Spock opened his eyes in his dimly lit room at Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco. He was reclining on his bed, his hands coming together over his chest and fingers touching lightly. He had just finished meditating and was breathing deeply and evenly. As he sat up he sighed deeply at all of his small aches and pains. Dying had really taken it out of him. He had expressed his discomfort to the healers on Vulcan, after they had rejoined his Katra to his body. They gave him a logical reason for his pain. His body had regenerated on Genesis and grown and aged decades in a matter of days. It was expected that he would experience discomfort for some length of time. They advised that he be open to the fact that the pain may never fully subside. The Vulcan healers gave him natural remedies and intense physical therapy, and to Spock's relief, his pain had subsided significantly, though not completely. As his mind drifted over the events of the last 6 months, he heard a chime signaling someone outside of his quarters. He quickly stood and straightened his robe before calling out, "You may enter."
The door opened and Jim Kirk stepped in and smiled at his friend, "Mr. Spock."
"Greetings Captain," Spock replied and Jim rolled his eyes.
"Spock, you don't have to call me Captain."
"My apologies. Jim."
Jim smiled at him again and took a seat on the couch.
"May I get you anything?" Spock inquired, and Jim waved his hand.
"No thanks, just wanted to talk to you for a minute." He waited until Spock finished brewing his tea and took a seat across from him.
"It's been a rough couple of months, huh?"
"They have been a challenge," Spock agreed.
"Well, I've got some good news for you. Shore leave has been approved, effective immediately. We are off duty for the next two weeks."
Spock nodded his approval of the news. "That will give me adequate time to meditate and continue to reinforce my knowledge."
"Come on, Spock, don't tell me you plan on spending the next two weeks here in your quarters. Let's go out and do something. Something fun. God knows we deserve it."
Spock raised an eyebrow at him, "What did you have in mind, Captain? Jim," he corrected himself.
"They just opened a new amusement park by the bay. I heard that the roller coaster is really wild,” Jim said, his eyes shining. He was an adrenaline junkie. The last few months had provided a lifetime of it, but James Tiberius Kirk was insatiable.
"For me to go to an amusement park would be... illogical. I am a Vulcan. We have no need for such amusement."
Jim smiled at his old friend. "Don't forget, Spock, that you are half human. We just spent the last few months on Vulcan, and didn't you tell me before we departed that you wanted to take some time to explore your human side? Brush up on your knowledge of the customs of Earth?"
Spock took a moment to think about Jim's words before he replied, "Indeed. I did want to brush up on my knowledge of the customs of my other home planet. However, I can learn a great deal by consulting the data banks here at Starfleet."
Jim raised his eyebrow and gave an amused smirk. "That's true, Mr. Spock, you can indeed learn a great deal from the Starfleet computers. However, there is no better way to learn and retain information on the customs of earth than observing them directly."
"Your argument is... logical," Spock stated, a slight look of dismay crossing his face before he quickly schooled his features.
Jim grinned. "So you'll go to the amusement park with me?"
"I will accompany you to the amusement park," Spock confirmed, "but under one condition."
"And that is?"
"I will attend only to observe. I do not wish to be thrown around on the contraptions that you call rides. I do not feel that I can physically endure it."
Jim sat up and gave him a look of concern. "Are you still in pain, Spock? Why didn't you say anything? Didn't the healers on Vulcan fix you up?"
"The healers did what they could, and provided a great amount of relief, but the relief is not total."
"Has Bones looked you over yet?"
"Dr. McCoy has given me a physical and cleared me."
"He didn't give you anything for your pain?" Jim asked, perplexed.
"I do not see why he would, as I did not mention it to him."
“I am a Vulcan. We have a very high tolerance for pain. My small aches and pains will hopefully subside on their own. There was no need to bother the doctor with something so trivial."
"Your comfort is hardly trivial, Spock. Come on," Jim said, rising to his feet.
"Where are we going?"
"To see Dr. McCoy."
"That is unnecessary,” Spock stated.
"Just humor me Spock, OK? Please? I promise that I won't leave you there."
An amused look crossed Spock's face and he raised an eyebrow before relenting, "Very well, Captain. Jim."
As they entered the expansive hospital at Headquarters, they walked silently until they arrived at the small practice area that Bones was using. Bones was sitting at a desk doing paperwork, having finished with his patients for the day.
"Well, well," Bones said as he looked up at them, "If it isn't the captain of a Klingon vessel and the dead Vulcan. I'm sure glad you're out of my head. How are you holding up Spock?"
"I am alive, doctor. And I am, as you put it, "holding up" adequately."
"Well, not entirely," Jim cut in, "That's actually why we're here."
"Step into my office, gentlemen," Bones said, and they followed him back into the exam room. "What seems to be the problem, Spock?"
"There is no problem, Dr. McCoy."
Bones rolled his eyes. "There is obviously a problem, Spock, if Jim felt it necessary to drag you down here to see me. Stop being difficult you hobgoblin, have a seat and just tell me what's going on."
"I have been... uncomfortable. I still have many aches and pains. The healers on Vulcan did a remarkable job, but I have not experienced total relief."
"That's not surprising," Bones said as he started scanning over his body to take his vitals and search for weakened areas, "Your Body went through a hell of a lot of trauma. Death by radiation, then regeneration and rapid physical aging on Genesis... You seem to still have muscle weakness in your lower back. Your limbs are weakened as well, but not as much. Other than that you're healthy as a Vulcan horse."
