Beyond the Pale (Star Trek: TOS story)
|Title:||Beyond the Pale|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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"In a slightly alternate universe, Leonard McCoy is Spock's friend and confidant long before James T. Kirk takes over command of the ship on which they've been serving together for years, the USS ENTERPRISE."
Reactions and Reviews
I loved this story.
Pike is paralyzed. Spock records his personal log; remembering him...
I love the scene - young Spock with his injured leg, having a drink in Pike's quarters. I like Pike and Spock together. Pike gets drunk and cries in Spock's arms, and then the nature of the embrace changes,.. Pike reveals he loves Spock. I find this a very satisfying pre-Kirk first foray into such a relationship for Spock. Then Pike is captured by the Talosians.
Spock talks with McCoy. He is confused about Pike's feelings for him and his own non-response. He feels he does have love somewhere inside himself, and feels very much for Pike, but not in that way.
I really like this exploration of the early Spock/McCoy friendship, with Spock slowly learning about love. Love of a sort is acknowledged between him and McCoy, as Spock learns to recognize his feelings. Really excellent and subtle concepts are explored here. Love scares Spock, and he doesn't know how to be afraid. Really, really nice, the doctor leading Spock through learning how to share his caring. He lets Spock cry in his arms; Spock remembers being held as a child. The holding each other turns sexual in a way. Spock has his first orgasm, in this warm, caring, safe place. An excellent therapy for Spock; and sets up a interesting beginning to Spock and McCoy's later relationship.
This is such an excellent depiction of Spock learning who he is, learning integration, love, before Kirk ever comes on the picture. Very insightful, yet subtly expressed, not like textbook-psychology.
And a very perceptive look at Pike also, finding he really does not feel cut out to command.
Kirk comes aboard and then the events occur surrounding Spock's returning Pike to Talos. Spock talks with McCoy again. Me feels love for Kirk but has totally withdrawn into Vulcanness, thinking his feelings inappropriate. His confused love for and loyalty to Pike don't seem to compute against his feelings for Kirk, so he doesn't feel in touch with his love for Kirk. Again, McCoy pushes him to understand how he can love. Another touching scene between Spock and McCoy.
I love when Spock finally confronts Kirk, admits (albeit roundaboutly at first) his love. Exquisite tension - well done! So beautiful... Once Spock admits his love. Kirk is totally certain and expresses his own.I love the scene of Kirk asking to bond. Spock said "I would not have asked." So Kirk says, "Well, I'm asking." Sigh... 
Spock, plagued by the thought that his inability to return Captain Pike's love and desire caused the latter's capture, seeks McCoy to learn about love. McCoy complies, initiating him with a hand job. Now, years later as Spock takes the injured Chris to Talos, he is in a quandry over declaring himself to Kirk as Pike had to him. McCoy suggests that Kirk is more worldly than Spock; he should go ahead. He does, Kirk is pleased, and all is well. We are left with the suggestion that McCoy has at some time performed the same service for Kirk as he once did for Spock. Overall a bit too smarmy, but lots of nice bits to make up for it.