"A Healin' Thing"
Genre: Humor, Crossover
Time Frame: N/A
Characters: Leonard "Bones" McCoy, Gregory House
Summary: Twenty-first century medical practices were not all that all that they were cracked up to be . . . At least, the one thing that hadn't improved over the centuries was bedside manner.
Notes: A House meets Bones viggie for a dear friend of mine. What can I say . . . ye ask, and ye shall receive! . . . no matter how much the aforementioned request messes with your sanity . . . again. This is just crack, ignores the whole of the hows and whys such a meeting would ever take place, and generally just makes you laugh . . . hopefully.
Chim, I love you like a sister. Enjoy.
Oh, and . . . I have nowhere near the medical knowledge to properly write this fic. All terms (mostly) are made up. But hey . . . it's fiction!
Disclaimer: Neither are mine . . . man, but that's even more depressing than a normal disclaimer.
"A Healin' Thing"
There were many things that McCoy had thought to be known truths before his meeting one James T. Kirk. He had liked to think that he knew a bit of how the universe worked, and he really liked to think that he knew how to maneuver around it pretty well when it was in one of its more fickle moods.
And yet, there were times(more and more often, as of late) when he found all of those universal truths completely unraveling before turning upside down and all around. At least, to make it better, all of this upheaval in the standard way of things could almost always be traced back to, and blamed, on one person.
Yeah . . .
So he knew that he shouldn't have found it too surprising when he didn't see this happening. This being one brash overgrown kid who just happened to have the title of Captain, who knew from a 'borrowed memory' from a mind meld with a senile old Vulcan that time travel was indeed possible . . . And then having enough brilliant officers at Jim's disposal, who were all capable of doing the actual scatterbrained calculations . . .
Well, old 'sane' people like himself were just plain overlooked.
Grumbling under his breath, McCoy made his way through the never ending hallways. His boots were echoing sharply on the scuffed floor, punctuating every increasingly moody though; while underneath his borrowed white lab coat, his hands anxiously keyed in on on the homing device connected to his lost Captain's communicator. The twenty-first century hospital smelled almost rusty – with the metallic twang of the sterilizers combining with the synthetic, floral scented air fresheners - and it was making him fairly nauseous. That, combined with the morbid curiosity that one would show walking through the cave man exhibit at a natural history museum, made for an interesting sort of sensation all together.
. . . and Good God, had his practice really evolved from this?
From the ridiculous chaos of the Emergency room he had come from – all blood spattering and things whirling and cutting and - heaven help him – stitching; to the surgery rooms that look like scenes from ancient horror movies . . .
It was enough to make a good doctor swear off medicine forever.
Eager to be out of the sorry excuse for a hospital, McCoy looked down at the tricorder, and back up again when he realized that he was running out of monotonous beige halls. Shaking his head when he actually had to turn to matte black squares on the walls to find out which room he wanted – it was all very primitive, really - he was almost relieved to find the section he needed to be in.
Rare disease and Experimental Diagnostics Division.
McCoy blinked at the sign before shaking his head. "Barbaric," he muttered. Completely barbaric . . .
The pinging on the tricorder in his hand was starting to grow more insistent. With a glower, McCoy came to a glassed patient room pulled tight with white blinds. Grabbing the chart from outside the door, McCoy checked for others, and upon seeing none, he let himself in. Once in, he was not surprised to find his friend and Captain half asleep on one of the sterile white hospital beds.
"Jim," he barked.
There was no response from the lump on the bed.
Another roll of his eyes seemed fitting. "Come on Jim, if I have to be conscious here, then that means you do to."
He pushed a bit at the kid's shoulder to wake him up, feeling slightly vindicated when Jim mumbled and moaned at the intrusion on his sleep. Thankfully, three years of rooming with Jim had taught him a bit of waking him up from a dead slumber.
While waiting, he felt a swell of almost humor upon seeing Jim in a twenty-first century hospital gown. Now, if only he could get pictures . . .
