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Bragging Rights - Part 1/3
Title: Bragging Rights
Author: Ragdoll
Pairing: Kirk/Spock slash
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: Not mine, more's the pity.
Word Count: ~20,000 total

Summary: AU. Two and a half years into his time at Starfleet Academy, Jim Kirk meets Lieutenant-Commander Spock, and the sparks begin to fly.  Written for the K/S Advent Calendar.

Thank you to awarrington  as always, for her wonderful Beta work and all her thoughtful comments, which strengthen my stories endlessly.

Bragging Rights
Part 1

“Remind me why I thought drinking my way through four different ‘fleet-serving bars was a good idea,” Jim groaned, stuffing his head underneath his pillow where the weak morning light couldn’t torment him further.

“Can’t do that, seeing as I thought it was stupid from the start,” McCoy told him, and Jim’s friend – ex-friend – had the nerve to sound as though he thought Jim deserved every second of the pain he found himself in. Traitor.

“If the Academy isn’t about to burn down around my ears, I’m kicking you the hell out unless you come bearing a hangover remedy, Bones,” Jim announced, burrowing further beneath the nest of blankets he’d become ensconced in. He moaned in misery as his poor brain was forced to move with him. Damn, he must have drunk his way through those four bars and then some, but his memory became more than a little fuzzy after the third. He wasn’t certain modern medicine came with a painkiller strong enough to ward off the headache currently pounding its way through his skull. And complaining to McCoy had the unfortunate side effect of aggravating said headache, as well as allowing him a disgusting taste of the inside of his mouth.

“Ugh,” he complained, revolted. “I think I might have bought some turpentine along with that booze. What the hell was I thinking?”

“I ask myself that every day,” McCoy muttered from somewhere above him, and yeah, Jim should have known better than to try eliciting sympathy from the man – Bones had never been particularly moved by the Kirk charm, and seemed even less so the longer they knew each other.

“Do you have a reason for being here other than to torture me?”

“Do I need a better reason than that? But lucky for you, I do. Someone has to save you from your own stupidity, and I’m not about to let you reward yourself by skipping out on classes just because you decided to overindulge like some particularly juvenile teenager.”

“If you thought last night was juvenile, you should’ve seen me when I was actually a teen. Now g’way,” Jim ordered, muffled.

“Not a chance. C’mon, Jim, up and at ‘em!” his friend ordered, and a hard jerk of the bedclothes informed Jim that his sanctuary was about to be disturbed. Desperate to hang onto a few more moments of blessed stillness, he tightened his bodily grip on every bit of fabric in his vicinity, closing up tight like a clam. No way was he ready to face the day, and McCoy could rant and wheedle all he liked; for once, Jim wasn’t budging.

“Piss off, Bones,” he grunted, scuttling crab-like to the far side of the bed. “If you’re here that means class hasn’t started yet, and I’m not getting up one second sooner than I have to today, so you might as well clear out.”

“Don’t be such an ass,” McCoy growled, with another futile tug at the blankets. Jim meanly wished terrible humiliation on the man, to begin the moment he left these quarters so that their unfortunate occupant could curl back into a ball of misery and drop off to some much-needed sleep. “You know, for such a hot-shot Academy legend, you can be a real infant sometimes, Jim.”

At the word ‘infant’, the hiss of a depressurized hypo reached Jim’s ringing ears, followed by the slight sting of some chemical concoction rushing through his system. The nagging pain, which had driven Jim into hibernation beneath his bedding, immediately began to subside, and he groaned in blissful relief.

“Bones,” he proclaimed, popping up from his nest with his hair sticking every which way, looking – he was certain – fairly ridiculous, and content to be so. “You are a God. I owe you one.”

“You owe me seven, and that’s if we’re only counting hangover remedies,” McCoy snarled, shoving the hypo back into his medical kit and snapping it closed sharply, probably to let Jim know how annoyed he was. Unperturbed, Jim sprang up from the bed, his migraine already a long-forgotten memory.

“I’ll make it up to you,” he promised, smacking his lips in distaste as the state of his palate made itself known again. “One of these days.”

“The only way you could make it up to me would be by avoiding doing it in the first place. And considering the state of your liver and your libido, I can tell that isn’t one of your major priorities.”

