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Title: Gathering Together
Author: Ainzfern
Series: TOS
Code: S/Mc
Rating: NC-17
Parts: 1/1
Disclaimer: Paramount owns STAR TREK ... etc and so on and so forth!
My only pay here is personal joy
Summary: A piece that covers the journeys of each of the bridge crew as they gather at Spock and Leonard's home for a get-together. Another prequel (of sorts) to "The Day You Went Away", and a sequel to "Return To Us." (Set some time after STIV but before STV - forgive me for stretching the canon time line but ahhhhh what else is it for??) Archiving: Cool- if you want to- please let me know.
Feedback: Yes please! All comments are welcome
Author's Note:

Gathering Together.

1. Spock Submits

Leonard McCoy looked up and smiled when he heard the screen door open. He was seated on the swing chair at one end of the porch, sipping on a damn fine single malt whisky and watching the evening settle into the garden.

"Hey." He raised his drink in a salute. "Y'all finished in there?"

Spock nodded, stepping out and gracefully moving towards him. He dropped smoothly into the swing chair beside Leonard, draping his slim frame against the Human's side in a gesture of affection that was peculiarly overt, even for the relaxed atmosphere of home.

Leonard smiled discreetly into his drink. //Very *nice*... Looks like this old hack in gonna get lucky tonight.//

"I have finished the last submission," Spock told him.

Leonard sipped his drink. "Only you, beautiful, would refer to sending out invites to a barbeque as 'submissions'".

An elegant eyebrow quirked at him, the tiniest twitch lifted the corner of a sensual mouth. The Vulcan equivalent of a belly laugh. Spock reached out with his slender, fine-fingered hand and grazed his knuckles gently along Leonard's jaw line.

//My, my... We *are* affectionate tonight, aren't we?//

"Indeed," Spock agreed, eyes twinkling. "But I feel compelled to mention that 'old hack' is hardly the way *I* perceive you."

Leonard guffawed loudly, saluting his mate again with his near-empty glass. "I should'a known you'd catch that one," he chortled.

Spock merely gave him another one of those beautiful almost-smiles.

Leonard sighed and stretched, luxuriating in the way his body pressed into Spock's, loving the warmth and firmness of the man. He set his glass aside and slid his arm around Spock's lean waist. "So, what's on the agenda this evening oh, bondmate o'mine?"

Spock nuzzled his neck, sending shivers lancing across his skin, warmth shooting through his heart. "I believe you have already ascertained my intent, Leonard."

Smiling, Leonard twisted slightly so that he could capture Spock's mouth with his own. He kissed him seriously, letting the Vulcan feel the arousal building inside him, and feeling Spock's flare in response. Reaching down, he gave his mate's hardening sex a friendly squeeze, grinning when he heard the tiny catch of breath in Spock's throat.

"Come upstairs, beautiful," Leonard whispered huskily. "Come upstairs and love me 'till I pass out."

Spock stood and pulled Leonard up behind him, moving swiftly into the house and heading towards the stairs. He literally dragged his willing partner into the bedroom and flung him down onto the soft covers of their bed.

"Was it something I said?" Leonard smiled lovingly up at him.

//You *do* have a descriptive turn of phrase at times, beloved,// Spock noted as he pushed aside Leonard's clothing and then efficiently removed his own.

Laughing, Leonard held out his arms as Spock lowered himself, naked and fully erect, down onto him. The Human stroked his hands over Spock's strong, sleek shoulders, feeling the muscles flex and bunch under his touch, feeling that special connection growing between them in readiness for their coupling. //Is that right?//

Spock assaulted Leonard's neck with a flurry of kisses and soft bites. //Indeed...//

Leonard sank his hands into Spock's soft hair, tugging insistently at him until he was face to face with his heated mate, looking directly into those passion hazed, obsidian eyes. //Well, here's another poetic turn of phrase for you, beautiful... Screw the *hell* outta me!//

With the exquisite attention to detail so typical of Vulcans, Spock proceeded to do exactly that.


2. Montgomery Muses.

I like this wee ground car o'mine. Always have. I've had her for years and I've kept her in tip-top condition.

Well, I *am* an engineer... Old habits die hard.

I pull up in front of Uhura's neat wee bungalow and jump out, leaving the engine runnin'. That's something I really like about that lass. She's always on time. I like quite a few other things about her too. Perhaps during our trip out to Spock and Leonard's place we might talk about that.

I'd say it's time...

