By Alone Dreaming
Rating: K+ for mild language and a boo-boo
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek. If I did, this would not be posted under fan fiction. And... probably posted under The Original Series for extreme campiness.
Warnings: Shameless references to The Princess Bride and Firefly and mild injury
Author's Note: Uh, just a piece of silliness. Really. Enjoy.
"This," Bones hisses, "is why I hate going on missions with you. The only thing worse than a mission with you is a mission with you and Spock. And the only thing worse than that is you, Spock and Sulu. You want to know why, Jim?"
Kirk crouches next to him in the dirt and sawdust of the barn, his eyes flickering about for anything useful. "Well, Bones, you're gonna tell me one way or another, so sure, why not?"
"Because, whenever you or you and Spock, or you and Spock and Sulu go on a mission, it always goes drastically wrong," Bones informs him. He grimaces and his hands hover over the pressure bandage around his leg as though he can heal it by touch. "And usually, in the process, someone gets hurt."
Kirk raises his eyebrows and Bones gets the feeling his friend is becoming more and more Vulcan with every passing day. "That's not true. Spock and I have had plenty of normal, safe missions where nothing goes wrong."
Kirk opens his mouth then closes it. A wrinkle of concentration and confusion decorates his forehead as he repeats the action several times over. Then he wipes the small trickle of blood from the cut following his hairline. "Is this one of your evil doctor games to make sure I'm not concussed?"
"Please," Bones growls. "Nothing can damage that thick skull of yours." Though he admits he would like to use his tricorder around Kirk's busted noggin just to make certain. While the young captain has shown no signs of a concussive injury beyond the bruise and cut, the doctor in him would be far more comfortable if he could double check. Bleeding on the brain can be tricky business and since Kirk could be considered certifiable on the best of days, the usual behavioral changes he was taught in med-school do not apply. He admits that over the years he's gotten better at recognizing serious injury on his friend, but the friendly tricorder is the only thing that can make him one hundred percent sure that the captain of the Enterprise won't suddenly (though not completely unexpectedly) drop dead.
"Well, I want you to know that when we get back to the ship, I'm going to pull up all my mission reports and send them to you," Kirk tells him, as he starts a low crawl towards the barn doors. "Because I know we've had completely successful, boring missions before."
"Sure," Bones winces a bit, and lets his hands drop on either side of his wounded appendage. Pitchfork to the leg; even when he worked in the boonies emergency room, he never saw such a thing. Luckily, it did not scraped bone or ruptured an artery. He bled good-- upper leg wounds do that well-- but with the help of the pressure bandages he kept on his person-- as his medkit had been dropped while fleeing-- he had the injury under control until they got back to the Enterprise. Then he'd worry about funny things like infection and muscular tearing and nerve damage. Again, this would be once they reached the Enterprise and, for the moment, he's still wondering if they will manage that. He watches as Kirk reaches the doors and carefully peers out the pane less window at the top. Whatever he sees satisfies him and he gives Bones a thumbs up from his position before dropping down again to crawl.
"Safe and sound, Bones," he says, his grin bordering on cheeky. "Now, all we have to do is get the Vulcan back and the communicators and have Scotty beam us up."
"Safe and sound?" Bones echoes. "Jim, we are surrounded by angry peasants--"
"Well, actually they're off to burn Spock for witchcraft, so really, we aren't surrounded anymore."
"--on a backwards, backwater planet--"
"Not backwards, just technologically and philosophically deprived; don't judge them too hard, Bones, Earth was like this once upon a time."
"--with injuries and no medical kit--"
"And look at how nicely your leg's doing and I feel fine. I'm sure we'll both be just great."
"I've got it covered."
"--about to be burned at the stake--"
"You aren't. Spock is. And who knows? Maybe it'll give him a tan."
"--for witchcraft because we saved a little kid from drowning--"
"If I didn't know what a mind-meld was, I'd think it was witchcraft, too."
"--with no plans for escape--"
"Hey! I'm working on it!"
"--and you are trying to convince me we are safe and sound?!" Bones finishes, well, snarls. He's not below biting Jim's head off at this point. His leg really hurts and he didn't wanted to be here in the first place. "That's it. I'm never coming down with you two, or three, again."
Jim frowns at him. "Ever the pessimist, Bones."
"Murphy's law follows you, kid," Bones replies. "I'm just getting the heck out of dodge."
"Oh no," Kirk corrects. "No, no, not Murphy's law. Kirk's law."
