by Jane Carnall
"Hhmmmm," Kirk muttered, somnolently burrowing into Spock's side. The Vulcan put an arm around him and pulled him closer. The Captain yawned vastly. "What time is it?" he mumbled.
"Oh, great. Lemme go back to sleep...."
"And Doctor McCoy offered to bring us breakfast in bed at seven."
Kirk shot up. "Oh god, yes, I'd forgotten. Spock, where the hell is my pyjama jacket?"
Spock lay back against the pillow. "Really, Jim, Doctor McCoy has no doubt seen your chest before."
"Yes, but this is different! Where's yours?"
"It does not matter."
"It does! Put it on!"
"I can't. I have always considered clothes to wear while sleeping most illogical. Jim, lie down." He pulled.
Flustered, his bondmate landed with a thump just as the door-signal buzzed and McCoy came in sideways carrying a tray. He smiled at them; warmed in a strange way by the sight of his two friends lying snuggled together in the bed, and simultaneously aware of a cold loneliness lying somewhere beneath his heart. "You know, you two look really cute," he offered.
"Define 'cute'," Spock said gravely.
"Short for 'acute'," McCoy grinned. "Especially your ears. Jim, shove over, I don't want to sit on your feet."
Breakfast was coffee (for Kirk and McCoy), ue'aui juice (for Kirk and Spock), wholemeal toast (for McCoy and Spock), and yquerin nut cereal (for all of them). McCoy sat on the edge of the bed in his pyjamas and robe and was cheerfully loquacious; Kirk, though originally somewhat silent and shy about the whole thing, soon recovered, and beyond carefully making sure the edge of the quilt stayed well above his belly button, showed no further signs of embarrassment. Spock was the least embarrassed and the most silent of the three of them; fairly typical Spock, in fact.
"That was great," McCoy said with a sigh of content. "How about doing it again some time?"
"Indeed," Spock agreed. They both looked at Kirk, who shrugged agreeably. "Why not?"
It became, in fact, almost a tradition; while all three of them were on the daywatch, which was about two weeks out of three, McCoy brought breakfast on a tray to whichever cabin Spock and Kirk were using.
"We were talking about maybe rearranging the cabins," Kirk said in the middle of one breakfast. "It's a waste of space having two double beds. Swop one for a single, for times when either I or Spock are working late and the other one's on early watch, and call one our bedroom and the other the living room. Everyone always pages both cabins when they want either of us, anyway."
"Seems logical," McCoy agreed, with a twinkle at Spock. "Whose idea?"
"Mine," Spock conceded. "But Jim readily saw the logic of the situation."
"By the way -- and don't answer if I'm prying -- when are you two going to get formally bonded?"
"Whenever Starfleet lets both of us have leave within range of Vulcan," Kirk said tiredly. "They don't have to let us have leave together until we are bonded, and we can't get bonded until we do have leave together."
"No hurry," Spock said calmly. "As I have told you thirty-seven times before, Jim, the formal ceremony is completely irrelevant."
"Not to me, it isn't!"
"Ignore him, Spock," McCoy said hastily, "he's from Iowa." He drew his feet up underneath him and shivered; he'd forgotten his robe this morning, and the ambient temperature of Kirk's cabin was just below what was comfortable in only pyjamas.
"What does the Captain's birthplace have to do with his behaviour?"
"Bible belt. They go in for forms and symbols a lot."
"But tell me," Spock sounded intrigued, but broke off. "Doctor McCoy, are you cold?"
"Just a bit," McCoy conceded.
"Come under the covers," Spock suggested. Kirk stared at him for one uncivil moment, then joined his assurances to his bondmate's.
"Yes, there's no point you shivering outside. Come on, Bones."
Seeing no dignified way out, McCoy pulled up the covers at the other end of the bed and slid his feet into delicious warmth.
"As I was saying," Spock continued, "tell me, what is a "bible" and how does one make a belt of it?"
A couple of nights later Spock slid in beside Kirk, putting an arm around his shoulders to pull him closer, careful not to wake him up. Kirk wrapped himself around his bondmate, suddenly quite wakeful, and remembering what he'd meant to say to Spock. "I have to talk to you."
"No, I mean it. It's about Bones."
"You've got to stop it." Into a silence that Kirk read as bewildered, he added in quick explanation; "I know, I know, you don't really understand human physiology, but we -- oh, look, McCoy understands as well, but -- if you were human, Spock, I'd say you were making a pass at Bones this morning, and even though we both know it hadn't even entered your head, it made Bones uncomfortable. So don't."
This morning, McCoy had once again been invited to come under the covers -- this time, Spock suggested, at the right end, so that the quilt could be properly tucked round all three of them and they could still manage to eat breakfast off the same tray. Spock in the middle, they had talked for a while after breakfast as usual, and Spock had put an arm around Kirk, and then, quite unexpectedly, around McCoy as well.
"It appeared to me," Spock said evenly, "that Doctor McCoy enjoyed it."
"Maybe he did, but it's still not something you should do -- it's unfair on him, Spock, can't you see?"
"Oh, for God's sake, Spock. He's one of my oldest friends, he's probably been feeling left out a bit -- I was glad about the breakfast in bed idea, it's a good way of showing him we're still friends, the three of us, even though he's not part of our bond."
