Title: Used To
Pairing: McCoy-centric, Reaper!McCoy/Kirk
Summary: It's been a long time, and Jim doesn't know how to handle it.
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,222
Warnings: Excessive introspection? Nah, I don't write stuff bad enough to warrant a warning.
Fandom: post-Star Trek XI, post-Doom crossover
A/N: Wow, it's been an awful long time, hasn't it? Sorry to everyone who was waiting on this. I probably shouldn't have posted the prologue then nothing after that, which was a mistake. Things just got really hectic around here. Between all my college applications and schoolwork, marching band was piled on top of that along with getting into all-state band. Excuses, excuses I know. On the bright side, I got the DVD of the Star Trek movie for Christmas, so I can finally watch it in HD versus pirated on the Internetz. Good times.

We used to have this figured out;
We used to breathe without a doubt.
When nights were clear, you were the first star that I'd see.
We used to have this under control.
We never thought.
We used to know.
At least there's you, and at least there's me.
Can we get this back?
Can we get this back to how it used to be?

Used To – Daughtry

Why is it totally not surprising at all that Jim has managed to once again find himself under McCoy's scalpel? Jim always had a predilection for injury, even before they put him in charge of the biggest fucking playground in the universe with license to go wild. John can count on one hand, ONE HAND, the amount of times he'd come back from an away mission without an injury. The kid was like a walking advertisement for Starfleet doctors – come, join us. Fix broken idiots like this one, earn a fucking commendation medal. That medal now resided somewhere behind his desk in his quarters, gathering dust. Though, techniquly speaking, it had been earned for saving Captain – Admiral, he corrects himself – Pike. Not that it mattered.

Regardless. Jim's stable now, thanks to McCoy. The nurses are giving him that frank look of admiration again, and John escapes into a nearby men's room to escape. Yes. He's that lame, escaping into bathrooms. But at this point, he's got to get his head on straight, or he'll never be able to make it through however many more operations he needs to.

It takes a few minutes, but he's good enough that he can go back out there. It's a sad thing though – that a not quite fully functioning and half drunk Leonard McCoy is a better doctor then most of the completely alert ones out there. Kind of pathetic. He's a modest man by birth, not to mention habit – after all, he's never wanted to stand out too much for fear of discovery – but sometimes the complete ineptness of the other medical staff frustrates him to no end.

John slips quietly into the medical room where Jim is sleeping, and does a double take when he realizes that the Captain's roommate is Scotty, bandaged almost as much as Jim is, sleeping fitfully. The miniscule sound of the door closing jolts him to full alertness, and the Scotsman's eyes dart around the room fearfully, before he relaxes upon seeing McCoy. "Doct'ah! It's a relief tae see you, ye kin be sure." The heavy Scottish accent hasn't changed one bit in the year since he's seen them last, and somehow, that's relieving in a way seeing them all again wasn't. Things don't always change, and he's seen too much change over the course of his lifetime.

"Scotty." John can't stop the small smile the works its way across his face. "It's good to see you. What happened?" The exuberant grin on the engineer's face dimmed slightly. "Nasty business, that." He scoffs, and then winces as he settles back funny on his hip. "We were stoppin' by Earth tae pic' up an amb'ssador." John could imagine how much Jim loved that. "And the captain and myself came down in tae shuttle, leaving Mr. Spock up in charge. Only, tae shuttle was attac'ed." The Scot's face was grim. "Turns out t'at some people were nay too pleased wit' us." Understatement.

A rare smile crosses John's face. He quickly masks it behind his usual gruff demeanor. "Well, at least ya'll escaped." He said. "I'm going to administer a sedative Scotty, you need to rest for your body to properly heal."

"Aye Doct'ah." The engineer answers, containing a wince when the hypospray is administered. He slumps back, peaceful in sleep. John sticks the hypospray back into the pocket of his lab coat, going back to stand beside Jim's bed where the captain sleeps fitfully. "Dammit Jim." He says softly, though without any real heat behind the words. Unable to help himself, John reaches forward to gently smooth a lock of hair off of the captain's face. "Still getting into trouble I see." John whispers, sinking into the chair beside the bed. "I miss you, you bastard. I can't decide if leaving Enterprise was the best decision I ever made, or the worst mistake of my long life." He continues, knowing that no one can hear him, but it's comforting to tell Jim nonetheless.

He quietly leaves the room to check on his other patients.

When Jim wakes up, it's in an unfamiliar room, not his own Sickbay whose every dent or scratch in the walls or ceiling he has memorized by now. The second thought that passes through his mind is that Bones has been here. He can't say exactly how he knows, but he does. His heart constricts painfully. The sharp pain that lances through every time he thinks of the doctor has dulled, but it's there as more of a persistent and lingering ache that refuses to go away – particularly when he's injured and in Sickbay. Under the scalpel of Doctor Allen, rather then the one man he trusts to always have him in one piece. It hadn't helped his psyche any that while the new CMO was female; she was also as no-nonsense and gruff as Bones.

Not one bit.

Jim's almost positive that if he hadn't blurted those fateful words out in anger and desperation, he probably could have convinced Bones to stay. But he'd nailed his own coffin shut once they'd left his mouth, and he'd been regretting it ever since. It had taken them close to four years to get to the point they'd been at, and only a few days for Jim to lose it all.

People didn't stick around. That had been one lesson he'd taken from life, and one lesson he wasn't easily going to forget. Everyone he'd ever let close in anyway had left him, except for Bones. Jim had honestly thought the doctor was different, that he would be the one to break the streak. Apparently not. Though, if Jim was being honest with himself, it was his own damn fault for pushing John away. Bones had trusted him enough to confide his deepest secret, one that would get him stuck in a lab somewhere and dissected and analyzed, and Jim had thrown it all away with a few careless words.

But somehow, they'd managed to find each other again. Jim was determined not to screw this second chance up – he never gets second chances as a rule. It's very rare that anything in life goes his way, and only since he got the Enterprise has things begun to fall into place. And then in a moment of stupidity, he'd lost the single most important thing in his life. Bones had wormed his way into the reluctant blonde's heart, even before they'd become so much more. And while he didn't know if Bones felt the same way, Jim knew he was one little dependant fuck up. Since Bones left, he'd been miserable and a screw up.

His normally, if not perfect at least passable, diplomatic skills had spiraled into dismal-ville, forcing Jim to leave Spock in charge of negotiations or diplomacy except when unavoidable. The whole ship had noticed the change in their normally affable and genial captain, and rumors abounded about the exact nature of the relationship between the captain and their former CMO, and what had caused McCoy to leave. Jim couldn't bring himself to care.

The door to the room whooshed open quietly, and Jim's eyes snapped to the door. The profile outlined by the light from the hallway was as familiar as breathing to the young captain, and Jim forgot to breathe for a moment.