Title: Just a Jealous Guy...
Warnings: jealousy, angst, FDA approved fluff, kidfic, possible overuse of italics and exclamation points.
Summary: Bones had never really realized just how manipulative his ex wife was. Or just how jealous he could really be.
Word Count: A metric fuckton 15,000ish
A/N: Merry Christmas jen ! My very first time writing this pairing. A thank you for introducing me to Jim/Bones and forcing encouraging me to read it. (Although it STILL feels like Jim is cheating on Spock... hehe.)
It took Bones a full two minutes of sitting there in shock before the anger set in.
He sat there, in his office as he did for so many hours of the ship's day, PADD forgotten in his hands. He hadn't been thinking that hearing from her would be all that much of a shock. In fact, he usually preferredto take calls from his ex in his office; knowing that she would keep her communication coldly polite when there was a chance of one of his nurses wandering in.
As would he.
The subspace communication hadn't been in real time. She hadn't bothered. There was no point really; it had all been decided. This had just been a courtesy call, and the southern drawl had been all the more smug for it.
"Len. You know how you're always on me to let you have some more time with Jo?"
On her. Jesus, Jo was his kid. What the fuck was he supposed to do, ignore her? Jocelyn barely let him see Jojo as it was. And it wasn't like he was expecting special treatment or anything. He'd known what five years in space would entail. But in the year that he'd been gone, it would have been nice to see her when they were docked near Earth, coincidentally around Jojo's birthday. And sure, despite the several subspace communications (she said they'd arrived late) and the two holocalls, Joanna had been off planet during the four days Bones had been on Earth.
"I've decided to allow Joanna to participate in the Cerberus School. It's quite a feat, you know. Out of thousands of applicants, m- our daughter was hand selected. Of course, that might have been due to my … communication... with the Captain. You know, Len when you used to blather on about him you never really explained how dynamic he was. How... compelling." Jocelyn sighed. "Anyway, Joanna will be arriving on your little ship tomorrow. I understand it should take about a few days to arrive at the colony. I should warn you. She has quite a little crush for that Jim Kirk." There was a laugh, the sound sliding across Bones' eardrums like glass. "Y'all have a good time, now. Joanna is over the moon with excitement. It should be a fun little trip for the both of you."
Bones listened to it again, muscle twitching in his jaw. Joanna on the Enterprise? Preposterous. It was too dangerous. Just last week he'd had to stitch Jim back together, damn near rebuilding the fucking idiot kid's spine in the process.
And what about that catty little comment? "Communication" with the Captain? With... with Jim? Bones didn't think that they he and Joce had even known each other. Anger, sudden and sharp, seemed to come out of nowhere. It swam through his veins, bubbling just under the surface. Very, very carefully he set the PADD onto his desk. The small click of sound seemed very loud in the room.
"Computer. Where is the location of Captain Kirk?"
"Captain Kirk is in his quarters."
The worst part was how Jocelyn had presented this whole crazy fucking plan as a done deal. Joanna going to some colony? In Space? What the everlovingfuck? Bones stood, his body creaking as though he'd aged years in the past ten minutes.
He made the trip to Jim's quarters on auto-pilot, still reeling from the shock of news. His baby. His little girl, who'd just turned eleven, was going to go to school off-planet?
Over his fucking dead body.
Of course, that might have been due to my … communication... with the Captain. You know, Len when you used to blather on about him you never really explained how dynamic he was. How... compelling.
Jocelyn had absolutely no constraint about doing whatever she deemed necessary to further her own ambition. Bones hadn't known about all the favors she'd racked up by fucking her way through most of the movers and shakers in Atlanta until she'd divorced him, the same little smug tone in her voice as she presented the divorce papers as a done deal. Bones hadn't been kidding when he'd told the kid that the ex had gotten the whole fucking planet in the divorce. The ink had barely been dry before she'd married Treadway; both of them cold-hearted and ambitious. They deserved each other. Bones had been reeling from the fact that Jocelyn had slept around on him, let alone that she'd slept around on him with people who had the power to control his career. She kept Jojo from him, purposefully, gleefully sharing that Jojo called Treadway" daddy" on the infrequent communications; guilelessly driving the spike into his heart with each careful word, each careful action. It had been child's play to have him declared an unfit father. In some ways, Atlanta was a very small town, and the news of his father's death had been very big news. He hadn't even bothered to fight for Jo, not wanting to put her through that kind of trauma. She meant too much to him for him to do that to his little baby girl.
Bones didn't even think twice about using his medical override to gain access to Jim's quarters. It wasn't like Jim had ever minded before. Of course Bones had never been this furious, either. His hands were shaking, fine tremors going through his body as he attempted to suppress his complete and utter rage. He fucking hated feeling this helpless. He was Jo's father for fuck's sake. How dare Joce do this without even consulting him?
Even deeper, his own voice whispered, How dare Jim?
The doors slid open with a small whhhsht of sound, closing behind Bones with hardly a change in the air current. He blinked for a moment, the room dark except for a muted blue glow of a fish tank set into the wall near the replicator. Bones stalked forward, moving around the partition, wishing that he had something to throw.
Jim lay there, deeply asleep, sprawled across almost the entire bed. He was naked, the sheets sliding off of the mattress, one corner low over one buttock. Bones' eyes had adjusted to the dimness, and he stood there, mouth dry, greedily taking in the sight of Jim's sprawled form from head to toe. The familiar sick feeling hit him then, the way his fingers itched to touch, and he blew air out of his nose, frustrated, the choked sensation closing his throat and pissing him off even more.
"Wake up." Bones' voice sounded almost unrecognizable, harsh and twisted with everything he was repressing. Fuck, he could give the hobgloblin a run for his money at this rate. Except for the way his hands still shook. Bones balled them into fists. "Jim. Wake up, dammit!"
"'ones?" Jim twitched, turning slightly to peer at Bones' still form standing near his bedside table. He cleared the sleep from his throat and tried again, tip of his tongue moistening chapped lips. "Bones?"
Somehow the familiar nickname made Bones feel even sicker.
Due to my … communication... with the Captain.
Yeah. He could guess what kind of communication that fucking bitch had with Jim. Anything to get ahead. Jojo going to some fancy school, being picked to go to some fancy school would have been just another kudos for her to gloat over with her petty, catty friends.
Bones kicked out, jarring the bed with his boot. "Get the fuck up, Jim. Get dressed. We need to talk."
Bones turned, ignoring the surprised sound Jim made. He couldn't be in there while Jim stretched, couldn't keep impassive if he had to watch the kid get dressed. Everything he was feeling was too close to the surface. Jim's stash of whiskey helped to give him some semblance of calm. He tossed back another shot, ignoring the sounds of drawers opening, the soft slide of fabric onto skin. Cursed himself for being weak. And so incredibly fucking stupid.
"Bones, seriously. What the hell, man? I just fell asleep." Jim yawned, scrubbing one hand through hair that already stuck out in all directions. Bones turned, flinching at the way Jim stood there, knuckling sleep out of one eye while he scratched at his stomach with his other hand. The Starfleet sweats he'd pulled on hung low on his hips. Bones had this urge to use them to pull Jim to him, to take what he'd wanted for so long that the yearning had become some sort of absurd second nature, a feeling long denied and buried.
Jim yawned again and shuffled over to the small table, flopping down in one of his chairs and looking up at Bones with a small smile.
"Tell me about the Cerberus colony, Jim." God, even saying that made Bones' voice tremble. He cleared his throat and belted back another gulp of whiskey.
Jim raised an eyebrow. "You woke me up for me to tell you about our mission?"
