A/N - Ok, so I know I should be working on Come Back to Me, Spock but I've been in a mood for Kirk/McCoy and since I finished Vulnerability and Attempt Series, I decided to start another one. I'm not sure if this one is going to stay a one shot or continue…you guys let me know. Enjoy!

Leonard "Bones" McCoy sat in his dorm room and munched on an apple that he had picked up after a debriefing that he had been summoned to concerning the Narada incident. It was been two weeks since the young and untried crew of the U.S.S Enterprise had saved Earth under the command of Jim Kirk and things had changed forever.

Over half of their class was gone and several respected and experienced crews were nothing but atoms floating in the vastness of space. An entire planet had been destroyed because of a future event that could not be stopped; a once thriving race was now endangered because a grief-driven Romulun had wanted payback for something an aging Vulcan could not prevent. The entirety of Star Fleet Academy was mourning those that were lost and the whole Federation was trying to pull itself together after such a massive loss.

But there were few things to celebrate, even if they were far between. Jim's field promotion was going to become permanent and he was going to captain the Enterprise. McCoy was going to stay on as the ship's Chief Medical Officer and the other members of their class were going to keep their postings as well. The only one that was still up in the air was Spock, but the only time that he was seen was at the meetings held to decide that fate of the Enterprise's crew.

McCoy took another bite of his apple and his mind continued to wander until it settled on the thought of Jim. Jim was another person that he hadn't seen unless it was at a meeting; this was unusual because Jim normally spent every waking moment at McCoy's side. They had become somewhat of a legend at the Academy; Jim, the gorgeous, reckless, rebel son of a cherished hero while McCoy was always at his side, talking sense into him and patching him up when his words had no effect. Sometimes they were even called the Dynamic Duo because they were together so often.

The Doctor smiled softly and looked at the other side of his room. Jim's side was spotless as normal. The bed was made and the corner of the comforter was turned down and the paper books that Jim was so fond of were on their shelves in alphabetical order. Even though Jim had trouble sleeping anywhere else he had hardly been here since they had returned to Earth and McCoy was really beginning to worry.

He threw what was left of his apple into the trash bin and got up, stretching his arms above his head. Silently, with one last look at Jim's bed, he made his way to their bathroom and got out of his uniform taking a shower. McCoy let the sonics move over his body and he let himself relax, pushing all morbid thoughts from his mind. He stayed in the shower longer than necessary, but when he got out he pulled on a pair of black sweats and settled himself under his covers and looked at the other bed again. "Dammit, Jim," McCoy closed his eyes, determined to hunt down Jim tomorrow. After all, tomorrow was the kid's promotion ceremony.

At 1600 hours the Enterprise crew and what remained of their class were seated in the auditorium and McCoy could see Jim sitting in the front. The blonde's back was straight and his hands were folded in his lap, wringing together to try and squash the nerves. McCoy would bet anything that Jim was biting his lip right about now, though no one else would notice because that kid did things like that subtly. Jim couldn't stand letting other people see him as anything but cocky and assured, but McCoy knew better.

The Doctor sat through the ceremony and stood up at the end ready to clap as loud as he could for the man that had saved his life, his daughter's life, and the world. But when Jim turned around and looked at the crowd that was cheering for him, McCoy saw the emptiness in those vivid blue eyes. His hands came together in a slow clap and for just a second his eyes locked with Jim's. In that single moment he could see the loss and the pain that was building up in the Captain, but before he could give him any kind of single Jim was looking somewhere else.

McCoy didn't get to see him right after the ceremony; Jim was surrounded by the admiralty and his peers. Again, they made eye contact, McCoy willing him to come to the room tonight. All he got was a nod in return but that was enough. McCoy made his way to the dorm and when he got there straightened his side up so Jim would feel a little more comfortable; Jim never said it but when the place was clean he felt safer. He still didn't know why but right now McCoy was going to do everything he could to make sure that Jim was okay.

He changed out of his cadet reds and into the sweats he wore to bed and a t-shirt before sitting on the edge of his bed. McCoy ran his fingers through his hair and tried to get the anguished look that had been on Jim's face out of his head. He laid down and closed his eyes, but nothing he thought of could push it away. Eventually he fell asleep, happier times floating around in his mind as he waited for Jim to come home.

His eyes blinked open when the door swished open. McCoy sat up and saw Jim looking at him, but the blank look on his face made the Doctor's stomach drop. "Jim,"

He got up and closed the small gap between and put his hands on Jim's arms, "Jim?" His heart clenched when Jim just looked at him out of far-seeing eyes.

