A/N: Quick apology for the long update. When I came back from vacation, I meant to finish this darn fic, but then… I forgot the ending. To this day, I still don't remember what it was. Though I don't hate what I've done here, I'll always feel the original was better.
Jim said no.
The kid said some other crap like, not wanting to make waves, it wasn't that bad, but McCoy was too damn stunned to really listen to his bull. Jim then muttered a brief thanks for the ice and coke and limped out of McCoy's apartment.
McCoy slumped down on his couch, rubbing at the emerging headache. Oh yes, it certainly was the smart ones you have to look out for.
Without Jim's cooperation, there was nothing McCoy could do to help. He had no evidence, and his word was against Reynolds'.
At least he got Jim to admit to the abuse. That was something, right? Who knows, maybe with a little more effort, more gentle pushing, McCoy could convince Jim to take action against Reynolds. It only took McCoy half a year to get to this point. Who knows what'll happen in another six months.
Bullshit, McCoy decided, slamming his fist down on his coffee table. Complete and utter bullshit.
McCoy stared hard at Reynolds' PhD degree hanging on the wall. He had to fight the urge to rip down the frame and smash it into a million pieces on the ground.
He turned when the sound of the door opened. "Dr. Reynolds," he greeted politely.
Reynolds jerked in surprise. "Dr. McCoy," he breathed, confused. "I have to say, I wasn't expecting anybody today. Did I forget an appointment?"
"No, I came here all on my own."
"Ah," Reynolds made his way around McCoy to sit down behind his large desk. McCoy sat down in the chairs in front. "May I offer you coffee? Tea?"
"No thank you, I won't be here long."
"Alright then," Reynolds adjusted his seat so he may face McCoy better. Chin on his hands, a small smile on his lips, he asked, "So, what do I owe the honor?"
Calmly, McCoy stated, "I want you to keep your goddamn hands off Jim Kirk."
The smile slowly melted off. "What?"
"I said, I want you to keep your goddamn hands off Jim Kirk."
Reynolds' tone got defensive. "Dr. McCoy, I'm not sure-"
McCoy pulled out his datapad from his coat and slapped it down in front of Reynolds. Jim's medical records were displayed. "There's nothing on his records that states the refusal of medication."
"You have no right-"
"Jim gave me the right. He came to me and gave me permission. Ever heard of that word, Reynolds? Permission?"
His eyes narrowed. "I have no idea what you're ensuing."
"Sure you don't," McCoy sneered. He leaned forward and snatched back the datapad. He stood. "This, this thing you're doing? It's sick. It's petty. And the fact that you're abusing your power as a physician is a heinous crime."
Reynolds slapped his hands down on the desk and stood up violently. "Me, Dr. McCoy? I'm abusing my power? I should have you arrested for even having that information in your hands."
"Then have me arrested, and I'll tell campus police exactly what I've seen you do. I'm sure the Board would love to know why you deny your patient adequate pain medication."
It was an empty threat. Without Jim, McCoy was swatting at flies. He just needed Reynolds to believe that BS.
Reynolds glared at him but said nothing. McCoy knew he got him. He straightened up and placed away his datapad. "If I see so much as a bruise on that kid, I will take you down."
Jim kept his distance over the next couple of days. That was fine. McCoy hadn't really expected for Jim to carry on his obscure friendship with him. McCoy did, however, keep a close eye on him, making sure Reynolds tried nothing.
So far, so good. Jim looked healthy, and McCoy wasn't slapped with a summons. It felt so wrong to keep a sadist in power and McCoy wished he could tell the Board of Directors what was going on, but without hardcore evidence, all he would be doing is causing Jim more pain. Even worse, it was likely they would lose, and both he and Jim would be kicked out.
But just in case.
The moment McCoy sat down, Jim suddenly made movements to leave. "Give me a minute, okay? Sit back down kid."
Jim made a face, but grudgingly sat back down, setting his lunch tray down with a loud smack.
McCoy raised an eyebrow at this. "You're in a bad mood."
"Because it seems you can't take no for an answer," Jim snapped at him.
"Calm down, I'm not here for a fight."
"Then what are you here for?"
McCoy reached over and grasped Jim's wrist. Jim protested for a second and McCoy held strong, curling his fingers around Jim's pulse. "Has nothing out of the usual happened?"