“No, no, it is!” Jim protested, hastily checking the chronometer – just going on nine, which gave him an hour to dispel the worst of his night of revelry and get ready for a day of classes. He waded through the destruction he suspected he himself had wrought on this very room last night (what had prompted that – he seemed to have a vague memory of blonde hair, luscious lips, and legs that went on forever; a name, however, escaped him), searching for a clean article of clothing. “I’ve decided to make it my New Year’s resolution,” he told his friend, cheering in minor victory as he liberated a relatively unused uniform shirt from beneath his dresser.

“Oh, let me guess. You’ve made it your mission in life to drink three days a week instead of two now, is that it?”

“Nope. I’ve decided to knock it down to once a week, and I’m swearing off girls of all shapes, races, and sizes, for at least a month. They’re definitely more trouble than they’re worth.”

“I’ll have to let Ariel know you feel that way.”

“No!” Jim froze in the act of fastening the uniform jacket, scouring his hazy recollection of what had to have been one kick-ass evening. “Tell me it wasn’t…? Last night?”

“Oh, yes it was,” McCoy confirmed for him, sounding more pleased than he had any right to as he knowingly crushed his poor friend’s hopes beneath the ruthless heel of his unsympathetic boot. “She had enough sense, at least, to take off when you seemed determined to consume all the alcohol in an eight block radius, but she was definitely there. Too bad, Jim-boy. After chasing her for the last two weeks solid, it looks like you blew the only chance she was willing to give you. Or may ever give you, if last night’s episode left any kind of lasting impression.”

“Dammit. Way more trouble than they’re worth,” Jim muttered, rummaging around his closet for his boots until he accidentally incited a mild avalanche of clothing. He let loose with several profane exclamations as he struggled his way to freedom. “I’m making it two months. No, three.”

“Hah!” McCoy scoffed, and a resounding crash made him look over in time to see his friend shove a pile of data pads from the corner of Jim’s bed to the floor as he sat down, looking thoroughly put out. “I hate to be the one to break this to you, Jim, but in case you’ve somehow missed the definition of the word ‘womanizer’, I’m pretty sure they’ve got your picture stamped up next to it in the dictionary. You wouldn’t last two days without chasing after some skirt, let alone three months.”

“Hey, I could stop if I wanted to! I do have some self control, you know,” Jim protested, scrubbing his hands through his hair before combing it back with his fingers.

“Spoken like a true addict,” McCoy said.

“What, you don’t think I could do it?”

“Not a chance.”

“You willing to put money down on that?” Jim challenged, parking his hands on his hips as he scowled at the physician.

“On you lasting three months? Hell yes. Are you?

Jim glared at him, muttered something unintelligible under his breath, and stomped into the fresher without another word to his conniving friend.

He could hear McCoy burst into laughter behind him and managed to endure the mocking for all of five seconds before poking his head out again with a scowl.

“Don’t you have somewhere better to be?”

“And miss this little fantasy of yours? Nope. Three months, eh? Hah!”

“Oh, shut up,” Jim snarled, stabbing his dry toothbrush in McCoy’s direction as though it were a knife capable of cutting off his words before they’d fully formed. “Okay, maybe not three, but I could last at least a month. No problem.”

“You sure about that?”

Jim rolled his eyes heavenward and made to disappear back into the fresher.

“Well, I won’t put money on a month,” McCoy called, still sounding far too amused for Jim’s peace of mind. “You’re perverse enough that you might actually do it if I gave you sufficient incentive. But I’ll tell you what, Jim – if you actually manage to last four whole weeks, I’ll give you an entire bottle of Saurian brandy, and take care of your hangovers free of lecturing until, say… March.”

“Free of lecturing?” Jim drawled, forced to poke his head out again so he could showcase the mocking grin stretching his mouth. “You? I think we should put money on how long you last at that.”

The scowl he received in return brightened his day considerably.

“That’s the offer,” his friend snapped firmly, crossing his arms over his chest. “Take it or leave it.”

“You don’t think it’s counterproductive to offer someone alcohol as a reward for sobriety?”

“I think we both know there’s no chance you’re actually gonna stay that way,” McCoy pointed out.

Insulted, but willing to let it slide in the interest of prospective bragging rights – not to mention the ability to tell McCoy to stuff it and still be guaranteed a hangover-free day (the alcohol was a mere pittance measured against that) – Jim thought over the situation carefully. McCoy had been known to trick him in the past, though he always paid up any actual debts he owed, and Jim searched carefully amongst the challenge for anything untoward.

