Pairing: McCoy-centric, Reaper!McCoy/Kirk
Summary: It takes a sneaky bastard to force things to where they belong, even if Leonard McCoy does not approve.
Word Count: 1,356
Fandom: post-Star Trek XI, post-Doom crossover
Dying, Dying to die just to come back so we can meet again
Dying, Dying to say what I always should have said
It's a strange emotion this but there's still hope in this
As long as there's a breath...
I'm Dying and I can't live without you again
Dying – Five For Fighting
Jim Kirk knows that he can't always be right. That he isn't always going to win at every situation, despite the fact that he whole-heartedly does not believe in the no win scenario. He can't always bring everyone home safely, and it's a hard fact to learn. He lost an entire away team a few days into the Enterprise's mission, one at the last second he hadn't been able to join because of something requiring his attention on board. That they'd vanished without a trace, only to turn up three hours later dead was something he couldn't take. Since taking command, he'd learned that he wasn't as infallible as he'd always thought, that he couldn't solve every problem. No matter what precautions he takes, what planning he does, something will always go wrong. But to be frank, Jim was tired of everyone looking at him like he's going to magically pull a miracle out of his ass and save the day. He's no hero.
Well, according to every-fucking-one around him he is. James T. Kirk, hero of the Federation and of Earth. Well, he wasn't enough of a hero to save Vulcan was he? To save those seven other starships who had warped into destruction. If he'd only remembered the fucking events of his birth and his father's death earlier, they might all still be alive. Fuck, he should have known the instant the messenger ran into the hall during his hearing. Bones would have comforted him and told him that if anyone should have known, it should have been Pike who wrote a dissertation on the incident, but Jim can't help but feel that they all lucked through the whole thing. If Sulu had put them in warp two minutes earlier, if Bones hadn't felt bad for him and snuck him aboard, if he'd woken thirty seconds later from the sedative and missed Chekov's announcements, if he hadn't been with Gaila when Uhura came in and revealed what she'd heard about the Klingon warbirds – the what ifs dragged on. And while yeah, he did know that part of the success of what they had accomplished was due to him, Jim still felt like too much credit was being given.
He is the youngest Captain in Starfleet history, the most unlikely, the boldest, and the most unpredictable. It makes him different, it makes him unique. And it also reminds people of his father. People tell him all the time much like the great George Kirk he is, how proud his father would be of him. Jim's fucking sick of it. He's not his father. He's not his father – he's not nearly as good a person. And he doesn't think he would have had the strength or the courage to do what his infamous father did. He would die for his crew, sacrifice himself to the oblivion to save his crew however, but he's not sure he could live with or be able to send the love of his life off on a shuttle giving birth and be forced to listen to the pain. Unable to be there, holding on tightly, trying to bear it too. And then have them suffer and have to listen to him die.
People said that Jim Kirk was an overconfident, cocky sonuvabitch, and generally, they were right. But that didn't mean that underneath he was the same way. That doubt was always there, even if on the surface he played at being a self-confident man who knows what he wants and knows he will eventually get it. Everyone expected too much from him, Jim thought, folding his hands behind his head. He wasn't a miracle worker; he left that up to Bones. Even as he cultivated the image of the great and mighty Captain Kirk, he was still just Jim beneath it all. Deep down, he was just a scared little boy from Iowa trying to figure out his place in this world. He really hadn't gained the confidence, aplomb and dignity of a starship captain yet; let alone that of the flagship of Starfleet. At times he despaired of ever becoming the cool and suave James T. Kirk that Spock Prime knew and subconsciously expected him to be. Oh, not in so many words, but it had been lurking there in the mindmeld.
And what they generally didn't know was that their so called hero couldn't function anymore without his best friend who'd become more before Jim had driven him out of his life. They didn't understand that beneath the façade, Jim Kirk was just a broken little kid trying desperately to hold onto the few good things that stumbled into his life. The Enterprise, friendship, Spock (if he's being honest with himself, they have become exceedingly close friends).
He misses the goddamn ornery bastard. And seeing him standing in the doorway is more then he can bear. John hadn't noticed that he was awake yet, but at the startled and choked gasp that escapes out of the captain, his dark head snaps to glare at Jim.
"You shouldn't be awake." He says darkly. "You're not healed enough for your body to handle the strain Captain." The brisk no-nonsense tone is typical for the doctor, but the underlying affection that usually laces through it was gone. Jim can't deny he feels its loss. "If you actually lay there and let your body heal, you should be good to go in another day." Bones reports brusquely.
"Doctor McCoy, Doctor McCoy!" A nurse bustled in. "They need you downstairs right now. Ambassador Spock has suffered a major heart attack, but will take no other doctor then you sir." McCoy bustles out of the room, grumbling about pointy-eared hobgoblins of any age, leaving a sorrowful captain in his wake.
John scowls at the man standing in his office, not even bothering to cover his unhappiness. "You're fucking kidding me, right?" The admiral straightens, staring him straight in the eye.
"Watch your language Doctor McCoy. You may be one of the most brilliant surgeons and medical officers Starfleet has, but that does not excuse you from the regulations upon behavior." Barnett admonishes, but John is not cowed as the admiral clearly expects him to be. "Ambassador Spock is going back to New Vulcan, and as his condition is fragile and under our protection until he is under the care of his own doctors, we are responsible for his health. And the Ambassador refuses to leave the care of this hospital unless under your care Doctor." John's scowl deepens. The little fucker. He knows exactly what's going on here.
The green-blooded bastard doesn't need his care, and the old guy is a hell of a lot sturdier then he lets people know. This about getting him back onboard the Enterprise. Maybe back in his universe that's how it happened, but not here. Not here in this reality where Leonard McCoy is also Reaper. He can't protest much more without losing his job though, even though at this point it's starting to reach the point of slightly risky and it's almost time to 'die' somewhere that recovering his body is impossible.
"Yes sir." John grinds out, thoroughly pissed at this point. He spins on his heel and stalks out of the room to go check on his patients.
Sometimes, the ex-Marine honestly feels the universe is out to get him. Jim Kirk is not the person he expected to fall in love with at some point in the semi-inconceivable future, back when he'd spent days upon days contemplating what to do with his seemingly infinite life after Sam's death. Though if he's being honest with himself, Jim is ridiculously like her. It's almost scary. He spends a moment musing that perhaps Jim is Sam's descendant. He discards the idea quickly enough. Even if it's true, he doesn't want to know. It's creepy enough with John being well over a hundred years older then the blonde.
With a sigh, he scrubs his face with his hands, and goes to pack, since it seems fate's conspired to get him aboard the Enterprise again, one way or another.