"Wha-?" Jim blinked, then caught on. "I haven't seen Dr. Reynolds since my arm."
"That isn't what I asked."
"I'm not sick. I'm not injured. This," he snatched his arm back. "Is unnecessary. You should leave me alone."
McCoy peered around the cafeteria, eyeing the dozens and dozens of cadets eating and talking. "Look around you, Jim. Do you realize you're the only one here who is sitting by himself?"
Jim rolled his eyes. "I'm alone, not lonely."
"You're full of shit."
Jim threw his hands up in mock surrender. "Fine, I'm full of shit. What's your point, Bones?"
"That it doesn't have to be this way. You can have friends, and a doctor who'll help you."
Jim sighed and quickly swiped at his eyes. "Nice point," he said, standing up. "But if you really want to help me, you keep your distance." He took a step forward and swayed. He shot out an arm to keep his balance.
McCoy was out of his chair immediately. He forgot the cardinal rule with this kid: Every time they've met, Jim was in trouble. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," Jim hissed, running a hand over his face. "Just got dizzy for a moment." He pulled away his hand and stared at it. Blood was running down his nose.
McCoy made him sit down and pressed his fingers against his neck. His pulse was going way too quickly. "Jesus," McCoy hissed and pressed a button on his medical datapad. Medical services were being called to his location.
Jim slumped slightly forward. "Jim," McCoy hissed, making him sit back up. "Stay awake. Listen to me. Did you eat or drink anything out of the unusual today?"
"No," Jim breathed. He was fighting hard against whatever was ailing him. "Just the cafeteria food…"
A quick look over Jim's half-finished lunch told McCoy nothing. "Are you allergic to any of the food?"
Jim made a face. "Why would I eat food that I am allergic to?"
McCoy ignored that. "Anything else? Did you take any medicine?"
"I-" He paused. "Had a flu shot today," he shook his head in denial. "I've had flu shots before… Not allergic…" He slumped forward.
"Dammit, Jim!" McCoy cried. He lowered Jim slowly onto the second unoccupied chair, ignoring the stares from the other cadets. He looked up, saw the medical team entering the cafeteria and motioned them over.
Jim had stopped breathing.
People often ask McCoy why he is so cynical. Truth be told, the real question they ask is, "Why does your bedside manner suck so bad?"
His response usually followed as is: "Shut up and sleep."
It's not that he was incapable of holding someone's hand or speaking to them in a soft tone. Sometimes with people, in order to get them to cooperate with him was to show an equal or greater amount of force. McCoy was kind when he needed to be. Most of the time, he needed to be an asshole.
Right now, as he stared at Jim's unmoving body, he didn't feel like being anything.
The kid was strapped to the usual machines. A heart monitor, an iv, and a tricorder hummed annoying above him, recording constant readings of his blood pressure and breathing.
The usual tests on Jim's blood came back negative. Despite he did not have the authority, McCoy ordered for deeper tests to be done to find out why the hell a healthy twenty-three year old had a heart attack in the middle of lunch.
Jim had mentioned he'd gotten a flu shot earlier that day. His files confirmed it, but those shots are given by the dozens, and by nurses, attendees and medical students. There is no way of knowing who personally gave Jim his shot.
This was bad. Even if Jim recovered from this, this could ruin his chances from even going into space.
McCoy sighed heavily and rechecked Jim's readings for the hundredth millionth time.
The noise of the door opening echoed behind him.
McCoy was not sure how he would react if he faced Reynolds again. He knew it'll happen sooner or later; he just hoped he was sober when it happened.
Nothing on Reynolds' face indicated he was surprised to see McCoy in Jim's room. "Dr. McCoy," Reynolds said friendly. "How are you?"
"You son of a bitch," McCoy spat. He had no evidence, but damn him to hell if he let Reynolds anywhere near Jim. "Are you really that petty, that pathetic?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about, doctor. I think you should leave."
McCoy placed a protective hand over Jim. "I'm not letting you anywhere near him."
"Security," Reynolds casually said over his shoulder. "Please take McCoy out of here."
Two guards entered the room, flanking McCoy on each side. The doctor took an instinctive step back. There was no way he could fight them off.