“So let me get this straight – if I hold off on my, ah, womanizing for the four weeks leading up to New Year’s, you’ll cough up a bottle of Saurian brandy and cater to all my partying needs for the winter term with no fuss, no muss? What’s the catch?”

“No women, no booze,” McCoy reminded him. “And that means nothing. No liquor, no liqueur, no bars. No dates, no after-hours visits, no elevator eyes, no flirting. Nada, zip, zero, zilch. You get the picture?”

“Harsh, Bones,” Jim muttered, and he wasn’t sure if he was referring to his friend’s lack of faith, or to the terms of the bet – which actually, now they’d been laid out in such stark, uncompromising terms, did seem a little nasty. Jim couldn’t remember the last time he’d had to curb his flirting with every pretty girl that passed in front of him. He might have been eight or nine at the time. Or was it seven? Either way, it was practically conditioned behavior at this point; Bones could be a real bastard some times. Still, for a bottle of Saurian brandy and some peace and quiet, Jim was certain he could hold out for at least four weeks. Mostly certain, anyway.

“You backing out already, Jim-boy?”

“A Kirk never backs out of a bet!” Jim exclaimed, determined that if nothing else, he’d make his cynical friend eat his own words when all was said and done. “Make it two bottles and it’s a deal.”

McCoy examined him, a slow smile curving the edge of his lips that disturbed Jim on a number of levels for its sheer unnerving devilry.

“All right, Jim, two bottles – but no exceptions. Four weeks, starting today. Seeing as we’re four days into December, I guess that means this is one New Year’s party you’ll be amazingly sober for.”

Jim scowled mutinously. “Oh, c’mon Bones; have a heart! Being sober for New Year’s is like watching the sunrise with your eyes closed – pretty much defeats the purpose of it.”

“Don’t even try it, Jim. You’re either in or you’re out. Getting cold feet already?”

“Oh, you are so on, McCoy. Done! Now get the hell out of here. If I don’t wash out my mouth with industrial-strength toothpaste I might just develop gum disease by the time class starts, if the taste in there is anything to go by.”

“I always come prepared for just about anything when I make your morning rounds, Jim,” McCoy told him heartlessly, patting his med-kit and looking smug. “Though I’m usually less concerned about the state of your gums than I am about the state of your – “

“Out!” Jim shouted, and wished he had a real door to slam, because listening to the soft swish of the automatics cutting off the sounds of his friend’s laughter was nowhere near as satisfying.


Falling asleep to the droning voice of his Inter-Galactic Diplomatic Relations instructor two days later was almost enough to make Jim wish he had his hangover back. At least then he’d have an excuse to skip out on the mind-numbingly boring lecture currently passing from his left ear to his right without making much on an impact of what lay between them. Alas, Bones’ timely little cures were too good to fail at inopportune – or opportune – moments, which unfortunately left Jim at the tender mercies of possibly the most uninteresting professor in the history of Starfleet instructors. He wasn’t the only one to think so, either, if the gentle snoring coming from either side of him was anything to go by. Thank God Jim was a genius, or he might actually have to listen to the man’s pointless drivel. Who needed Inter-Galactic Diplomatic Relations anyway? Jim fully intended to learn everything worth knowing about that in the field, not sitting in some classroom drawing caricatures on his data pads.

It was with a feeling of profound relief that he heard the deep bass tone of dismissal at the end of the lecture, which marked the end of his classes for the day. He wasn’t quite the first out the door, but it was a close thing.

He cut across the main square en-route to McCoy’s class. They met for a late lunch at least once a week, unless Jim had other places (people – ahem, women) to see. Since he found himself with a sudden abundance of free time, his best option for entertainment lay McCoy’s way. How unfortunate for the good doctor. But that was the price he paid for laying ridiculous and unfair bets. Bets which were becoming more and more unfair every time Jim had to stop himself from ogling where (and who) he’d assured certain interested parties that he’d not be ogling for the next four weeks. McCoy was so going to pay for this when the new year was well and truly started.