Bones nodded tightly, beginning to hate Jim a little for the nonchalant way he asked his question. Deceit. It never fucking changed. Jocelyn had been his best friend until... until everything had... Gone to hell. Now Jim, no. Captain Kirk was doing the same thing. Bones told himself that it didn't hurt.
But he was a fucking liar.
"Cerberus? How do you know about that?" Bones could see the wheels beginning to turn behind Jim's eyes. His tone changed, the sleepy confusion bleeding away.
"Just fucking answer the goddamn question!"
Jim jumped, shock from Bones' yell apparent on his face. His eyebrows came together as he frowned. "My mom. She was sick as fuck with Starfleet and resigned her commission. You know what it was like when we got back. People crawling up out of the woodwork with stories and pictures. Met up with this guy. Winston. You've probably heard of him- Carter Winston? Anyway some fucking 'Fleet moron introduced them and suddenly there are plans for this school for gifted kids from all sorts of planets. Kind of a study in xenophobia by having the kids need to work together. Bring people together after the clusterfuck that was Nero and his band of merry men. And learn together. My mom's gonna be the headmistress, if you can believe that shit. Those kids have no idea what's in store for them. Starfleet is on board with what is basically a PR wet dream and we were ordered to ferry the kids to the plan… what. What's wrong?"
Jim had stood, taking a step forward, reaching out to Bones as he always did. Kid was almost obsessively tactile- needing to touch, constantly. Bones jerked away, pushing Jim's shoulder with his hand, sending the younger man reeling, pinwheeling his arms for balance. Jim's hip hit the table and he grunted, holding one hand to his hip and staring up at Bones with what could only be called shock.
"How did you pick the kids, Jim? What, did your mom decide to let you head the process? What the fuck do you know about kids, anyway? 'Cuz who would deny the fucking Kirks anything, right? Tell me this, did you even look at the kids before picking them? Or did they just get in on how quickly their moms would spread their legs for-"
"Bones! What the fuck are you talking about?"
Jim took another step forward, freezing when Bones' lips twisted in a snarl, lost in the images of Jim and Jocelyn together, twisting and sliding in and out, over and around each other. "I'm talking about Jocelyn. My wife." Bones knew this dance. The acidic taste of jealousy was as familiar to him as his own drawl.
Jim's eyelashes fluttered for a second, blinking rapidly, darting from Bones' clenched fist to his furious face.
"Oh, she was thrilled, Jim. You should have heard her message. Pretty much bragging that she'd used your cock to make sure Jojo had a place in this fancy fucking school of yours. You know, okay it sucks that my best friend doesn't seem to have a problem with fucking my ex wife, but the fact that you two used Jojo as a—"
"Now wait just a Goddamn minute, Bones. I don't even know your wife. If she's telling you shit then-"
Bones actually saw red for a moment. He saw his fist connecting with Jim's face. He trembled, keeping it in place.
He absolutely could not abide liars.
"Jocelyn. McCoy. Treadway." Bones snarled, spitting out the words as though he couldn't keep their foulness inside of him any longer. He watched recognition flicker behind Jim's impossible eyes and took a step closer. They were so close that Bones could see the way Jim clenched his teeth together. He was close enough to see the recognition, the realization bloom on Jim's face.
Bones turned away, sick. He had to get away. He ignored Jim's strangled-sounding "Bones!" and walked, moving quickly now before he completely lost it.
He was really old enough to fucking know better.
Bones eyes slid shut for a second before popping open as he watched her grin, flinging her arms out and hopping nimbly off the transporter pad, barreling straight for him like she'd done for her whole life. Joanna McCoy didn't know how to hide an emotion. Bones had thought that things would be a little awkward, given that their contact had been few and far between in the past few years. Funny how seeing her in the flesh actually made him realize how damn much he'd missed his little girl.
Bones caught her up, clutching as much as she'd let him before she wiggled out of his arms and grinned up at him, delighted.
"Can I see your Sickbay? Am I gonna sleep in your room? Can I meet the Captain? Do you think he'll take us to warp? I've never gone that fast before. Is it true that you can feel it in the back of your teeth? Can I see the bridge? Is Uhura really completely badass? Is it true that you 'n' Captain Kirk are best friends? Mom said something about that but I was too excited to really listen to her. You know how she gets when she just yaps on and on. Totally have to tune her out for…oh Daddy. I'm so glad to see you." Her skinny arms wrapped around him again and Bones had to bite the inside of his cheek, until the little sting of tears went away.
He was one maudlin old man. Bones cleared his throat twice before he trusted himself to speak. "Hey baby. Got your things?"
"Aye, Doc. We beamed 'em over separately. They're in your quarters."
It was not lost on Bones that Jim had arranged for the Chief Engineer to beam his daughter aboard the Enterprise, fully cognizant of Bones' distrust of the damnfool thing. "Thanks, Scotty. Well, come on then hon. You hungry? Tired? Need to freshen up before we-"
"No! Are you kidding me?"
Bones had to smile. It felt weird on his face, like the muscles didn't know quite where to go. "Alright then. Sickbay it is." He nodded to Scotty who was doing a piss poor job of looking solemn and turned; ready to walk out of the transporter room. The doors slid open and Jim stood there, eyes hitting Bones like a punch to the gut.
"Hi there. You must be Joanna Treadway. I'm Captain Kirk."
Jojo rolled her eyes, making a sound in the back of her throat like a cat choking on a hairball. "Joanna McCoy. It's nice to finally meet you in person, sir. Thank you for taking the time to answer all my questions. Mama said you're a busy man and I shouldn't bother you with silly stuff, but…"
Jim laughed, the sound sounding strangely hallow. "McCoy. I didn't know that." Bones felt a strange flutter in his stomach at Jim's words; at the way Jim's eyes widened briefly. "So Bones is your dad, huh?" He looked up at Bones quickly, the blue gaze carefully blank. "Nah, I told you it was no problem. It's a pretty big deal going away for the first time. I remember when I did it. I was a little bit older than you, but I had a million questions and no one to answer them. I'm glad that I could help."
Jim held out his hand and Bones watched as his daughter looked up at him, obviously star struck. She flushed, holding out her hand to shake Jim's. "So you and m' daddy are friends?"
Bones spoke up before Jim could. "No baby. Not really. Come on now. We need to get you settled." He was looking at Jojo when her whole face fell for a moment, confused. He'd said it quickly, so pissed off at Jim that he just wanted him to hurt even half as much as Bones was hurting. Sure, juvenile. Sure, kind of a dick move.
Jim's sharp inhalation of breath rang in his ears for the rest of the day.
Bones was true to his promise. They went around to Sickbay first. Bones rolled his eyes at the way his nursing staff practically adopted Jojo from the getgo, answering her questions. When Bones was called in to supervise a surgery, Chapel practically quivered with excitement, and two hours later found Jojo happily organizing medical supplies with Chapel and M'Benga looking on in something very much like unholy glee.
Bones had been able to ignore Jim for most of the day, but when Jo had seen the captain sitting by himself in the mess, she had turned her big hazel eyes on her father and Bones had the uncomfortable feeling of turning completely into mush.
"Hey Joanna. Bones. You guys feel free to join me. We're going to beam the other kids aboard shortly. You want to be there when we do?"
"No- uh, that is I have to scrub in for Ensign Lowerly's surgery. Jo here though, she can stay if you don't mind, Captain Kirk." Bones was honest enough to enjoy the way Jim flinched at him using Jim's title. When he closed his eyes he could picture him and Joce together, both of them beautiful. It made him sick.