Jim was coming around. "I'm awake, I'm awake," Kirk mumbled. His speech was wobbling almost comically, obviously affected by whatever drug soup that they had running through his veins. "I'm just . . . I'm just . . . not . . . you know?"
McCoy frowned as he looked over Jim's chart, trying to do his best to remember pre-war medicinal practice and names. His eyes widened a bit at the rather . . . intense cocktail of drugs that they had Kirk on. "There's enough here to take down a Klingon," he mumbled, reaching into his bag to pull out his ever trusted hypo.
Jim eyed the needle with something almost like relief. "Thank goodness," he slurred somewhat deliriously. "I thought the stuff you gave me was bad . . . but this . . ." Kirk trailed off, his eyes glazing over.
McCoy fought the urge to slap the man back to attention, but instead settled for jabbing the hypo into his friend's neck with a little more force than was necessary. "That'll counter whatever they have you on until I can run a proper diagnosis myself."
Jim shrugged, not quite out of the drug's hold enough to care. "Whatever you say, Bones. I'm just glad you're here – the doc they had working on me is nuts. Completely nuts." His eyes narrowed. As he spoke his speech became more and more clear. "And I thought your bedside manners were bad – wait until you meet him."
Bones wasn't even looking at him, engrossed completely in Kirk's charts.
Kirk glared. "I think he may just be you in a previous life."
"What was that?" McCoy finally looked up.
Kirk rolled his eyes before slumping back on his pillows. "Never mind."
McCoy shook his head, flipping through the papers(actual, honest to goodness paper!) and the sloppily jotted notes with an ever growing distaste. "There's something wrong with your kidneys," McCoy mumbled. "Just what exactly did you get yourself into?"
Kirk shrugged, his eyes flitting away somewhat guiltily.
McCoy continued incredulously, "Decreased white blood cells, ataxia, numbness, cardiac arrhythmia -"
" - I thought you said that it was my kidneys?"
" - quiet, I'm not done. All of these . . . they make no sense, what so ever . . . Jim." The incredulous voice faded to something sharp at the name – a parent cornering a guilty child.
"Yeah?" another slur.
"This is right on par with Aldorian poisoning."
"And . . ."
"Before your time traveling stint, where were we?"
"Um . . . Aldoria . . ."
"Something you want to tell me?"
Before Jim could explain(defend) himself, there was a commotion at the door, and a moment latter a tall man in casual clothes with a punctuated limp entered the room. Behind him fluttered two doctors in the standard white lab coats – a woman with a scowl directed at the first man, and a balding man who looked like he was just ready to do his job and make a run for it.
Jim smiled widely at the woman – an unfortunately pretty thing that made a point to not meet his eyes. Her movements were sharp and clinical.
Bones liked her instantly.
The first man, meanwhile, barked out a sharp, "And who are you?"
McCoy frowned at the gruff line in the man's tone. Doing a double take, he took in the man's appearance – unshaven, and on the borderline of acceptable attire for the workplace, with a sharp edge to the frank set of his eyes. Was he the doctor Jim had mentioned?
McCoy put a glower on his face to match the man's – never let it be said that he couldn't out-stare someone. "Doctor Leonard McCoy," he bit out, "and just who are you?"
The man looked him up and down, and then smirked. "Doctor?" he questioned, ignoring McCoy's query. "You're no Doctor who works here."
McCoy snorted. "I'm the patient's primary physician."
The other man frowned, "Be that as it may, it's against Hospital policy to allow outside sources in while we are treating the patient."
Kirk snorted from the bed. "Like pol'icy stopped him earlier," he chuckled out on a cough.
The woman smirked from where she was replacing Jim's IV bag. McCoy looked at the contraption with something akin to horror. Just what madness did prior practices operate under?
The man frowned at her. "Something you want to add, Thirteen?"
She continued to smile, shaking her head. "Nothing at all, House."
The man - House narrowed his eyes before turning back to McCoy. "If you're the patient's prior physician, then maybe you can shed some light on a few things," his voice was sharp, cutting. "We found this man passed out in the middle of the street – he had no ID, clothes that would be out of place at a comic convention, and he was mumbling about a spaceship. Now, as much as I'm up for a good psycho case, he has shown no other signs of mental deficiency. Care to fill us in?"
