shifting and colliding in numbers and symbols in his mind. There were many possibilities. Many ways in which a too-similar universal energy signature might upset the delicate balance that was apparently securing Doctor McCoy's incorporeal form to this reality.

"Doctor," he said slowly. "I believe that it would be prudent to examine the source of this unusual phasing, as... I am concerned that I may be the cause of it."

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#10
“Like I said pretty sure she’s at least 50 or so years into one of our futures.” he quipped responding to the unspoken thought. “At least based on star dates, and how her med bay stacks up to mine.” Well his old one…

“She was in service a good 75 years, so that puts her more than a century beyond me. But funny thing is she didn’t seem as advanced as I’d have expected.” he commented curiously, mentally considering the differences in universe's technology, Ambassador Spock had mentioned that Leo’s universe was at least 30 years further ahead in several fields than his had been at the same time point.

So it stood to reason this ship was from a universe that had a lower technological starting point.

“She recognized my ‘fleet ID at least, so means that shes from somewhere that either had a Lendard Mccoy or the old emergency command protocols were still embedded in her systems.” as CMO and command rank, regardless of his branch, Leo had nearly the same protocols drilled into his skull that Jimmy had when he became captain. "Yeah, once Jimmy decided he was going to be a damn captain of a starship he made me take all the extention coruses to get my CMO certifications a shoe in." he snorted in fond annoyance.

Plus a few extra that were purely for medical overrides.

Leo felt a surge of bitter sweet warmth at the concern in this Spocks voice, no matter how he hid it; “Don’t worry kid.” his hand rested over Spock's shoulder, maybe he would feel a small pressure. “I’m already dead. Can’t get much worse.” And i’ll be alone here again soon enough.

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#11
"Of course," Spock said, as McCoy reminded him that the ship hailed from the future. (Another thought he had not vocalized. Curious.) The ship's age was a detail that should not have slipped his mind, but then, he was...preoccupied. He scanned the sensor array again, noting this time the subtle and not so subtle differences, the readings that the technology of the Enterprise could not attain.

Spock blinked in surprised confusion at the sudden slew of unfamiliar terms. He understood, of course, that this was not his McCoy. But hearing him refer to the captain as "Jimmy," as the captain's academy tormentor once had, and to himself as "kid," was jarring in a way that he found unexpectedly uncomfortable. Doctor McCoy was, in fact, his senior by approximately 10.4 Earth years, but he had never referred to Spock as his junior before.

Spock cleared his throat and shifted slightly, clasping his hands behind his back. The Captain Kirk currently locked in the brig aboard the Enterprise bore little resemblance to his own captain. It stood to reason that this McCoy would differ as well, if in more subtle ways.

"I am not a child," he said, fully aware that that had not been the doctor's intended meaning. "However, I must respectfully disagree. There are many ways in which your situation could worsen. You could phase out of existence entirely, or become trapped between universes, or shift into something unrecognizable, or be spliced across mulitversal boundaries... should I go on?

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#12
Leo curved forward watching out the forward plasglas as Spock brought them in for a docking. “Easy, my Spock ranked me till a year ago so let an old man have his fun.” He murmured watching the looming ship with something akin to trepidation; sure he hadn’t fallen out of THIS shuttle into the endless void that at men’s sanity, but he’d actually forgotten to worry about it till now.

“Shut it.” He growled as he guided Spock through the override to open the shuttle bay. He really really didn’t need to go down that mental path “good to know you are a Burst of sunshine in every universe.”

“I could also fall through the damn deck plates and tumble through space till what passes for my brain leaks out of my ears!” But he stalked with purpose to the hatch as it released, and if he was paler than normal...well damn it he was only human.

Even if he was dead.

The Potemkin's shuttle bay was bare scavenged before or used to evacuate was anyone’s guess, her gleaming decks were washed with the low red flickers of emergency power. For all her age Bones thought she must have been fairly recently refitted fairly recently because of the fact that such high traffic area looked nearly pristine.