Jim smiled, the wide fake smile back at Bones. His eyes narrowed in the way that usually meant that he was spoiling for a fight, and Bones cut his gaze to the top of Jo's head. Jim was no fool. His smile warmed as he met Jo's hopeful gaze. "Sure. That would be great. We need to talk a little business, anyway. Your mom told me you're into cartography? Why don't you go and fetch yourself something to eat and we can discuss that before I have to go back on duty. We're got a little while before the other three beam up.."
Jo grinned crookedly. God, that grin was pure Jocelyn. The Joce that he'd fallen in love with, back when they were both just stupid kids. "Sure thing, Captain Kirk. I'll be right back!"
And she was off again.
Jim looked up at Bones, his gaze narrowing. His hand whipped out, hanging onto Bones' forearm in a gesture he'd done hundreds of times. This time though, the strong grip seemed cruel. "Look. I don't know what wild burr got up your ass. But I'm not a dick enough to let whatever weird shit is going on between us interfere with you having some time with your kid. But Bones? We will discuss this later."
Bones sneered. "There's nothing to say. I already know everything that I need to know." There was a flash of-something- on Jim's face, quickly stifled as Jo bounded up to them. "Bye daddy! I'll see you later, right?"
"Of course, baby."
"Da—aad. I'm not a baby!" She sounded mortified, turning bright red, gaze cutting to Jim.
Bones reached out and tugged on one pigtail. "Don't sass me, sugar. See you when you're done picking the Captain's brain. Try not to break him. We sort of need him around here." The familiar banter slipped out before he could stop it. Bones left quickly then in some confusion.
Hours later found him in his quarters. Jo had wrangled a tour of the bridge from Jim. She'd become the unofficial spokesperson for the other three kids. He expected them back in a few hours. Knowing Jo she'd get into Spock's labs next and Bones wouldn't see hide or hair of her for the two days it was going to take for her to get to Cerberus.
Bones had already had two drinks. It didn't stop the pounding in his head. He held the drink to his forehead, listening to the ice clunk around in the glass.
The PADD's blue screen stared at him almost accusingly. The irony of asking for a transfer was not lost on him. It was a simple decision, really. He didn't have nearly the clout that Winona Kirk had. Hell, he'd only met the woman once at a dinner, in between debriefings and funerals. The whole whirlwind of craziness once the Enterprise had limped back to Earth had been like some supernova, burning everything in its path. He'd sent the query off quickly, and received his reply just as quickly. The former Starfleet Commander was eager to have someone with McCoy's experience at her little shindig.
But drafting his resignation, knowing that Jim would have to see it before it went onto 'Fleet headquarters was really doing a number on him. Lowerly's surgery had been brain-numbingly routine, and as was his habit, Bones found himself thinking through several things while his hands were busy.
First and foremost, he could not be friends with someone who had been so deceitful. Jim fucking Jocelyn, or flirting with her, or whatever the fuck it was those two had going on… the fact that he'd done it behind Bones' back was bad. He just couldn't tolerate that. Sure, the two of them being upfront would have sucked, but the sneaking around? Why not just tell him? Why keep their communication secret? Fuck, he knew Jim couldn't keep it in his pants when faced with a pretty face – not fair, his mind argued. -he hasn't been nearly the Casanova he'd been at the Academy lately. Even on shore leave. Regardless, the fact that the two of them had used Jo as some sort of… well. It disgusted him. That Joce had used Jim, or Jim had used Joce… it didn't matter. Not when Jo's happiness was at stake.
He was honest enough with himself to admit that the sick feeling in his stomach was jealousy. Stupid. So fucking stupid to get this close to someone again. Hell, he and Jim had never done anything particularly romantic. Jim's default setting was flirtation, and Bones had tuned most of it out over the years. When Jim had stood in the busy hangar, slumping into himself while chaos reigned around him, Bones had realized that he loved the stupid kid. It had been the brave way he wished Bones luck, shaking his hand and wishing him a safe trip. Their hands had slid together just a little longer than usual, and Bones had thought his heart stopped for a moment at the realization that there was no way he could leave without this crazy, impossible kid that had grown to be so important to him.
Still. Bones didn't think he'd be able to get past this. Even seeing Jim around the ship today had made the dark feeling in his stomach crawl up his throat. Jesus, he hadn't even felt this way when he discovered Jocelyn in bed with Clay. In his bed. There'd been shock. Anger, of course. But not this sick, desperate feeling.
His door chimed.
Bones, expecting Jo, didn't have time to brace himself when he heard Jim's familiar bootstep on the floor. It startled him when he realized and Bones jumped a little, the glass falling from his hands and spilling on the desk.
"Computer, seal lock to Doctor McCoy's quarters, authorization Kirk, James T."
"Now wait just a Goddamn minute-." Bones half-rose from his seated position, hardly noticing the spilled alcohol on his hands as he braced himself on the surface of the table. Maybe that's why it was such a shock when Jim stalked right into his space, leaning over the table and shoving Bones back into his chair.
"No. Now you wait just a Goddamn minute, Bones. You want to explain why my mom just called me, ecstatic over having the greatest fucking Doctor in Starfleet joining her little team?"
Fucking treacherous Kirks. The lot of them.
Bones' lips twisted, and he glared up at Jim, balefully. The kid was red in the face, eyes narrowed. He looked pissed. They stared at each other for a minute or two, until Jim pushed back with a disgusted sound, flopping into the chair across from Bones.
He just sounded tired when he spoke. "I locked the door so Joanna wouldn't waltz in. C'mon, Bones. You're gonna have to help me out here. I'm a little slow when it comes to this emotional shit, but I'm sort of clued in on the fact that I fucked up somehow."
Bones just stared at him. Unwillingly, the wide eyed look on Jim's face when Jo had corrected his use of her last name swam before him.
"Bones?" Well, let me see if I can put it together. 'Cuz fuck knows I haven't been able to think about anything else all day. You woke me up, pissed. Furious. I don't think I've ever seen you so mad before. Which is weird. I thought you'd be happy that Joanna was here. That you got to see her. But somehow you went from me helping my mom with applicants to me fucking the mothers of applicants and then I just get lost, frankly. So let me back up a little more."
Bones stood up, needing to look away from the way that Jim just sat there, a careful smile on his face, swirling the mess of alcohol and melted ice around the table with one finger. He got a towel and replenished his glass.
"So, yeah. Jocelyn Treadway. Kind of a bitch in an ambitious way. Focused. I think I spoke to her a total of four times. My mom gave me the file on Joanna, and I had to contact her. She said her husband was some kind of corporate CEO. Based in Atlanta." Jim wiped his finger on his uniform pants, now focusing completely on the table. "The kid was cute though. Smart as fuck. Wants to know everything about everything. Funny thing though. She never, not once, mentioned that her dad was a doctor in Starfleet. That her dad just happened to be my best friend."
Bones blinked rapidly, still turned away. The thing about Jim, was when he did fuck up it was usually spectacularly. But he was never dishonest about it. Sheepish, yeah. Self-deprecating, of course. But Jim had never out and out lied to him before. Bones wheezed out a breath, certain for a second that his lung would collapse from the weight of his sudden suspicion, this sudden realization.
"So anyway, to answer your earlier question, when I was a kid I did have a lot of.. uh. Babysitting experience. I've always been good with kids. Mom, though. She's crap. She's good at teaching kids. And she's great with them once they're grown up, but she doesn't have a damn clue about what to do with them when they're that age. So she asked me to help. She doesn't ask me for stuff very often, Bones." Bones' name was whispered. His eyes drifted shut. The sick, twisted dark feeling in the pit of his stomach had crawled to his throat, strangling him.
