Jim Kirk looked
up from his work at his cabin desk computer. "Spock, what's
the date today?"
Spock sat on the
other side of
the desk, reworking the logistics of several planned temporal jumps on
his tricorder. "Stardate 4133--"
Kirk cut him of
brusquely. "Not the Stardate, the date. The regular,
Terran date. In Riverside Iowa right now--what is it?"
paused from his work. "Friday, February 28, 2268. Why do you
"The computer is
acting odd. It's having trouble converting."
Spock set his
on the desk, next to his padd and stylus, and began his
"Possibly because it is a leap year in the archaic Gregorian
calendrical system to which you refer. As that system is
significantly less precise than other methods of dating, even less so
than much earlier systems such as the Mayan, it necessitated periodic
adjustments for the inaccurate basal units. The leap day
accommodation that occurs every fourth year a is a highly illogical
method of compensation, and might confound the computer's translation."
Jim stared at him
his face, clearly puzzling over something. Maybe it was his
half-hearted attempt to decipher yet-another unsolicited treatise on
arcane minutia; maybe something else was brewing in his brain
instead. However, when he spoke again, Spock got more
instead of answers.
"Who told you
day, I mean?" There was uncharacteristic tension in Jim's
voice. Enough to pique Spock's curiosity. And,
told, perhaps a little concern as well.
"It is common
Jim shook his
head in flagrant disbelief. "Maybe on Vulcan. But
you've been badly misinformed, my friend."
upward journey. "That seems unlikely, Captain. I
studied the calendar systems of forty-seven Terran cultures with
detailed investigation of several, including the Mayan. I
by my assessment."
Jim picked up the
began to fidget nervously with it in his fingers. He kept his
gaze down and away. "Not the calendars. I mean about the
terminology. About the leap year cycle. It's not a
or a quirk of measurement." Kirk paused, his face twitching
each stroke, as some covert internal battle seemed to play out inside
his head. He hopped up and began to pace the deck, his boot
clicking with every step.
"It refers to
thing that no outworlder may know. A thing that has been
down from the time of the beginning--before logic or science. Every
fourth year human males must endure it. It is the human heart and the
human soul. And so the calendar was designed around it and
day named for it, our--veneer of civilization. Can you not see that,
Spock, and understand? Spock!" Jim grabbed him by
shoulders and shook him hard, staring him deeply in the eyes.
back in his
memories for a quick refresher of human physiology. No
fit the cross-reference criteria. He then reviewed the
differential diagnoses within human psychopathology. A few
definite possibilities popped up. But this was his commanding
officer and that maxim about discretion and valor clearly had some
merits in logic.
do not understand. Explain."
Jim dropped his
paced back to the sleeping section, back to him as if in
Spock waited expectantly, but no more seemed to be
He softened a little and moved his body in even closer.
help if I told you I would treat this as totally confidential?"
Jim hesitated. He
and locked his hands behind his back. His voice was barely a
whisper when he spoke, still facing the cabin wall. "It has
"What kind of
biology?" Spock asked, closing the distance between them
again. Their torsos all but touched.
Jim rocked on his heels.
shot completely up under his bangs. "You mean, the biology of
steam, Jim rambled
on. "Yes, the biology of Humans. Biology as
in--copulation." He spun around to face his audience. "On leap day,
once every four years, partnered human males enter into the bon-abuddie
fever--the time of rutting. At this time, copulation outweighs all
For Captain Kirk,
this sounded like an apt description of the standard day-to-day state
of affairs. But for Leonard--?
narrowed, and his voice could have cut transparent aluminum. "My mother
did not tell me of this."
Jim bowed his
she didn't know. It is a deeply personal thing. A man
understands, but even we do not speak of it, among ourselves.
may not be a full-Vulcan, but neither are you a man. If any
as proudly dignified as your mother were to have this secret ripped out
of her--" Jim's voice trailed off.
skeptically, the field of possibilities playing out behind his
eyes. He chose the most probable option. "Captain, you're
Jim donned his
look of wounded indignation. "Mister Spock, these things do
transcend the discipline of the service. I would never joke about
something this serious. There are precedents all through
nature. The birds and the bees, March hares and more. Why do
think so few Starfleet personnel are partnered, or why I never took a
mate? Haven't you wondered?"
hesitation. "I believe the rest of us assumed it was because you lacked
the requisite maturity necessary to sustain a healthy, stable, adult
Seeing Kirk reach
stylus with anything but friendship in his eyes, Spock quickly
re-evaluated his position. They had both had the same combat
training, but Kirk had far less compunction about the use of deadly
force. Spock backpedaled with impressive grace, giving pause
the conventional wisdom that Vulcan's cannot lie. "Or that considering
the onus of Starship command, you have elected to make the ultimate
sacrifice of personal life for duty and responsibility."