The biological sciences wing was just beginning to empty into the busy corridor when Jim hot-footed it over there. Bones was nowhere in sight, so Jim settled in to wait, like a cat patiently stalking its prey. By the time his friend (ex-friend, the bastard) ambled out, Jim was almost chomping at the bit.

“Bones!” he barked, sidling up to the good doctor, whose sudden jump told him his efforts at stealth had been successful. “Glad to see you’re free for lunch, as always! I think you and I need to have a chat – “

“Actually, Jim, I do have plans. I have to – “

“ – call and let her know you’re bringing a friend along,” Jim finished, clapping a hand to McCoy’s shoulder with insistence well-disguised as camaraderie. “I’m sure she won’t mind. And damn, Bones, you dog, swearing me to chastity and then sneaking off to some hot lunch date of your own. You probably had this whole thing planned, just didn’t want the competition – “

“Like I need to worry about that even when you haven’t consented to temporary neutering. Besides, it’s not – “

Temporary neutering? God, I hope you’re not spreading that bit of gossip around – “

“It appears that cadet McCoy is at less risk of committing that act of indiscretion than you are, cadet Kirk.”

A literal zing of shock and surprise leapt through Jim’s system, momentarily short-circuiting his talent for verbal wit and acuity. Which was a shame, since the pointed ears and upswept eyebrows told Jim that if ever there was a time for verbal acuity, this was it.

“Uh,” he said intelligently.

“Like I was trying to say,” McCoy snapped, shrugging away from Jim’s restraining arm, “it’s not a date, it’s a damned meeting. Jim, this is Lieutenant-Commander Spock. Commander, I’m sure you already know Jim Kirk, by his sterling reputation alone, if nothing else.”

Jim also knew of the good commander – similarly, by reputation alone, and he’d occasionally glimpsed him from afar, but this was the first opportunity he’d had to see the man up close. He met the dark eyes that turned to him, noting with a jolt of fascination that the reflection from the artificial lights turned them a truly extraordinary shade of black. It suited the man – turning features that were already attractive into a sort of otherworldly beauty. If he’d been a woman, Jim would have called him unbearably pretty; as it was, he was more than a little handsome – not that Jim was noticing, or anything. People who involved themselves with noticing the attractiveness of Vulcans tended to have their fantasies popped without much delay. He forced himself to look away, aware that he’d been staring inappropriately.

“I am cognizant of cadet Kirk’s identity,” the Vulcan confirmed, voice a mellow hum. Jim couldn’t tell from his tone – or lack thereof – whether or not this cognizance was a good thing.

“Not from the gossip grapevine,” he said, before McCoy could get that word in edgewise he just knew his friend was itching to deliver, “or else you wouldn’t still be standing here. Don’t listen to a word of it, by the way – it’s all a pack of lies, I can assure you.”

“I was previously inclined to agree. However, considering the discussion I could not help but overhear as I approached, it seems that the rumors as to your person may not be as exaggerated as I have assumed.”

Jim was startled into a laugh. If he hadn’t known better, he’d swear that the commander had just made a joke at his expense, but surely not. Vulcans didn’t joke.

“I wouldn’t discount anything you might have heard, Commander,” McCoy said sourly, while Jim tried to stifle his amusement. “Knowing Jim, it’s not so much that it’s all possible, as it’s all probable.”

Amusement morphed into irritation. “Hey!”

“Sorry Jim, but you’re going to have to find someone else to entertain you today,” McCoy said loudly over Jim’s indignant exclamation. “Commander Spock is overseeing the xenobiological lectures this term, and we’re meeting for lunch to finalize some of the details for my dissertation. Some of us have to work for our marks, you know.”

“I work!” Jim protested half-heartedly. And he did, though usually not that hard. He counted his lucky stars on a fairly regular basis that his greater-than-average intelligence leant itself to top grades without much dedicated effort on his part. McCoy was just bitter, he assured himself.

“Yeah, you work at getting dates, maybe,” the doctor sneered. “When it comes to your classes – “

“If you feel that cadet Kirk would benefit from participating in our discussion, he is welcome to join us,” Commander Spock broke in, with a faintly discernable air of fraying patience.

“What?” both Humans asked, all prospective arguments summarily derailed.

“I have no objections to the cadet’s presence, provided the purpose of the meeting is completed to the satisfaction of cadet McCoy and myself.”

