Title: Adversary
Pairing: McCoy-centric, Reaper!McCoy/Kirk
Summary: Introspection may be good for the soul, but not when you've got two hundred years worth of history to think of.
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1,594
Warnings: None that I can think of at the moment
Fandom: post-Star Trek XI, post-Doom crossover
A/N: Sequel to Companion. I keep trying to think of a name for this series, but I'm drawing a blank. This one's a lot short then the others by about 700 or so words because it seemed a logical place to end (to quote Spock) and I couldn't figure out a way to make it longer. Sorry!


John stares morosely at the ensign lying sedated on the bed. "Jim." He says while the doors are in the middle of whooshing open, but for the first time Jim doesn't comment. "How's he doing?" The captain says softly, and Bones sighs as he looks away from the still form. "Physically, he's fine. It's the mental part that has me worried. If he wakes up, I couldn't tell you if he'd walk straight out of here and try to kill himself again. We'll find out more tomorrow when he wakes up." Jim looks at John quizzically. "What's wrong Bones? And don't give me that shit about bad memories. We've been over this – you're a good person, contrary to what you might believe." John didn't move his gaze from the science ensign. "I tried once – a few times actually."

John hears Jim's hiss of indrawn breath from behind him, but doesn't stop. "It was about a hundred years or so ago. I'd lost everything at that point – everyone I'd known and cared about was dead and gone, and the newness and fire that were there at first was gone. I just wanted it to end, I felt like I didn't have any reason to be here. I tried overdosing on some of the high-grade barbiturates the first time, but all it did was make me puke my guts out for about two days straight. Slitting my wrists didn't work either, because the cuts healed too fast for any amount of blood to escape. I gave up after hanging myself didn't work." He didn't risk a look at his captain, because John knew he wouldn't be able to handle the look in Jim's eyes that was sure to be there.

"So yeah, that's what's wrong. You wanted the truth, you got it." The only thing Bones heard was the sound of the door as it closed. He sank into the chair beside the ensign's bed, and scrubbed his face in his hands. "It's just you and me, eh kid?" The redhead on the bed twitched slightly in his drugged sleep, and his head turned the tiniest fraction away from John. Reaper pretended that didn't wedge the hypothetical knife in, just a little bit farther.

~*~

"Captain?" Jim glances up as Spock approaches him in the corridor. "May I inquire as to whether you know the whereabouts of Doctor McCoy? I became curious when he did not appear for our nightly meeting in the gym." Jim blinked. "What're you two doing in the gym of all places? In the middle of the hypothetical space night?" Spock blinks. "Sparring of course. It is exercise for both of us, since neither can train with anyone else because of our greater strength and reflexes." It's Jim's turn to blink. "You… and Bones? Sparring?" He should have made the connection sooner, but Jim didn't know that Spock knew about Bones/John/Leonard/whatever the hell he wanted to call himself.

He shakes his head. It's not important at the moment. "Captain, are you feeling yourself? You look rather pale." Spock asks, a look of concern briefly flitting over his features before it's gone. It strikes Jim then. Here's another person that knows about Bones… Reaper… and won't look at him as if he's crazy. But he's not sure how to deal with bringing it up. "Permission to speak freely Captain?" Spock surprises him by speaking up. Jim sighs. "For about the one hundredth time Spock, when we're not on duty it's Jim, and you don't have to ask permission to speak." Spock doesn't say anything, just looks very intently at the younger man.

"It appears to me, Captain," And if Spock isn't placing emphasis on that word Jim doesn't know what's up, "That you have not fully dealt with the implications or brought yourself to reason with the fact that Doctor McCoy is actually over two hundred years old and possessing talents no human could logically possess." Jim blinks. Damn the Vulcan. Jim hadn't even really admitted it to himself yet, and there he went being all physiological on him. That's usually Bones' job, calling him on his bullshit. "I…" He's at a loss for words. "It appears to me as if you and Doctor McCoy should converse on this matter, because logically it will only drive a further wedge between you." Spock replies, unruffled. Jim sighs again. "When'd you get so damn smart Spock?