"I don't know what your ex told you about me, Bones. But I've never even met her. I. I thought that you knew me better than that." Jim's laugh was fake, the sound grating on what was left of Bones' nerves. He flinched. "I guess I was wrong. If you really think I would… that I would do something like that to someone I-to a friend, then you're right. I guess we really aren't friends anymore. Computer- disengage door."
But he was alone in the room, Jim taking his leave without another word.
"Daddy, why is Captain Kirk going to visit some woman on the planet? Why is he going down by himself? Shouldn't we go with him?"
"I don't know, baby." He didn't. He and Jim hadn't spoken, hadn't even seen each other in the three days it had taken to get the other students settled and warp to Cerberus. Bones had made a special point of burying himself in work, and if it just so happened that mandatory inoculations were due, well then that was just too bad. "It's probably just Winona."
Bones missed the way his daughter's lips tightened at the name.
"He seems really excited to see her. You know, he's been really nice, daddy. He let me sit in his chair. And I got to tell Lieutenant Sulu to 'Punch it.' Captain Kirk just told me not to get too used to the chair- that he'd had it ergonomically designed for his ass." She grinned, fingering the Starfleet insignia Jim had given her. Bones had to smirk a little. Jo had been lost on the ship so many times that Spock had suggested that they give her one of the newly issued communicators so that they could, 'find her expeditiously with the most efficient use of manpower and resources.' Spock didn't seem to mind her questions at all. In fact, Bones was pretty sure the damn pointy-eared hobgoblin liked his kid about fifteen times more than he cared for him.
Bones shook his head, forcing himself to eat. "Yeah well he's probably really excited. I don't know. I haven't seen him to ask. But I think he's getting ready to beam down." It should probably bother him that even though he and Jim weren't speaking – and fuck he didn't even know how to begin to go about fixing this- he still knew Jim's schedule almost by heart.
"You know, Me and Hab both want to investigate the colony. Do you think-" Jo trailed off, smiling at her new friends, seated in a corner of the Mess. "Dad, I'll be right back."
The other three children were a little older than Joanna. Hab was a Bolian. He sat at a table in the mess hall, the diplomat who had been charged with his care looking vaguely disgusted as Hab licked at the grey piece of meat. Bones didn't know how Jo could stomach being around him while he ate. Rotting meat was never a pleasant smell. Well, unless you were Bolian. Hab was tall for his species. His bright blue skin had a kind of amusing habit of paling when he got excited over something. Given that it was his first time on a starship, Hab frequently looked like a spackled robin's egg as he discovered one new thing after another.
Not too far from Hab was the pint-sized Orion girl, Liandra. She was absolutely miniscule. She hadn't yet reached the age of sexual maturity in Orions, so her skin hadn't quite reached the bright green hue that Gaila's had. She sat, legs folded under her as she surveyed the off-duty personnel, looking for all the world like a tiny little queen surveying her subjects. Bones had to hide a small grin. Jo, who never met a stranger, had made friends with her and seemed to be trying to teach her some more human characteristics. The tiny Orion had made it very clear that she was only tolerating Jo's interference as a gesture of goodwill.
Sprek was another case altogether. According to ship scuttlebutt, Jim had made sure Spock was on hand to greet the young Vulcan male. No one knew much about why the little guy had been included. For certain he was brilliant, and certainly capable. The reigning rumor seemed to be that he had done something against traditional Vulcan cultural norms, and had been exiled to the care of the Cerberus colony. The only two out of the three people on the entire ship who knew for certain would not speak of what was clearly regarded to be Sprek's private life. Jim tended to glare at crew members who rude enough to ask him, the good natured look on his face bleeding slowly away, features arranged in something that was much more likely to get nosy crew members working Gamma shift trash detail than whatever relative cushy job they were currently assigned to.
Bones caught the gaze of Spock eating at a corner table with Uhura and Sprek, and quickly looked back down at his plate. Spock gave the impression that he wouldn't mind breaking Bones into a few separate pieces and beating him to death with them. Well, okay maybe that was just Bones' interpretation. He darted a quick look back up to the Vulcan, whose eyebrow twitched as he continued to gaze directly at Bones.
Then again, maybe not.
Jo came back, munching on a carrot she'd clearly stolen from Liandra's tray. "Daddy, do you think we could go see the Captain beam down? I wanted to ask him a question. And Mr. Chekov promised to show me the transporter controls."
Bones blinked, focusing on his daughter's hopeful face. He'd been unable to come to a decision on whether or not to go through with the transfer. On one hand, he'd have Jo. Watch her grow up. Get to actually be her dad for a change. On the other hand… no Enterprise. "Sure. Just let me take care of my tray." Bones dumped the mostly uneaten meal in the recycler and walked with her to the transporter room.
"Have you commed your mother?" Bones nodded to crew members as they passed, noticing that just about everyone had a smile for his daughter. Jo was just like that. Ever since she was a baby, she'd have this knack of just smiling and people would fall over themselves to give her anything she wanted. Even with Jocelyn as her caregiver, it was a miracle that she wasn't completely spoiled. Ensign Moss stopped and handed him a PADD, waiting until he'd acknowledged her before moving on at a brisk clip. The inoculation results. Bones looked at them, absently.
"Oh daddy. You always ask me that. I sent her a message when I arrived."Joanna waved her PADD before slipping it back into her belt. "She said to tell you hello, and wanted me to make sure that the Captain contacted her." Bones felt his facial muscles freeze. "I told her that he was too busy to take coms of course. Funny, he made kind of the same face you're making now when I told him. Usually he's so… smiley." Bones ignored his daughter's blissful sigh. "He seems like such a great person, Daddy. Did you know that he was… oh! There he is! Captain! Captain Kirk!" Jo beamed, waving her hand and jogging forward. Bones saw Jim's smile and schooled his face into careful blankness. He was uncomfortably aware that Jim's smile dimmed slightly, blue eyes skittering away from his own hazel gaze.
"Good morning, Joanna." Jim reached out and chucked her on the chin. Jo turned right red, grinning up at him.
"Hi! Are you going down to the surface? Can I come? I'm really quite curious about what it's like down there. I've been reading up on the colony and it's fascinating what they've done with the xenocrystalline of grain study. Imagine a nearly perfect way of feeding people!"
Bones, who couldn't make himself look away from Jim's face, caught the briefest of tightening of Jim's features; a look of almost sorrow so brief Bones thought he had imagined it.
"I know. That's one of the reasons Winona wanted me to beam down first. She wants to show off her new toy. I was just on my way down, actually. Come on, you can see me off. I think Chekov was going to show you some of the finer points of transporter technology, right?"
"What, you're an expert on grain now, too?" Jesus, why couldn't he just shut up?
A flash of blue, so bright for a second that Bones found himself blinking stupidly, cursing his stupid tendency to blurt out whatever popped into his head. His hand tightened on the PADD and it was with some shock for Bones to realize that he still clutched it in his hands.
"Yeah. Not an expert, exactly. But it's a subject that interests me. I grew up on a farm. I guess it stuck." Again that strange, sad look.
God. He hadn't heard that particular tone of polite, careful distance since Jim's first diplomatic mission.
"Well. Shall we?" Jim smiled down at Jo again, waving the two of them on into the transporter room.
"Hi Chekov! How are you?"
"Wery well, thank you Jo. Keptin, are you ready for transport?" Chekov stood at attention hands resting comfortably on the transporter device.
Jim moved around Bones, their bodies touching just slightly. Enough that he could feel the charge of energy, causing him to catch his breath. Jo was standing by the transporter pad, looking at some of the readouts.
