"I may throw up on you."
Honestly, McCoy wasn't sure what part of his conversation made the kid think in any way that was an invitation to be friends. If someone had said that to him, he would've immediately paid the guy next to him to switch seats.
After all, he was a doctor and the kid was… well, a kid. A fresh faced cadet. Once they got off that transport, they'll go their separate ways, to their separate fields of study. It was highly unlikely they would ever see each again.
The kid saluted him with his flask. "Jim," he returned, taking a short swing.
McCoy had no idea what he was in for.
"Why haven't you seen a campus doctor for that?"
Jim jerked at the sudden voice. The bruises from the bar fight were fading, leaving the kid's face a mass of different colors. But it wasn't the bruises that caught McCoy's attention, it was the kid's hand. "Eh, what?"
McCoy sat down in the chair next to him and pointed to the hand. "I can clearly see one of your knuckles are cracked."
"This?" Jim huffed. "This is nothing. It's just bad bruising. It'll go away in a few days"
"Kid, don't be stupid. Go see a doctor."
McCoy was perplexed when the kid suddenly laughed. "Look, Bones, was it?"
"Whatever. I'm fine. I don't need to see a doctor. This…this is nothing."
McCoy leaned back in his chair, giving the youth a disbelief look. Without another word, he jabbed Jim's hand with his stylus.
The kid gave out a harsh hiss and jerked his hand away. "Nothing, huh?" McCoy said dryly. "You either go see a campus doctor or else I'll keep jabbing you until you do."
"Jeez," Jim moaned. "I thought doctors were suppose to have bed side manner."
"I'm not your doctor. I can do anything I damn well wish."
Three days later McCoy found the young man sitting at the same table in the library. He was pleased to see the kid's hand was wrapped tightly.
McCoy readjusted his hold on his own books and walked over. Jim was hunched over, engrossed in his own studies. Large volumes of books were laid out all around him and every few moments Kirk would reach over and open a new book, ever growing the pile around him.
"The Physics of a Black Hole. Engineering of a Super-Hyperdronic Engine," McCoy started reading the titles out loud. "That's pretty heavy reading for a first year cadet."
Jim looked up at the voice and immediately withdrew his bandaged hand. "Bones McCoy," Jim said. "Uh, yeah well, if I want to get into the Apprentice program, I have to pass the preliminaries first."
McCoy nearly blanched. "The Apprentice program? Isn't that… for officers who wish to become a Captain one day?"
Jim smirked into his book. "The one and only."
"How old are you, kid?"
A skeptic chuckle forced its way through McCoy's lips. At the sound Jim threw him an offended look. "Sorry," the doctor said. "But the Apprentice program is usually taken by officers twice your age."
"What, you think young guys can't do it?"
"No offence, but I don't think you can do it."
Jim tapped his stylus on his book several times before throwing it down and leaning back into his chair. He crossed his arms and glared at the doctor. "Don't underestimate me."
McCoy resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He's used to the 'I'm Invincible' act from these young kids. "You got into a bar fight before joining Starfleet."
"Hey, first of all, that wasn't my fault. And secondly…" Jim paused. "… it wasn't my fault. Besides, give me the benefit of the doubt, Bones."
McCoy didn't comment. Instead, his eyes lingered over Jim's wrapped hand, resting across his chest. McCoy looked closer and… "Why is your wrappings pale green?"
Jim looked down on his hand, blushed and shoved his arm out of McCoy's sight. "Nothin'."
McCoy eyes narrowed at him. "Let me see your hand."
When Jim doesn't respond, McCoy said again, "Let me see your hand," in his 'Or else I'll jam you with a hypo' tone of voice.
Jim silently passed over his hand, pouting sourly. McCoy grabbed the kid's hand, ignored the slight flinch his action caused and inspected it over.
The application of the bandage, was to say the least, pretty decent. The kid's hand was wrapped tightly and soundly and should cause no discomfort for the injury. However, it was the green bandage that screamed 'not right.' "Is this… a curtain?"
Jim snatched his hand back. "Yeah, so?"
"You allowed some clod wrap your hand with a curtain?"
"No…" Jim tucked his hand away. "I did it myself."
McCoy blinked wildly at him. This kid wanted to become a captain yet believed performing medical treatment on himself was acceptable. "Are you an idiot?" The doctor hissed at him. "Do you know how badly you could damage your hand with your… do-it-yourself bull? You need a real doctor, with real sterilized bandages-"
Son of a bitch. McCoy could see, literally see his words were falling on deaf ears. Jim wasn't ignoring him, but it was obvious the kid wasn't going to take his advice, no matter how he said it.
McCoy shook his head. "You know what, never mind. If you want to seriously injure yourself, that's your business. I did my job." He stood from the table. "But kid, what you're doing? It's not Captain attitude."
It was a stupid low blow and McCoy hadn't really expected it to affect the kid. Except Jim's lips got tight for a moment. The hurt expression was gone within a second, a grin replacing it. "Duly noted."
A/N: I am determined to only make this fic only about five chapters long. There's not really much of a story here, but rather a series of moments between the doc and Kirk in their cadet years as they became friends. R/R peeps.