Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek. I own nothing interesting. All I've got is my bones, must be why I like McCoy so much.

Through A Mirror Darkly

Captain's Quarters 1800

The first three days of Kirk's recovery were, much to McCoy's relief, uneventful. Of course that might have something to do with the fact that Kirk had been pumped so full of antihistamines that he'd slept through the first seventy or so hours. McCoy hadn't been sure if he should smile or brace for impact when Kirk's eyes met his without the fevered haze that had accompanied his waking moments previously. He was fairly certain that Kirk would be annoyed at the fact that McCoy had transported him to their quarters while he was unconscious instead of pumping his already taxed system with stimulants so that he could walk under his own power. It wouldn't do, after all to have the captain appear weak, never mind the fact that he'd almost died less than a week ago.

Kirk took the water that McCoy offered him, and swallowed gladly letting it moisten his dry throat. "How long was I out?"

"Three days. The crew is under the impression that the reason you've not been seen is that I won't let you leave our quarters. Your reputation is getting quite a boost, if half the rumors Uhura has told me are actually making the rounds."

Kirk's lips quirked up in a smile. "Really now, what's scuttlebutt saying about us this time?"

McCoy blushed profusely causing Kirk's smile to widen. "Well apparently the latest rumor is that I'm a nymphomaniac and have you tied to the bed. According to that one Spock is giving us to the end of the week to complete our illogical human mating ritual." Kirk chuckled only to wince as the action pulled on the still tender muscles of his abdomen.

"Sorry about that. The cocktail that jackass used on you was particularly nasty, and the antidotes don't mix well with the regen process, particularly with your immune system."

Kirk winced, then set his jaw. "So the old fashioned way it is then." Kirk lifted the blanket and grimaced when he saw the catheter. "Get rid of this thing would you. I plan to hit the head, shower, and eat a horse."

McCoy shook his head even as he was gathering the tools needed to remove the catheter. "You can lose the catheter, and we can work something out with the shower. No horse though. The primary side effect of your meds is nausea. And trust me, you only think that laughing hurt. Where that injury is throwing up would be decidedly unpleasant. We'll start you on clear liquids, and if you handle those ok we'll work you up towards a horse."

McCoy noticed that Kirk was as close to pouting as he'd ever seen him, but he didn't move away from him as he removed the catheter or checked the wound. In short order McCoy had removed all the tubes and was supporting Kirk as he slowly walked to the bathroom. He called Yeoman Rand for a change of sheets while they were showering. Then he helped steady Kirk so he didn't fall over while he was attending to his business. Kirk swayed on his feet on the way to the shower, and McCoy lent him a strong shoulder. "I hate this."

"I know you do, but you'll be back to killing Klingons before you know it. For now let's get you that shower, and then it's back to bed with you." He pulled Kirk into the shower and dutifully ignored the fact that he leaned heavily against the cool tiles. He swatted Kirk's hands away from the soap, and taking it in his own hand began to wash away the grime left behind by several days' sponge baths.

Kirk tilted his head back into McCoy's hands and sighed at the feeling of his fingers massaging shampoo into his scalp. After a moment of relaxation, he seemed to force himself back to alertness, or as close to it as he was likely to get at the moment. "So how long am I in for this time warden?" The attempt at levity fell flat, as Kirk seemed to be having a hard time keeping his eyes open, much less emitting the bad ass vibe that he normally pulled off in Med Bay when demanding to be released.

"Oh, about another week and a half." Kirk looked ready to argue, and McCoy held up a hand to forestall any complaints. "You have a complicated, nasty stab wound. One that I'm being forced to let heal naturally, because if I accelerate it, I risk putting you into shock again. So the crew will just have to deal with Spock until you're mended to my satisfaction."

Kirk raised an eyebrow. "I wasn't gonna complain, you're doing wonders for our reputations, keeping me locked in here all to yourself. Good thing we're on exploratory missions to that empty star system, since you've decided that you simply have to have me right now." Kirk attempted a wink, and McCoy snorted.

"There will be no having of anybody in this room for at least a week, maybe more. I catch you doing anything that'll bust those stitches open, I really will tie you to the damn bed."

"Always knew you were a kinky bastard, Bones." During this banter, McCoy had finished shampooing Kirk's hair and lathering up his body. So in lieu of a response he tugged Kirk under the water, washing away the last traces of soap, before stepping out of the shower and wrapping him in a fluffy towel.

"You doing ok? Room spinning? Dizzy? Nauseous?" McCoy studied the man before him, and seemed to be testing the wisdom of letting him stand on his own two feet.

