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Spoo

Crossing the Line (Star Trek AOS, McCoy)

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Spoo

I’m steadily working my way through my unfinished drafts, and this one was begging to be finished. Because I prefer writing in small parts versus one huge whopper of a fic (I don’t have the attention span for anything bigger than 1300 words nowadays :lol:) here’s part 1 of a Kirk/McCoy mini fic. It’s a wee bit sad, but unlike my most recent story it’ll have a happy ending. ^_^ 

Most of my Star Trek fics are set AFTER Into Darkness/Beyond, but this one is actually set BEFORE the events of the sequels. So yeah, freshly after Star Trek 2009 is when this little exchange takes place. 

Enjoy! :D 

(PS: I’m posting this from my phone, so if the formatting looks wonky that’s why!)

 

~ * ~

 

Crossing the Line

Part 1

by Spoo

 

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Jim doesn’t know what the hell it is about being stuck on frozen, barren planets, but at least he wasn’t marooned by an emotionally compromised Vulcan this time around. He’s also not on his own, which he technically wasn’t before, but with the late Ambassador Spock’s passing it’s unlikely he’ll run into that particular old friend again. 

Still, it’s nice not being completely alone in the thick of things, even if his companion isn’t exactly fit for duty at the moment.

Jim eventually comes back from a perimeter check to find Bones exactly where he left him (huddled and freezing) in the cave they miraculously managed to stumble upon in the harsh wind. Neither one of them are equipped for prolonged exposure to the cold—even with their Starfleet-issued parkas—but at least Jim’s got good health on his side. He can’t say the same for Bones. 

What started out as a harmless enough case of the sniffles two days ago is now something decidedly more aggressive, and even though Bones won’t admit it Jim knows that the doctor must feel as awful as he currently looks.

“No sign of anyone,” Jim reports, seating himself on the cave floor. “Any luck on your end?”

Although half-frozen and sick as a dog, McCoy shakes his head and gestures at the useless communicator that’s resting by the heel of his boot. When he speaks, his voice is scraped raw and muddled with congestion. “Not a damn peep.”

“I figured as much,” Jim says, refraining from sounding too disappointed or defeated about their lack of progress. Bones has enough to worry about and a pessimistic outlook on their situation won’t help at all. “How are you holding up?”

“Oh, I don’t know. If you consider not being able to feel any of my extremities ‘holdin’ up’, then I’m just peachy keen, thanks,” Bones replies, clearly not too under the weather to throw in some good old fashioned southern sass. It’s oddly reassuring when the possibility of freezing to death looms over their heads like an ominous shadow.

Jim scoots closer to Bones, so that they’re sitting shoulder to shivering shoulder. A fire is something they should probably get going, but that would require tools and materials that they presently don’t have in their arsenal. He’s tempted to go back out and brave the elements to find supplies, but he doesn’t want to leave Bones alone for longer than he has to. 

Without looking over Jim feels the other man tense against him; he does end up turning his head when Bones abruptly gasps and crunches into the elbow he’s cradling up against his face.

“HHhh’RHMMFSCH!” 

Even heavily muffled the sneeze echoes through the cave like Bones hadn’t even bothered to suppress it (poor guy). Jim gives Bones a few seconds to sniffle himself back into composure before he says:

“Bless you.”

Bones mumbles something incoherent—might be a ‘thank you’, might be a ‘shut the hell up, Jim’—and then readjusts, so that his hands are shoved up under his crossed arms for warmth. 

With hopes to take their minds away from the fact that they might have very well met an untimely end, Jim brings up a distant memory through idle conversation. “This reminds me of that one time back at the Academy, where we both had the flu and hunkered down in your bed together. Do you remember that?”

Bones sniffs and then clears his throat gruffly. “Y’mean when you had the flu and gave it to me.” 

“I didn’t ‘give’ it to you,” Jim disagrees, and then turns the statement around so that it’s more on Bones and not an innocent victim like him, “you just…caught it from me.”

Bones scoffs in response and rolls his eyes. “Wouldn’t‘ve caught anything if you’d just cover your damn mouth,” he mutters, prior to directing an ironically timed cough into the padded material shielding his shoulder. “And speaking of catching things, this virus has your name on it if you keep sitting so close to me.”

“Look, if my only two options are freeze to death or risk catching a cold huddling for warmth, I’m risking a cold huddling for warmth,” Jim points out, inching even closer for emphasis. 

Bones doesn’t argue—they could use whatever body heat they can get—but he does give one final harrumph over the matter. If Jim realized how annoying his sorry self was when he was sick, then he probably would have steered clear from anyone with so much as a runny nose. 

Things go quiet for a little while as both men lose themselves in individual realms of thought. It isn’t until Bones slowly curls back into his elbow that the peace is shattered by the loud, forceful sneezes he can’t really contain any longer. 