"Come along, sir," one of the guards said gently. There was a tension in the guard's body, wanting McCoy to leave under his own power but wary through it all.
McCoy glanced down at Jim, then back up to Reynolds.
There was something in Reynolds' face. His eyes didn't twitch, he didn't grin. The way he kept so solemn, so unearthly still, his poker face gave more away than any other expression would.
Reynolds was going to kill Jim as soon as they left the room. McCoy knew that like he knew the sun was going to rise tomorrow.
McCoy turned to the guards. "Don't let him do this. He's going to kill the patient!"
They don't listen. "Check his pockets!" McCoy struggled and the guards' grip tightened. They began dragging him out of the room. "Please! "
Ben's young face entered McCoy's mind. McCoy had no memory of the boy free of bruises. Ben's eye was always blackened in, his lip split opened, his cheek yellowing from old wounds. And there was always that look of hopelessness plastered on his face.
During their second meeting, for a second, Jim had let his guard down and that same look had echoed through. Whether McCoy consciously knew it or not, he never wanted to see that look on Jim's face ever again.
It was more than being a doctor, it was more than being a concerned humanitarian. Jim was McCoy's friend, and damn him to hell is he let something happen to that kid.
"Don't worry," McCoy hissed to the guard on his left. "I'm a doctor."
He then promptly lifted his leg and kicked in the guard's knee.
The poor guard gave an awful squeal. His hand loosened and McCoy jerked his arm out, swung the heel of his palm as hard as he could into the nose of the guard on his right. As he felt the delicate cartilage shatter under his hand, he mentally promised these two guys the best treatment he could give them. Later.
McCoy rushed back to the room. Reynolds jerked in surprise when he saw him. There was a hypo in his hand, hovering right above Jim's neck.
Reynolds actually has the nerve to say, "Don't-" right before McCoy tackled him.
Reynolds was taller, younger than McCoy, but that didn't stop the doctor from biting, punching, kicking every piece of skin he could get his hands on. McCoy knew sooner or later other guards will come in, stun him, and drag him off to jail, but until then, he was determined to break Reynolds' arms so he would be incapable to give a hypo.
It happened sooner than McCoy thought it would. He heard clomping of boots clamoring into the room. A second later, he felt hands grabbing him and hauling him off. He struck his foot out, hoping to get one last kick in.
"Just what the hell is going on here?"
McCoy jerked his head up. He thought it was a commanding doctor, a nurse, maybe. He was disappointed to see just an old man standing in the doorway. Then McCoy's eyes casted down to the man's navy blue blazer, and focused on the Starfleet insignia pinned on his chest.
"This man attacked me," Reynolds wheezed, getting up off the floor. McCoy was pleased to see he'd split the bastard's lip. "He is deranged and dangerous!"
"This so-called doctor is trying to kill the patient," McCoy stated firmly, slightly out of breath. "If you look at the hypo on the ground, I assure you it's filled with something that will kill Jim Kirk."
The Captain stared at McCoy, studied him hard for a long moment. McCoy was afraid the Captain will think him mad and ignored his accusation.
That didn't happen. Instead, the Captain stalked over to the fallen hypo, picked it up and addressed one of the guards, "Get this analyzed, please. I want to know what's in here immediately."
"Sir!" Reynolds protested. "You can't truly believe the words of this madman!"
"When I have all the evidence, I'll make an accurate assumption. Until then, I have questions. For starters: can someone tell me why a twenty-three year old would suddenly have a heart attack?"
"You're an idiot, you know."
Jim blinked, rubbed his tired eye. "B…ones?" he said weakly. "What's-?"
"Stop talking," McCoy ordered, shoving a glass of water in Jim's hands. "Drink this slowly."
For once, Jim did what McCoy said without arguing. The kid had been asleep for nearly three days; despite the IVs, his throat was probably parched. "Reynolds is no longer your acting doctor."
Jim jerked. "What?"
"Neither am I, if that's what you're thinking. Until the trial is over, you will be assigned a temporary doctor."
"I-what- trial? Bones," Jim set the glass down and tried to sit up. McCoy pushed him back down on the bed. "Just what hell is going on here?"