"So, you're going down dirtside." A stupid thing to say, but it was all that Bones could think of to fill up the uncomfortable silence. Even Chekov was giving Bones the hairy eyebrow, picking up on the blatant tension between the two men. He would have had to have been completely blind and stupid not to realize that he and Jim's sudden lack of affability had to be pretty much the topic of gossips from all over the ship.
Jim, face also politely blank nodded. "Come on, Jo. You better go on by Chekov. I have a meeting in fifteen minutes. I don't generally like to keep her waiting."
Jo made a disgruntled sound. "Humph. She sounds kind of rude."
Jim grinned easily. "Naw. Just focused. Come on now. You and the others can beam down later. Winona said something about there being some sort of trouble down on the planet. I'm just going to check it out."
"If there's trouble, should you go down with some sort of security?"
Bless Jo's suspicious heart. Took the words right out of his mouth.
"Normally yes." It struck Bones how completely at ease Jim really was with Jo and all her questions. Especially since Bones just stood here soaking in the sound of Jim's voice, like a complete idiot. "But I wanted some time alone with her before we were on the clock." Jim winked. "I'm the captain. I can do stuff like that."
"Jo, come on now." Bones' voice was rougher than normal.
Jo sighed, flouncing over to where Chekov stood. That was another thing. Everyone on the ship knew that Jo had a rather painful crush on Jim. But no one was cruel or hateful to her, tending to ignore its less than pleasant aspects when they manifested, like now.
"Right. Jo, you take care of things for me while I'm gone. Get Spock to help you so he doesn't feel left out, okay?" Jim winked and stepped up onto the transporter pad.
Bones opened his mouth to say something, racking his brain for something appropriate to say with his kid and the ship's kid in hearing vicinity. Whatever was on his face caused the hard look Jim adopted lately whenever they saw each other to soften slightly. Jim raised his hand in the ta'al, lips smiling.
Bones rolled his eyes, lips twitching in response. Only Jim.
"Aye sir. Engag— wait! Nyet!"
Bones didn't have time to react. He had never moved too far away from the bay doors, perhaps subconsciously showing how little he still distrusted the damn things, even after all this time in the black. He just saw a blur of pink go flying and had one millisecond of Jim's eyes widening in shock before Joanna's flying leap sent her molecules scrambling with Jim's as they both disappeared from the transporter pad.
"Get them BACK!" Bones was moving, even before the molecules had finished dissipating. He slammed his hand down on the transporter control console, staring hard at the pad as though he could make them reappear with just the weight of his glare. He heard a crack and loosened his grip on the PADD before he broke it.
"I.. I am…trying!"
Bones snarled, watching as the kid's hands flew over the console. "McCoy to Spock." But Bones couldn't speak past his heart, thudding madly in his throat. His voice simply wouldn't work.
"Doctor?" Spock's voice over the open channel, inquiring.
Chekov responded. "There's been an accident with the captain, sir. You better get down to Transporter three."
"Acknowledged. Spock, out."
"Aye, sir. I know. They arrived safely, but there's been something… some malfunction with the transporter."
Bones actually thought his knees would give out on him. Over and over, he saw Jo, his baby, his little girl flinging herself at Jim. Saw Jim's shocked face as he instinctively moved to catch her.
You were not supposed to move during transport.
Bones brought a shaking hand up to his mouth, aware that his lips were forming curses, no sound falling from his lips, barely aware when the doors behind him slid open, Scotty running pel-mel for the transporter. Spock's voice came over the comm again.
"Ensign Chekov. Lieutenant Commander Scott will take over. You are needed on the Bridge. You too, Doctor."
Bones turned on one heel, running for the doors, Chekov pounding right behind him. The few crew members walking around flattened themselves against the corridor walls, watching with wide eyes. It seemed to take too long to get to the lift. The ride to the Bridge seemed to take hours instead of minutes.
Bones and Chekov both stopped short at the image on the viewscreen.
Winona Kirk stood there, the signal wavering with static, staring dismayed at Spock.
"You're telling me that an eleven-year old child mucked up the transporter controls on a Galaxy class starship?"
"Affirmative, Commander. Indeed, it would appear so."
Winona Kirk cocked her head, pinching the bridge of her nose in a way that reminded Bones painfully of her son. "That is… not quite what I was hoping you'd say, Commander Spock. To say that this is not the best timing is somewhat of an understatement. I don't know where the locals came from. According to Starfleet," she spit this word out with a good bit of venom. "This was an uninhibited planet. Of course that doesn't explain why everything's gone to complete and utter shit on the surface."
"Wait- what? Why wouldn't you bother to share that information with us you fu—"
"Doctor McCoy." Spock's voice was sharp with reprimand. "Now is not the time."
Winona's brown gaze zeroed in on Bones, eyes narrowing slightly as she recognized who he was. "Yeah, Doc? You might want to examine why your kid chose to hijack the Goddamn transporter before you throw too many stones there." She sounded amused.
Like this was fucking funny. Chekov brushed past him, stepping on his booted foot on purpose on his way to his station. The sharp pain distracted Bones from his immediate retort. He took a deep, shaky breath. Tried to remember where he was, and who exactly it was that he was talking to.
There was the sound of phaser fire off screen. Winona whirled, looking over her left shoulder. "Look, I kind of have my hands full here. Let me know when you guys get your shit together. Kirk out." The viewscreen image fizzled out.
"Lieutenant. When you're ready."
"On it, Spock." Uhrua's clipped voice was carefully blank of any stress as her fingers flew over her station's console. There was a bleep and a mechanical sounding whine that caused everyone on the bridge but Spock to wince. Joanna's voice filled the room.
"Ca—Captain? Captain Kirk?" She voice shook. She sounded absolutely terrified. There was the sound of more phaser fire. Something very large hit the ground, the crashing sound deafening over the speakers, causing another loop of feedback.
"Jo! Joanna!" Bones' voice cracked as he stumbled forward, almost tripping on the smooth surface of the bridge's walkway.
"Commander, I can monitor their frequencies. Both life signs are present. Main viewscreen."
"Joanna!" Bones took another step forward, clenching his fists at his side.
"Doctor, they cannot hear us."
Bones turned to look at Spock, biting his lip to keep from cursing. Spock wasn't even looking at him. Instead, his gaze was fixed on the viewscreen that showed two blips. Heart rate, Oxygen intake, stress levels, all were showing. Bones took in the sight, years of training reading that Jo's repertory rate was high, showing great levels of stress and adrenaline. Jim appeared to be unconscious. His heart rate was steady, if a bit slower than normal.
"C'mon, Captain. Wake up please. Please, those guys are gonna come back." Jo's voice gulped, whispered. The monitors didn't show where either of them were, or what position they were in.
"Leonard, the communicators are only broadcasting one way. There's some kind of planetary interference that is scrambling the signal. We can see them, we can hear them, but I can't lock on them." Uhura's voice was kind. Out of the corner of his eye he could tell she was practically radiating worry and empathy, but couldn't force himself to look away from the fucking viewscreen, too afraid of something happening if he took his attention off it even just for a moment.
"Why didja do that, huh Captain? My dad is gonna be royally pissed at me when he finds out I let you get hurt. If he doesn't kill me for the little stunt I pulled. Which he probably will. Which sucks 'cuz I had big plans for twelve. I'm sorry okay? Please wake up… please?"
His baby. She sounded terrified.
Jim groaned, and Bones flinched at the way Jo sobbed a little. Her voice sounded muffled now, like she was hunched over. "Shhh. Shhhh. It's okay. It's gonna be okay now. Wake. Up!" Jim groaned again and there was a slapping sound; a sharp strike against skin.
