Title: Protector
Pairing: McCoy-centric, Reaper!McCoy/Kirk
Summary: Life is never really that simple
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2,412
Warnings: Excessive talking? None really.
Fandom: post-Star Trek XI, post-Doom crossover
A/N: Sequel to Sentinel. This story has officially eaten my brain –shakes fist- I blame you all you lovely commenters! So I hope I got all the back story right, because I've only seen Doom twice. If I made any mistakes, please, feel free to correct me!

John swallows hard as he faces Jim, spine straightening with ramrod posture. The look on Jim's face is unreadable, and frankly, John's a bit afraid of the reaction. He can't lose Jim, a thought that completely startles him. In the span of time he's known the blond, Jim's become the most important person in his life, and losing him would be like cutting part of himself out. He's not at all pleased to realize this fact. John's not sure how he's going to explain this, but he had to protect Jim. When the Klingons had entered the room and he saw Jim go down, he'd been unable to contain his rage. Luckily, he hadn't been hit, just avoiding a shot, but nonetheless Reaper had emerged and the fury that went with it. He protected what was his. John had long ago appointed himself Jim's de facto guardian, and whether the kid knew it or not, he was always going to be there to keep him safe. Lord knew the kid couldn't do it himself.

John strips his Starfleet issue medical shirt over his head, balling it up as he tosses it to his feet. His black undershirt is mostly bloodless, and he can always just say the over shirt was too badly damaged. It works for Jim. He can't believe they're going to have this conversation in a room full of dead Klingons, but it's ironically perfect. Of course, Spock and Uhura choose that moment to peer around the corner, phasers held in front of them. They blink in surprise at the carnage, and Spock focuses in on John, a slightly knowing look on his face. Uhura just looks completely bewildered, but wisely keeps her mouth shut. "What happened Spock?" Jim snaps after a moment, in an attempt to break the quickly becoming awkward silence. "They came through the main doors, presumably beaming down directly into the complex. Lieutenant Uhura and myself were forced back towards the wall, and we ducked into a smaller annex room for protection. I saw you and Doctor McCoy firing from the alcove before we were overrun trying to keep them from coming in the door. We cleared them out eventually as they bottlenecked themselves, and then we came back to help you. Only it appears you do not need our assistance." There's something that John can't quite identify in Spock's eyes, but if he had to classify it, he'd say it was admiration.

Jim sighed, scrubbing a hand through his hair. He pulls his communicator from his belt, and they move to stand beside the other pair. "Scotty?" After a moment, the thick Scottish brogue they know so well filters through. "Four to beam up." John sighs as the now familiar feeling surrounds him, not protesting as he normally does because it's useless at this point. Transporters don't frighten him – they've got nothing on the Ark. The Chief Engineer gives them a broad grin when they appear on the pad, but it dims when he takes in the grim looks on the officers' faces. "Wha 'appened?" He asks, curiosity getting the better of him. "We picked up 'nother ship in teh system. Trouble?" Jim nodded briefly. "Klingons." He says, and leaves it at that. They exit the transporter room, with no words being said. Uhura looks like she has something to say, and even opens her mouth to do so, but Spock places a hand on her shoulder, and she closes it with a snap, settling instead for a curious look as Jim and Leonard walk away.

John walks into the turbolift, hoping Jim won't follow, but he knows the kid better then that. And sure enough, he follows him inside without saying a word. John just looked at his friend. "We're going to need alcohol for this conversation." He said simply.

It only takes the pair a few minutes before they're in McCoy's quarters, and he's dragging out the good stuff. Properly aged bourbon, as well as his carefully hidden bottle of Romulan Ale. "Bones! You know that shit's illegal." Jim teases, and John relaxes slightly. If Jim's teasing him, he's not completely overwhelmed or pissed at him. Or worse yet, scared. He shrugs. "It's only illegal if you get caught." Jim snickers. "You sound like me, I must be a good influence!" John laughs at that. "Of course." He replies dryly. Kirk smiles.

Then his gaze turns serious. "Bones. I trust you with my life no matter what, and you need to know that. But what the hell was that down there? Last time I checked, you couldn't fight your way out of a paper bag, let alone take on a shitload of Klingons with your fucking bare hands." There's a note in his voice that worries John, but he puts it aside for now. "I… it's a really long story Jim." He says, desperately hoping they're not going to have to do this. It's hope against hope, because if he's ever met a man as stubborn as he is, it's James Kirk. Jim just stares at him. John lets his breath out in one slow exhale. "I'd better start at the beginning then." He says softly.

"My name's not actually Leonard McCoy. It's John Grimm. My twin Samantha and I were born in the year 2021, and our parents were forensic archeologists working on the Olduvai instillation on Mars. There was an accident on the dig site they were working, and they died when I was really young. For a long time it was just Sam and me. She ended up following in our parents' footsteps and becoming an archeologist as well, and I went my own way. We drifted apart, and I enlisted in the military as a Marine. For a really long time we didn't talk, and I worked my way up through the ranks until I earned my place on the special ops Rapid Response Tactical Squad. We were just about to go on leave when a distress call from Olduvai came in, and despite my CO's insistence that I stay behind, we made our way up to the station." He took a deep breath, and then poured himself a small amount of the Romulan Ale. Jim watched, fascinated. "Then what?" He was like a little kid with a Christmas present just out of reach.