"There are no horses on Vulcan, doctor."
Jim smiled and Bones ignored his comment and continued, "I don't think this pain will be permanent. Those Vulcan witch doctors did a surprisingly good job. The physical therapy they had you do was intense, but that and your strong Vulcan biology staved off the damage that the scar tissue could have done. You had a hell of a lot of scar tissue Spock. Those healers were able to break up nearly all of it. I think this is just pain from overexertion. I'm going to prescribe a pain reliever and shore leave."
Jim smiled, "Well, that's perfect. Shore leave just started as of today. For you too, Bones."
"Yes, I heard," Bones replied.
Spock quickly stood, "I am in no need of a pain reliever, Dr. McCoy."
"Come on, Spock, take it just this once. Then you can go on rides at the amusement park with me."
Bones raised an eyebrow, "Amusement park?"
"I have agreed to accompany the Captain to the new amusement park by the bay, but only to observe."
Bones smiled, "Well, I'll be damned..."
"Spock, you can't go to an amusement park and not go on any of the rides!" Jim argued. "Didn't you say that you wouldn't go on a ride because you were hurting? Bones will give you pain relief so the rides won't make you ache."
"It is illogical for me to..." Spock stopped short as Dr. McCoy surprised him by injecting his neck with a hypospray.
"There you are, Spock. How do you feel now?" Bones asked.
Spock sighed as the pain and stiffness washed out of his body. "That is much better, doctor. You have my thanks."
"So now you have no excuse. You're going on rides,” Jim said in a stubborn tone.
Spock eyed him curiously for a moment before replying, "I will go on one ride. Then I will observe."
"One ride," Jim agreed, "fair enough. Thanks, Bones! You ready Spock?"
"Before you go," Bones called after them, "Next week I'd like to take shore leave at Yosemite. Chekov and Sulu will be there, but at a different campsite. I don't suppose you two would want to join me?"
"That sounds wonderful! Camping at Yosemite... I can finally climb El Capitan! Count me in! How about it, Spock? Do you want to go camping out at Yosemite? The forests on earth are wonderful for relaxation and meditation."
"That does sound agreeable. I will accept your invitation as well, doctor." Spock replied before walking out of the exam room.
Bones gave Jim an exacerbated look and Jim just smiled, "See you later, Bones."
Spock looked around the amusement park curiously. There were shouts of exhilaration coming from all directions and the smell of cotton candy and funnel cake permeated the warm California air.
"Look, Spock, there it is!" Jim shouted in excitement, "That's the Red Dragon! The roller coaster I was telling you about! Come on, we're riding this one together!"
"Captai... Jim, I was anticipating going on a ride that was... less... exuberant than this."
"Come on! Everyone needs to go on a roller coaster at least once in their life! Please, Spock?" Jim pleaded.
Spock looked at him for a long moment. Jim's eyes looked like that of a hopeful, excited human child. They'd faced many dangers and hardships over the last few months, and Jim had disobeyed orders and put his career and life on the line for him. Were it not for Jim, Spock would be dead. Even after he was regenerated, he would have died again on Genesis if Kirk had not intervened.
"Very well, Jim. I will join you on the Red Dragon. You are my T'Hy'La. I will not deny you your pleasure and amusement, however illogical."
"T'Hy'La?" Jim asked.
"It is a word of the ancient Vulcans. It means friend and brother."
Jim was touched by his sentiment, but did not want to overplay his emotions for the sake of the Vulcan. "Well then, brother, let's go so we get a good seat!"
Spock sat next to Jim in the small car and their seats were secured. His face remained stoic as the the car moved up a steep incline. When they got to the top, Jim shouted at him excitedly, "Here we go!"
Jim threw his arms in the air and laughed as they plunged downward. He looked over at Spock, whose face was unchanged except for the spark of excitement in his eyes and one eyebrow that jutted upward and seemed stuck there. That and his face was a bit greener than usual.
The coaster ran at full speed, twisting and turning them. When they came to the full loop, both of Spock's eyebrows shot up, and without thinking he grabbed Jim's arm. When he realized what he had done, it was too late. Jim's emotions flooded through him. He felt joy and exhilaration, excitement and happiness. He also felt his relief at Spock's defeat of death, and his exuberance that Spock had joined him. The emotions were so strong, so overwhelming and full of brotherly love and admiration, that Spock had to react. He let go of Jim's arm, threw his head back and laughed loudly. Jim looked over at him, surprised and overjoyed that Spock had felt and openly reciprocated his feelings. Spock did have emotions, but did not show them often. Jim would never forget when they had saved the earth by getting those whales out of the Bird of Prey. He cherished the memory of Spock laughing and playing and splashing in the water with them. It was a sight he'd never thought he'd see again, and yet here was Spock, on a roller coaster with him, laughing and smiling and shouting.
The coaster slowed and by the time it stopped, Spock had once again schooled his features, though it was impossible to miss the spark of excitement in his eyes.
"So, Mr. Spock, what do you think of the Red Dragon?"
"It was... exhilarating, to say the least. I believe, that though it is highly illogical... I would like to ride again."
Jim grinned at his brother and pulled the safety bar back over them. Spock did not try to suppress his smile as the coaster started moving again.
Chapter Notes: I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!