Here's the final part!
The first chapter has been edited for errors if you wanna go back and read that over.
Hey, thanks for reading!
"Hi, I'm Jim," is the enthusiastic introduction he gets.
"Nah, just Jim," Jim grins, McCoy refuses to classify it as "beaming" because all he needs to do is start comparing the kid to the sun. "You're Leonard McCoy, right?"
"Last I checked…why?" He shoots Kirk a suspicious look.
"Well, you're like a legend."
"Like, a, legend," McCoy repeats each word dubiously.
Jim seems to falter for just a second. "Yeah, because you're so dedicated," he says hurriedly. McCoy starts feeling uncomfortable. He's seen a lot of expressions come from Jim, and even though they had been from a distance, never before had he seen one of such blatant…admiration. He shifts nervously in his lab coat and tries to find an escape. There isn't one, they're the only two (conscious anyway) in an odd lapse of the ER. No one moves in the room besides the quiet hiss of life support until Jim mimics Len's nervous shift. McCoy belatedly thinks the look is better on Jim. "I mean, I hope I don't sound like…like a creep."
"Uh," is all McCoy says. Jim nods as if that's all the answer he needs and turns neatly on his heel.
McCoy doesn't see hide or hair of the kid until an hour later when the…incident happened. The patient—sometimes, even after having worked in this place for nearly two years, McCoy has a hard time distancing himself to physician and patient—George Winston is in terribly bad shape when he arrives. A lone pilot flying his plane or something when he crashed, McCoy's not sure on the details but he knows that there's multiple hemorrhaging, broken ribs and a collar bone. Winston went into shock in the damn ambulance and as much as McCoy wants to save every human that passes into the ER, sometimes there are just exceptions.
He never thought Jim would take it so hard. He'd been watching; let himself be pushed aside as the rush of EMTs and nurses brought Winston in. Jim had stepped up to the plate with a cursory glance in McCoy's direction. How he had been stupid enough to let Jim take a patient in this condition for his first, he didn't know. Something in the way Jim had sent him that look, blue eyes wide and full of determination, he just couldn't say no.
After that, it only seemed like the natural thing to do. So, he follows Jim out and even though he loses the man immediately suddenly Rand is there and she's pointing him in the right direction. Two floors and the help of three nurses later he finds Jim standing in an empty OR.
"Kirk—" he starts before stopping and amending: "Jim."
"You don't have to do this," Jim says with a sigh, turning around to give McCoy the most defeated look he had ever seen on the young man's face. Of all the things he's amounted Jim Kirk to, of all the illicit things he's assumed and contrived about this man nothing does he loathe more than that expression of such abject failure. Yet, Jim is beautiful, too, in the expression of such raw emotion. His gold scrubs have acquired a few stains, one of which McCoy is sure is a patient's emesis, but he paints such a portrait of struggle and triumph that it nearly takes McCoy's breath away.
It does enough to make him fall into a dumb stupid silence that Jim takes as a confirmation of some kind, his young body slumping further into a tired slouch. "No!" McCoy blurts out, raising his hand. "I mean, why?" He actually isn't sure what he means but the axons in his brain aren't firing right and his tongue has kind of gone numb. Cataloguing symptoms is always something that he's found soothing but now it's an annoying buzz in his head he just can't stop.
"You hate me," Jim clarifies with certainty and McCoy can't repress his wince. "I don't hold it against you, I guess, I mean I must seem like a real prick to you." He pulls a face, the bridge of his nose crinkling and the curve of his mouth takes a crooked dip downward. It's the expression McCoy often sees directed at him from down a hall. "Because I did pull some strings and use charm and my good looks so I could get assigned anywhere but the ER for as long as possible just because I am too chickenshit to deal with—" he seems to lose the words and gestures helplessly at the blood and vomit on his clothing.
He sighs, again, the sound is harsh and the defeated look returns to his face full force. "So, go ahead," he concludes with and awkward wave of his arms stiffly outward from his body. "Point and laugh at me for getting what I deserve. I know you want to."
McCoy wants to do a lot of things right now, a few involving Jim, but none of them involve laughing. He instead gives his head a shake and clears the space between them in a few quick steps. "Jim," he begins as forcefully as he can manage even though it's hard to ignore Jim's shocked expression from this close or diagnosis the obvious signs of self neglect are made glaringly apparent in the harsh fluorescents of the OR. "I honestly don't know you. I am a cruel and judgmental bastard who was jealous of the pretty boy who got all the nurses to like him more than me. That was pretty stupid of me, I'll admit it.
"Another reason I mistakenly disliked you was because I didn't think you were qualified to be here," he continues guiltily. "I thought you were some cocky kid who, like so many others, just wanted to get into the medical career track because it paid well. I thought you didn't care." McCoy sighs and presses the palm of his head to his forehead. "I'm sorry for that, really I am, all the way down to my bones. Tonight you've proven that you're more than I could have ever expected because, you know what?" Jim, much to McCoy's surprised, actually seemed to be hanging onto every word of his malformed speech and actually shook his head a little in response.
"Tonight I would have given up on George Winston," he says and Jim's mouth visibly tightens into a thin line. "I would have never of fought as hard as you had the second the EMTs told me about the shock. But you didn't give up and I think…I think that means a lot, Jim."
"I don't believe in no-win situations," Jim replies quietly. His eyes fall away for the briefest of seconds before they come back up to meet McCoy's dead on. "It didn't fucking save him, though. Did it?"
"No," McCoy answers sadly and reaches up to rest a hand on Jim's shoulder. The heat of the body beneath the dirty scrubs warms his normally cool hand almost instantly. "But Mr. Winston had a family and they're going to be glad to know someone fought so hard for him."
Jim seems to consider this and McCoy actually holds his breath. "Yeah," Jim says and there's confidence in it. "Okay."
"Good man, now we've—" Before McCoy can even think of finishing that thought he's got an armful of crusty intern squeezing him tight. "Uh?"
"Thanks, Bones," Jim pulls away with a smile that McCoy can classify as a beaming without much difficulty. "I mean it."
"Sure, anytime," he says and reaches up without much awkwardness to ruffle Jim's hair. It earns him the most withering look he's gotten in a long time, startling a laugh out of him.
Jim grabs McCoy's hand and gives it a firm shake. "Friends?"
more pre-slash than anything.