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"Sneezing Is Logical" (ST:TOS/Reboot, M, Spock)-Secret Santa For Aliena H.


SleepingPhlox

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Hi @Aliena H.  I'm your Secret Santa this year.  I tried my best to give you your most preferred fic. BUT...I'm a fan of TV-Trek rather than the reboot movies, so my knowledge of these characters comes from the series...I'm hoping this does not affect your enjoyment.  I stalked your commenting habits a little bit to see what sort of stuff you were reading about and enjoying so I could try to tailor this to you a bit better, to make up for my lack of knowledge of the movies.

I've left it open ended just in case you wanted me to carry on, or if I left out some stuff you really like or whatever.  So, if you have further requests, let me know and I'll try to include them because I really want you to enjoy your Christmas gift!

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The light of the flashlight swept in a bright, focused beam across the frozen landscape, causing the ice and snow to sparkle and glitter as it illuminated.  It would be pretty, if it weren't so damned miserable, was the opinion of one Dr. “Bones” McCoy, one half of the science team currently surveying this pointless excuse for a planet.  As for the other half, well who knew if he had an opinion on anything?  That was the trouble with Vulcans.  And it didn’t make for good conversation, Bones would tell you that much for free.

The planet was apparently interesting for being much further from its sun than most life-supporting planets, and grew no plants, yet seemed to be teeming with complex life forms.  Relatively complex, nothing humanoid or sentient, but definitely more complicated than bacteria.  Its climate zones ranged from “cold” to “lethally cold”, which was not an exaggeration.  The temperatures were quite literally deadly.  Mercifully they had not been sent to the “lethally cold” area, although once his fingers began to feel painful under the environmental protection gloves and ice stuck to his eyelashes as he trudged through the snow with a pack on his back like a mule, Bones did begin to wonder if perhaps quietly freezing to death might actually be preferable.

Spock, who had been silent for far too long except to utter the occasional “fascinating” at a reading or observation, paused and looked up at the sky.

“We have approximately fifteen seconds to find shelter.  I recommend that fortuitously placed cave.”

“What are you talking about?  Shelter from what?”

“Sudden intense snowstorm.  Seven seconds.”

Eight seconds ago, he would have accused the damn Vulcan of imagining things (Could Vulcans imagine things?  He wasn’t sure.)  But somehow Spock had managed to see the signs of this sudden beast of a storm bearing down upon them before it was too late.  Even now, at the very edge of the storm, its power could be felt, whipping tiny frozen darts into the skin on their faces, dozens of tiny, painful stings.

The cave was indeed fortunately placed.  He’d lost count of how many times something had managed to appear right when it was needed the most.  He’d nearly take it as proof that the Big Guy Upstairs was looking out for them.

“How did you manage to see that one coming?” Bones asked.  “Everything was calm and still right up until it wasn’t.”

“Simple observation of atmospheric…*sniff*…changes.”

It wasn’t the sniff itself that was strange.  The cold weather had a way of doing that.  It was the fact that it came from Spock that was weird.  It just didn’t fit with that whole aloof, detached persona he had going on.  Bones was going to comment on it, but decided not to.

“Atmospheric changes.  Yes, of course.  How did I forget?”  There was more than a hint of sarcasm in his voice.  “Anyway, I’ve had enough of this planet and I think maybe its had enough of us.”  He flipped open his communicator.  “McCoy to Enterprise.  Get ready to beam us out of here.”

He was met with mere static.  He hit the device roughly with the palm of his hand before trying again.  “McCoy to Enterprise.  Do you read me?”

“I suspect your efforts may be futile,” Spock pointed out far too calmly for someone who might be about to meet his icy doom in a cave on possibly the most boring planet ever discovered.  “A storm of this magnitude is bound to disrupt…*sniff*…communications.  And therefore it would also be inadvisable to attempt to…*sniff*…transport under these conditions.  The storm should pass quickly, and then we can continue our planetary survey.”

