a/n: This is my first ever K/Mc story. Apparently the world as I know it is coming to an end? (And it's not even 2012.) Since I am a dyed-in-the-wool K/S girl. Hmm…but this story demanded to be written so I did. Hope you enjoy!

V – Those Damn Cats

Dr. Leonard McCoy hated cats. He wasn't scared of them and woe-be-tide to the person who made the mistake of claiming that he was. He hated cats. He hated the sneaky way they walked without making a sound, the way their eyes never gave away what they were thinking, the way their tails waved in that elegant, mysterious, disdainful way that made them seem superior to all other sentient lifeforms.

His hatred of cats was long-standing and ingrained. While he had been in Med School, busy becoming a doctor, his ex-wife was busy becoming the latest Crazy Cat Woman of Georgia. At one point, there were at least 20 cats living in and around their house, cats he had to wade through every time he came home from class or clinical. And he hated them. Every Damn One of Them. When the baby came, there were fewer cats that called their house home but still too many for his taste. He was pretty sure his intolerance for cats was just one more reason she was his ex-wife. And for that he supposed he should be grateful to those stupid felines.

When Jim was trying to decide whether or not to allow the crew of the Enterprise to have pets, he had asked Bones if he would be willing to treat them. Starfleet was not going to supply starships with vets which meant the doctors already on board would have to be willing to treat the cats and dogs. Tricorders would be configured to diagnose any animal- related illnesses, and appropriate supplies and medications would be provided to all ships that were going to take advantage of the new regulation. Bones reluctantly agreed that he and his staff would care for the animals, although if any cats were taken ill, he'd have a hard time feeling anything but apathy.

That changed as soon as Spock and Uhura arrived one day cradling Takov, the small tabby they had adopted at Spock's insistent although he would deny it to his last Vulcan breath. Takov had been injured when the ship had lost warp drive in the middle of space and came to a crashing halt. Once MedBay had seen to all the Human injuries, a dozen or so crewmembers quietly entered, requesting assistance for their pets. Takov had broken her back leg and was being extremely cooperative and stoic as McCoy diagnosed and treated her, Spock and Uhura hovering close but not interfering. Once her tiny orange and brown stripped leg was set and bandaged to support her weight, she was returned to her grateful parents, Uhura gracing him with a light, delicate kiss on the cheek before he grumbled at her and shooed them both out with a reminder to bring Takov back in a week so he could check her progress.

Any of his staff who had witnessed the interchange or the softening of his expression as he treated Takov were wise enough to pretend they had not seen or heard a thing. Because they were subjected to the rough side of his tongue enough without bringing down his fury on their own heads. And once Uhura, Spock, and Takov were out of MedBay, Bones returned to complaining about those damn cats and their damn fur and that damn deranged teen-ager who was Captain of this damn ship and didn't have the sense of a damn flea.

IV - Disease and Danger Wrapped in Darkness and Silence

He figured he was fated to die in space. If only because he hated it so much. When he'd decided to seek refuge in Starfleet after The Divorce, he had imagined he'd end up working in their headquarters on Earth - safe, solid Earth. San Francisco was beautiful and he could definitely warm up the idea of spending his remaining years there, maybe in a quaint Victorian overlooking the Bay.

But no. Nero shows up and all cadets are sent warping into space. And when one James T. Kirk ends up being made Captain of the same starship McCoy had snuck him onto, how could he look at the way-too-blue eyes and the way-too-happy smile of his best friend and say no when Kirk asked if he would be his CMO? God he wanted to tell the kid no. But he knew before Jim finished his question that he had no choice but to yes so why was Bones even pretending he had to consider it? If he died in space, it would be Jim Kirk's fault and they both knew it.

III – Was the Subject Subject To Further Treatment and/or Follow-up Care?

Who wrote the standard Starfleet Medical Recording Record Form that had to be filed every single time a crewmember showed up for treatment? A room full of monkeys on computers? Because they sure weren't written by anyone with a basic grasp of Standard. Had they been written in Klingon, translated into Mandarin Chinese, and then and only then translated into Standard?

