Vulcan Nightmares

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I started writing this story at work on the back of email sign up sheets at the registers.

…work's been pretty boring.

Table of Contents

The Start

Spock awoke in the night, heaving and breathless, ripping himself from a malicious nightmare. Soon after his body had become erect12, he had forgotten all about his dream. Regardless, it left him with a feeling of anxious anticipation.

Sliding out of his bed in his officer's quarters on the Enterprise, he fetched his clothes and removed himself from the room.

Throughout the hallways, the recruits active on duty did their rounds in pairs. Spock passed them all, nodding at a few, and made his way to the Bridge. There, he met his always faithful captain, James T. Kirk.

"Spock," Kirk announced sounding surprised at the arrival of his first officer. "What brings you here?"

"I'm afraid I couldn't sleep," Spock replied dismissively. "Do you need my help in anything?"

Kirk eyed his old friend for several minutes expecting to witness some kind of hint about Spock's true presence. As always, Spock remained true to his Vulcan heritage and gave away nothing. Knowing that pressing his concern for his friend (especially in front of the other members on the Bridge) was a bad idea, Kirk let it go.

"Honestly, Spock, I think you need your rest. Life's not always about duty, you know."

Spock stared at the captain, his face unchanging. The look usually frightened the younger of the red shirts but Kirk had become immune to such stares long ago.

"I am well rested," Spock replied curtly. "But if you do require me to leave, you are the captain."

Kirk smiled. "Does that mean you might listen to me, Mr. Spock?"

"It means that you're my commanding officer and it is my responsibility to follow your orders."

Kirk chuckled and rose from his chair. Walking over to his friend, he lightly tapped his first officer's right ear — a gesture Spock abhorred. "Do you ever shut off that Vulcan head of yours?" The only response he received rang truer to Spock's human side. Recognizing that, Kirk's grin grew wider. Out of respect for his friend, however, Kirk changed his mind. "Up for a game of chess, Mr. Spock?"

  • * *

Jim and Spock found themselves alone in the recreation room. They took their usual sears and started the game they had played dozens of times.

"So what's on your mind, Mr. Spock?" Kirk asked as he made his first move. Spock stole a glance at his friend, somewhat surprised the topic was getting brought up again.

"Is there something the matter with my behavior?" Spock countered. Kirk furrowed his brow.

"Well," he approached cautiously as he watched Spock make his move on the board. "Besides the fact that your actions seem to be more human than Vulcan." To prove his point, he took a pawn from one of Spock's pieces that he's left defenseless from his rash move. Spock was astonished that he'd allowed his emotions to control him enough to make such a blatant mistake.

"I've been having bad dreams, Jim." Spock admitted after several moments of deafening silence. Kirk couldn't help the smile that played on the edges of his lips.

"Vulcans get bad dreams?"

Spock glared at his captain. It was a minute and immediately withdrew action, but Kirk had noticed it. He silenced himself from teasing and waited for his right hand man to continue.

"The problem is," continued Spock. "That I never remember what the dreams are about after I wake up."

Kirk frowned thoughtfully. "That is rather interesting." He rubbed his chin thoughtfully several times with his left hand. "Have you brought this up with McCoy? Bones might have some idea what's causing these to happen."

Spock shook his head. "Dr. McCoy knows nothing."

"Well perhaps he should." Kirk suggested.

"With all due respect, captain, I'd rather this remain between you and I."

"With all due respect, Mr. Spock, the mental and physical health of all my crew is my responsibility. I respect your desire as your friend, but as your captain, I must implore you to see Bones on this matter."

"Implore me, sir?" Spock repeated, one eyebrow cocked.

Kirk smiled. "Well I'd rather not order you if need be." Mr. Spock's brown eyes fell on Kirk and, for a moment, shone with a sense of warmth for his dear friend. Spock then raised his hand and moved another piece on the board. He made sure that time to pay more attention to strategy than emotion.


"From what you described, Mr. Spock, my amateur diagnosis would be that you're suffering from night terrors." McCoy informed Spock several hours later. He picked up the stethoscope from one of his examining tables and placed it around his neck.

"I see," Spock replied shortly.

"Night terrors, as you may know, are very rare. So I have to ask: has there been anything on your mind recently, Mr. Spock? Anything that would have caused these?"

Spock lifted his eyebrows slightly. "Are you trying to be my psychiatrist, Dr. McCoy?"

"Do you feel that you need one?" Bones asked. The only reply he got from Spock was a silent and repressive stare. McCoy nodded his head, understanding.

"Well the captain believes that it's better for you to be examined for your own mental health but also for the safety of his crew. But tell me something, Mr. Spock: do you think you need to be examined?" Bones crossed his arms and leaned against one of his examining tables facing Spock.

Spock paused and tilted his head to one side in thought. "I believe it is logical," he began. "For the captain to put the safety of his crew in highest priority."

"That doesn't answer my question, Mr. Spock." McCoy reminded him. Spock's eyes narrowed slightly letting McCoy know that his annoyance was rising.

"As I said," Spock responded coolly. "It's logical for the captain to put the health and safety of his crew ahead of any singular member. So if he feels as if I need to be examined, I will do as commanded."

McCoy sighed, closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. More often than not, the cold and calculating attitude of the Vulcan first officer bothered him. Then again, McCoy's near lust for power bothered Mr. Spock. But they remained professional (albeit curtly so) with each other out of mutual respect for their captain.

"I will admit," McCoy began slowly. "That my expertise is not in psychiatry. However what you've described could be related to something serious. Have you been overly stressed recently?" All of a sudden McCoy paused. Tilting his head to one side, he asked: "Do Vulcans experience stress?"

"If you're asking if we experience emotions, Dr. McCoy, we do have emotions." Spock's voice was rigid as he spoke to the senior medical officer. "We just have more control over them than humans."

"But being half human, wouldn't you consider yourself more prone to emotions?" McCoy couldn't help himself. He never did have the capacity to resist a challenge to get under Spock's skin.

"I don't believe any of that is relevant." Spock replied. He was unmoved by Bones' attempts to elicit a response from him. He stared back at McCoy, his eyes patient and composed.

"Well Mr. Spock," McCoy sighed. "I'm not sure how exactly to help you. It's a difficult to get a patient to overcome night terrors because they rarely have any recollection of the events. We might have to sit and wait until they subside. In the meantime, I will suggest trying to meditate and figure out the cause of the dreams. Only then can we treat them."

Spock, silent, nodded his head. He knew there was nothing that could be done immediately Still, he thought to himself leaving Sick Bay, he couldn't shake the feeling of unease at falling asleep again.

Finding a comm alongside the entrance to Medical, Spock hit it. "Spock to the Bridge: Captain Kirk."

Kirk's voice came over the communicator three seconds later. "Kirk here. Go ahead, Mr. Spock."

"Captain, I've just returned from Sick Bay. Do you require my assistance on the Bridge?"

"Negative, Mr. Spock." Kirk replied. "I request that you get some rest. You can return to duty at oh-nine hundred tomorrow."

Spock kept his tongue silent from argument and regrettably replied, "Yes, captain."

"Good. Kirk out."

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