“Whoa,” Jim said, backpedaling rapidly. “I didn’t mean – “

“I think that sounds like a great idea,” McCoy interrupted, reaching out and clamping a hand to Jim’s shoulder when it seemed he might take off with nary a word of farewell. “He might actually learn something. Besides, Jim’s always been passionate about biology, isn’t that right, Jim?”

And that was how Jim found himself sitting down to lunch with his very ex-ex-friend (becoming more ex with each second that passed) and a Vulcan who, Jim noted with a touch of mirth, drew more appreciative looks than he himself did, and yet seemed entirely unaware of that fact.

For the first twenty minutes, Jim affected selective deafness, and only responded to the conversational cues he couldn’t possibly avoid, such as selecting his meal. He pretended not to hear the discussion taking place to his right, and took great pride in providing sufficiently annoying silence (filled occasionally with unprompted tapping on the table or loud humming) that McCoy was forced to shoot him irritated looks at every pause in the conversation. Really, it didn’t get much better than that – he’d reached a point where he was equally annoying whether he spoke or didn’t speak; that took persistence as well as talent.

When enough time had passed that he deemed his point made (though he was not sulking, despite the accusation he could see in his friend’s face every time McCoy frowned in his direction), he opened his ears to the conversation winding down beside him.

“ – and there have been several recent studies targeting unusual mutations and interactions among interspecies humanoid hybrids that you may find useful to your research,” Commander Spock was saying, while resting the tips of both his index fingers against each other in quiet contemplation.

“That sounds perfect – actually, if you’ve got them handy, I’d love to take a look at them.”

“I do not. My portable data unit lacks sufficient space to store them in their entirety; however, if you will provide me with your dorm allocation number, I will transfer the files directly to your room terminal.”

“Sure thing – “

Feeling the perverse need to intervene in what was obviously a successful meeting of minds, Jim piped up deliberately before McCoy could get another word in.

“I thought you were doing your dissertation on the ‘potential impact of Human viral cross-contamination in first contact situations’?” he said. From the looks of gaping astonishment turned in his direction (he chose to interpret the slow blinking from Commander Spock as such, anyway), Jim surmised his input had come completely out of left field.

“Well,” McCoy said after a moment. “I, er, was going to originally, yeah.”

“You seemed pretty passionate about it,” Jim informed him, perching his chin atop his carefully steepled fingers. “Or at least, I thought you must be, seeing as my ears are still ringing from the last time you ranted to me about my propensity to leap without looking and how it all tied into your thesis on first contact commands requiring more safety protocols.”

“You were actually listening to all that?” McCoy blurted out incredulously. Jim blinked at him slowly, in a credible imitation of the Vulcan sitting silently among them.

“I always listen to you, Bones,” Jim said blithely, and then, before his friend could leap in with the cry of outrage he could see brewing, continued quickly. “So what changed your mind?”

“Nothing,” McCoy grunted, looking annoyed. “I’ve been encouraged to revise it to include other major Federation races, which would mean examining a larger pool of viral contaminants.”

“That’s gonna extend your work by several months, at least,” Jim pointed out. “And as of now the ratio of Humans to non-Humans serving aboard Federation starships is about twenty to one. If you’re looking for a ruling majority, Earth-based viruses are going to be your primary concern.”

“You do not believe including other races in a research project of this magnitude to be worthwhile?” Commander Spock interrupted sharply, and Jim swung around to face him, startled. He realized after a moment that his attempt to play devil’s advocate – always an entertaining venture around McCoy – might have come across as more than a little xenophobic to the only non-Human sitting at the table.

“No, that wasn’t it,” Jim assured him, with an apologetic wince, before admitting, “and actually, mostly I was just being an asshole to rile Bones up. I fully believe he should at least include the top ten races serving aboard Starfleet ships as of now. The Orions, at the very least, have a genome that can harbor hidden viral contaminants dangerous to any medically deficient or immune-compromised species.”

The Vulcan turned the full force of his interest from the topic at hand to Jim, and the Human could feel himself blink beneath the sudden intensity. McCoy, who remained uncharacteristically silent, faded from Jim’s mind as though he weren’t even present. Suddenly it seemed that the only connection Jim had to this conversation lay in the expanse of those dark eyes staring at him. He felt his heartbeat double in intensity.

“You have some knowledge of interspecies viral interaction?” Spock asked.

