Pairing: McCoy-centric, Reaper!McCoy/Kirk
Summary: Sometimes, it just isn't enough.
Word Count: 1,384
Warnings: Angst? I don't think I write anything else actually.
Fandom: post-Star Trek XI, post-Doom crossover
A/N: Sequel to Adversary. Sixth in the Genetic Probability Series, which finally got a name. This is that last one, though if I get the urge to, there may be a sequel. We'll see how much time I end up having on my hands. Also. I'm sorry to all who read these that this took so long, I just literally have not had more then ten minutes on my computer in the past month. My backlog of fics to read is like whoa.
They're back to fighting again. John thinks that this fact really should surprise him, but what's he's not surprised that he's not surprised at (and if that isn't some sort of twisted convulsion of a sentence, he doesn't know what is) is the fact that he misses Jim. One hell of a lot. Misses waking up to some sort of sexual overture by the perpetually horny blonde, misses the not-quite-casual brushes going about the day, misses throwing him out of his office for one thing or another. He even misses arguing with the brat. But one thing John's not about to let happen is Jim getting hurt, at least at his hands. He's just about given up on dissuading the captain from getting hurt on away missions (hell, even onboard). He's not about to run his hands over the lithe body and see bruises, handprints or any other kind of injury because he's unable to rein himself in. The incident in Sickbay only highlighted the fact, and it made John notice the other times building up to it.
And he hates himself a little more with each realization.
Sweat is pouring off his body in buckets, and if it weren't for his ability to heal, his knuckles and hands would look like chopped meat by now. He doesn't want to face Spock right now, because frankly, he thinks that he'd probably kill him. Screw his worries about destroyed punching bags. Even if Jim won't cover for him, he's pretty sure Spock will. And hell, even if no one covers, if they go looking for DNA evidence, they're going to come right to his door, aren't they? So they can all just shut the fuck up and let Reaper work out his frustration and self-pity on the damn punching bag.
These are apparently a lot sturdier then the ones back at the Academy, because it takes about an hour before John notices that there's not really much there anymore, just a couple of scraps of material and a pile of it on the floor. "Dammit." He swears. Looks like he's done with that for the evening. It's the first time he's worked up a sweat in a long time though, so John doesn't regret it in the least.
Jim wanders in about twenty minutes later to find Bones jogging around the perimeter of the gym on the track, shirtless. Sweat glistens on his torso, and lanks of his dark hair are stuck to his forehead. Jim swallows. This conversation was going to be hard enough as it was, but dealing with a sweaty and half naked Bones was going to make it even more difficult. Jim knows John knows he's here, he's proved his senses are acute enough to recognize that, so it's obvious the doctor is ignoring him.
The truth of the matter is, Jim doesn't know if he CAN handle this. But he can't lose Bones, because Jim doesn't know how he would handle himself without his best friend who somewhere along the way became his lifeline. Jim's never really needed anyone before, never relied on anyone beside himself. And to be honest with himself, it's fucking terrifying. Since the moment he met Bones, Jim's felt safe in a way he's never felt before.
As a kid, his mom was always off planet, and his stepfather wasn't the greatest person. Frank wasn't a bad man, he was never cruel to Jim, but he wasn't able to appropriately deal with two growing boys. After Sam left, something broke inside of him. The pressure to be his father's son had always been stifling, but in the face of the disapproval he saw on his mother's face when she learned her oldest had left had been too much. He'd never quite been that same kid after that.
Bones has finally given in to the inevitable, and has come over to see what Jim wants. Jim knows that Bones has never been the easiest man to get along with for anyone, with his perpetually grumpy and sardonic nature, but he's known the stubborn asshole far too long to put up with it. Just as Bones is always willing to give him a good swift kick to the pants when he's being stupid (A lot of the time, Jim is reluctant to admit) Jim won't put up with anymore of Bones' shit that is actually not just an act. He knows this man inside and out, and there is nothing Bones can do that will surprise him.
"I'm going to request a transfer Jim." Bones says without looking at him.
"I can't stay around here, where now that you and Spock know about me, and where I'm fucking terrified I will hurt or kill you." His voice doesn't tremble, but it might as well have. Panic shoots through him, and while he's not exactly sure if he can deal with this whole 'Bones is superhuman' thing, he knows that he has to keep Bones around no matter what.
They've always had each other, and Jim can't imagine a life without Bones in it. Bones has always been there for him, in thick or in thin, and they might as well be married at times. Especially now that they've moved past the boundaries of friendship into something more, even if he hesitates to put a label on the fledgling whatever it is. Bones has always been there to remind him that he doesn't have to be more then just a man, doesn't have to always fill his father's shoes. That sometimes, it's okay to be vulnerable around people who care for him.
As much as Spock has become a part of his life since the mission began, he can never replace everything Bones is to Jim. He'd call them soulmates, if it didn't make him sound like a teenage girl – something he is clearly not, no matter what Bones might accuse him of at times. While this whole extra chromosome thing REALLY freaks him out, it's Bones. Anyone else and he'd probably be running in the other direction, but he knows him. Sure, maybe Bones has kept a few secrets over the years, but Jim still knows his heart.
"If you leave I'll tell someone!" The moment the words leave Jim's mouth, he grimaces. Sometimes, he really wished the filter between his mouth and his brain worked. John slowly spins to face him, deadly serious, and Jim swallows hard. "What did you say?" John hisses, eyes flat and unreadable. "I didn't mean to, it just came out, oh god Bones…" Jim babbles, knowing that just might have been the last straw, and he's worried Bones really will leave him. There's a murderous look in the older man's eyes, and when he turns and starts running again, it's as clear a dismissal as any he's ever seen.
Jim turns to leave, but he can't help but steal one more grimace of his best friend and lover as he streaks around the track, so angry he doesn't even think about what would happen if someone entered and saw him moving that fast.
When he comes up on the bridge the next morning and finds Bones there speaking to Uhura, his heart leaps with joy because maybe Bones is willing to forgive him. But it falls again, when he sees the serious look on his Communications Officer's face, and the resigned one on Bones'. After a moment, Bones quietly thanks her, and leaves the Bridge without saying a word to Jim. The captain is so miserable at this, he doesn't even notice Chekov and Sulu's shocked expressions. "Ahead Warp 1 Mr. Sulu." Jim says softly, and with none of his usual pep.
When a message comes through from the Admiralty that the Enterprise is to make a stop at Starbase Seven to drop off Lieutenant Commander McCoy and receive her new CMO, no one comments on the momentary breakdown of their captain. They don't mention how it looked like Jim Kirk was about to cry, at least until he got ahold of himself, or how once the message ended the captain rushed from the room with a strangled 'Spock you have the conn'. It'd be too painful for any and all parties involved.
And Bones doesn't even say goodbye.