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#13
"You outrank me, yes," Spock murmured, as he followed McCoy out of the shuttle onto the Potempkin proper. "However, neither that fact nor your attempt to lighten the mood with colloquialisms lessen the seriousness of the danger that you are in."

He reached out, as if to grab the doctor's arm, but halted upon realizing the futility of it, and pierced McCoy with a gaze instead.

"I must see to my landing party," Spock said firmly. "But I will not be the cause of your destruction, Doctor. I must attempt to determine the cause of this anomaly." He paused, taking a breath, as the weight of his statement made itself fully apparent to him. "I am certain the captain...Jim...will understand."

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#14
McCoys eyebrow rose at the aborted movement reminded suddenly of the deeper relationship Ambassador Spock had shared with him Via his mind meld- sure he was close to his Spock but circumstances had changed the men they were when they met, and so inevitably their friendship meandered down a different road.

“Tell me about the mission.” Came the gruff command, deflecting again but with purpose “See I might know a thing or two-“ his fingers tapped out the rank on his cuffs, implying that he was further ‘ahead’ of Spock’s timeline and also that he might have already experienced the mission and could offer some insight.

Leo pinched the bridge of his nose as the Vulcan proved he was a stubborn ass in any universe, no matter how kindly meant - “Priorities Spock-“ he took a breath to mutter to himself “can’t believe im lecturing YOU-“

“First see if you can even get home than deal with me. Sides I’ve not phased for a good minute.” He commented with forced calm.

“Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the gesture, an’ no doubt if he’s anything like my captain, he’d be the first to jump into the damn fire to spare another but-“ Leo’s nostrils flared “it’s just some damn trick of this place I’m even still stuck. Maybe you are just giving me a way to -“ his hands butterflied out to imply some sort of moving on.

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#15
"The landing party was caught in an ion storm upon returning to the Enterprise from a peaceful, yet unsuccessful, attempt to secure dilithium crystals from the Halkan homeworld," Spock said in answer of the doctor's question. "They were apparently transposed with counterparts from another world, parallel to our own. A savage one. I am... concerned...as to the situation they may be facing there."

His eyebrows rose at the intensity of McCoy's "lecture," though it was not unexpected. His own Doctor McCoy was, above all, an altruist. It was only logical that the Doctor McCoy standing before him would sacrifice his very existence for a landing party he had never met.

"Doctor," Spock said slowly, calmly, "A minute of remaining on this plane is hardly a source of comfort, for we do not know if the interval at which this phasing occurs is regular." Then he cleared his throat, and admitted, "The needs of the many must always outweigh the meds of the few. However, I can seek an answer to your condition while the transporter diagnostics are running. I... would prefer to avoid losing either the landing party, or you, if the situation permits. You are not...my... Doctor McCoy, but," he paused, finding no logical end to the statement, and said the truth instead, "you seem to have much in common with my friend, and I do not wish for you to cease to exist, if there is anything I can do to stop that from happening."

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#16
Leo actually felt something in what passed for his brain twitch at the description - “Oh yeah I know that one…” and not in a good way.

Of the memories Ambassador Spock had shared from his own perspective and from his McCoy from their time sharing a body, and subsequent mind melds later, Leo knew that mission was what had ‘damaged’ that McCoy (this was getting confusing even in his own mind) ‘s natural mental defenses, leading that version of him to be more susceptible to telepathic interference, and making it so he was basically not quite ‘in tune’ with telepaths, and no longer completely mind blind as a normal human.

In short being around telepaths after that was like nails crawling up his spine, not quite sure why, but something about them set him off.