He was sure he spent three-fourths of his time filling out forms for the tiny percentage of time he spent actually seeing to his patients. McKenna from Engineering accidentally split his thumbnail all the way down. That was two forms – the Starfleet Incident Report Form explaining how it had happened, and the Starfleet Medical Recording Record Form. McCoy was responsible for completing both despite his contention that Scotty was better equipped to "describe the situation in which the incident being described occurred." "Was all standard safety precautions adhered to according to the regulations pertaining to the standard safety precautions of the work being undertaken prior to the occurrence of the incident that occurred?" Sure. I guess?

As bad as the Starfleet Incident Report Form was, the Starfleet Medical Recording Record Form was even worse, which was hard to believe.

_____At the time of the incident, was the subject performing his/her standard assignment to which he/she is assigned on a standard rotation of assignments?

_____If the subject is deceased, was a standard autopsy preformed providing the subject's religion/ethics/spiritual beliefs/moral code/sect/articles of faith do not forbid, exclude, preclude, or consider taboo the undertaking of an autopsy?

_____At the time of the autopsy, was the subject deceased?

_____Was the subject present during the entire time the treatment of the injury was undertaken?

_____Did the subject survive the injuries for which he/she was originally treated and/or was the subject subject to further treatment or follow-up care?

_____This form is to be signed and approved by the ship's Chief Medical Officer, the Captain, and the direct superior of the injured individual unless the injured individual is one of the above named, in which case, in the event of incapacitation, any two signatures will suffice providing a written explanation for the lack of the third required signature is provided by the person who was incapable of signing the form as required.

And Starfleet had the nerve to ask why so many of their CMOs seemed to have a problem with alcohol? The only problem Leonard McCoy had with it was that there was never enough of it for him to finish filling out all those damn forms.

II – Yearly Crew Physicals Are Mandatory and Not Voluntary, Especially for the Captain

"You are the goddam Captain. Didn't you have to memorize all the regulations before they handed you the keys to this starship? Wasn't there some sort of test you had to take?" Bones demanded when he finally cornered his recalcitrant Captain in the Observation Lounge, Spock along as back-up.

"Starships do not technically have 'keys,' Doctor," Spock so very unhelpfully pointed out, making Bones turn his scowl momentarily from Jim to Spock.

"You've done everybody else's physical already?" Jim asked, skeptical that the Medical staff could have finished in just six days. Because he had apparently promised he'd come for his when everyone else was examined and declared fit for continued duty.

"Yes I said. Stop being such a damned infant," Bones said, staring at Jim with a familiar frown etched on his face.

"Can't you just fill out the form without all the fuss and bother? You know I'm fine. More than fine. Truly Awesome," Jim said with his trademark 100-watt smile.

Spock's only response was raising one eyebrow. Bones' response was a snort and a shake of his head. "I can relieve you of duty until you comply," Bones reminded him, pulling out the big guns.

"You can but you never would," Jim said, still smiling like some kind of idiot.

"Spock, are you prepared to assume command as of right now until further notice?" Bones asked, ignoring Jim's incredulous indignation and protests of mutiny.

"I am. I will be on the Bridge. I trust you will inform me when I am able to relinquish command," Spock said, also ignoring Jim who was becoming more and more vocal in his protests that they couldn't do that, not when he was standing right there and they had no legitimate reason for relieving him of command.

Spock left the Lounge, knowing that the doctor would win this battle of wills and he would be in command only briefly. As the door slid closed behind him, he once more heard the Captain claim he was going to bring them both up on charges of mutiny to which the doctor simply turned a deaf ear and dragged him bodily down the corridor to MedBay.

Bones didn't let go of his arm until they were in a private examining room, the door locked with the CMO code that would take even Jim at least half an hour to hack through. But he wouldn't have the time to concentrate on figuring out how to escape since Bones was locked inside with him.