"He could be."
Kirk jerked up.
"Jim, stop doing that. Please."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Do humans then not have the custom of a three-way bond?"
"I didn't think Vulcans did -- what happened to faithful unto death until death do us part?"
"Faithful within the bond. Jim, I would not have dreamt of suggesting the idea had you and Doctor McCoy not been friends."
"Are you suggesting the three of us -- in bed -- together?" Spock observed with interest that his bondmate's face had gone quite red. "Uh-oh, Spock, it's just not a good idea."
"The three of us have been in bed together three times now," Spock said gently. "There was sufficient room, and neither you nor Doctor McCoy appeared to suffer any discomfort. Do you not find him aesthetically pleasing?"
"Yes -- " Kirk blushed, "but he's my friend -- Spock, it would feel like incest!"
There was silence. Spock rolled over, presenting an unreadable Vulcan back to his Captain, burying his face in the pillow.
"Spock, did I say something wrong?"
"Look, Spock, whatever it was, I'm sorry."
A muffled, dignified voice said out of the depths of the pillow, "I believed that we were also friends."
Kirk hugged him. "Of course we are," he said desperately. "God, Spock, if you want Bones -- "
"Are you being deliberately obtuse, Captain?"
Kirk felt himself going red again. "Spock -- I just can't imagine just turning round and asking Bones to marry me."
"All right, to marry us." Kirk tugged at Spock's shoulder. "Turn over."
"Look, Spock, I don't know exactly how to put this, but...are you thinking of the three of us...making love?"
"It is physiologically possible for humans, is it not?" Spock looked doubtful. "It's true, this has not been extensively researched -- "
"Sure, it's possible -- " Kirk stopped himself from launching out into yet another shore leave fable, and said with desperate reasonableness; "Spock, what makes you think Bones would even be interested?"
"We could ask him."
Breakfast, next morning, was a silent affair. Kirk said nothing; Spock made polite conversation; McCoy, once again settled in beside the other two, was wondering if he should start remembering his robe again.
"Bones," Kirk started, then paused for a long moment, going red. "Bones, Spock and I were talking last night. About, er, the three of us."
"Yes?" McCoy said warily.
"Well. Spock seemed to think that it might be, well, a good idea if we asked you if you'd like to come in with us, sort of, permanently."
"Y'what?" McCoy crunched. He looked at Spock. "What is he talking about?"
"He's inviting you to bond with us," Spock said calmly. "As am I."
McCoy choked on his wholemeal toast, spluttering crumbs. Spock patted him on the back while he choked, and when he'd recovered, did not remove his hand. "Are you feeling well, Doctor McCoy?"
"Fine," McCoy muttered. "Are you feeling OK?"
"Very well, thank you, Doctor."
"Good. Now are you going to explain this -- this nonsense?"
"Are explanations necessary? We have invited you to bond with us -- "
"Spock, as far as I'm aware a bond includes sex. Are you -- are you both inviting me to join you in that as well?"
"Certainly, if you would like."
McCoy glanced at Kirk, who was bright red, but managed a nod and a mumbled, "Yes."
"This isn't quite what I expected for breakfast this morning."
"Bones," Kirk managed, still stiff with embarrassment, "it isn't quite what I expected last night, either. You want some time to think about it?"
"Do you?" McCoy was frowning, "because frankly, I'd think I was an idiot if I turned you down."
Spock tilted McCoy's head with one hand, kissed his mouth, and with the other proceeded to remove McCoy's pyjama jacket, tossing it onto the floor.
"I'm feeling left out," Kirk complained.
Still dazed and tingling from Spock's caress, McCoy allowed himself to be manoevered into the middle of the bed. Kirk pulled him into a close hug and kissed him on the side of the neck.
Kirk was sitting on the bed pulling his boots off when McCoy came in. He closed the door behind him and hovered, looking uncertain.
"Hello, Bones." He jerked his head at the refresher unit. "Spock's using the shower. Then me, then you -- have you had supper?" McCoy nodded. "We couldn't find you."
"I was doing some routine checks in sickbay."
Spock came back in, quite naked, nodded casually, and got into bed. "You next, Leonard." He intercepted a glare from his other bondmate and said firmly, "Doctor McCoy showers considerably faster than you."
Somewhat nonplussed, McCoy headed for the shower, switched the sonics on to high, and showered quickly, reemerging pink and clean. As he reappeared, Kirk brushed past him with a quick grin and stepped into the shower, switching on the water.
Tentatively, McCoy sat down on the edge of the bed. Spock put one long arm out and pulled him in. "Jim will not be finished for ten minutes." He kissed McCoy again, slowly, luxuriously; McCoy slid his arms around his neck and appreciated him timelessly. Warm and glowing and blissfully unlonely; when Kirk slid back in beside them, a little damp, he added fuel to McCoy's fire.
Afterwards, they curled up together, McCoy snuggled into Spock's shoulder, one arm round Spock and the other hugging Kirk, their knees interlocking in a tangle of sticky warmth. Kirk reached out and tugged, lightly, at a single lock of Spock's hair. "Hey," he whispered. "You were right. It is physiologically possible."
"Further research," Spock said into McCoy's hair, "would seem to be indicated."
"Damn right," McCoy muttered. He yawned massively. "Let's go to sleep."
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