McCoy glared at Kirk, who shrugged as much as his uncooperative muscles would allow.
"The patient's name is James Kirk -"
"- I told him that," Kirk piped up.
"- and no, he is not suffering from any sort of mental deficiency. He just has . . . a wild imagination."
"Ah," was all that House gave, his tone clearly dubious. "Then, maybe you can help make sense of this mess." House flipped open the chart, and passed it to Bones.
Bone's eyes glossed over it, before turning to glare at Jim.
"House, you should see these readings," the balding man – Taub, the woman had called him earlier - said to House.
With a mutter, House limped over to his colleague.
Bones wasted no time in leaning over to whisper to Kirk. "Andorian poisoning? Andorian. You said that you'd leave the Andorian ambassador's daughter alone! We told you that she was trouble," his voice turned to a furious hiss.
Jim smiled crookedly, "What can I say?" his voice was wobbling in a way that would have been comical any other time, "I though' tha' we had the same . . . politics. Or, so I thought . . ."
"Idiot," McCoy spat. Half of what he was saying was probably going over Jim's drugged head, but he didn't really care. It was making him feel better. "Any other time I'd let you deal with this on your own – after the vomiting you should be clean and clear, but no! You can't even be poisoned properly! You have to choose a slow acting poison that finally manifests itself in the twenty-first century! In a twenty-first century hospital!" He had to fight to keep his voice down to a whisper that wouldn't be overheard.
"I hate to interrupt your little pow wow," came the snide voice, cutting into his rant. McCoy straightened irritably. "But his vitals just dipped again."
McCoy glanced at the IV, and scowled when he realized that what he had given Jim earlier was now fighting with the new dose of drugs. With a sigh, he got to his feet, wondering how to clear the room so he could medicate his friend and get them both out of there.
Furiously, he tried to think of the more ancient forms of treatment for the seen symptoms would be.
Dutifully, he walked over, and pretended to peer interestedly at the readouts.
Oh bloody h-
"Has he been on anything that would lead to these symptoms?" All ire seemed to be forgotten as the other doctor tried to puzzle through the mystery in his mind.
"No," McCoy shook his head slowly, "not that I know of."
House frowned. "I can't think of anything natural that would lead to these symptoms – it has to be a drug related condition."
McCoy crossed his arms over his chest. "He's not on any medication that would lead to that."
House shook his head. "Didn't think he would be. You," he turned to Kirk, "are you using?"
Kirk blinked at him. "What? . . . No."
House nodded, but he didn't look too keen to immediately let go of the idea. "Have you been into anything lately that could have been laced with something nasty? New cleaners? Chemicals? A bad hit of the latest 'something' while out at the club . . ."
Kirk frowned again, and then looked at McCoy.
House rolled his eyes, "I'm not asking him, I'm asking you."
Kirk bit his lip. "No. I'm not on anythin', an' I have'n been exposed to anythin'," he slurred out.
"Uh huh," House frowned. He turned to his minions. "I'd like those tox screen reports when you get a chance." His tone implied now. "That, and run a KMP scan, I want to find out what's messing with his kidneys."
Kirk blinked at McCoy. "What's wrong with my kidneys?"
McCoy shook his head, while House turned blunt eyes on him. "They're failing."
"They're failin'?" Kirk's trepidation mixed with the slurs made for an interesting tone. He turned to Bones. "You have something for that, right?"
"Yeah," House interrupted. "New kidneys."
Kirk's eyes widened almost comically. Aside, he stage whispered to McCoy, "I though' tha' they stopped doin' that aroun' World War Three . . ."
McCoy glared at him, wishing that he'd be quiet.
"Overactive imagination?" House supplied when Bones met his eyes again.
"Yeah," Bones said, voice as hard as his, "that's what it is."
House shook his head. "Yeah, right. We're hoping that whatever is causing his kidneys to fail is also what's blocking his circulation – causing the paralysis and the heart fluctuations."