He shot the kid a glare, and he quieted, clear blue eyes focused intently on Bones. "We found it in a panic, and I ran into my twin for the first time in years." His face was grim. "Long story short, the station was overrun with demonic monsters of a genetic experiment gone wrong. The scientists had found evidence that the original residents of the station had created a synthetic twenty-fourth chromosome, and it gave some of the population superhuman, invulnerable to disease, and able to heal incredibly fast." Jim looks contemplative. "Like you." He whispers, light going off in his head. "Not now. Let me finish my story." John knocks back another shot. "It turned others into the mutant hellspawn we found. The scientists duplicated it. They tested it on a prisoner, only it turned him into one of them, and they were forced to flee." A faraway look passed over his face, and it took prompting from Jim for him to continue. "Sorry. It started after the others, turning them into things like themselves, which is when they contacted my team. When we showed up, only two of the original eight were still alive, but both were infected and we didn't know it. In the end, they got four of my team before the original escaped back to Earth via the Ark."

He swallowed. "We followed, to find it had infected most of the base. One of the Marines, Kid, found a storeroom filled with uninfected people. He reported back to our CO, Sarge, who ordered that if it breathes, kill it. Kid argued." John sighed. Jesus, he was just a kid. "Kid argued. Sarge… Sarge shot him in the throat for insubordination." Jim's softly indrawn breath matches John's own feelings at the time. "We lost one of the others not long after that. Sam and I were running with Sarge to safety, into the medbay with a nanowall that they couldn't get through, but the nanowall wouldn't close." His face was grim with the memory. "They got Sarge, pulled him right through. I was shooting at the bastards pulling Sarge when the wall finally decided to close, and my last bullet ricocheted, right into me. Sam and I fled, but the bullet got me at a bad place, and I was bleeding to death, and she knew it." Jim made a soft sound of distress, and John sighed. He picked up his glass and knocked another one back, trying hard not to let the emotions of that day flood back again. He wouldn't be able to finish the story if he did.

"Sam knew it too. She pulled out a vial of the 24th chromosome she'd taken from the lab, and started to inject me with it. I stopped her. She insisted, saying that she knew me, and knew I wouldn't turn into a monster. I gave her my gun and told her to shot me, once through the heart, and once through the head if I started to turn. She told me she wouldn't need it. When I woke up, she was gone, but so was the pain, and all of the minor wounds I'd gathered along the way. I didn't take the time to really think about it, because I had to find Sam." John pauses for a moment, remembering the day. The fear about losing Sam, but the exhilaration of mowing down the creatures without hesitation, without having to worry that he's going to get hurt, the realization that he can take care of those he cares about better then ever. "Bones?" Jim says softly, jerking him back to the present.

"Anyway, I found Sam, but Sarge showed up soon after. And he'd become infected." His voice was grim. "I sent Sam away, and dealt with Sarge myself." He doesn't tell Jim about the fight, about how he and Sarge battled it out for dominance and victory, until John finally shoved him through the Ark with an ST grenade. How he regretted what all of it had come to, that nothing would ever be the same again and that life was going to become one hell of a complication. He sighed. "Sam and I made it back to the surface, and I vanished into the wind. Sam went back to her job, though and I visited her whenever I could. Made up new names, new jobs, moved around. Went to medical school actually, only because I needed a way around having to be given physicals and such so I didn't show up funny." He sighed. "The worst was trying to avoid the Eugenics Wars. They happened before my time, but I did everything I could to avoid any and all association with them. Sam died along the line, and I've spent too long blending into the shadows and avoiding notice."

He sighed. "I don't know what convinced me to join Starfleet, but I've never spent this long with the same group of people before. Ya'll are going to get old. I'm not. I'll look exactly as I do right now for the rest of my life, however long that may be." John stopped talking, and fixed his gaze on the bottle of Romulan Ale at the table.

"Bones." John doesn't move his gaze from the bottle. "John, look at me." He says softly, and reluctantly dark eyes meet blue ones. "I don't care if your name is Leonard McCoy or john Grimm or the fucking Easter Bunny. You're Bones, and more to the point, you're my Bones." He looked at Jim, eyes flat and emotionless, and Jim swallows. "And I know you. You're not a bad person, and I don't give a flying fuck about your past. You're here now, and that's all that matters. I need you Bones – I don't think I could captain this ship if I didn't have you have to confide in at the end of the day, to laugh or cry with, to share the horror that is my birthday with. Or without you to give me a good swift kick to the pants and tell me I'm being an asshole." The look on John's face is still unreadable, but then he's moving so fast Jim's brain can't comprehend it. And suddenly Jim's pressed up against the wall, and Bones' mouth is on his. "And… if this means I don't have… to worry about you… defending yourself… all the better." Jim pants. "I'll… know you're safe." He adds. "But I do. I don't know if you'll come back in one piece, if you'll be on my exam table and I can't put you back together, or if I'm going to have to face losing the only person I have cared about since Sam died." John growls. "I know I'll have to face losing you at some point in the future, but that's some indefinable point away from now." He rests his forehead on Jim'. "Don't make me lose you kid. Don't make me go back to being alone."

The tension in the room is palpable. Jim leans forward to capture Bones' lips in a scorching kiss in response. "I won't." He says softly. "I'll never leave you." Naked fear ghosted across his face, and he clutched John tightly. "Don't ever leave me. You can have anything or anyone you ever wanted, and you picked me. Don't ever leave." John picks Jim up and carries him before depositing him on the bed. "I couldn't leave even if I wanted to." He waits a beat. "Who'd patch your sorry ass up then?" Neither of them is good at this touchy-feely stuff, and John's just about reached his limit for the next month. He shucks the black undershirt, and watches as Jim pulls the gold command shirt over his head. "I love you kid." John says gruffly after he's done squirming into place. One arm reaches out to pull Jim flush up to John's chest. "Computer, lights off." The room is plunged into darkness, and a warm, comfortable silence pervades the room.

"Does this mean you could bench press me?"

"Go to sleep kid."