There were some things he liked to be called. And some he hated. And some that were just too hard to fight.

Leonard. That was nice. Uhura called him Leonard, sometimes, and it sounded like maple syrup. Maybe felt like it, too – all warm and brown and sweet - when he was done, done.

Len. That was mostly him, actually. He'd say "tell old Uncle Len" to the ones who were trying to be brave. And if they did, they could cry on his shoulder.

McCoy. Well, there was "McCoy", and there was "McCoy" if you know what I mean. That there was a love it or hate it proposition. Enough said about that. But McCoys were tough. They knew how to work. And he was a McCoy, through and through. It might not be fancy – plain as an old boot, in fact. But McCoy fit, too – like an old boot broken in. Yep. Leonard H. McCoy.

Doctor? He had worked hard for "Doctor." And he deserved it. He did. But there were times when someone said "Doctor?" and God help him, he'd look around. Because right then, he needed an all-knowing man who might have a fucking clue.

Chief Surgeon was rough. Ah, rough. But give him a broken man, and that surgeon knew what to do.

Chief Medical Officer? "Chief Medical Officers" worked on starships. Did you know that? Fuck, don't get me started.

Nicknames? Oh, he'd had plenty. And some he'd just as soon forget.

Like 'Sweetheart.' Love and pain, happiness and heartbreak, in that one word - Like 'Daddy.'

'Plum'? Please.

And then there's 'Bones'. Dear Lord, if he could just takes those fateful words back, he would. Well, mostly.

There was only one man who called him that to his face – and Jim was unstoppable. Relentless, in fact. So fucking cheerful that it was contagious: The others might not say it, but there were times he could tell that that was what they were thinking. "Oh, Bones'll know," "Yeah, forget it, that's just Bones…" "Good ole Bones."

Goddamn it - He even thought it himself.