Attempt #5 had failed.

Bones poured himself another shot of bourbon in his office and downed it, slamming the durable glass back onto the desk. He glanced around the room that seemed to be closing in all around him. This was getting bad, he was losing his mind. Jim had just laughed at him when he said that something may be wrong, even though he had been as serious as hell. Jim just thought that he was complaining, most likely. That's probably why he had just brushed off Bones's concerns. Maybe he had grumbled once too often with Jim in their history of their friendship. Now his best friend wasn't taking him seriously.

Setting down the bottle of bourbon, Bones sighed and rested his head on his hands. Another surgery had been successful today. He had removed Crewman Hoff's appendix that had been paining him. It was close to bursting and very volatile, but Bones had gotten it out flawlessly.

He always did his best and most of the time he was perfect at his job. However, he had been overloaded lately and he couldn't take it anymore. He needed a break, but there was absolutely no opportunity since he was working double shifts nearly everyday.

A sharp knock came at his door, making his head pound and Bones called gruffly, "Yes?"

Nurse Christine Chapel poked her blond head inside his office and said, "Doctor McCoy? It's the beginning of Gamma Shift so I'm leaving. Nurse Alba is here to take over."

"Alright, Christine, thank you," he nodded, making his vision go blurry as it bobbed.

"Goodnight, Doctor," Christine replied cheerfully, ready to get to her quarters for a good night's sleep.

Bones made a noise that passed as a goodbye as she left, closing the door behind her, and let his head rest on the desk. Soon, he drifted to sleep.

Bones was failing. He desperately shouted orders to the nurses as he plunged his hands inside of Jim's chest and the heartrate alarms went off with one blaring note.

"Jim. . ." Bones muttered, voice raising in pitch, "Jim, don't do this. Don't do this to me, dammit!"

"Doctor," Christine pulled at his arm to lead him away from the operating table, "I'm sorry, but he's gone. Doctor-"

"No!" Bones shouted, "No, he's not gone! Jim-!"

Bones woke up with a start. His head shot upward in surprise and sparks flashed before his eyes. He winced and put a hand to his forehead. Slowly getting up, he checked the time and realized that he didn't have to be onduty for five more hours. Bones supposed it was time for bed.

Leaving Sickbay, he walked along the corridors in a daze, hearing a tapping as he walked. It wasn't his shoes since there wasn't anyone in the halls, but there was an unexplained tapping noise that seemed to be following him.

Stopping short, he jumped in surprised as a white shadow moved in front of him and turned the corner. Rubbing his eyes, he kept moving, dismissing the sights and sounds as just in his head.

Bones's heart began to tighten with dread because it was quiet in the corridors. Too quiet. He began to quicken his pace and was grateful there was nobody in the halls because it would have been undignified if anyone had seen the doctor running in the halls from nothing.

Then out of nowhere came. . .


Bones nearly had a heartattack as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu stepped out in front of him from the corner he was about to turn into. Bones stifled the startled cry that threatened to escape his throat. It came out as a throaty hiccup and his eyes widened in shock.

"Doctor McCoy, are you alright?"

"Yeah. . .yeah, Sulu, I'm fine," Bones waved off the helmsman's concerns with a gesture.

"Okay then," Hikaru frowned.

"Have a good day," Bones said, choking the nervousness in his voice and moved quickly past Hikaru to his quarters.

Bones woke up four hours and forty-five minutes later and took a shower. He changed into clean work clothes and then went straight to Sickbay without breakfast. When he arrived, he stared at his desk in surprise. Sitting there was a plate of pancakes, a basket of muffins, a plate of bacon and sausage, and a bottle of syrup.

He went around to the side of his desk and picked up the paper card there with neat words reading: Didn't want you to go without breakfast. Have a good day.

Bones sat down at his desk and began to eat the pancakes without question. He felt better and he heard a tapping at his door.


Nurse Alba stepped inside, she was about to speak but stopped short when she saw the array of breakfast foods on the doctor's desk.

"Where did you get all that? Did you replicate it?"

"No, it was here when I got here," Bones shook his head.

Later, Bones walked into the Mess Hall and sat down with a sandwich at an empty table.

A moment later, he heard a familiar voice, "Can I sit here?"

Bones looked up at Hikaru Sulu and nodded, "Yeah."

Lunch was filled with random talk and a casual atmosphere until Sulu asked, "Was there something wrong earlier? You seemed spooked."

"No, I'm fine," replied Bones.

"You sure?"

"Yeah. . .no," Bones sighed, "Just a lot of pressure."

Sulu nodded understandingly, "So, how about I get your mind off of things tonight? I have an old 20th century movie on my computer drive that I want to watch. You want to come by tonight and watch it with me? Popcorn and soda included?"

Bones was taken aback by the offer, "Yeah. . ." he replied slowly, "Sure. What time?"

All Sulu could do was grin.

Bones showed up at Sulu's quarters after six as Sulu had instructed and the helmsman showed him inside. They sat on Sulu's small couch in front of the monitor on the coffee table and watched the movie called "Schindler's List".

Sulu smoothly creeped an arm around Bones's shoulder in one graceful movement. Bones glanced at Hikaru for a moment and then relaxed once more. A moment later, he felt Hikaru massaging his shoulders. His eyes drooped from the lack of sleep and the comfort of the massage. He leaned across and rested against Hikaru, breathing evening out. As he drifted off to sleep, Hikaru smiled and whispered, "Good to see you finally relaxing. I'll be here when you wake up."