Watching Bones Sleep

He reached behind him to pull up the chair that was there, waiting. He had performed that same action so many times, for so many other bedside vigils, for so many injured crewmen before, that he had not even bothered to look. It was there. He knew it.

This time Bones would not come by to stand watch with him a few moments, hand on his shoulder.

This time Bones would not bring over – to slide onto the table beside him - a cup of coffee, a quick meal, something to ease the pain.

This time Bones would not throw him a wry glance as he slipped away, having given the waking crewman a quick squeeze of the hand, a small grin, a word of encouragement.

But even this time, asleep on the bed, Bones was his companion in the long wait.