"I do not understand the query Captain. I have always been intellectually gifted." The Vulcan looks confused. Jim stifles a smile. "Never mind."

It's the next morning after Alpha shift before Jim is able to find Bones again, and he's not sure exactly how this conversation is going to go down. They've been sharing so much more with each other lately – or at least Bones has. He's learned more about his best friend in the past few days then he ever did in the three years at the Academy. He finally manages to corner the good doctor in his office. Jim attempts to nonchalantly lean against the doorframe, but as per usual, John already knows he's there. "Sit down kid."

A flash of pain darts across his face at the words, and Jim can't place why. He's a little afraid to ask however, after the last bit of information Bones shared when he pushed. But he does anyway. "What's wrong?" John sighs, thinking of nightmares of the previous night. "Just… memories of one of my fellow Marines. His handle was The Kid." John thinks of the spurts of bright red blood emanating from his throat, and the utter terror in the kid's eyes. "Ever since I let go that first time, it's all coming back." John says quietly after a moment. "As clearly and as vividly as the day it happened." Jim doesn't know what the hell to say to that. He just reaches a hand across the desk, laying it on top of Bones', sensing that a physical touch wouldn't be remiss at the moment.

After a moment, Jim clears his throat. "I actually came in here for a reason this time." He says softly. "I ran into Spock, and to sum the whole conversation up, he thinks we should clear the air. Hypothetically speaking." John rolls his eyes. "But he's right, I think. I do have some unresolved issues that I haven't dealt with in regards to you, and I think they need to be said, or there's always going to be that little part of me wondering if it's really all right.

"You wanted honesty Bones, so fine. It scares me, the things you're capable of. It fucking terrifies me, and I'm not always sure how to react around you anymore. I've seen the raw destructive power you're capable of John." It's the first time Jim's ever called him by his real name, and John's finding it just a little bit harder to breathe at the intensity in those startling blue eyes. "But." John looks at him. "You're still Bones. Even if you probably can take over the entire ship and incapacitate the entire crew unscathed, you never will." Jim explains. "You're a good person at heart, and I would have known that from the start, I did, and would believe it even if the chromosome proved it by not turning you into a monster. You might be stronger then Spock, able to heal instantly, and hiding most of a genius that surpasses even the whiz kid, but that doesn't change the core of who you are. Even if you are a little bit different then everyone else, you're still Bones – my Bones, my very best friend in the world."

John looked pained. "But the fact that you don't think I would do anything, it still means you've thought about it." He says quietly. "The fact that that scenario came up in your mind at all means you've at least given it some thought." He adds, trying to make more sense to Jim of the thoughts tumbling chaotically through his head. He doesn't know how to put it fully into words. Jim moves around the desk towards Bones, and then he's sitting firmly in John's lap, and all he can do is stare at him. "Dammit Jim, Someone might walk in!" He says, scowling. "Don't care." The Captain murmurs, leaning forward to rest his forehead on John's. "You're upset, and I need to kiss it and make it better." Bones stifled a laugh. "Get the hell off my lap kid." He lightly pushes the blond backwards, only it was stronger then he'd realized, and Jim tumbles to the floor with a crash. He's on his feet in an instant, but Jim's standing up and dusting himself off.

"I'm fine Bones!" John doesn't believe him for one instant, and picks up a tricorder from his desk, moving towards Jim. But he stops dead in his tracks at the look of fear that flashes through the younger man's eyes. Pain lances through him, and John sees Jim's face. He moves towards him again, but the fear is there again, and John's unable to stop the grim realization that he was right. He's too frightening, too odd, too different, and they're not going to last this.

He doesn't care that it's his office that he's suddenly fleeing, headed for the relative safety of his quarters. He knows Jim'll come after him, he always does, and try to explain, try to stop the train of thought they're on. John doesn't want to hear it. He's seen the damning evidence already.