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The bars of the cell are made out of a sturdy material. Not even my Vulcan strength seems to be able to put a dent in them. Yet I cannot stop myself from trying. I use all my strength at the bars, trying to pull them apart, but to no avail. Frustration and anger rises within me and I pull violently at them, shaking them only once before I can stop my emotional display.

"Angry, Mr.Spock, or frustrated perhaps?" The doctor's voice reaches me and I calm myself with effort. Were I human, I would surely strike out at him.

"Such emotions are foreign to me, Doctor," I lie. It is a transparent lie, I know it, but it helps me remember who I am and what I am. I am Vulcan. Shaming myself with such a display is uncomfortable. "I'm merely testing the strength of the door."

"For the fifteenth time," McCoy replies dryly, and I refrain from correcting him. It is only the twelfth time I am doing this.

Instead of answering him, I keep examining the bars, testing them with my fingers. My telepathic skills are heightened and I try to sense weaknesses in the material, but these cells are most amazingly well crafted. There seem to be no weaknesses anywhere. No place where I can aim my strength and pull the bars apart. Yet I keep searching, moving my fingers over the bars, the walls and the door-lock in light touches, almost-caresses, trying to find a faulty bar, or some weakness, somewhere. It is frustrating indeed. I wish to get out and find Jim. Where is he? What is happening to him?

I remember the fight in the arena and how close to death McCoy had been. What if that is what is happening to Jim at this very moment? Once again, I despise myself for my lack of courage. If I had told Jim the truth of my attachment to him we might now be linked. Thus, the worry would be either diminished, since I would know he was all right, or I would be plunged into the depths of grieving because he is dead.

Not knowing is the worst of all.

"Spock..." McCoy's voice is so low I barely register that he is talking to me. I am too concentrated on the task at hand. I turn around and look at him as he rises from the bench at the back of our cell.

"Spock," he repeats. I do not wish to listen to him now. We have to get out of our confinement but he continues, not sensing my irritability. I should be gratified.

"I know we've had our disagreements. Maybe they're jokes, I don't know. As Jim says, we're not often sure ourselves sometimes, but... "

Irritation rises within me to the point where I cannot suppress it.

"Doctor, I am seeking a means of escape. Will you please be brief?"

I can see the astonishment and the hurt in his eyes, but I am unable to deal with it at this moment.

"Well, what I'm trying to say is you saved my life in the arena."

Indeed. I sigh inwardly.

"Yes, that is quite true," I agree, hoping that will silence the doctor. However, I realize as soon as the words leave my mouth that this was not the correct response to his words. I find Dr. McCoy most difficult to deal with at times. This is one of those instances. He is irrational and highly emotional.

Not like Jim. Not at all like Jim....

"I'm trying to thank you, you pointed-eared hobgoblin!" he spits at me. The anger is so evident, and it tires me.

"Oh yes, You humans have that emotional need to express gratitude," I reply, knowing this will annoy him even more, but perhaps at least it will keep me from worrying too much about Jim for just a few moments. "You're welcome, I believe is the correct response." I am quite pleased that McCoy is still alive, and were we to experience the same once more I would repeat my actions without hesitation. "However, doctor, you must remember that I am entirely motivated by logic. To lose our ship's surgeon, whatever I may think of his relative skills, would mean a reduction in the efficiency of the Enterprise, and..."

I am brusquely interrupted as the doctor pushes me up against the bars with surprising strength, and I realize too late that this time, I may have gone too far. His blue eyes are piercing as they look at me and he speaks.

"You wanna know why you're not afraid to die, Spock?" he hisses, and I feel something akin to fear rise within me. Leonard is one of the few humans who can truly make me feel uncomfortable. He can often see through the shields I put up against the world, even with less effort than Jim does. "You're more afraid of living!" he continues.

I do not know how to respond to this. His words are painful. Is it not true after all, what he says? I *am* afraid of living. I despise myself for the fear, but it is illogical to ignore it, because it is there.

"Each day you stay alive, is just one more day you might slip and let your human half peek out!"

It is true. I have lived among Vulcans for so long. The Vulcan way is the life I have chosen, and I do fear my human ancestry. That is illogical. Humanity is part of me.

"That's it, isn't it? Insecurity?" McCoy insists and I keep looking away. I do not want him to see the doubt that must be written all over my face. It hurts what he is saying. It hurts more than I would have imagined. So much like Leonard to cut through my defenses and see what is behind the Vulcan mask, the shields I use to protect the vulnerability of my humanness.

"Why, you wouldn't know what to do with a genuine, warm, decent feeling!" he spits, and this time I believe that the doctor has gone too far. Does he not know? Is he not aware of how I value him, the crew of the Enterprise and above all, Jim? I turn to him then, trying to keep the mask in place.

"Really doctor?" I ask.

He looks down then, as if realizing that he has pushed me too far, that he has not respected what is I. Kaiidth! What is, is. I am part human, but I am also Vulcan. He must respect that, which is I. Suddenly, there is understanding in his eyes, and I know he realizes why I have been so on edge. His next words tell me so.

"I know. I'm worried about Jim too."

And the helplessness at his words nearly overwhelms me. If we get out of this alive, I shall tell him. I shall tell Jim, how I cherish him.


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