Kirk was looking mildly alarmed.
McCoy though, was just getting annoyed. "So, you're just going to start hacking and slashing on the off chance that that will cure him?"
House looked unperturbed. "Until he tells me what he's on so I can give a more accurate diagnosis – yeah."
Kirk was looking more alarmed.
"I'm telling you," Bones growled, "he's not on anything."
"Really?" House said mockingly. "He's a person who literally just materialized out of thin air with significant internal damages and delusions -"
McCoy sighed. "I told you that he's not delusional."
"Right," House gave condescendingly. He turned to Kirk. "Hey, Han Solo, did they have torpedoes on this ship of yours?"
"Because," he continued quipping dryly, any true humor absent from his words. "You have to have something to fight the evil Empire with."
Kirk continued to glare. "They're phasers, and we all happen to still mock Star Wars during movie night."
McCoy shuddered at that memory. Not one of Kirk's best ideas, to be sure.
House frowned at him, and then turned back to McCoy. "See? Delusional."
McCoy glared at Kirk, wishing that he would just shut up and let him deal with this.
"It doesn't have to be the result of drugs," he still protested.
House was ignoring him now.
"I bet," House mused out loud on a deceptively thoughtful breath, his whole attention focused on Kirk, "that you didn't know that when your kidneys shut down they sound like bubble wrap popping."
Kirk turned wide eyes on McCoy. "Bones?" he slurred.
Bones glared mutinously at the other doctor. "No, they do not."
House shrugged. "Fine, you have me. They sound like bubble gum."
Kirk shook his head. "I really don' like the thought of my kidneys soundin' like anythin'."
"They won't," McCoy growled.
House looked like he was actually enjoying himself with the banter. Bones didn't know if that annoyed him or not, yet.
The girl was still loitering with her tasks. "At least a biopsy could offer some conclusions," she suggested helpfully. "Removing and replacing is a drastic move at this point."
Kirk brightened. "Yes, that soun's like a great idea."
McCoy rolled his eyes. "They still cut you open for that."
He deflated. "Next time we aim for the twenty-secon' century," he mumbled on whisper.
House snorted. "What would you suggest that we do then, doc?"
Bones frowned at the patronizing tone in the other man's voice. "It's simple – you can use highly intensified hybrids of ultrasound rays and meglo rays to literally scan through the tissue. When intensified, these rays completely clear the blockage that's too interlaced for manual removal. You never need to make a mark unless it's a most severe case."
"You do realize that those rays are completely experimental? The technology does not exist at this point."
"There are still other ways of getting around stone age tools," McCoy muttered. He pulled out the medical scanner from his bag, and without a thought to timelines and things of the sort, he ran it in front of his friend's body, becoming increasingly disturbed as to the increasingly pale set of Kirk's face.
House looked alarmed. "What are you doing?"
"Being experimental," McCoy mumbled, watching the readings before him with a growing unease. He needed to give Kirk the antidote, and soon.
As surreptitiously as he could, he pressed a button on his communicator, hoping that the rest of the team would arrive. It was time to move out.
"It is poison," he finally gave to other Doctor. "It's congealing in his kidneys, and effecting everything else."
Instead of looking smug, House frowned. "I don't buy whatever that thing just did. I still want him checked out properly."
McCoy rolled his eyes. "What he's been dosed with won't show up on your tests. It's an alien entity." And well, at least that much was true.
House's frown deepened as he eyed McCoy up and down suspiciously. "What exactly is your degree in, anyway?"
"Dentistry," McCoy sneered as he put the scanner away. He flipped through the hypos in his bag, hoping for something that would alleviate Jim's symptoms here and now without returning all the way back to the Enterprise. No such luck.
"Cute," House replied. "Now, even if the substance doesn't show up, the side effects will – it should be enough for me to proceed. I've gotten by on less before."
"Dammit man, you're a Doctor, not Sweeney Todd! Put your butcher knives away!" McCoy finally broke. "He doesn't need surgery, he needs the antidote before it goes too far."
House raised a brow. "And you know the antidote for this supposed 'alien entity.'"