flashed rapidly as an intriguing array of inner thoughts scurried
across them. Apparently he settled upon
body relaxed again, appearing almost--Vulcan in composure and he shook
his head ruefully. "No, it was not. We shield it with
and blithe catch-phrases shrouded in antiquity. You Vulcans
no conception." Jim began to pace restlessly, up and down the
small walkway between the cabin sections. At first he simply wrung his
hands as he paced, then he began to gesture, flinging his arm a little
wider with each step.
by--necessity that we
do this. Human necessity. It would wreak havoc on
duty ship. Losing you and Bones for a day--will be bad
but imagine if half the ship were affected-- It rips our
from us--and leaves us at the mercy of our--glands instead.
every four years partnered human males enter into a sexual frenzy--and
are driven by forces they cannot control--to leap on their mate and
screw for hours on end." He dropped his arms and locked Spock's gaze
hard with his own, eyes twinkling boldly with the usually vibrant
And then it was
gone, as if it
had never been. Jim plopped back down in the chair behind the
desk. He looked at Spock and shook his head dolefully, shame
resignation dripping from every pore. "I had hoped you would be spared
this, but McCoy's drives will be too strong. Tomorrow he must
leap on you and take you repeatedly as a man takes a husband--or go
Jim ceased to
speak, and stared dully into his computer screen, his hands folded limp
and useless on his lap.
Spock stood and
head gravely. "Captain, I will see that the Doctor's leap day is
handled efficiently--somehow." And he turned on his heels and
left the room.
came home to
their quarters midmorning to find the lights down, the temperature set
a little warmer than ship's standard, towels piled on the wainscoted
ledge, and a naked Spock wide awake on their bunk.
none of these would have been particularly surprising, but as a
combination, it was absolutely unprecedented.
hell-- Don't you have a geophysics departmental review to
As Spock sat up
in the sheets,
a fresh squeeze-bottle of Astroslick personal lubricant rolled a little
way down the bed. It was the economy-sized one.
"There is no need
embarrassed about it, Leonard. I have been informed of your
impending leap-day crisis, and I have made arrangements to accommodate
it. It is not so dissimilar from my pon-farr cycle to which
will be subjected in a few more years. In a way, I find it
reassuring to know that this concept is not so alien to you as I had
believed, and that we share this physiological need as well as our
other similarities. Although I fail to comprehend why you did
speak to me of it yourself."
McCoy sat down on
the edge of
the bed and ran one hand up Spock's inner thigh. No point in
turning down a chance to cop a feel, no matter how bizarrely it was
offered up. "Spock, nothing about you is alien to me anymore,
except whatever in the blazes you are talking about right
day of rutting and leaping. It should, I believe, begin
within the next few hours."
McCoy blinked incredulously. "Spock, have you been sniffing
my aftershave again?"
not. We can
begin now, if you care to. The superior stamina of my Vulcan
physique makes the addition of a few extra hours of sexual activity
inconsequential to me. Although, I believe my human side
well appreciate the additional--opportunities." Spock held
hand to his husband.
McCoy rubbed his
thought. "Jim, right?" As he waited for the answer,
pulled off one boot and tossed it aside.
Jim Kirk fed you
this line, didn't he?" McCoy worked off his other boot with
toe and kicked it across the deck to join its partner.
"It was the
captain who provided me with the information, yes."
McCoy slapped the
knew it! That prancing, hot-blooded overblown little
of a Nero believes he has the right to manipulate everyone's personal
life just with the flip of a toggle from the command chair.
gonna kill the little rat!"
critical information? That is hardly logical."
"For his sick
joke. Messing with your head at my expense."
his brow. "Are you saying that there is no bon-abuddie
McCoy looked his
up and down. He lay so open and vulnerable, purposefully
to McCoys whims, and McCoy felt the familiar flush that seemed to bloom
fresh and new, taking him utterly by surprise every single
"Well--maybe not until now--" He lay down, running his hands through
the course hair of Spock's chest, and kissed him deeply, regretting
only that he had not made the time to remove his own pants first.
When they broke
for air, McCoy added, "You say you have the whole day off."
the uncertainty of the Terran dateline and time zones, I was unsure as
to how your body would be synchronized, so I left allowances.
logical," McCoy murmured into his neck, as he undid the seal on his own
trousers and wiggled them down. "And it would be a shame to waste all
that reconfiguration, wouldn't you say?"
But Spock didn't
have time to produce an answer, for at that moment, McCoy leapt.