"Bones," Jim's voice was soft and distant and the pain in McCoy's chest doubled at the sound of it.

McCoy wrapped his arms around Jim, "I gotcha kid." For once, McCoy noticed, Jim didn't shrug him off and try to say that he was ok. The younger man rested his head on McCoy's shoulder and let out a weary sigh.

He undid Jim's red coat and set it on a chair before laying Jim down on his bed. McCoy walked to the other side and settled himself behind Jim, wrapping his arms around him. Normally, this small ritual occurred twice a year; Christmas and Jim's birthday. They would lay on one of their beds and just hold each other till the day passed. Neither spoke of it, it was enough to just know that they were there for each other.

McCoy watched as Jim turned around in his arms and just looked at him out of vacant eyes. He watched as Jim's eyes went over his face, tracing his features as they took him in. The Doctor only pulled him closer when Jim put his face in the crook of his neck and he could feel Jim taking in his scent as if it was the last thing that he was ever going to experience.

"So many people, Bones," Jim whispered and closed his eyes. McCoy just ran his fingers through Jim's hair and let him talk it out. "So many that we couldn't save…that I couldn't save.

"Almost everyone is telling me that I did this great thing and that I should be proud of what I did. I didn't do anything great Bones," Jim continued softly. "I stormed the bridge, took advantage of a guy that lost his planet and his mother, and acted like a reckless bastard. I could have killed everyone on this ship…I almost did."

Jim clung to McCoy as if he was all that he had left and McCoy had to remind himself that he was. In the two weeks that they had been back there hadn't been a word from Jim's mother, step-father, or brother. No long distant relative had come out of the wood work to tell him that they were proud of him. Jim had been on his own for so long and knew how to mask the pain that it was easy for anyone to forget his past.

He pressed his lips to Jim's temple and ran his hands over Jim's back soothing, his fingers running over scars that had been there long before Jim knew McCoy. "Jim, you were great up there. I felt safe with you in command and I think most of the ship did to.

"I know you didn't do everything on your own and I won't pretend that you were…nice about how you got command," he couldn't help but smile against Jim's temple when he felt Jim's lips curl up slightly, "but you did what you needed to do. And you saved billions of people. And I'll never be able to thank you for saving my little girl."

McCoy pulled back slightly as Jim shifted and looked into his eyes. "I'm a selfish asshole, Bones,"

"Jim, you put your life on the line to save the ship…to save Earth,"

Jim just shook his head, "No, that's not why I did it Bones," He sat up and brought his knees closer to his body. Jim leaned over and rested his arms on his legs and his eyes looked out the window, staring at the candles that surrounded the flag pole. "I did it because I needed to know that you'd be ok…that your little girl was here for you to see when you got back. I didn't care about the rest of them, hell I didn't even care about getting revenge for my father at that point. I needed to know that you'd be alive and happy. That's all that really mattered."

McCoy propped himself up on an elbow and watched the man sitting next to him, "I wouldn't call you a selfish bastard for wanting someone to be happy."

Jim sighed and ran his fingers through short, blonde hair. "I wanted to make you because…if I make you happy you won't leave like the rest of them. If I make you happy maybe you'll stay instead of running off looking for something better."

The Doctor's jaw dropped slightly and he sat up. Jim was tense and he didn't move an inch; this man would never cease to surprise him. He put on one hell of a show. To the world he was a cocky, thick-headed, and reckless kid that couldn't live up to his father's name, but to McCoy he was different.

To McCoy, Jim was smart, generous, brave, and someone that anyone would be proud to have as a son. It was that moment that McCoy swore to himself that he would never leave Jim behind, that he would never walk away and say that he was too good for Jim.

He sat behind Jim and pulled him against his chest, resting his head on his shoulder. "I'm not gonna leave you Jim, I promise." McCoy felt Jim relax against him and he pressed his lips to Jim's temple. "Never leave you."

"They all said that. They all saw me as a waste of flesh, the one that should have died instead of dad. It's never enough Bones. No matter what I do its never enough." He moved into McCoy when the Doctor's arms wrapped around his waist and his hands rubbed his sides.

McCoy went to speak but Jim started talking again and he let him get it all out. "My mom sent me to Tarsus, did I ever tell you that?"

He pulled Jim closer to him and kissed his shoulder gently, his hands rubbing soothing circles on his stomach and urged him on silently.