While I wait for her to come to the door, I consider a wee while on where we're going. More to the point, *who* we're going to see.

I still ca'nae quite believe it. Y'know, when they gathered us together that night on Earth and told us the truth... ye could'a knocked me down with a feather!

The Captain did'nae look that shocked though, I remember that. But, that does'nae surprise me. He'd have known all along. He's a canny one, our Jim.

Uhura had known too, funnily enough. Or maybe not. She's always been clever, that lass...

I'm getting' used to the idea, though. Of Spock and Leonard. We've been up to visit with them a few times now, and seeing 'em together... HA! Makes me wonder how in the blue bloody blazes I *missed* it all these years.

Ah... here she is now. All packed and ready to go. Blue dress, low heels, aye, she's a bonny one and *no* mistake.

I tell ye... Spock and Leonard's confession? It's put ideas into my head, right enough.

It's a fair journey by ground car.

Should be an interestin' trip.


3. Spock Marinates. Leonard ruminates.

"Spock? Did you happen to see a couple of green towels lyin' about the place?" Leonard called from the dining room.

Spock looked up from where he was working at the kitchen bench. "Perhaps you should try the airing closet."

Leonard walked past on his way to the back rooms. "I didn't put 'em in the airing closet."

"No." Spock returned to his task. "But I *did*."

Leonard shot him a look. "Y'know, I wish you wouldn't do that."

"Do what, precisely?'

"Walk around behind me putting everything away! I leave things out for a reason, Spock."

Spock raised an elegant brow. "Perhaps you might endeavor in the future to advise me?"

Leonard made a face. "Read my mind."

"I will not validate that remark with a reply." Spock returned to his work again.

Chuckling, Leonard fetched the towels, taking them back out to the two small but cozy rear guest rooms that faced into the back garden. As he came back in and approached his mate, he grinned broadly. "Spock?"


"I've put a towel each in Chekov's and in Sulu's guest rooms... and sweetheart?"


"Leave 'em there!"

"Most amusing," Spock said flatly.

Leonard leaned his elbows on the kitchen bench and watched his mate for a few moments. "So, whatcha creating?"

"I am marinating a selection of vegetables," Spock replied, busily slicing and mixing. "By the time we are ready to cook tomorrow, I anticipate that the flavors will be pleasantly amalgamated."

Leonard smiled, dipping his finger into the mix. "I see. A little something for the visiting vegans?" He tasted the marinade. Sweet, slightly spicy. He definitely approved.

"Not everyone appreciates charred flesh as a foodstuff, Leonard," Spock said pointedly.

"Why, Spock," Leonard teased him. "Your finely tuned Vulcan prejudices are showing again!"

Spock quirked a brow. "If I were *so* prejudiced, beloved, I would hardly be bonded to you."

"Well you've got me there," Leonard conceded amiably. "Spock, I've been thinking..."

"I shall alert the authorities."

"Funny," Leonard deadpanned. "I been *thinking* about Uhura's sleeping arrangements."

Spock carefully covered his vegetables and slid the shallow pan into the refrigeration unit. "What aspect of said arrangements, exactly?"

"I want to change 'em," Leonard replied. "I'm gunna put Jim upstairs in the room down the hall from us, and put Uhura downstairs."

Spock stared blankly at him.

"Next to *Scotty's* room?" Leonard gave Spock a meaningful look.

Spock nodded. "Ah."


"You cannot be certain."

"I'm pretty damn certain," Leonard insisted.

"You are interfering."

Leonard effected a wounded expression. "No I'm not! I'm just providing an opportunity. What they chose to do with it is their own damn business."

Giving in, Spock regarded him fondly. "Whatever pleases you, beloved."


4. Uhura Reflects.

OK, final systems check...

Hair... fine.

Make-up... in correct location.

Dress... *definitely* worth what I paid for it.

Overall assessment? Not too bad for an old girl. Not too bad at all.

Scotty's eyes are going to fall out when he sees me.

As I give my overnight bag one final check over, I ask myself - Do I actually *want* Montgomery Scott's eyes to fall out when he sees me? We've been friends for such a long time. Do I really want things to change?

I catch my own eyes in the mirror and meet them squarely.

You *bet* I do, sugar!

I fell in love with him so gently. I just woke up one morning and knew. Not only that, I also realized that I had felt like this for years.

I'm tired of flirting around the issue. I'm tired of *flirting*! By the time we get to Spock and Leonard's house, I want to at *least* have the hailing frequencies open.

