Cave of the Heart

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Star Trek Fanfiction
Title: Cave of the Heart
Author(s): Gayle F.
Date(s): 1987
Length:
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:
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Cave of the Heart is a Spock/McCoy story by Gayle F.

It was published in the print zine KSX #1.

Summary

McCoy and Spock are stranded by a shuttlecraft crash and Spock is about to go into pon farr. Despite his fear, McCoy saves Spock and finds the bonding everything he ever wished for, until Jim Kirk appears to rescue his friends. McCoy realizes Spock is still in love with Jim Kirk.

Reactions and Reviews

"Cave of the Heart" is the first of two [Gayle F] pieces in the zine. Spock and McCoy are stranded on a planet and seek shelter in the proverbial cave. Spock is suffering from the onset of pon farr and the result is rather predictable. I am biased against this type of story, but thought this one well done. However, when Kirk comes on the scene the story up and ends so abruptly that it is unforgivable. I wonder if perhaps it was a printing error and that there is supposed to be more to the ending. (There certainly should have been.) [1]
It's certainly a haunting story, and one that has stayed in my memory over the years.... [regarding a sequel]... Gayle wrote "Endings" published in KSX 2. It consists of a short story, and three story poems that are alternate universe sequels to "Cave of the Heart." [2]
"Cave of the Heart" by Gayle F is a S/Mc story, and although I don't like these (they are generally unbelievable), this is a logical possibility. It's the typical "stranded together in pon farr" story, but it is believable that McCoy would do anything to save a patient and a friend. My only complaint is that it ends just when things start to get really interesting. I hope for a sequel! [3]
CAVE OF THE HEART by Gayle F is a Spock/McCoy story where they are stranded on a planet and Spock is going into pon farr and needs help. McCoy is the only one who can give him this help and he does and then he falls in love with Spock. It's actually quite poignant as McCoy knows his love won't be reciprocated.

The story ends abruptly where Kirk comes upon them and McCoy is furious with jealousy. Then the last line is Kirk asking McCoy: "Bones, have I done something wrong?" which at first I thought was a mistake with missing pages or something, but it's not. The more I thought about it, the more I love that ending. I now think it's dynamite—I won't forget it because an ending like that feeds your imagination about what happens next.

I admit to feeling like having to swallow the medicine while I'm reading this subject matter, but as far as medicine goes, this ain't so bad and besides it's good for you. [4]
I was surprised how much I enjoyed these [this story and the sequel in the next issue], bearing in mind they are based on two premises that normally I don't like—a Spock/McCoy pairing and Kirk and Spock not ending up together. But they are so well crafted and the language conveys so much meaning that I was able to suspend my disbelief and enjoy them on their own terms. "Cave of the Heart" has McCoy saving Spock in pon farr whilst they are isolated from the Enterprise, a common enough way of bringing K & S together in other stories. But here there is no hint that either man had considered the other as partners, and indeed it becomes clear that Spock loves and wants Kirk and wishes it were him there and not McCoy. The doctor's motives are purely friendship and the humane desire to save life. Their mutual awkwardness and final acceptance of the choice they must make is conveyed with clarity and economy, but nothing is rushed. Especially touching is McCoy's first approach, trying to find something he likes physically about Spock and not really managing it, but the caring and tenderness are still there and carry him through until he suggests they meld (although this scares him because of his experience with Mirror Spock) and Spock complies. The meld sweeps them up into the imperative of the pon farr, and both find pleasure and passion as well as life. McCoy also finds deep romantic love (I had to attach my disbelief to a helium balloon here, but as written, it works). But Spock is still in love with Kirk, though he promises McCoy that he will try and be a good bondmate to him. When Kirk finally arrives to rescue them: "McCoy felt a wave of love sweep over him. warm and glorious as sunshine. Opening his eyes, smiling up at his Vulcan, he saw Spock's attention was fixed elsewhere. He looked up and saw the Captain coming up the path,.,. In one instant McCoy reviewed every feeling he had perceived across the link with Spock. There had been gratitude, affection, humor, lust. A measure of love, even, gentle, tender...mild. Not this vivid emotion that spilled across their bond. He was in love with Spock. But Spock was still in love with Jim Kirk. His own jealousy was dark and total, eclipsing every other emotion he felt for the man who smiled up at them. He projected it with such ferocity that the Vulcan turned back to him, stunned. Eyes wide with horror. Then Spock's face closed. The link closed. Protection for them both...but it might as well be punishmen. ," McCoy is verbally angry with Kirk and Kirk tries to rationalise it to himself but fails. The very last line of the story runs:" 'Bones," he asked quietly, between the two of them. Bones, have I done something wrong?" [5]
I loved the pathos of this K/S/Mc situation. The style and eroticism are exquisite, as only Gayle F can make them. So the plot isn't very original, but Gayle's so good a writer that it almost didn't matter—at least until I got to the ending. If we must have a cliched lover's triangle, we shouldn't also have to deal with an abrupt cliffhanger ending on top of it. I know that it was meant to build interest in a sequel, but a story should stand on its own. On its own terms, "Cave of the Heart" looks like coitus interruptus. It builds and builds to an emotional climax that it never reaches because it ended too soon. It's a pity. There is also one detail that I question. Telepathic evidence should be acceptable in Federation courts. There are a number of telepathic races in the Federation. All they would need is an officer of the court who is a member of one such race to check the validity of telepathic evidence. [6]
I like Spock/McCoy stories. In some ways, I see more going on between Spock and McCoy in the series than I see between Spock and Kirk. The plot wasn't all that original; stranded on a desert planet, Spock goes into Pon Farr and needs somebody. But this didn't matter, the characterization was compelling. Spock really wants Kirk, but McCoy is the one available. McCoy reveals a deep devotion to Spock underneath all the bickering, and so offers himself. McCoy also sees more clearly that he is in love with Spock. The two bond during the Pon Farr. However, Kirk arrives with the rescue team and... The story ends abruptly, but instead of tying everything up in neat, happily-ever-after packages, it raises realistic issues about love. Although a sequel might be nice, I don't find that it is really necessary. [7]
A couple of years after having read this story, it still remains fresh in memory. It is not a 'menage story', it is not a conventional K/S story. I describe it more as a 'disconnected love triangle' with no winners and no happy solution. I know when I first read "Cave of the Heart", it left me stunned. I could find no words as to how to explain its incredible effect on me as a reader. Truly, Ms. F is a highly talented writer. "Cave" is a story, that I can only describe as having tragic elements of Shakespeare or Euripides as applied to K/S. The writing is strong, the atmosphere the writer creates is dark, moody, foreboding. The final page is one of the most powerful and chilling pieces of fan writing I have ever encountered. No sequel could ever do it justice, for no sequel could ever re-create its intensity and pathos. [8]
Only a few minutes ago I finished reading this story and I must write at once a LOC to express my emotions with it. My very mixed emotions – I can tell! On the one hand such a sweet story! With sweet sweet sex. Very erotic and very very hot! On the other hand I felt like I am committing a crime by reading it. (warning, stop reading now if you want to read the story first by yourself!) No, this can't be true! Spock and ... McCoy! Not only they make love to save Spock during his pon farr while they are stranded on a barren planet, the Enterprise searching for them. But also the two of them are in love with each other!! I felt so pity für McCoy because I knew (hoped?) that it is after all a K/S-story. So there can't be a happy ending for Spock and McCoy, especially for McCoy. It mustn’t come to a happy ending for the two of them! But there wasn't only pity for McCoy I felt while reading. There was also anger. Anger with Spock! If he must mate with McCoy to save his life – for Jim, he ought to do it, get over with it and that's it. But no, he even smiles at McCoy, sends sweet little thoughts through the link! Ah, it hurt! And there was anger with McCoy. Though I like him very much. But this time he has jumped out of his role in which I love him so much. How could he do this to Jim? Didn't he knew about his two friends? Didn't he see it at least during the bonding or through the link? Then Jim arrives and with him the most powerful sentences in this story: "He (McCoy) was in love with Spock. But Spock was still in love with Jim Kirk. His own jealousy was dark and total, eclipsing every other emotion he felt for the man who smiled up at them. He projected it with such ferocity that the Vulcan turned back to him, stunned. Eyes wide with horror. Then Spock's face closed. The link closed."