"Take off all your clothes," Bones ordered, staring straight at him with a distinct 'don't make the mistake of messing me with right now' expression on his face.

"Don't you have some music you can play?" Jim smirked, not moving to comply.

"I have security on stand-by, Captain. You can remove your uniform or Cupcake can come do it for you," McCoy informed him, Jim's smile fading. "No, I'm not kidding."

Jim thought about protesting one more time but instead slowly removed his uniform, retaining his briefs until Bones pointed at those as well. "No way. Why do I have to remove my briefs?"

"Because I said so," McCoy replied, still staring holes into Jim until he finally pushed his briefs down and off. "Finally. On the biobed."

Jim climbed up on it, laying down feeling more vulnerable and naked than he really needed to. It wasn't like Bones didn't seem him naked all the time but the cold sterility of the exam room frankly gave him the creeps. "Can you talk to me, please?" Jim finally asked, one arm over his eyes as he waited.

"Of course. I'm sorry," Bones agreed sympathetically, one warm hand on Jim's stomach which helped slow his breathing. "I have no choice but to ask you all of the standard questions."

"Can't that wait until… after?" Jim asked quietly, not refusing, just not wanting to be quite so …naked any longer than absolutely necessary. What if there were a red alert? What if there were an emergency and Bones had to leave him? He'd quietly die if he were left alone in this exam room.

"Yeah, we'll wait until after," Bones agreed, waving the tricorder over Jim's suppine body. "Where did you get these bruises?" he asked from the vicinity of Jim's right thigh.


"What?" Bones asked, placing his hand on the finger shaped bruises and finding them a perfect match. "I'm sorry."

"I'm not. I didn't notice when you did it," Jim assured him. "We were both pretty…busy."

"I still should be more careful," Bones said, stroking the inside of his thigh as though to erase the marks he had left there.

Jim shrugged at that, lowering his arm to stare up at the ceiling. "Are there any crew problems I need to know about?"

Bones told him the few problems he had discovered, none of them a threat to the safety of the affected crewmembers or the effective running of Jim's starship.

"Good," Jim said, sitting up with Bones' permission when he had finished his poking and prodding. "What's that for?" Jim asked when Bones picked up a dreaded hypospray.

"Regulations, Captain. Vaccinations and boosters. You've had them before. They aren't going to make you sick."

"Can't I get dressed first? In case I do pass out or decide to puke my guts up?"

"Alright. You know you have to spread your legs and lean over the biobed," McCoy said as he retrieved the lubricant from the metal table in the corner.

"You check my prostate all the time. Last night for instance. Do you really have to do it now?" Jim protested.

Bones just sighed and stared at him in unhappiness.

"You know what's going to happen when you reach it," Jim warned, reluctantly spreading his legs and leaning on his elbows on the biobed.

"This room has no windows. The door's locked. You're technically relieved of duty. If it happens, I'll take care of it," Bones promised, one hand on his waist, one finger at the opening to his body. "You ready?"

"Yeah," Jim agreed, inhaling sharply when Bones reached his gland. "Oh God."

"Shhh…" Bones soothed, kissing Jim's neck where the color was rising.

"Stop kissing me," Jim groaned, looking down at his erection that was very much in favor of the attention being paid to his prostate.

"No," Bones responded, slowly withdrawing and turning Jim to face him. The next kiss was hot and welcome and as wonderful as they always were. "Can I have this?" Bones whispered against Jim's wet mouth, his hand wrapped around Jim's beautiful erection.

"Please," Jim agreed, staring at Bones with glazed blue eyes.

Bones nodded and helped Jim to sit on the edge of the biobed. Bones nuzzled his thighs further apart, before taking his weeping cock deep into his throat, bringing Jim to a fine orgasm that rocked him to his soul.

"What about you?" Jim whispered as Bones kissed his face while he tried to recover.

"I'm fine. You can pay me back tonight," Bones said, kissing his forehead after he had rinsed out his mouth.

