Title: The Man and the Memory

Author: klmeri

Fandom: Star Trek AOS

Characters: Kirk, Spock, McCoy

Summary: Sequel to The Boy and the Sea Dragon. McCoy wakes up and finds that his world has been turned upside down.

A/N: Surprised myself with this.


Prologue

Who knows how it begins? There is a flash of something cruel, dark and fathomless, a frantic cry in the background and then nothing more. When you wake up, you don't remember anything at all—not even your name. Perhaps that is the most disconcerting.

What is your name?

There is a sensation that seems familiar.

Pain.

Then a voice, full of an emotion you want to call relief, says, "Welcome back, Doctor McCoy." The voice belongs to a face you think you should know, her name on the tip of your tongue.

There are tears in her eyes when she looks at you. Then the woman—nurse, the word comes out of nowhere—turns away and calls, "Page Dr. M'Benga!"

Later, they tell you who you are and why you feel as though you've been pieced back together. There wasn't simply an accident—it was a deliberate attempt to hurt you, kill you.

Dr. M'Benga assures you that the memory loss is temporary. Another person, someone with dark eyes (why do dark eyes make you uncomfortable?) and a silence wrapped about him, watches over you too.

His name is Spock and he is your friend. At least, you think he is your friend. Perhaps not? You won't know until you remember.

There is one person you can almost recognize. His name is Jim and he is the captain of the starship. (Why would you be on a starship? Your stomach makes a flopping sensation at being in space. Too many questions—it feels like you are drowning in them.) He smiles and talks and talks like there isn't a care in the world. He calls you "McCoy" and that seems almost right but it makes the other—the strange one called Spock—glance sideways at the vibrant, blue-eyed man.

Maybe it's the color of his eyes that comforts you. They are too light for guile.

Jim (Kirk? Captain? How do you address him?) pats your hand and says, "Welcome back, McCoy. We are pleased that you have returned to us." He grins up at the looming Vulcan then. "Spock, we will leave orbit in three days' time."

"Captain," There is a pause, an almost hesitation in that smooth voice, "we have not completed—"

You feel startled when those blue eyes darken like a storm. "That was an order, Mr. Spock, not a request," snaps a hard voice.

The silence is tense until the Vulcan finally replies, "Very well, Sir."

It's then that you do desire to speak, to say "That's it, Spock?" incredulously, but you stop yourself for the simple reason that though the frustrated sentiment does not seem strange to voice, you are still uncertain of your circumstances.

Spock nods once to you with "May your recovery be swift, Doctor." Then he exits, back stiff in a way that you do, quite inexplicably, find familiar.

Jim Kirk lingers a moment before following, the authority in his stride plain for all to see.

It is Nurse Chapel—a sweet woman you decide that you must like—who takes far too long to rearrange items on a nearby tray.

Finding your voice, you ask, "What's the matter, Chris?"

The nickname takes you both by surprise and it also gives you a moment to hope your identity is not entirely lost.

Her smile trembles before dropping away. "I'm not sure, Len. The Captain—" She shakes her head, clearly deciding against troubling an amnesiac man with more worries. "Thank you," she says softly instead.

"For what?" Aren't you the one who should be thankful that these people never gave up on you?

"For coming back" is the whisper. Christine's hand brushes at your wrist. You cannot understand what she is trying to tell you.

You answer slowly, "I'm not sure that I had a choice."

Her look is indecipherable. "Maybe you knew that they—we needed you."

You catch the slip but say nothing. When the woman tells you to rest, you think that is a wonderful idea. Sleep, perhaps, will buy the time necessary to figure out what the Hell is going on.

However, there is one thing in which you are certain. This Enterprise, this unknown place you've woken up to, is somewhere you must want to be—somewhere you are wanted. But no matter why you feel that way, the truth remains: it is right but also wrong.

You fall into a restless sleep of cold, pitch-black eyes and a lonely voice that begs Bones.