Bones opened his mouth to protest, but then it happened.  And it was the damndest sight Bones ever saw.  First Spock, the stoic, ever-logical Vulcan stopped.  He got a faraway look in his eyes for a moment, then-curling his lip upward and shutting his eyes,  he tilted his head back.   His shoulders rose and fell, his chest expanded and then…
“Hihh…kssshhff!”

“Uh…bless you,” was all Bones could say.   What else could be said after witnessing such a strange thing.  It was far too uncontrolled a thing for someone like Spock.  Actually, he could think of one more thing to say.  “I didn’t think Vulcans did that.  Isn’t it…I don’t know, illogical or something.”

Spock raised an eyebrow and tilted his head slightly in that way he had.  “I fail to see what’s illogical about it.  It is perfectly logical.  A body does what it needs to do to keep itself functioning at optimal levels.  Nothing could in fact be more logical.”

“Huh.  Well I’ll be…”

“HggkhSSSHFF!”

“Bless you.”

“What a curious phrase.”

“Actually the polite response is ‘thank you’, but we’ll go with your thing.”

Spock sniffled and rubbed the underside of an increasingly runny nose with his index finger.  “It is a curious phrase.  Born of superstition in a less enlightened age, and yet humans cling to it out of some sort of sense of tradition, though the original superstition has long passed.  As I said, curious indee…hihhhEEHghsshhh!”

He rubbed his nose with his index finger again.  It was running profusely now, and there was little the reflective foil covered environmental gloves could do for the situation.  

“What gives, anyway?  I know it’s cold out and all, but…are you, you know, okay?”

Surprisingly, for a doctor, he could find it difficult to let his caring side out.  Spock appeared to be carefully considering his answer before replying. 

“I have been aware for the last two days that I have been incubating a virus, and it appears it has chosen now to bring on the worst of the symptoms, which if I am correct, should be similar to what you humans call ‘the common cold’.”

This was just about more than Bones could reasonably be expected to deal with while keeping his cool.  His voice rose a few degrees in loudness.  “Okay, first of all, you decided it would be a good idea to come to an ice planet with a cold.  Oh, and even better than that, you decided not to tell the ships doctor?  That’s me, by the way, in case you were not aware.  So you’ve decided to risk infecting the rest of the crew, and not to mention contaminating this planet.  What were you thinking?”

“I was thinking much more…hgghkSHFFF!…rationally than you appear to be at this moment.”   He drew his entire gloved hand under his nose.  Any moment now he was going to need to move on to his sleeve.  “The virus metabolises a certain protein that humans do not carry in their bodies, therefore no other crew members are at risk.   Also, viruses of this type cannot survive in low temperatures, and any live specimens that my body is expelling will die nearly instantly.  The worst I will suffer is slight discomfort.  Given my analysis of the situation, I deemed the minimal levels of risk acceptable in this case.”

Bones rubbed his temples with his fingers.  Sometimes, just listening to Vulcan-speak gave him a headache.  He reached around clumsily to pull the pack from his back and opened it to be greeted by the sight of both supplies and the tubes of various samples they had taken.  Every single last tube was full of water-well it would be water once it melted.  Currently, it was snow.  A sample of snow from one location.  A sample of snow from another location.  A sample of snow from yet another location.  They would all be analysed later to determine if it was a nutrient in the planets ridiculously abundant water source that kept the life here…well, alive.
Beneath all that was an insulated environmental blanket, lined on one side with the same crinkly reflective foil that covered the outside of their gloves.  On the other side, a sort of fleece-like layer-spongy, springy, highly insulated…not terribly absorbent, but it would do.

“Here,” he said, unfolding the heavy blanket.  “For god’s sake, blow your nose. “

 

 

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I'm obviously not Aliena, but I love this!  I feel right at home in the snowy atmosphere as temperatures in my city approach "really-don't-wanna-go-outside" if not "lethal."  Your banter between Spock and Bones was great!  And Spock's analysis of his plight was so in character.  I'm sure that Aliena will love it!