"If I'm not passed out or still puking," Jim said, slowly sitting up and accepting his briefs and pants. When he had them on, he sat back on the biobed, turning his head so that Bones could give him the injections, four altogether. "I hate you. You know that, right?" he said when he had to lay down to make the room stop spinning.

"Yeah. I know. Too bad you didn't tell me that before I gave you a blow job," Bones said, completing more of the form on the PADD.

"What is all that?" Jim asked, slowly raising his head to see what Bones was doing.

"The standard questions. You still want me and Spock listed as your next-of-kin?"

"Yeah. Do I need to ask Spock?"

"I'll do it," Bones assured him, reading off the other questions it was mandatory to ask even though he could answer them without bothering. "Is your head still swimming?"

"No. So can I go?"

"Put your shirt on and you can go," Bones agreed, kissing him before unlocking the door. "With any luck, I should be in our quarters by 1800."

"That would be a nice change," Jim said, leaving with a jaunty wave and wink for the members of the Medical staff who were decidedly not eavesdropping on what had been going on in exam room 1.

"I hate yearly crew physicals," Bones complained but none of them believed him. They saw the smile on his face and knew what had put it there.

I.V (1 ½) Sometimes Hate Was Not Strong Enough

His ex-wife.

I – Inevitable Does Not Equate to Acceptable

Five dead crewmembers. Five men and women – no, boys and girls really. He could be their father. Could have been. Dead in the line of duty. He had done everything he could but his best was not enough.

Yes, they all are knew death could come for them at any moment. Especially while exploring deep space and being assigned the tough cases – the planet that seemed determined to annihilate itself; settling centuries-old disputes between two systems; exploring a new planet that showed no sign of anything inhospitable to humans until it was too late for those five crewmembers.

Bones knew as hard as it was for him to accept their deaths, Jim had an even harder time. Bones was charged with keeping them alive. Jim was responsible for keeping them safe.

Maybe being a doctor helped, a little, to accept death as inevitable. As much as Bones hated loosing any of his patients - his friends - he knew how incredibly fragile life truly was. That babies were born every day and grew up was nothing short of a miracle.

Jim listened to Bones and Spock tell him again that there was nothing any of them could have done to change what had happened. And it wasn't that he didn't believe them. He simply didn't want to believe. Not yet. Because that felt too close to not caring that five of his crew had died.

"You have to come to the Memorial Service, Jim, so it can begin," Spock said as gently as he ever said anything.

"Yes," Jim said, taking a deep breath and straightening his dress uniform. They walked together into the chapel, the crew present quietly consumed with their own thoughts and sorrows.

Bones felt a small glow of pride at how Jim handled the service, saying exactly the right things to provide the comfort to his crew that was denied to himself.

Jim found his comfort that night when he joined Bones in their bed. Bones scooted closer, wrapping a warm arm around Jim and pulling him into the embrace. Bones held him tight until the tears stopped and Jim could take a calming breath. With that, the man who was hardly old enough for such immense responsibility fell asleep, safe and secure in the arms of the man who loved him without question.

And The One He Loved Without Question

"I'm sorry I was such a mess last night," Jim said after he watched Bones slowly wake next to him.

"You know you never have to apologize to me," Bones assured him, stroking his soft blonde hair when Jim lay his head on Bones shoulder.

"Yeah. That doesn't mean I shouldn't tell you that I appreciate you. That I love you."

Bones smiled and kissed his head, closing his eyes to savor the words. "I love you too."

"Mmm…I'm glad you didn't throw up on me on the shuttle," Jim said, raising up on one elbow to see Bones laugh, something he rarely ever did outside their quarters.

"Would you love me less if I had?" Bones asked with a knowing twinkle.

"I can't imagine loving you more than I do now," Jim said, knowing Bones would understand his non-sequitur and forgive him for it.

"Me too," Bones assured him, wrapping both arms firmly around him as Jim lay back next to him. "Me too."