“Hahh’ASCHHhhuih!—hh!—AHSCHhhhuh!

It’s not the strength of the releases that yank on Jim’s tender heartstrings, per se, but more so the soft, almost inaudible groan of absolute misery that Bones exhales following the outburst. Without thinking Jim extends an arm and wraps it around his CMO, so that Bones is pressed securely against his side. He’s ready for the hard shove or fussy complaints that will most likely follow, because Bones is about as cuddly as a cactus, but nothing happens. All that does is a big sigh of defeat as Bones presses his hot, fevered temple against Jim’s.

It might be pushing it—no, it’s definitely pushing it, but Jim says with a smile: “We haven’t been this close in a while, huh?”

“Things changed,” Bones grumbles. 

“Nothing’s changed,” Jim disagrees, furrowing his brow in confusion. “What are you talking about?”

Maybe it’s the fact that their lives are in danger, or maybe it’s the elevated temperature that’s heating open his icy shell, but Bones finds the words coming easily through his loosened lips: “We’ve changed, Jim. This ain’t the Academy. We can’t cross that line again.”

Jim doesn’t want to pick at an old scab, but he can’t say that he likes what he’s hearing. His grip on Bones tightens as he lists potential reasons why they can’t be intimate: “Because I’m technically your boss now? Because we’ve been through hell and back these past few years? Because you’re afraid of breaking regulations?”

“No,” Bones says, snuffling and swallowing against a dry, sore throat. He finally pulls away from Jim to cough into his elbow, and when it passes his answer isn’t just hoarse from his illness: “Because the last time we did this you broke my goddamn heart.”

Jim isn’t prepared for the weight of those heavy words; they push the air right out of him, so that he feels like he’s suffocating.

Bones,” he starts, but then stops when the communicator at their feet finally comes to life with Uhura’s voice. It isn’t a strong connection, but Jim doesn’t hesitate to snatch it up and respond. “Kirk here.” 

They’re beamed back onto the ship not two minutes later. 

Bones is taken straight to Sickbay by the medical officers that are waiting for him while Jim, numb from more than just the cold, watches on. In truth he needs to go as well, but his feet refuse to move just yet. 

“Captain, I must suggest that it would be in your best interest to also undergo an evaluation,” Spock is saying somewhere to his left, but Jim is barely listening.

He’s thinking about long nights in a shared dorm, the smell of woodsy cologne, the taste of bourbon on his tongue…

Jim doesn’t realize that he’s started to walk in the direction of Sickbay until he’s almost out of the transporter room. He manages to say just before disappearing: “You have the con, Spock.” 

 

TBC.

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Fuzzy&Warm

Oh Jim you done goofed and you don't even know it, because McCoy is a stoic woobie and we do love him so much for being one.  Looking forward to the next part! :) 

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Jelloicious

Never actually thought about Kirk/McCoy before.  Ever.  In my life.   That said, you carry it off convincingly...looking forward to more!   

 

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Aliena H.

Oh Spoo thank you so much for writing this little wonderful piece! I feel so, so sorry for Bones who's a physical and emotional mess...

On 2/18/2019 at 7:36 PM, Spoo said:

“Y’mean when you had the flu and gave it to me.” 

“I didn’t ‘give’ it to you,” Jim disagrees, and then turns the statement around so that it’s more on Bones and not an innocent victim like him, “you just…caught it from me.”

That is so Jim. :D

On 2/18/2019 at 7:36 PM, Spoo said:

Bones is about as cuddly as a cactus

Mwahahahahaha, so true.

On 2/18/2019 at 7:36 PM, Spoo said:

“No,” Bones says, snuffling and swallowing against a dry, sore throat. He finally pulls away from Jim to cough into his elbow, and when it passes his answer isn’t just hoarse from his illness: “Because the last time we did this you broke my goddamn heart.”

Okay, you know that I'm not really into romance, but I feel so bad for McCoy, I can't wait to read the necessary explanation between those two...

Thank you so much for this Star Trek indulgence, I really hope you'll continue it!

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AngelEyes

This is wonderful!

On 2/18/2019 at 12:36 PM, Spoo said:

“I didn’t ‘give’ it to you,” Jim disagrees, and then turns the statement around so that it’s more on Bones and not an innocent victim like him, “you just…caught it from me.”

 

So Jim!

 

On 2/18/2019 at 12:36 PM, Spoo said:

“No,” Bones says, snuffling and swallowing against a dry, sore throat. He finally pulls away from Jim to cough into his elbow, and when it passes his answer isn’t just hoarse from his illness: “Because the last time we did this you broke my goddamn heart.”

Oh! My Heart!

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ellwren

This is excellent! 

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