He's always pinned the kid as slightly egotistical but this is pushing it for him. "Kirk's law?"
"Yep," Kirk gets to his feet, bent at the waist to keep out of sight. "What can go wrong, will go wrong and then will be righted with style, finesse and heaping piles of joy. Will you be okay here for ten minutes?"
"Do I have a choice?"
The answer ends up being no, though Kirk does not say it outright. Instead, he pats Bones on the arm and says everything's going to be fine (like hell) and then disappears from the building with all the grace and silence of a shadow. Bones figures he's been taking lessons from Spock who-- at a whim-- can appear hovering over a shoulder or vanish from a room. Considering all of Jim's incredibly irritating traits, he cannot see how, outside of life-or-death situations, this new technique will do anything but land him in trouble. The last thing that Captain Kirk honestly needs is a way to sneak up behind Chapel with a loaded hypo or Scotty while he's handling some unstable-- but necessary-- compound in the Engine rooms. He'll have a word with Spock when they get back and together, they'll tie a bell around Jim's neck. Or duct tape it. Or suture it. He's not below permanently ingraining a sound making device into the Captain's skin.
Ten minutes pass, then twenty and he starts to get restless. His leg's not on fire; it's a bucket of icy stabbing warmth that contradicts, overwhelms and tries to break him. There's no way he's moving, even if he wanted to, which means if something has happened to Jim, Kirk's on his own and he, McCoy, is screwed. He leans against the inside of the barn, taking in whiffs of animal dung and grain, and wondering if maybe he should've just run off to some podunk town instead of joining the military. Life would be a lot simpler patching up hillbillies after a rowdy Christmas brunch, he thinks as lightning charges the muscles spasming in his leg and he chews a hole through his sleeve to keep from screaming. And he'd probably get better benefits, too.
Five minutes later when he's checking his own pulse, Kirk does the cat thing behind him and nearly causes him to shove his fingers through his own neck. He cusses, swings out and smacks the kid good and hard to let him that what he did was bad, bad-- no biscuit for you sort of bad. There's no remorse even when the kid whines and holds his face and says something along the lines of, 'Get your ears checked, old man.' No, that just gets him surlier and has him narrowing already squinty eyes at the blond, blue eyed mess of a captain. Kirk's got something black draped over his arm and is looking a little too much like a dog with a tub full of peanut butter; McCoy does not like that expression. In the academy, that expression usually meant pantie raid or drinking contest. In the field, it means, 'I just pulled the most magnificent plan out my ass and everyone be damned for doubting it's chance for success.'
"No," he says before Kirk can speak.
Kirk has the nerve to look startled, as though McCoy's being irrational or something. "But, Bones, they are--"
"I don't care."
"I am not doing it."
"Will you at least give it a chance?"
He wants to say no way in heaven or hell will you get me to say yes but a wave of pain hits him so his jaw stiffens and all he manages to do is go marble still. Kirk seems to take this as acquiescence because he starts to explain his plot in long, rambling, and somewhat disjointed sentences. On the bright side, this barely affects McCoy who is so wrapped up on the half-inch in diameter hole decorating his leg that he doesn't hear a word coming out of Jim's mouth. On the downside, the last bit that he hears is definitely a question and he realizes that Jim's about to discover how screwed up he actually is from all of this. And that will lead to problems because everyone knows, the only thing worse than Jim Kirk plotting and executing is Jim Kirk plotting and executing alone. If he even thinks McCoy's not up to helping out with the devious plot, then he'll be out playing cowboy and probably ending up tied to a post with Spock to burn at sunset.
"Repeat that," he finally manages between gritted teeth.
Jim blinks, "Uh..."
"Just run me through the basics again."
"It's really simple, Bones, really," Jim rushes, fidgeting. "I just need you to stay upright in the cart with this on," he waggles the black thing, "and I'll take care of the rest. Oh, and our clothes are flame retardant right?"
Suspicion must alight in his eyes because Jim grimaces. "Why?"
"Um, well, you know," Kirk hedges. "Um..."
"Why?" He throws in every deadly emphasis he possibly can.
"Because I'm going to light this on fire and I really would prefer not to light you on fire, too. We'll wrap your head in my shirt and we'll get you out of it really fast. Just need things to look spectacular, right?" If Jim actually things he's going to agree to this, then he's definitely bleeding on the brain. Not just bleeding, he's hemorrhaging whatever blood he has into his cranium and it's crushing the life out of the few bits of intelligence he's managed to maintain over the years. Bones simply stares at him, trying silent communication over words because, honestly, he just doesn't have the right words right now. Nothing in his vocabulary can actually express the level of incredulity he's feeling.
