Author's Note: Yowza, this is my first fic in nearly ten years. (ohmy!) So please be kind and constructive with your reviews. Other than that, enjoy! :)
Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my mythology.
Unwavering, placid, calm.
Passively observing the muted shouting and blurred action around me, I, Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, experienced a quiet revelation: From my seat on the scuffed medi-bay floor, I discovered that I was completely and utterly calm.
In the aftermath of disaster, I curiously experienced no urge to ream someone out, guzzle whiskey straight from the flask hidden in my right pocket, or even throw the damn bottle at someone. No, because at the moment I was only concerned with contemplating the reason for this new found calm.
A flurry of possibilities came to mind, but I narrowed it down to either one of three things:
1.) The steel-nerves that one earns in my profession
2.) My nerve-deadening loyalty to the bottle
Or the likely culprit...
3.) My seasoned friendship with the ship's captain, James Tiberius Kirk.
My right eye's split-second twitch clued me in to the strong probability of the third choice.
One could never describe a friendship with Kirk as "boring" or "predictable," for those were curse words in Kirk's mind. You see, with that particular friendship, I was afforded many "adventures." Many. At times I had no idea how I got through them with all my limbs, job, and sanity still in tact, but that was the genius of my captain. For all of his fuckups, the man had a gift for talking his way out of trouble. A gift he was currently (and to my amusement, unsuccessfully) exercising with his irate and half-dressed date.
And so, it was early on that I had become readily primed for all sorts of disaster. In fact, during our five year friendship, many had simply lost their jarring, aneurysm-inducing edge. When one has been witness to multiple drunken bar fights, drunken orgies, and Kirk's unnerving—and drunken—misappropriation of one's laser scalpel as a can opener, one develops a steady supply of serenity, I rationalized.
But…the math wasn't adding up. Each and every one of those events had been followed by an astute verbal lashing on my part—something I curiously still did not have the urge to do.
Sure, my med-bay was contaminated with billows of smoke and filthy cadets; their grabby hands and uncoordinated feet leaving small trails of disaster everywhere they went. I absentmindedly wiped my hands clean on my uniform, but calm, I remained.
I was most certainly not contemplating murder, I assure you. Not even after sparing a glance at the smoking remains of the new medical equipment. Medical equipment I had just put in a request for last month and was all sorts of godawful expensive.
Even when I locked my blurring sights on the shirtless, unharmed Kirk, it didn't inspire even a hint of rage. Sure, my eye twitched again in response to the offensive visual stimuli, but Kirk's muted voice gave me pause.
Awareness slowly returned, with sight, sound, and touch gaining volume and intensity. I felt warm, sticky, and bruised, and it dawned on me that my calm could probably be attributed to the (newly discovered) fourth possible reason: the hemorrhaging gash on my forehead the size of goddamn phaser.
Yes, sir. It was in my highly-credentialed opinion as the ship's CMO that it was my throbbing head and debilitating nausea that prevented me from choking the very life out of my captain. My stupid, irresponsible, juvenile, shitforbrains Captain James T. Kirk—who was now waving his arms apologetically, gesticulating between the demolished equipment, the sex-abused gurney that knocked it over, and the (still) irate, half-dressed female cadet.
In response to Kirk's muted pleas, my right eye spastically twitched as they started gaining volume. Louder and louder until I felt compelled to crawl my way over and end his captainy ways with my bare hands. Headache. Be. Damned.
No! I lamented. The calm! The serenity! THE PEACE! Gone in seconds! I was livid, enraged that my bliss had been ripped away from me so prematurely.
Unfortunately my wobbly ascent of righteous vengeance was stopped by a forceful hand on my shoulder. The kind, but tired face of Lieutenant Commander Nyota Uhura greeted me.
I sank back to the ground and my scowl temporarily gave way to the exhaustion I had been ignoring. But my eyes were stubbornly locked onto the source of my problems.
"So judging by the glares you've been sending our captain, am I right to assume this was his doing?" she gestured with a nod of her head toward the yelp of pain from across the room. The half-dressed female cadet had given the man a full-force, open-palm slap; the delicious sound echoed in the room and I vicariously reveled in that small bit of retribution.
"Now, now, Uhura," I muttered distractedly, eyes locked onto Kirk and glazed with purpose. "The man is merely fulfilling his biological imperative to spread chaos and destruction." The eyebrow raise I got in response was almost enough to distract me from my cathartic aim. Almost.
"...Expensive destruction," I rationalized with her. "Yes, and that is why I must end him." I was a little delirious from blood loss, yes. But for the good of the ship, I'd suffer through the small discomfort in order to carry out my mission. After my death, they'd perhaps award me for such valiant efforts. Perhaps a small memorial.
However, this time the linguist had no need to physically restrain me and was merely content in watching my pitiful attempts at getting up.
Shit. I finally gave up and slowly slid back down to the ground, tentatively examining my wound.
Motherf-Yep, there's a wound there alright.
I sighed. Stitches definitely required. After some more experimental prodding, I winced. Alcohol definitely required.
She tried to hide her smile at my increasingly sour look and delicately took a seat next to me. She swiped her thumb across my smoke-smudged brow, trying to smooth out the tense frown-lines she disapproved of.
"How about I treat that wound for you before we exact revenge on our captain, Bones?" Uhura tried to remain professional in her assessment of my injuries, but her dark eyes shone with playful mischief.
Surely she jests. Do I dare hope…?
I stole a lingering glance at her lips, then met her eyes, and by god if my grimace didn't melt into a small, crooked smile.
Unwavering, placid, beautiful calm.
...Well, revenge is a dish best served cold.