"After I drove the car off the cliff, she didn't want Frank to have to deal with me anymore so she sent me away. After the fungus hit I did what I had to do to survive and I protected a few kids." Jim let his head fall back on McCoy's shoulder and he kept talking, McCoy still pressing gentle kisses along the side of his throat.

"I had ten kids depending on me, Bones…ten." Jim started shaking and McCoy shushed him gently.

"It's okay Jim,"

"Only one survived," Jim whispered softly. "I still keep tabs on him and he gets in contact with me once in a while to see how I am. He lost his whole family on that damn planet."


Jim nodded and looked at McCoy, "I could have saved them Bones, but I wouldn't give into Kodos. Not until it was too late." He was silent for a moment, collecting his thoughts and willing himself to stop shaking. "When I got back to Earth my mom wasn't there to pick me up and neither was Frank. Star Fleet dropped me off at home and Frank was there…drunk off his ass.

"My mom never called to see if I was okay and Frank never asked. It was like they wanted me to die on that planet. I wasn't worth shit to them and the only reason Star Fleet wants me around is because I'm the pretty boy son of a hero that helped save Earth. I'm not worth shit to anyone."

McCoy growled, cursing Frank, Jim's mother, and Star Fleet for making Jim feel like this. This man had done more than all of them combined and he felt like he was lower than dirt, let himself believe it. He pulled Jim flush against him and whispered in his ear.

"Listen to me, dammit. You are worth ten of them…each of them." he whispered harshly. "The Earth wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you, Joanna wouldn't and I wouldn't. And I don't think that I could live in a world without you in it. I'm here for you Jim, as your doctor and your friend. I'll get you through anything that I can."

He took a deep breath and nuzzled Jim's neck slowly. "I love you, Jim…don't you ever forget that."

McCoy felt Jim shift and he let the younger man pull away from him. When Jim turned to face him all McCoy saw was hope and fear. "Bones, don't say stuff like that - "

"I'm not saying it to make you feel better, Jim. "I won't leave you and I'll kill anyone who tries to take you away from me."

Finally, Jim let out a real and familiar laugh, albeit soft. "Promise?"

"Yeah," he whispered, his eyes locked on Jim's face. "Love ya - "

Jim launched across the short distant between them and kissed McCoy desperately. His need for affection was palpable and McCoy denied him nothing. The kiss soon went from intense and needy to slow and careful. They were now laying on the bed, McCoy's body partly on Jim's, securing him in place and keeping him safe from the outside world.

They pulled apart after what seemed like hours and even through Jim's smile McCoy could see that the exhaustion was setting in, "Get some sleep kid."

"You know, you can't call me kid anymore."

McCoy laid next to him and pulled the blankets up over them. "Oh, why is that?"

"Well, one because I'm your Captain, and two it makes you sound like a dirty old man."

McCoy rolled his eyes and pulled Jim to him, there bodies fitting together perfectly. "Get some rest Jim, I'll kick your ass for that statement in the morning."

"Afternoon. I haven't slept in a week," Jim pressed against his chest and placed his face in the crook of McCoy's neck.

"Alright, just get some sleep," McCoy kissed his head and sat there as Jim's breathing relaxed and slowed into a steady pace. He knew that he cared for Jim, but he never really considered that he loved the kid until the words came spilling out tonight; he had never thought that he would say those words again after the divorce.

But than again, Jim Kirk made McCoy feel things he never thought he could feel and remember things that he didn't want to remember. He knew they had only scratched the surface of Jim's past, but with time they'd sort it out. McCoy would make him see that he was worth something to someone more than just an old-country doctor.

McCoy also knew that by diving into Jim's past, his own ugly one was going to resurface and he didn't know if he was ready for that to happen. After all, he had promised Jim that he wouldn't leave him, but Jim hadn't made that promise in return.

He closed his eyes and took in the scent of Jim and the feel of his body pressed against his. He would find out soon enough, and he could only hope that he was right about Jim and that Jim needed him as much as McCoy needed Jim.

A/N - Ok, so should a couple of questions for you guys. Should I continue this, is this something that you'd like to keep reading? Also, I've been on a big Doom kick, like watching it a couple times a week (don't know why but I love that movie), anyway, I'm thinking of making this a Reaper!Bones fic, but I'm not sure if I could pull it off. If its something you'd like to see let me know. It probably wouldn't be a typical Reaper!Bones, but who knows. I've never tried it.

So drop me a line and let me know what you think about the chapter, and the questions if you guys want me to continue this. Thanks!