Almost as though speaking from down a very far-away tunnel, he heard Spock's voice, murmuring something, and someone else's response.
"Sorry- Sorry about that. My da—daddy says that you have a head that's harder than two horse buckets strung together, so you better quit being such a wuss. My great-aunt Ethyl can take a hit better than that. Oh. Oh, nonono…oh shit."
More phaserfire, distressingly close. Bones could taste the blood in the back of his throat where he'd bit his tongue. Everyone on the bridge froze. Bones could feel them looking at him, and then carefully not looking when Jo's voice squeaked again, terror bleeding through the last syllable. Her adrenaline spiked, so much that based on the increased oxygen intake, it looked as though she were about to pass out.
There was the sound of a voice, harsh and alien. The UT had a slight delay, but the words, once they heard them were worse than the tone.
"Why hello there, beautiful. What do we have here?"
Bones felt himself sway. There was another high-pitched whine and the communicators completely blipped out, leaving them in silence. Suddenly, the sounds of the bridge seemed inordinately loud.
"Damn it! It's that planetary interference again! Compensating…."
Fury choked him. Uhura's head was bent over her station as she worked. "Come on!" He bellowed, not able to keep himself from overreacting. It was impossible. He couldn't focus on his training, on staying calm when he didn't know if... if...
She ignored him, making an adjustment. He whirled and the PADD that he'd been clutching so hard accidentally flew out of his hand, crashing into one of the computers behind her. Uhura ducked, and Bones stood there, breathing heavily, shocked at himself.
"Doctor McCoy. You will remove yourself from the bridge immediately."
"No. Oh no, Spock come on you can't do that you fucking green blooded bastarding son of a bitch!" Bones punched the bulkhead in front of him, cursing, welcoming the split of the skin on his knuckles.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw red uniforms and he flinched.
"Spock, wait a moment… I.. just a … there!" They all jerked, turning towards the viewscreen at the now familiar whine of high-pitched feedback. Uhura's voice was brittle as she adjusted her controls.
They could hear heavy breathing…. The sound of phaser fire…nothing else. Bones moaned, closing his eyes, before they popped open and he was staring at the viewscreen.
"Well, that was a little more entertainment that I had expected." Jim's voice, wan but there.
"Hey now. We're okay. Let's get out from under this rock, okay? That guy probably has buddies that will be looking for him."
"He was… He…"
"Shh, Joanna. You're fine. Nice job kicking him in the face by the way. You looked completely badass."
"Alright now, none of that." Jim's voice was sharp, commanding. Bones noticed that just about everyone on the bridge straightened at the tone implicit in that voice, as a habit on the rare occasions when they heard it. "I'm going to need your help. Quit waffling about and show some of that McCoy backbone."
Bones felt the two security officers flank him, one on either side. He stiffened. "Spock. Please don't do this. I didn't mean to throw the fucking thing. She knows that." Bones met Uhura's gaze, to check that she did. She looked like she was ready to cry, her beautiful eyes wide with sympathy. She shook her head and Bones understood that she knew he hadn't been trying to hurt her.
"Regardless, Doctor, your place is not on this bridge. You are emotionally compromised. However, I am not unaffected by your plight. I believe you will be better served by waiting in your quarters." Spock's tone brooked no argument.
"Spock…" Bones had never pleaded for anything so much in his life. He was surprised to see a small flicker of—something—on Spock's face. "Please. You can't do this."
"Yes, Doctor. Indeed I can." He jerked his head sharply and Bones felt the two security guards tense. He was drained, unable to really process individual events. He only knew that they were taking him away… from Joanna. And from Jim.
Bones didn't hear the muffled beep the first time. It was to his personal computer. He didn't fucking care. Anyone who needed him had to get through Cupcake and Jackass, the two security guards Spock had detailed to make sure that he didn't leave his room. The indicator on his computer beeped again, and listlessly, Bones turned to answer it.
Uhura. His eyes widened as he read it, heart rate thundering in his chest. That beautiful, brilliant woman. A Goddess.
Len, here's the frequency. Spock actually went against regs for this. Please don't do anything stupid. We're working to get them back, as fast as we can.
With hands that shook, Bones followed her instructions, and closed his eyes with relief as he heard his daughter's voice over the computer's speakers. Uhura had patched them down to his room. A much smaller screen opened and Bones could see the two blips that represented his daughter and his best friend, just like on the view screen.
"You have a… and she's … she's the one that's gonna be my headmistress?"
"Yep. What, did you think they shat me upon a rock during high noon? I had parents, you know."
"Well of course I know. I did go to school, you know. I just didn't uh. I thought that Winona was your.. er.. Well, nevermind what I thought."
Bones could almost hear Jim raising an eyebrow. "Right. So.. since it looks like we're going to be here for awhile until my ship can come fetch us, don't you think it would be a great time to fill me in on whatever the hell it was that you did to my ship? Stop that!"
"Damnit, Captain, I'm a schoolgirl, not a doctor! But even I know what a head wound looks like. Quit being such an infant."
Jim's bark of a laugh made Bones smile, tiredly.
"I'd prefer not to say, actually." Jo's prim voice made Bones sigh. He pulled the computer onto his bed and rolled onto his back, staring up at the ceiling of his quarters. "Come on, didn't you ever do anything dumb when you were eleven?"
"Yeah, actually. Maybe not quite this stupid, mind you, but it was pretty damn stupid. Here. Let's rest here for awhile. If we're gonna be stuck underground, at least here there's a little airway."
"Really, kid. Call me Jim."
There was a silence. In an incredibly small voice, Bones heard his daughter whisper, "I'm sorry. I think it's my fault that your head is messed up. And your back."
"Don't be silly. True, maybe it wasn't the best idea to jump me like that. You do know that you could have been really hurt, don't you?" Jim's voice was just chiding enough that to Jo it must have sounded agonizing; with her hero worship anything Jim said would sound so much worse.
"Yeah. But I figured it out. While you guys were talking to Mister Chekov. It wasn't that hard of an adjustment. And really, Capt.. er. Jim. Don't you think you should look more closely at the fact that I was able to hack your system? With you and my dad right there?" Her voice was all chiding innocence.
Nice, Jo. Bones smirked. That's my girl.
"Oh god, your dad is gonna kill me."
"Kill you? He knows ,like, eight-million different types of diseases. I'll be surprised if he doesn't keep me in stasis so that he can revive me, then inject me again when gets his hands on me."
Jim snickered, and then groaned, breaking off with a muffled curse. "It looks like we're gonna be here for a little—hey. Hey, Jo. Kid, no waterworks, okay?" Jim sounded a little panicked at the muffled sniff. "So okay. So when I was eleven, I drove a car off a cliff." Jim's blurted words startled Jo out of her sniffing.
Bones looked sharply at the computer.
"My stepdad- Frank. He was kind of a dic-. Er. I mean a bad person."
Bones snorted, Jo's following his a second later.
"While my mom was off planet, he watched us, right? Me and Sam. Well, Sam had had enough and took off, and I was so mad when Frank bragged that he was gonna sell my dad's car that I drove it off a cliff. It was wild. Oh, no. Nothing like that. I wasn't trying to hurt myself or anything."
Right, Jim. Because stable, well-adjusted kids steal cars and drive them off cliffs before they finish their homework.
"I was kind of a wild kid, tho—" Jim broke off, a grunt of pain echoing strangely. Where ever they were, it had to be some sort of cavern. Jim had said that there was an airway. It was a pain sound. Bones knew that sound- knew what Jim sounded like when he tried to hide being in pain.