Jim senses that there is something wrong. "Bones," he asked quietly, between the two of them. "Bones, have I done something wrong?" I turn the page – the story is over! I check the numbers of the pages. No, I didn't miss a page. I am left here, bewildered, imagining how it would go on once they will be back on board the Enterprise. A sequel? Anybody who knows?

A very strong story, which I will not get out of my mind very soon and which I will have to re-read several times. [9]
And now for something completely different. On the way to deliver Janice Lester and Arthur Coleman to justice, Spock and McCoy are forced to crash land the shuttle on an uninhabited planet. Lester is killed on impact, and Coleman takes his own life soon after. Spock and the doctor survive unharmed. The planet proves to be hospitable with enough food water and shelter until their inevitable rescue.

When Spock goes into pon farr, McCoy is faced with several alternatives, but only one of them will save Spock’s life. Initially, Spock resists. Only a meld would insure McCoy’s safety during sex, but when pon farr has run its course the two men would be bonded for life. Not something either man would wish. In addition, McCoy discovers Spock’s love for Kirk. Spock and Kirk share an affinity between their minds—an affinity but no bond. Finally there is no choice; the two men meld and make love. When pon farr is finally over, McCoy discovers that far from resenting the connection they share, he loves what he has found in Spock’s mind. He loves Spock! I found this transition a bit hard to swallow; a bit too quick, a bit too much, but hey, I’m easy. I give authors a great deal of leeway to take me where they want me to go. And where Gayle wants the reader to go here is a fantastic trip, because just as McCoy has found what he has been looking for, Kirk rescues them. Now McCoy feels what Spock feels when he looks at his captain. Not that affection and gratitude and humor and lust Spock feels with McCoy, but something vivid— “warm and glorious as sunshine”—that escapes Spock’s control and spills over to the bond they share. McCoy is consumed by jealousy. The sequel to this story is “Endings” in KSX II.

Gayle is now a professional author and no longer writes K/S. [10]
Cave of the Hearth by Gayle F is one of the rare K/S stories that takes place without a major player – in the this case, Kirk – present within the body of the story. This is a story of Spock going into pon farr while only accompanied by McCoy. To save the Vulcan‘s life, a sexual – and permanent – relationship is necessitated by Spock‘s state of health. Gayle uses her fine skills to weave a sexy, emotionally difficult, beautifully crafted story about what one will do to save a friend‘s life. [11]

References

  1. from On the Double #4
  2. from The K/S Press #46
  3. from Treklink #10
  4. from The K/S Press #8
  5. from The K/S Press #24
  6. from The LOC Connection #3
  7. from The LOC Connection #4
  8. from The LOC Connection #16
  9. from The K/S Press #45
  10. from The K/S Press #126
  11. from The K/S Press #174