Kirk shook his head agitatedly. "I'm fine, just exhausted. What the hell are you giving me?"

"Heavy pain killers, and antihistamines. Now, back to bed with you, we've got some nice ginger ale with your name on it waiting in the other room."

"Don't want ginger ale." Kirk grumbled.

"I know you're hungry, if the ginger ale doesn't come right back up, we'll move on to jello. I'll get you up to real food as soon as I can, but I'm not doing you any favors by pushing it and letting you get sick."

As he helped Kirk get situated in the bed and brought the ginger ale, Kirk pinned him with a what he'd almost call a pitiful look. "At least tell me that the lucky bastard who got this cheap shot in is suffering?"

"He's dead actually. Didn't make it through a day with Chekov, of course the wonder kid was pretty pissed off at him."

"Got to teach him not to give into the anger, he kills people too quickly when he's angry. Sets a bad precedent."

"I wouldn't worry about that right now. Just relax, and let your meds do what they're supposed to do, ok." After taking the mostly empty ginger ale away from Kirk, McCoy gathered a clean bandage and some antiseptic. "This is going to be a little cold, but it shouldn't hurt. If anything feels strange, tell me alright?" As Kirk nodded, McCoy disinfected the wound, applied some additional healing gel, and covered the whole thing with a loose bandage.

"There now, all done. You going to behave and get some rest, or do I need to get the ropes out?"

Kirk gave a tired shrug. "Depends."

"On what?" McCoy asked, warring with his urge to be snarky with the man. It wouldn't do to let Kirk know that he'd been worried sick about him.

"If you stay with me." Kirk patted the bed beside him and gave him a hopefully look.

McCoy crossed his arms over his chest, and pinned Kirk with a serious medical business look. "I meant what I said earlier. No sex for at least a week, maybe longer."

"Doesn't mean you can't stay with me. Bed's too cold without you in it." And damn if those partially slurred words, and those hopeful blue eyes didn't melt his heart, no matter how much he decidedly did not want to have feelings for James T. Kirk. He'd made do on the sofa or in the chair for the past few days when he'd been monitoring Kirk, and though he'd bite his own tongue off before he'd admit it, he had missed sleeping beside him.

"Alright, I'll be your human hot water bottle. But no funny business that could pop those stitches."

Kirk grunted something that sounded like assent, then he tugged McCoy onto the bed. "Enough with the worrying. Here I am trying to follow my doctor's orders and get some rest, and my pillows being all grumbly."

"Go to sleep, Jim. You'll feel better when you wake up."

Captain's Quarters 1200

Much to McCoy's every regret, he was right. Kirk did feel better when he woke. Well enough, in fact, to begin the familiar refrain of how bored he was on bed rest. "But, Bones, I'm bored."

"You've been awake less than a day. You've already worked your way up to solid foods, which is a small miracle in and of itself. I'm not letting you take a walk around the ship. I don't care if you are bored, or if you take your pet hobgoblin with you!"

"There's no need to yell." Kirk gave an injured sniff, and wouldn't make eye contact in a way he knew would make McCoy feel like an ass.

He grabbed Kirk's chin and tugged until Kirk's gaze met his own. "Alright, let's get this over with now. What'll it take for you to rest, take your medicine, and not drive me crazy?"

Kirk raised an eyebrow. "Why doctor, if I didn't know better, I'd swear you were offering me a bribe."

"Nice to see that you're aware enough to recognize it for what it is, now what do you want?"

Kirk gave him an appraising glance. "I'm not going to make any long term promises, but for the moment." He paused. "Ice cream and a story."

McCoy arched an eyebrow and looked down at the man in slight disbelief. "Ice cream and a story? So you're twelve now?"

"Never said it had to be a kid's story. There's a ton of stuff I don't know about you. So, story and ice cream, and I won't try to bust out of here for at least two hours."

McCoy arched an eyebrow. "Six."

Kirk waited a beat, seeming to consider the offer. "Four."

McCoy sighed, pinched the bridge on his nose, and ceded the point. "Fine, four, what kind of ice cream do you want?"

AN: Greetings gentle readers. I hope that you enjoyed this chapter. I'll do my best to update more frequently, but for the moment my free time is rather limited. As always thanks for reading, and please do let me know if you're enjoying the story. I'm also posting on AO3 now, feel free to come visit me, folks are mighty quiet over there.

Next up: Just because Kirk can't partake in his favorite activity, doesn't mean that he's going to neglect McCoy's needs.