The altercation is loud and brief, but the Enterprise's acting captain isn't as quick to leave as is Leonard, muttering about "cold green blood." In addition to his nearly concealed discomfort, Christine thinks that Mr. Spock's movement has also been slowed by his wondering why Leonard is behaving so "illogically." She decides to help him, and herself, out because the last thing that she needs in the exhausting aftermath of the latest attack upon the ship is an even grumpier than usual chief medical officer.
"It's not that he believes you don't care, Mr. Spock. It's that humans tend to demonstrate their caring explicitly."
He turns from the door to regard her, one eyebrow rising slightly as if in question.
"We've only just got sickbay squared away, and Dr. McCoy's been working without rest for three shifts—and worrying about the captain. When you came in and didn't ask after the captain specifically—"
"I have been monitoring the captain's condition from the bridge, as Dr. McCoy is well aware."
"Yes, but that isn't the same thing as coming to check on him in person, and it's why the doctor directed his frustration at you."
"A stress response."
"It's not always possible to process strong emotion efficiently during a crisis."
"You're saying that Dr. McCoy will perform closer to peak efficiency after his . . . cathartic display?"
Christine laughs ruefully at this bit of diplomacy. "Sleep and a lot of coffee to follow it are probably the only things that will restore him to 'peak efficiency', but yes, I suppose I am. That wasn't my point, though. You didn't ask after the captain. You asked about the 'injured' and duty roster adjustment. It's not what the doctor was expecting."
"There was no logical reason to interfere—"
"You might consider the logic of following certain social conventions that are important to humans in order to work more efficiently with us. Knowing that the people with whom one works are concerned about one is important," Christine explains, casting about for a compelling reason to offer Mr. Spock in support of her assertion. "Displays of mutual concern help to promote team cohesion."
"As the captain is among the injured, I fail to see—"
"Forgive me, sir, but to humans, some 'interference' isn't unwelcome or illog—"
The whoosh of the inner door opening interrupts their discussion, and Leonard demands, "What are you still doing here? Don't you have that all-important rostering to do?"
Mr. Spock nods slightly at her and then turns to Leonard, saying, "I'd like to see the captain."
"Why didn't you just say so in the first place?"
"I do not believe that you provided me with an opportunity to say much of any—"
Alone, Christine smiles. Captain Kirk has been in stable condition for hours, hours in which Mr. Spock's injuries have gone untreated. This has been another constant source of worry for Leonard, who's never had any trouble expressing what he's feeling as he's feeling it. Before Mr. Spock's arrival in sickbay, Christine had been thinking that she'd have to take a hypospray to Leonard to shut him up, not being able to fall back on her usual methods of occupying his mouth while on duty.
Now that she's persuaded Mr. Spock to stay, however, she knows that Leonard will make the most of his visit—and that sleep will come more easily to both of them when they finally go off duty.