"I'm not the type of person to sugar coat things, Jim. So here it is: There's a very good chance you may never make it to a starship, let alone Captain." McCoy held up a hand when Jim started to rise again. "Reynolds tried to kill you. Do you hear me? There's no proof he was the one who sabotaged your flu shot, but the hypo he had in his hands would've caused your already weakened heart to fail. So right now, it's a matter of time to see if you're even fit enough to go under the stressful physical trials Starfleet requires. Then there's a matter with your mental health…"
"I am not mentally deranged," Jim hissed.
"Jim, you lied to me about being abused. You are brilliant, and smart, kid, but for months you allowed that idiot to practically cripple you… for what? Because you felt sorry for him? Because you think you deserve it?"
"I told you, he had power over my records. I couldn't risk that."
"Either way, it does not look favorably on you for keeping such a secret for so long, despite the reasons. I blame myself partly, because I should've told someone as soon as I knew. Instead, I pandered to your whims when I should've done what was right."
Despite the water, Jim's voice was still so very weak. "It was not your fault."
"It is my fault. Every time I saw you, Jim, you were hurt. I could've ended all of this bullshit on the very first day, but I thought I wasn't responsible for you. But guess what?" McCoy leaned close and spoke low. "I'm a doctor, I'm responsible for everybody in this damn academy, even you, despite who is, or who isn't your primary doctor."
McCoy allowed it that to sink in. He passed the moment to check on Jim's vitals (which he had done about ten times already) and reread the same stupid pamphlet that was left in the room by accident.
"What about you?" Jim asked after two minutes of silence. From his tone of voice, it sounded like this was what he was most afraid of. "How much trouble are you in?"
McCoy shrugged. "Some. While trying to save your life, I assaulted two security guards and bit Reynolds on the arm."
The look on Jim's face was priceless. He snorted. "What? Are you serious?"
"Very. Now they don't know if I should be charged with assault or let go on the grounds it was self-defense."
It wasn't the happy ending McCoy was hoping it to be. Still, it was better than he expected, and he supposed it was the best under the circumstances.
Reynolds was not fired. Despite Jim's and McCoy's testimony, the only real evidence they had against Reynolds was the hypo, which Reynolds swore was an accident. "I must've picked up the wrong one," he said on the stand.
Reynolds was reprimanded, demoted, and transferred to another academy. It was unlikely he and Jim would ever meet again, but McCoy chose to not place his faith in 'unlikely'.
For the assault on the guards and Reynolds, McCoy was suspended from Starfleet duties for two months and was forced to work the ER shifts with half pay. The doctor made good on his promise to those guards, and soon both men were back on duty with very little evidence of injury.
As the victim in all of this, Jim was not charged with anything. But his mental and physical health was brought into question and it was debated if he should be medically discharged from Starfleet because of it.
The trial brought a lot of attention and those who knew Jim fought hard to keep him.
This had surprised him. "I didn't realize there were so many people supporting me."
McCoy clapped a hand to his shoulder. "Whether you know it or not, Jim, you have an energy that draws people to you. Don't ignore it."
It was decided Jim would stay in Starfleet, but be under probation for a length of a year. If Jim so much as sneezed the wrong way, he would be discharged. "Which is why you need a doctor who isn't willing to take your crap," McCoy huffed. He passed over Jim's medical file and tapped the signature at the bottom. "By signing this, I'll be your primary."
Jim grinned at him. "I don't know, Bones. You can be pretty mean yourself."
"Sign it or don't, either way, I'm going to be breathing down your neck to make sure you're okay."
"Has anybody told you your bedside manner sucks?"
"Just sign the damn thing, Jim."
And he did.
A/N: This is just me babbling, so if you don't wanna read, you don't have to.
I am conflicted with this ending. Half of me feels it's unfinished, yet I can't think of a better way to finish it. (I don't mind hearing suggestions, but I can't guarantee I'll change anything.)
In the beginning, I had planned a small fic in which McCoy helped hurt!Kirk. Then it turned into this crazy thing. I regret the way I wrote it a bit, just because I felt I didn't do Jim's character justice. I think I wrote him too weak, too passive, when in reality he would've pwned Reynolds in a super-cool way. But at the same time, I think I may have been projecting TOS!Kirk to 2009!Kirk, and as a result, could not find a balance between the two. Hmm…
Either way, I hope you enjoyed this fic!