"Crap," he mutters up finally.
"I'll take that as a yes," Kirk says, happily.
And that is how Leonard McCoy ends up standing upright on a seriously injured leg, with James T. Kirk's shirt wrapped about his head, in a wheelbarrow, on fire. It will be, he decides as the heat nips at him and he listens to the screams of the village people, a story to tell Jo in the future, when he could actually laugh about it. Currently, he's just hoping that he's not going to suffocate or burn to death. It seems ironic that they are doing this to rescue Spock from being burned at the stake and in the process, he might suffer the same fate. And for what reason? Because James T. Kirk has seen one too many movies and thinks that the harebrained plans that work in fantasy-verse are completely plausible in real life.
"I AM HERE!" Jim shouts from behind him. "I AM HERE! AND SOON YOU WILL NOT BE HERE! I AM HERE FOR YOUR SOULS!" And to his left, something explodes. He's not sure where Jim managed to acquire explosives but they shake the ground and have him swaying where he stands all the same. The people are still screaming and he can hear the sounds of scurrying feet. A part of him is waiting for the moment when this all goes to hell and his hair catches on fire and Jim gets shot by an arrow and Spock lights up like an old fashion Christmas tree. But a solid minute passes-- where it gets substantially more difficult for him to breath and it's gone from oppressively hot to singe worthy-- and all that happens is the screeches become distant. Suddenly, the cloak he's wearing is pulled off of him, taking with it the burning, releasing sweet, sweet air for his lungs to intake. He gulps, hacks a bit and then shudders as his leg assaults him.
"You make an excellent Dread Pirate Roberts," Kirk whispers as he passes by him, approaching Spock, who's still tied to a post, and the village leader, who's carrying a flaming stick. Kirk's beaming; Bones can see it through the back of his head as he sinks down into the wheelbarrow, his head spinning and his strength spent. The kid's got his own torch in his hand and he holds it in front of him as he gets closer to the pair in the middle of the town square.
"Doing okay there, Spock?"
Spock's eyebrows speak as he does, "I am well, Captain."
"Awesome," Kirk then addresses the village leader. "Now, I'd like to have my man back, my communicators back and my phasers back. Please."
The village leader stares at him.
"Please," Kirk repeats sweetly.
Bones figures if he did not know technology, he would not have the balls this man does. The man straightens his unimpressive five foot three frame, his face pale and trembling, and says, "He is a witch. He deserves to burn."
"I'm not denying either of those," Kirk tells him. "But, he's our witch and we'll do what we please with him. Now, please, before my buddy Roberts gets bored and decides to reap this whole village. That gets to be so messy."
But the village leader does not seem swayed by this. Instead, he charges, yelling, his stick held high over his head. Flesh meets flesh as he collides with Kirk, throwing them both to the ground and putting out their sticks. A fabulous tussle starts with the two of them wrestling, grunting, punching, kicking and biting. Spock watches, unsurprised, obviously, and Bones groans deeply. Wincing, he heaves himself out of the wheelbarrow and onto the ground. His leg's barely up to supporting his weight as he hobbles over to Spock's platform, pausing only to stagger out of the way of the two fighting. The stairs are a trial of endurance that he neither enjoys nor manages terribly quickly but once he reaches the top of them, it's only a foot or so to get to Spock. Kirk's still engrossed in his battle so it's up to Bones to work out the knots holding the Vulcan in.
"You are injured, Doctor," Spock notes as his bindings fall away.
"Yeah," he agrees, tired and definitely never going with a landing party again. "Are you okay?"
"I am unharmed," the Vulcan replies. His eyes flicker after the village leader who's now trying to flee but Kirk has his ankle so he merely keeps getting up and falling again. "I should assist the Captain."
Bones sits heavily on the pile of wood at the base of the pull, throbbing and more than a little singed. He knows he's lost some hair. "I say let him do it on his own." They watch as Kirk takes the village leader down with a full body tackle and then howls when the smaller man bites him. "He'll solve the problem. Kirk's law, you know."
"I am unfamiliar with this law," Spock says but he's not moving. His hands are clasped behind his back in his familiar posture of information gathering.
"What can go wrong, will go wrong and then will be solved with heaps of joy, finesse and style," McCoy says.
He almost detects a smile on Spock's lips. "Fascinating."
Needless to say, they make it back to the Enterprise.