“A little,” Jim admitted, drawing his attention back from the places it had wandered to. “My brother, Sam, is a research biologist stationed on Deneva.” Then, feeling the need to lighten the unexpected tension, he forced his lips into a smirk and added, “And McCoy beats some of it into me whenever he’s feeling particularly neglected.” He gave his friend a wounded look, appealing to the Vulcan for sympathy. It didn’t occur to him how ridiculous that was until he received two looks of complete incomprehension from his lunch companions (okay, maybe McCoy looked a little more outraged than puzzled).

“Cadet Kirk – ”

“Call me Jim,” he interrupted, convinced that the last time he’d been addressed by his rank so often was when he’d been told by his course advisor that there was no way a wet-behind-the-ears cadet was going to make the cut for the accelerated program. Shows what he knew, Jim thought smugly.

The Commander raised an eyebrow at Jim’s instruction, a gesture that caught the Human’s fascinated eyes. He studied those sharp, elegant features with his full attention, a perusal that didn’t go unnoticed by its subject, who raised the other eyebrow in silent inquiry. Unperturbed, Jim grinned, shrugging innocently.

“As you are unlikely to fall under my direct purview as an instructor, you may address me as Spock, if you wish,” the Vulcan said, and Jim was surprised into a genuinely delighted smile.

“I wish,” he assured him.

Lunch hadn’t exactly been what he’d expected when he’d first set out to hunt down the treacherous McCoy, but Jim couldn’t deny, in the end, that it had certainly been entertaining.

Part 2

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(Deleted comment)


Hope the next bit was everything you were waiting for!

I like it a lot so far * w*
It's a really interesting beginning, the dialogue is very believable and Kirk would totally make himself seem so useless then suddenly prove he's crazy smart. I love it~ <3

Take your time updating

Yep, imo that's totally a tactic for getting himself underestimated that Jim would use. Glad you enjoyed the beginning.

I really, really love that Jim was introduced to Spock through McCoy. Also, smart Jim is always sexy, especially when it's displayed in front of a certain Vulcan. <3

More than introduced... ;) Teehee, which, if you read onward, you already know!

i love it so far. Very well written (as always) and intriguing to boot. Im not usually a fan of Spock and Kirk meeting pre-movie, but i like the way you've done it regardless. :)

Thank you! Pre-movie/tos meetings between them are one of my secret fangirl loves, so I had to do one!

I'm in love with this story already! I'm a sucker for fics that have Jim and Spock meet at the Academy, and I love that McCoy was the one to introduce them! Love the dialogue and your characterizations of all three of them. ♥

omg, I love the theme of them meeting pre-Enterprise also, so yay! Dialogue is my bread and butter, glad you like. :)

AAAAHH- new fic from you! I'm so happy! ♥

Hope it lived up to your expectations!

I'm a total spazz but I love it when the topic of alien biology makes it into K/S fics. You have my adoration <3

I love it too. And Jim could to showcase is mad skills, so it served a double purpose!

Ooh, this is going to be fun! I'm looking forward to Jim making use of the loophole in womanizing.

Also, those boys can talk nerdy to me each other anytime. Yum.

Edited at 2009-12-28 02:14 pm (UTC)

That loophole was the whole reason I started this story... ;) Was supposed to be like 4k words maybe, but the ideas just kept coming, and from there it sort of evolved into a tiny little monster of a fic lol.

haha! I'm enjoying your writing, Jim and Bones together are so lively. just a little thing, but I also like how you capitalized human.

Glad you like them; they're such a good relationship to expand on! And thanks - seeing as we Capitalize Vulcan for being the name of a species, I don't see why Human can't be as well.

Ok....I an so likin this fic...

"At least then he’d have an excuse to skip out on the mind-numbingly boring lecture currently passing from his left ear to his right without making much on an impact of what lay between them."

Ahahahahaha! My favorite line so far. Hilarious!

I love this story so far. Time to read more XD

i love this story. its so cute and funny and its very good writing. I especially love the part in the beginning when Jim is hiding underneath his blankets to sleep. it's basically how i feel when my sister yells at me to wake up

I can't tell you how much I love this story! Great plot, great porn, great everything. This is just something evily awesome (and potentially dangerous) about Spock and Bones plotting and planning together.

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