I really hope Leonard puts me on the ground floor this time. Their stairs creak. That's going to make it a little difficult to sneak downstairs tomorrow night.

And honey? I *do* intend on sneaking!

It's funny to think of Spock and Leonard as a couple. A *married* couple. Even though it came as no *real* surprise to me. I guess there's a fundamental difference between *thinking* you know, and actually knowing...

Scotty was stunned. I still laugh when I picture his face... and Sulu's *and* Chekov's.

Oh, poor Scotty. Do you know the reason why he was so embarrassed when Spock and Leonard told us?

Because he hadn't guessed, he hadn't known. He thought he knew those men so well, and yet he hadn't known this. They'd been *married* for goodness sake! For over a decade!

Actually he'd been a little miffed that I had guessed already. I just told him that women are very good at this sort of thing.

It's true. I could see how fond they were of each other, how real affection colored all those insults they traded. The ones they made *so* sure that we would all see.

Silly boys... They should have trusted us. I don't blame them for being nervy about it, and mostly what I felt was sympathy for them. I felt almost guilty. Knowing that they spent so many nights in separate quarters when they *should* have been together, all cuddled up and doing what lovers do.

I wish that they had felt comfortable enough with us to be what they were meant to be.

Well, it's all out now and that's what matters. Next mission? Things will be different.

Oh! There's the door! Sweet Scotty, on time as always.

Hustle, girl! You got some things to do today.

Hopefully, come next mission, Spock and Leonard won't be the *only* one's sharing quarters.


5. Lovers Converse.

//Oh, that's so good, beautiful...// Leonard slid his hands smoothly down a lean, surging back to grasp his mate's taut buttocks, gripping firmly and pulling him in deeper.

Spock, receptive as always to the Human's needs, changed the angle of his hips slightly and began thrusting harder, deliberately grazing Leonard's prostate with the smooth head of his shaft, urging his mate closer to orgasm.

A deep groan came from his chest. He was helpless to stop it. Strangely enough, despite his innate need for self control, when he was in Leonard's arms, he felt no sense of failure at being unable to keep the strength of his emotions from showing through. He loved his mate. He loved loving him.

He loved that Leonard knew that.

The soft night breezes moved the light drapes at the window, stroking over their sweat dewed skin like cool and gentle fingers.

Leonard lifted his legs, increasing the penetration, even as he kissed Spock deeply. The Human was close. Spock could sense it.

//Let me feel you, sweetheart,// Leonard gasped in his mind. //Let me feel you come in me. You feel so *good* in me.//

With another low moan, Spock reached up and pressed his fingers to Leonard's face. //Yes, beloved... be with me.//

//Always, Spock! Oh... Oh *God*! Always! Always!// Leonard's mental chant trailed off into a helpless wail of completion as he felt Spock's body and mind peak inside of him. Inside his flesh, inside his soul.

Coming... starting low in Spock's groin, raging through his thighs and belly. Searing and hot, base and primal. Beautiful.

Intense waves of pleasure surged up and met him from the other direction. Leonard's climax. Washing over him, burning him, leaving him shattered and breathless and profoundly thankful for it all.

Finally, the paroxysms ceased, leaving both men lying in a warm haze of spent sexual energy and general well being.

Spock eased gently out of his mate's body and allowed Leonard to pull him down so that he was cradled in the Human's arms, his head comfortably resting against Leonard's shoulder. He did not object to being wrapped up like this in a tangle of lean Human limbs. Indeed, over the years he had become used to it and found it difficult to sleep well without it.

//Spock?// Leonard's voice was a mere sleepy murmur in his mind.


//What time are they all comin' tomorrow?//

Languidly, Spock stroked his long fingers through Leonard's soft, damp hair. //I estimate that they will arrive shortly after ten A.M.//

//Oh good.//

//Why 'good'?//

//'Cause it'll give me time to set up the grill and then jump ya.//

Spock's silent merriment echoed between them. //I will hold you to that, beloved.//

Sleep overtook them then. Warm and replete, they rested deeply and shared their dreams.


6. Chekov Complains. Sulu Seethes.

Hikaru Sulu turned the ground car off the main highway and headed down the winding country road that would eventually take them to Spock and Leonard's home.

He was profoundly grateful that this leg of the journey was nearly over.

This happened *every* single time he and Chekov traveled out here together. Sulu *always* forgot what kind of passenger Chekov really was and *always* ended up offering him a ride again.