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OH MY GOD!!! I am DYING. This is a wonderful gift, thank you so, so much!!!!! I like Star Trek TOS as much as I like the movies and your fic perfectly fits in both universes. This is amazing! There is everything I love: some description of the planet, humour, sniffles and sneezes spread over during the dialogue, Spock completely, absolutely in character - and this special relationship between Bones and Spock... You have figured out exactly what I like and the only thing I could ask for would be a continuation because it's so, so great!

I really enjoyed McCoy's point of view at the beginning, regarding the planet, the cold and his Vulcan colleague.

5 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

Could Vulcans imagine things?  He wasn’t sure.

I really loved this little inner commentary in McCoy's head...

5 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

It wasn’t the sniff itself that was strange.  The cold weather had a way of doing that.  It was the fact that it came from Spock that was weird.  It just didn’t fit with that whole aloof, detached persona he had going on. 

This was great - Spock's sniffing repeatedly before sneezing, and Bones noticing (of course!) and saying nothing. I really like when the sneezing doesn't come immediately (I'm not sure this is a correct sentence, but it's late... you know what I mean, don't you?).

5 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

Bones opened his mouth to protest, but then it happened.  And it was the damndest sight Bones ever saw.  First Spock, the stoic, ever-logical Vulcan stopped.  He got a faraway look in his eyes for a moment, then-curling his lip upward and shutting his eyes,  he tilted his head back.   His shoulders rose and fell, his chest expanded and then…
“Hihh…kssshhff!”

And this was just perfect... Spock's increasing sneezes are absolutely irresistible.

5 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

“Actually the polite response is ‘thank you’, but we’ll go with your thing.”

Spock-Bones, best duo/duel EVER. All the dialogue was so spot-on, I cannot quote everything...

5 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

“What gives, anyway?  I know it’s cold out and all, but…are you, you know, okay?”

Surprisingly, for a doctor, he could find it difficult to let his caring side out. 

I like the fact that, despite their constant banter and sarcasm, you let McCoy express his concern - not too much, just the perfect combination of genuine caring and, well, humour.

I enjoyed also Spock's very logical explanations about the virus and why he chose not to tell the CMO he was ill. As well as I enjoyed McCoy's reaction at the end of course.

In fact, I loved everything! Once again, thank you for this gift! It's my first experience for Secret Santa and I'm really enjoying it (both receiving and writing). If you wish to carry on this fic, feel free to do so, it is an amazing work and I'm craving for more!!!!!

 

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Aw, ditto! This was really cute and in-character, and I loved the spellings you used for Spock's sneezes.

And of course the storm blocks communications with the Enterprise. This is Star Trek, after all. No away mission is allowed to proceed on-schedule.

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5 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

He drew his entire gloved hand under his nose.  Any moment now he was going to need to move on to his sleeve

Oh, yes. And this just... well... I don't know why, I melted here.

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7 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

“I suspect your efforts may be futile,” Spock pointed out far too calmly for someone who might be about to meet his icy doom in a cave on possibly the most boring planet ever discovered.  “A storm of this magnitude is bound to disrupt…*sniff*…communications. 

Of course. It is Star Trek

 

7 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

“Actually the polite response is ‘thank you’, but we’ll go with your thing.”

LOL. Totally Bones.

 

7 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

Surprisingly, for a doctor, he could find it difficult to let his caring side out.

He masks it with snark and sarcasm but we all know better!

 

7 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

This was just about more than Bones could reasonably be expected to deal with while keeping his cool.  His voice rose a few degrees in loudness.  “Okay, first of all, you decided it would be a good idea to come to an ice planet with a cold.  Oh, and even better than that, you decided not to tell the ships doctor?  That’s me, by the way, in case you were not aware. 

LOL. Bones meltdown. These are the best!

 

7 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

The worst I will suffer is slight discomfort.  Given my analysis of the situation, I deemed the minimal levels of risk acceptable in this case.”

Oh Spock. Always about duty.

 

7 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

Bones rubbed his temples with his fingers.  Sometimes, just listening to Vulcan-speak gave him a headache. 

Poor Bones.

 

7 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

“Here,” he said, unfolding the heavy blanket.  “For god’s sake, blow your nose. “

LOL

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