Humans

J. Juls < jjuls @ tbc.net >

 

First Place TOS Slash Vignette (seven-way tie)

 

Series:  TOS

Rating:  PG

Codes:  K/Mc , K/S impl

Summary:  McCoy Jim comfort each other after ST II.

Disclaimer:  McCoy and Jim.  Paramount is paramount in their existence.  Not me.

 

 

 

The brandy wasn't really helping, Jim decided as he set his half-empty glass on the end table.  His face turned hot with shame as he remembered his actions the previous day on the bridge.  Young?  How could he have said that?  How could he have smiled?  As if the Genesis planet could make up for what had happened.  An entire galaxy wouldn't be worth what he had seen, in engineering ... he imagined what it must have been like, the blue-hot radiation searing everything in the chamber ...

 

Smiling.  Feeling "young."  Was it only the shock, or was there something more?  Was he trying to save face in front of Carol?  Carol ... if he had never met her, David would never have been born, never have invented the device ... no, Carol would have invented it regardless, but what if he hadn't helped her to get that posting on Omicron VII ... put in a good word with Dr. Silon ...

 

"Jim?"

 

He realized he was staring straight through McCoy toward the stars and their silvery light, the only light his sleep-starved eyes could tolerate.  He blinked.  "Sorry, Bones."

 

"You want something else to drink?"

 

"No ... "  His guest quarters aboard the Enterprise faded as Jim's attention withdrew again -- had it been only two days ago that his biggest sorrow was over his birthday?  He saw Spock now, in the bright sun of Starfleet HQ, next to the ancient star map.  Happy birthday.  Spock's right there; I can touch him ... he felt an arm around his shoulders, was vaulted back to the present.  McCoy was here with him.  At least he wasn't alone; Jim didn't think he could bear that right now.

 

Jim studied McCoy's expression.  He seemed composed, well-adjusted, almost *too* calm.  It worried him; the calmness could be a sign that McCoy was about to reveal some emotional truth.  And the way it was now, Jim needed full concentration to smother his emotions:  hold it together, Jim; don't think too much about ... .  So he was in no state to protect himself when McCoy sprang the trap.  "He loved you, you know, Jim.  In his own way."

 

Jim's anguish blossomed from within then; he couldn't stop those first tears from flowing; more easily followed.  At least he managed not to sob, not to break down and collapse into McCoy's arms, managed to maintain some remnants of decorum.  He turned his face away from McCoy, ashamed of losing control.  McCoy, the traitor, had mentioned the L-word.  Button pushed.

 

Jim didn't know how long he sat crying there.  McCoy gave him a vacu-beam to dry his face; he took it.  McCoy rubbed his shoulder; he let him.  Jim drifted back and forth from the hard, empty now to the past, when they were all together -- he and Bones and Spock.  He finally managed to regain control of himself, but at some cost -- he found himself in a curious state, blank, unfeeling.

 

He was so numbed that he almost didn't notice at first a too-hot kiss on his cheek.  He could only pull away, turning to stare at McCoy, not finding words.  In silhouette from the dim starlight, his gaunt form almost looked like ...

 

"I had always wanted to do that, Jim."

 

The voice was low, hollow, not McCoy's usual tenor.  "What ... ?"  Obviously Jim had misheard.  But he could have sworn ...  McCoy shivered, almost seeming to reset.  He blinked, dazed.

 

"Jim?"  McCoy peered at him.  "Did I just do what I ... "

 

"It's okay, Bones."  Jim sat back and took a deep breath to calm himself.  "We've all been under a ... lot of stress."  Then, although the room was not warm, Jim felt sweat breaking out on his forehead.  But why ... unless the touch of McCoy's lips on his cheek hadn't been entirely unpleasant.  He also noticed that he hadn't thought about Spock for almost five seconds.

 

Jim leaned back, reaching out to pat McCoy's shoulder in reassurance.  "Don't worry about it, Bones."  Then he sighed.  "I should be on the bridge," he said, for lack of any better words, to avoid sinking into his dark thoughts again.

 

"Did you sleep last night, Jim?"  The awkward, too-personal moment had passed; they hung on to the mundane.

 

"No."  He hadn't been able to; had walked through the ship as if her decks and corridors could comfort him, but this wasn't home.  Wasn't his Enterprise.

 

"I could give you a hypo.  To depress the nightmares ... "

 

"No."  He turned to look at McCoy, felt his throat tighten.  "I'm not worried about nightmares.  My life *is* a nightmare."

 

McCoy turned away, wiping one palm down the side of his neck.  Jim felt his face grow hot, chastened that he had upset his friend, who was doing his best to help.  How selfish you're being, Jim!  "I'm sorry, Bones, I didn't mean to be so short.  I just ... "  McCoy turned slightly, to look at him sidelong.  "I just wish everything could go away."  With those words, one tear did escape Jim's control to trickle down his face.  What a stupid idea, anyway, that everything should magically go away.  Grow up, Jim.  He clasped his hands in his lap, staring hard at them.

 

He was surprised then, and more than a little comforted, when he felt McCoy's soothing fingers, wiping his face dry.  "It can, you know."  Bewildered, Jim turned to study McCoy's face; his expression was one of barely-controlled anguish.  "Jim."  He pierced him with his gaze.  "I hurt, too."

 

"Oh, Bones."  Jim reached out for McCoy, sighing as McCoy's head fell to rest on his shoulder.  They wrapped their arms about each other; McCoy's body was slim and frail, ribs easily discernible under his shirt.  The thin chest heaved once in a sob -- of sadness or relief, Jim didn't know.  Jim's hands started to move, stroking, first to soothe, then to arouse.  McCoy's did the same.  Jim felt his trousers unseal as he unsealed McCoy's; neither one complained; neither one stopped.  Jim concentrated with all his might on the pleasure he was giving and the pleasure he was receiving in this human act -- this all-too-human act.  There was nothing else; only humans comforting each other.

 

"Jim," McCoy repeated in his familiar, smooth voice.  Jim drowned in the mantra as his pleasure intensified.  And for a moment, just a moment, it all did go away.

 

*

 

Jim sat up with difficulty.  The room was cold; he shivered.  He cleaned himself with the vacubeam and then handed it to McCoy.  Jim stood, feeling age settling into his knees and hips, making his way through the grey starlight to a closet.  There he found a blanket and pillow for McCoy, "If you want to stay," he offered.

 

There was no question of sharing a bunk.  McCoy spread the blanket on the couch.  Jim shuffled alone to the bedroom, stripped, and got into bed with his nightmares.

 

END

 

 

Challenge 68.  Write a Kirk/McCoy story from Kirk’s POV!