//Aren't my ancestors supposed to send me signs to warn me about this kind of thing?//

Not to say that the whole trip was awful. No... not at all.

The first five minutes were usually fine.

Chekov was one of his best friends. In fact, he was probably *the* best friend he'd ever had. He was honest, loyal, smart, kind and courageous.

And if he didn't shut up... *right now*... Sulu was going to scissor kick him right out the back windscreen.

"I em not complainink, Hikaru. Please don't think thet."

Sulu gripped the driver's console and waited. //But...//

"But..." Chekov continued. "I vould feel better if you did not drive so fast."

//Don't bite, Hikaru... just nod and pull it back. Again.// Sulu opened his traitorous mouth. "I do *not* drive too fast."

"You're drivink this ting like it vas a Star Ship!"

"Hey! I'm a damn good pilot, Pavel!"

"News-Flesh, Hikaru." Chevok looked at him sternly. "Dere are no thrusters in the beck seat."


"No varp core, either."

"Look, Pavel," Sulu said reasonably. "You've asked me to slow down four times so far and I've agreed, right?"

"Right." Chekov nodded.

"So, what's the problem?"

"How come you never let me drive?"

Sulu blinked. "Is *that* why you always give me such a hard time? Because *you* want to drive?"

Chekov grinned.

"You little..." Sulu shot him a look that spoke volumes. "Why didn't you just *say* so?"

"Vot? And heff to sit through a three hour lecture on 'I'm the pilot - I do the drivink?'"

"So you thought you'd just irritate me into giving over, huh?"


Sulu pulled over and cut the engine. "OK, Hot-shot. It worked. Swap!"

Looking immensely pleased with himself, Chekov slid over to the driver's side while Sulu hopped out and darted around to the passenger door. As he slid in and secured himself, Chekov pulled out again.

After a moment, Sulu grinned wickedly. "Hey Pavel, you don't think you're going a little fast, do you?"

Chekov laughed and rolled his eyes. "Wery funny. Talk about somethink else."

"OK." Sulu looked out at the scenery, watching the low green hills and tall trees pass by, touched by the gentle rays of the morning sun. "What did you *really* think when Spock and McCoy came clean with us?"

Chekov looked surprised. "Thet question came from nowhere..." he remarked.

Sulu shrugged. "Not really. I've actually always meant to ask you but I never got round to it."

"Hmmm." Chekov thought about it for a while. "I think I vas more amazed thet they had managed to keep it a secret for so long."

Sulu nodded. He had felt something similar. "You don't have a problem with them being lovers?"

Chekov snorted. "Vhy vould I? It makes no difference to *me*. Spock is still Spock and McCoy is still McCoy. From vot they told us, they heff been together for a long time. They are the same people now as they vere a year ago." Chekov paused then and gave Sulu a brief, worried look. "Hikaru... you *don't* heff a problem with them, do you?"

Sulu shook he head, then sighed. "At first, I did. Not because they're both men, that means nothing. It's just... I wasn't prepared to accept the sudden change. I felt like it came right out of left field. I had *no* idea that they had been hiding this huge big deal from us all that time. I guess I resented the fact that they didn't trust me."

"They hid it from us *all*, Hikaru," Pavel said somberly.

"Yeah," Sulu sighed. "I guess they did."

Chekov grinned. "The Keptin knew."

Laughing, Sulu grinned back at him, suddenly feeling better. "Hey, should I even be surprised by that? For all *we* know, he was the one who set them up with each other in the first place!"

Filled with laughter, the ground car sped onwards, eating up the miles.


Spock And Leonard: Tea For Two.

"Here y'go, beautiful." Leonard walked out through the screen door with two steaming mugs in his hands. He sat beside his mate on the swing chair and handed him one.

"Thank you." Spock raised the mug and carefully sipped at the hot liquid. Leonard watched him carefully and was delighted as always the see the slightest expression of pleasure cross that well loved saturnine face.

Spock glanced at him with approval. "This is real."

Leonard grinned. "Yep! I brought a box of tealeaves in town when I last went in. I know how you like the real stuff."

"Most thoughtful, Leonard."

Leonard raised his own mug, enjoying the fragrance that rose with the steam. "Well, you can think of some suitable way to thank me later."

For a long moment, the two men simply sat together, side by side, enjoying the fresh morning air and watching the bright sunlight glimmer off the dew drenched grass. Leonard could feel the shimmer in the air, hear the low buzz of insects in the garden. It was going to be a warm day. Perfect.