There was no answer. Bones stared hard at the life sign indicators, watching for … fuck. There it was. He had to be losing blood somehow.
"Yeah, kid." His voice was strained.
"I think I should look at your shoulder. And you can't fall asleep. Your eyes are all funny. I think you have a concussion. Damn, I wish my daddy was here. He'd know what to do."
Bones closed his eyes.
"Me too." Jim took another breath. "Yeah, sure. See if you can see anything. Hell, you can't do any worse than I did. Just use the shirt. It's pretty much fucked anyway. I can't keep a damn uniform clean to save my life."
There was a soft sound of movement, and another grunt of pain. Bones could imagine Jim sitting up, letting Jo behind him to look at his shoulder. He heard her rip the uniform and Jim suck in a sharp breath, hurt.
"I think when you pushed me out of the way of that rock you broke your ribs. And something is in your shoulder. Shrapnel, I think" Jo's voice was strained.
"You're not gonna faint on me, are you? Who am I gonna talk to if you're passed out?"
Jo scoffed. "Please. Like I would faint. And don't you start that too."
Jim yelped and cursed. Jo must have removed the metal in his shoulder. There was a ripping sound, and Bones could see Jo now, her lips pressed tightly together, tying off the wound. There was another rending sound of fabric.
"Start wh-what?" Jim's voice sounded strained.
"Treating me like I'm some dumb kid. Daddy does it too. So does my mama. And Clay. It's really annoying."
"I definitely don't. Ow. Owow motherfucking OW! Shit. Sorry."
Jo giggled. "You really have a dirty mouth." She was quiet for a second. "Like for instance, you and my daddy. Why are you mad at each other?"
Jim was silent. "He." There was another, longer silence. "He thinks I did something."
There was another rustling sound as Jo moved around. "Did you?"
Jim laughed; the sound harsh and completely devoid of amusement. "Of course I didn't." Jim sighed. "It doesn't matter, Jo."
"Are you mad at him?"
Jim was silent again.
Bones watched the monitor, reassuring himself that Jim was still breathing, ignoring the way his heart was practically ready to break his ribs. If he kept this shit up he'd have fucking heart attack.
"No Jo. I'm not mad at your dad. He's my best friend. Even when he acts like a moron."
"How did you guys meet, anyway? I mean, he's so much older than you."
"Oh he puked on my shoes."
"Yeah." Jim's snort was amused. "He was absolutely trashed. Complaining about some bitch who'd cleaned…er. Oh." Jim coughed, embarrassed.
Jo snorted. "Don't be sorry. I know my mama pretty well. And. I .. uh. I have to.. apologize for something."
"I already told you not to worry about it. It was stupid, but you didn't know what was gonna happen. Besides. If I had to be here by myself I'd probably be dead. You're doing a great job of keeping me alert, kid."
"No. Not that. Something else." Jo's voice was extremely small. "I lied to you."
The sound of bodies shifting again.
"Hmm. I'm not very good with lies, Joanna."
"I know. But I need to tell you, please?" Her voice was a whisper.
"Okay." Jim's voice was wary.
"It was… my mama. You know how you thought my last name was Treadway?"
"Mama wouldn't let me tell you who my daddy was. That I wouldn't have a chance of going to Cerberus unless no one knew that I was a McCoy. But… But I think I figured out that she was trying to play a joke on my dad. Only it wasn't very funny."
Bones jumped up off of the bed, pushing his fingers through his hair. He almost wanted to shut the sound off, had actually moved to hit the button before he made himself stop.
"She's always doing stuff like that. Like she thinks we won't love each other if I can't see him all the time. But we write all the time. And I send him pictures. I just have to hide it or she'll get mad. Do you know why my parents got divorced?"
"No. And I don't want to know. Jo, that's not my business. You need to talk to your dad about that stuff. And you being Bones' kid wouldn't have kept you off the colony. You were picked because of your scores on your examinations. Because you're off the charts. Not because of who I am, or who your dad is. Okay?
"Okay." Her voice was a whisper, miserable.
There was a grating sound, the sudden crash causing Bone's heart to leap back into his throat.
"Jo! Get over here, behind that rock. Don't move, no matter what, okay?" Jim's hissed voice made it very clear that she better do exactly what he said.
Bones watched as their bodies showed sign of stress, adrenaline, heart rate and oxygen intake all spiking. There was another grinding sound and Jim cursed.
"Well, hi there, Jimmy. What the hell happened to your shirt?"
Jim's laugh spilled out over the comm unit, bright and fully of happiness.
"Goddamn, mom! It's about fucking time!"
Bones was already running towards the transporter room when the notification from Spock came over his comm. He skidded to a halt in front the doors, almost running smack dab into them as they slid open.
Joanna's shriek caused most of the chaos in the transporter room to pause for a moment. Bones was already running forward. He saw the bruise on her temple, the blood on her uniform and cataloged it, part of his mind screaming at him and the other assuring himself that they were superficial wounds. He stumbled forward as she flung herself into his arms. Bones knew his eyes were wet and didn't care who might be staring. Jo was here and she was safe and… he was going to fucking strangle her.
Bones set her down on her feet. He knew his face had to be showing what Jim called his 'crazy eyes' by the way Jo's eyes widened.
"Now, uh... daddy…"
"Don't you 'now daddy' me young lady."
"But..!" Bones looked down at his own eyes in miniature, widened innocently with just a suggestion of wetness at the lashes.
"Joanna Elizabeth Victoria McCoy. Do. Not. Even. Try. You have exactly three minutes to get your skinny little behind to sickbay. This nice lady will help make sure you get there. Do not even think about leaving." Bones turned towards Chapel, who was already walking forward, looking at Jo, a look of nice knowing ya, kid plain on her face.
"Okay, daddy." Meekly spoken, a peek of the innocently widened eyes before she kissed Bones on the cheek, hugged him hard and followed Chapel out of the doors.
Bones blew out a breath before turning to see two equally amused Kirks staring at him. Jim was slumped against his mom, whose legs were planted firmly, shouldering her son's weight as though he weighed nothing. Jim's eyes looked almost electric, practically shining with intensity. He was listening to Spock as he filled him in. Bones hurried forward snagging one of the tricorders his duty nurse was holding out for him, stepping out of the way while they maneuvered Jim onto a stretcher in a dance that he'd done hundreds of times before.
Sliding into his CMO persona was comfortable. It made him focus on the here and now, on Jim's blood and the way his mouth tightened in pain as the stretcher floated beside Bones and the other nurses, the people in the transporter room sort of following it to sickbay like a weird sort of parade.
Bones looked around once, seeing a very subdued-looking Jo sitting on a biobed, gnawing on her lip as Jim was transferred to a bed across from her. Bones offered her a half-smile of reassurance before shutting the privacy curtain.
"You gonna tell me what happened after my damnfool daughter jumped you?" Jim's eyes widened slightly. "Let me guess. You pushed her out of the way of a cave-in, saved me the trouble of killing some sumbitch that was gonna hurt her, then used the Jim Kirk Patented Method of Coping In Any Tense Situation by talking her out of panicking."
"How did you…?" Jim's eyes widened further, staring at Bones like he'd seen a ghost.
Bones grunted. "The communicators, dumbass. Spock tagged her after he lost her in Science lab G. We could hear everything."
Bones nodded, loading a hypospray. Jim tensed, but Bones hands were gentle as he sprayed Jim's neck, "Everything, Jim."
"Hey, Jimmy. Hey, Doc. Is he going to be okay?"
Bones started a little, guiltily. What the hell was he doing, staring at Jim like some teenager? Bones had the very uncomfortable thought of he and Joanna staring worshipfully after Jim, heads cocked and bosoms heaving and winced.