Leo sighed and nodded, “Fine Spock you win.” he quirked up the side of his mouth, “always could count you to multitask if nothing else.” Hitching a thumb over his shoulder for Spock to follow, he lead them towards engineering and the transporter rooms. “Don’t tell your Leo that, my heart doesn’t need the shock.” he snarked playfully at the display of tender emotions from the more stoick version of his Spock. “So take if for what you will, but the version of that I know, you never beam over, they come back on their own.” he frowned trying to remember - “You have a crazy, Jim there? I think something about a transporter switch with the other away team…” his hand flapped back and forth to indicate his uncertainty.
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#17
The doctor seemed to wince at the memory of the mission, and Spock resisted the urge to ask why. Presumably, the doctor would volunteer any information that were relevant to the mission, and it hardly seemed proper to press the issue otherwise. His own McCoy had always been self-conscious about appearing weak in front of himself or the captain.

"Indeed, Doctor," Spock said, letting his tone carry his amusement at the doctor's words. "Though I am not so certain your warning is needed. He did once refer to me as the best first officer in the fleet."

As McCoy's meandering conversion returned to the mission, Spock's expression sobered. The knot of tension in his chest seemed to quiver, almost relaxing. But not quite. "Yes, there is an alternate Kirk aboard the ship," he said urgently. "Are you certain that they return on their own? Are you completely certain?"

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#18
The problem was that Leo was stuck with the same old issue - “Do you all have the temporal prime directive yet?” he asked walking into an engineering which was at once both highly advanced and clearly jury rigged.

If this was the same or similar Spock as Ambassador Spock than the answer would be no - “See we kinda found out pretty explicitly that my universe was branched off because of Time Travel. So the administrative types decided that that was the sort of thing to go ahead and regulate.” he gave Spock a deadpan look - “Because folk that are gonna mess with time are also the type to listen to Star Fleet regulations.”

He sighed, “So which means technically I ain’t supposed to say a thing I know, which to be honest I ain’t even sure is about your universe anyway.” And he was curious at Spock's lack curiosity to his supposed fore knowledge. “And that mission wasn’t something I focused on, least ways the resolution.” he admitted almost apologetically at Spocks (for him) naked desperation.

The ghostly doctor gestured towards the main console - “Ya can try your command codes, otherwise i’ll give ya mine, dunno if they will work with out the biometrics attached through.” things he wasn’t capable of providing any longer.

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#19
"There is no temporal prime directive in our timeline," Spock said. "Though perhaps it would be a good idea." Earth had been destroyed last year when his own McCoy had jumped through the Guardian of Forever and saved Edith Keeler's life. Rectifying that mistake, Spock knew, had cost Jim dearly, and the entire experience was one he would prefer not to relive.

He collected his thoughts briefly as he input his command codes, and when they were rejected, quickly programmed a workaround to register the expired codes as acceptable. As the craft beeped it's acquiesce, Spock looked up at McCoy.

"Doctor, you know as well as I do that there are situations in which the regulations need not be followed to the letter." Spock had gained that particular insight under Jim Kirk.

"In any case, if the landing party is meant to return unharmed, then any interference to the timeline created by this encounter may jeapardize them further. I must know how the mission is supposed to go." There was no keeping the tension from his voice, end he stepped forward toward McCoy, unthinking, unaware that his counterpart had ever done the same, let alone on the same mission. "You must tell me what you know."

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#20
Leo just snorted “Tell me Lt. Spock, ya ever been an academy instructor in your timeline?” oh at this point he was arguing for the sake of it, because it was familiar, a ritual the two men could easily fall into...at least versions of these men.

Caught up in that moment of banter, relaxing into it, Leo was caught off guard by the sudden aggressive movement “hang on-” he raised his hands defensively, an automatic reaction to the perceived attack.

Leo’s hands vanished into Spock’s shoulders and face in a flipped parody of what was happening ‘now’ in another universe also between a Spock and McCoy who did not belong with the other.

Memories flashed from Leo into Spock, the image of a much older Spock asking, voice quivering with more than age, the ache of friends long gone and missed, his hands reaching for Leo’s face….

The strange triple vision of a life he never lived; from Spock's perspective, from the shared memories of the Kartra his McCoy had held for months, from the ghost of McCoy lingering from other later melds…

The two men vibrated between universe's, slipping over each others consciousness, two misaligned bone ends grinding against each other.

@starkly
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