Sighing, Leonard leaned against his mate, prompting Spock to set aside his mug and look down at him.

"I'm lookin' forward to this gathering," Leonard said softly.

"Indeed? Why this particular one?"

"Because they're getting' used to us now." Leonard reached up and stroked Spock's face. "I like being able to relax with you around them. It's a hell of a relief after all those years we spent hiding it away."

Spock clasped Leonard's hand and held it gently. "I am sorry, beloved."

Leonard blinked. "What for?"

"For agreeing to subterfuge. I should have been more insistent upon revealing our true status."

Leonard's eyes narrowed. "And why exactly, do you think it was it all down to you? Are you saying that you are the dominant partner in this little union?"

"Of course not, beloved, but..."

"But nothing, Spock!" Leonard's blue eyes flashed. "You take too much on, dammit! You always look to take the blame. I was there too, remember? We *both* knew the reasons."

Shaking his head slightly, Spock pressed Leonard's hand to his mouth. "It seems so... foolish now."

Leonard shrugged. "At the time, our concerns were very real. Especially for *your* career. You were the son of an Ambassador, Spock. I was just some little hick from a southern backwater."

Spock gave Leonard a hard look. "That has *never* been an acceptable description of you, Leonard."

Smiling, Leonard smoothed his free hand over Spock's brow. "That's the way others would have seen it, sweetheart. Don't feel so bad. It's all past now anyway, and besides..." Leonard's eyes were faintly wicked as he grinned at his mate. "There was a certain undeniable attraction in all those clandestine meetings we used to have."

Spock's expression eased into affection. He curled his long fingers around the nape of Leonard's neck and kissed him gently and thoroughly.

Almost immediately, Leonard felt his body respond to his mate's attentions. "Oh, beautiful... If you keep up with that, we won't get *anything* done this morning."

"A fair observation, Leonard." Spock nuzzled the Human's soft neck.

"Uh, Spock? I should really jump in the shower." Leonard's breath was coming a little faster.

"I will not stop you, beloved," Spock murmured against his skin.

"Admirable control, beautiful," Leonard gasped.

"I will join you instead."

Leonard's temperature abruptly rose. "Ohhhkay..."


Jim Concludes.

Well, I can't say that I'm sorry to be heading out to Spock and Bones' place again. They always put up a nice spread.

Which reminds me, I really should start watching the old waistline again.

We've come a long way, the old bridge crew. But I think that Spock and Bones' journey has certainly been the most profound. I'm glad to see them finally work it out. You have *no* idea how hard it was keeping my nose out of it all those years.

To this day, Bones thinks I had no idea. I suppose it's a fair enough assumption too, considering how shocked I was when they finally announced the truth.

To all of us. All at once.

Not so subtle.

But can I slip you a secret? I wasn't shocked because I hadn't known about them... I was shocked because they were actually *telling* us!

Not before time. I was seriously considering making it an order.

Spock thinks I set up that shore leave draw all those years ago. I know he does. He's wrong though.

Well, sort of. I *did* fix it so that I drew Lieutenant Dennara.

What? Captain's privileges, all right?

I knew the moment they returned from that frigid little planet that something was different. Then later on that same night, I saw them as I passed by the darkened sickbay. They weren't even touching each other, they were just... looking into each others eyes. Spock was so wrapped up in Bones that he didn't even sense that I was there.

That's when I knew.

I did my best to help them where I could. Shore leaves, sending them on away teams, that kind of thing. The rest? I had to leave up to them. I gathered they had their reasons for wanting to keep it quiet, and after all, it *was* their business, right?

I'm glad they finally let it be known. Their secret relationship has outlasted *any* of mine, ironic isn't it? That kind of love is just too good to hide away.

Let them get old together. Let them know love and know that it's OK to show it.

I had so many missed chances in my life.

I'm happier than I can say that the two people I love most in this universe aren't going to go down the same path.

Well, enough of that. I've reached their driveway and I can see by the other ground cars that I am last, as usual.

I don't mind. How the hell can I be expected to perform a grand entrance if there's nobody there to see it?

All the most important people in my life up there on that porch, gathered around the swing chair.

A gathering of friends. A celebration of love.

And thinking of that, I must remember to ask Bones if he minds swapping mine and Uhura's rooms tonight. A certain engineer that I knew could use a little push in the right direction...



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