McCoy took a deep breath, trying to reign in his more offended ethics as he reminded himself just what day and age he was in.
He was caught.
And yet, an idea hit. "A biopsy only, I will not allow a transplant until we are sure that that is a last case scenario."
If House was affronted (as he surely was) by another doctor encroaching on his grounds, he gave no sign of it. Instead he turned to the Thirteen, who had been watching the proceedings with barely restrained interest. "Have a room prepped," was all that he said. She nodded her understanding, and after a small smile at Kirk, she made her way out.
Kirk was grinning somewhat stupidly.
McCoy fought the urge to smack him.
House rolled his eyes at Kirk's antics. "It's always bad having a girl on the team," he muttered. But he toke a moment to get to his feet before turning to McCoy. "Room'll be ready in about fifteen minutes. Are you going to observe?"
"Figures," House mumbled. "We'll talk afterwards," he said with a pointedly firm look at McCoy.
Bones frowned at the tone, knowing that this was merely a courtesy. In the strictest of senses, House had been gracious in even letting him in this far, and further perceived tampering would not be taken well.
And from what he had observed in the last twenty minutes, this was not a man he particularly wanted to cross.
"I look forward to it," Bones replied with an indulgent tilt of his head, using a tone that he normally only used when those under him were not performing their duties to the best of their abilities.
There was an almost sort of respect in the other Doctor's eyes, but it was gone in another moment, replaced by the all to familiar cynicism that McCoy guessed never truly left.
"Sure you do," House gave sarcastically, but he made his way to the door, leaving McCoy with a still loopy Kirk.
"You know . . ." Jim slurred out, "he would have been better off in a few more cen'tries . . ."
Bones snorted. "In any practice far away from me," he hissed, his annoyance not completely gone.
There was a shuffling at the door as two people in scrubs arrived to wheel Kirk away. McCoy allowed a smile to split onto his face when he recognized the familiar build of Spock – a surgeon's cap pulled low over his ears, and the slimmer form of Uhura in a lab coat that trailed past her knees. Her glare dared him to say a word about it.
"It sure took you long enough," McCoy drawled out good naturedly as the three got Kirk ready to move.
Nyota's eyes flashed. "You had to get rid of the doctors. In actuality, you were the one taking too long."
Kirk's smile was somewhat high. "She's mad at you now," he poked Bones. "No fun, is it?"
With an exaggerated sigh, McCoy reached into his bag, and brought out his ever trusted sedative. "Goodnight, Jim," he said cheerfully.
There was a moment of mulish resignation in Kirk's eyes before he was snoring again.
Nyota watched them with a wide grin on her face. "Any chance you can leave a few of those with me?"
McCoy grinned. "Kirk would never forgive me – and then, ethics and all that."
"Fine," she muttered mockingly before helping the two men wheel Kirk out of the room. "We can beam out in the next hall over."
"Sounds like a plan," McCoy said, and a moment later they were all fading away.
Around the corner, House had watched them wheel Kirk away, leaning against the door frame of his office, his eyes smirking where his face was carefully blank.
"Are you going to observe?" Thirteen asked, coming up behind him.
"Naw," he shook his head.
She frowned prettily.
"He won't ever make it to surgery," House said. And as if that were enough of an explanation he walked over to his desk, and the new patient folder already waiting for him there.
"He won't?" She was confused.
But he didn't think that he could explain without sounding like a complete nut himself.
He opened the file. "Milo Quinn," he introduced their newest patient. "Passed out during a concerto, has paralysis and the loss of sight in one eye. Tox screens are clean, as is everything else."
She was still looking at him stupidly - an expression mirrored by the rest of his team. "Well, come on," he snapped his fingers. "It's time to put Humpty Dumpty back together again."
They dutifully reached for the folder, their eyes still finding him in the corners, questioned on their tongues, but not escaping their mouths.
He could work with that.
Before heading over to the white board, he pulled a prescription bottle from his pocket, and popped back a few of the white pills inside, all the while questioning if these things were really getting to him after all . . .