"Yes ma'am. I'll have him fixed up in no time. He aggravated a few discs in his spine from his earlier surgery, and has a concussion but he'll be fine." Winona's smile was a bright flash, and Bones stood there for a moment, stupidly.
"Bones is the best, mom."
Bones felt his cheeks heat. "Yeah, well what I gave him will make him a little talkative. I'm just going to check on Jo, then I'll be right back." It was a cheap excuse. All three of them knew that if anything had been wrong with Joanna, Chapel or one of the other staff would have informed him immediately.
From there it was easy to continue to be Doctor McCoy- instead of half-out of his mind with worry and guilt lunatic thing he currently had going. From time to time scuttlebutt made its way down to him- the insurgents on the planet had come for the genetically altered grain and had been completely subdued. The money guy, Carter Winston, was rumored to have chartered a ship and was on his way.
Bones didn't know why the grain was such a big deal- but Jim and Winona had both done a lot of silent communication; both of their faces utterly grim. There was definitely some sort of story there. Bones had been doing his best to seem invisible as he set the dermal regenerator on a scrape on Jim's lower back when he heard Jim and Winona's conversation. Jim had been heard to mutter that if Winston didn't want people to try and steal his toys, then he should share them with the other children. The two Kirks had their heads together, identical looks on their faces that fairly screamed fiendish plotting. Do not disturb.
Bones, no idiot, had just made himself scarce.
"Please don't think that near death experiences will get you out of the grounding you're about to get."
"Are you looking at this face? Do I look amused right now?"
An exasperated huff of air. "You always look grumpy. You're like a rain cloud of grouchy doom."
"Okay! Fine! But you never know what he's thinking. He could like eviscerate me with an eyebrow. He's really, really protective about the captain's safety. Must be some sort of Vulcan thing." She looked at him, one hand on her hip. "I'm warning you now daddy. If he squishes me into a little splat of blood then…"
"..Then I'll know how to put you back together again. Now go apologize, young lady."
A sigh and Jo straightened her spine, tugging her jumper down so that it was straight, brushing off an imaginary bit of lint. "This apology stuff is for the birds. I already apologized to Jim for getting him hurt, and to Mr. Scott for playing with his transporter… well okay so that wasn't too bad. He kind of picked my brain over this thing called a sausage butty? Man. That man likes his sandwiches. Oh, and to Mister Chekov for getting him in trouble and scaring him."
"It's probably best that you saved Spock for last then."
Jo tilted her head, little chin jutting out. "I'll go on one condition."
Bones raised his eyebrow. "How nice. What's that condition- the fact that I'm choosing to not drop kick a certain stalling brat out of a torpedo bay?"
"Ha. Ha-ha, daddy. No. I'll apologize to the big, scary Vulcan if you… talk to Jim."
Bones flinched. It had been three days since Jim and Jo had beamed back onboard the Enterprise. While things hadn't been nearly as strained as they'd been between he and Jim before, neither one of them were particularly good at talking about things. Bones didn't even know how to begin to start apologizing. Or even if Jim was interested in hearing anything Bones had to say. Sure he'd been nice to Jo while trapped with her on the planet, but Jim would have said anything to keep her calm and focused on anything but their situation.
Funny. Jim really was good with kids. He'd been nice to her without being condescending, sweet without encouraging her crush. Strict, but not cruel.
Bones blinked, focusing on Jo's determined little face. She'd been trying her damndest to get the two of them to talk over the three days and clearly she was frustrated with their glacial pace of reconciliation. He sighed, running one hand through the hair on his forehead. At this rate he'd be bald before he hit forty. "Sure, Jo. I'll talk to him tonight."
"Excellent. Liandra, Hab, Sprek and I were going to the star cartography lab after dinner anyway." Jo tilted her head, looking up at him from under her lashes. "I heard Jim's mom say that Jim hasn't been eating much lately. Maybe you guys could have dinner together."
Jesus. His daughter was trying to set him up. He could almost hear the little shit smirk as she walked out of the room, whistling.
"Doctor McCoy to Captain Kirk."
"Bones? What's up?"
"You're off shift in twenty minutes, right?"
"Yeah.." His voice was cautious. Bones hated himself a little for being the one to put that tone in Jim's usually boisterous, super-friendly voice.
"If you're not busy, we could have dinner. I have a couple of things to.. er… discuss."
There was a moment of silence. "I guess that would be okay." Jim's voice sounded shy. The low timbre of it made Bones' heart beat a little faster in his chest.
"Sounds good. McCoy out."
Bones had a moment of pure panic before he shook his head ruefully and called down to the mess to have a tray sent up. He didn't use that privilege often, usually only when he'd been on his feet for hours and hours. He ordered quickly then hustled into the fresher for a shower. Bones didn't mess around with the sonics, preferring the old-fashioned water shower instead. Fifteen minutes later, he was sauntering out of the shower with a white fluffy towel slung low around his hips, face buried in a smaller towel when he heard a low cough and stopped, freezing in place at the sound.
Jim stood there, eyes slightly widened, holding the covered tray in his hands. Bones flushed. For a second he could only thank God that he hadn't spent the last few minutes jacking off or something, but then reflected that based on the way Jim was currently biting his lip so that he didn't burst into laughter, the other would have been less humiliating.
"Ah—hi there, Jim. How long you been here?"
"Oh since the second chorus. I didn't know what exactly was burning, but the way you went down, down, down into the ring of fire was pretty special. I don't think I've ever heard notes that sounded quite that … ah… that interesting before." Jim smiled brightly.
"Oh fuck you." Bones grinned, turning and rummaging in his closet for some clothes. This was them. Regular, stupid joking around. Not the shit he'd put Jim through in the past few days. God, he had so much to apologize for...
"No, really Bones. The way you harmonized with er.. yourself was truly awe-inspiring. And the volume! Wow, I bet they heard you on Delta Vega."
Bones snorted, pulling out a pair of jeans and a button-up shirt.
"I'm just gonna set this tray down. But hey, remind me to get Scotty out here. That last note you hit probably did something to the water purificat—"
The rolled up pair of socks hit Jim directly in the back of the head. Bones smirked, ducking back into the fresher to get dressed. He had already slung the towels into the recycler before he realized he'd forgotten underwear, instead sliding the jeans up over his bare ass. He slid into the shirt and walked out, barefoot, combing his hair with his fingers.
"Bones, you missed it. Your daughter is some kind of freak of nature. I didn't know Vulcans could be wrapped around anyone's finger, but Jesus. Spock was all but cooing. Well, you know. I mean that look he usually has that's all 'I do not find your antiquated human inconsistencies amusing' was totally gone. And.. his lip twitched. I kicked him off the bridge so that he could supervise the brain trust's cartography project."
"She's something, that's for sure."
"Yeah I know. I get that you guys heard everything down there but she was really great, Bones. Strong and so damn smart. I mean, I knew in an abstract way that you had to be a great dad, but fuck Bones. She absolutely idolizes you. She was so brave, and funny and…"
"Jim." Bones reached out to grab Jim's shoulder, halting Jim's nervous babble.
Jim tried a smile, one that failed miserably.
"I'm sorry, Jim."
"No! It's okay. I get it. You and your ex were.. I mean she… I mean." Jim took a deep breath. "I'm sorry she made you think that I was with her. I know you were jealous. I even get why, man."
"Of course I do! Reconciliation is hard enough without having all these miles in between. But with you and Jo and your… I mean, her mom on Cerberus together it should work out great." Jim's smile was bright. If Bones hadn't known him so well, he would have believed it to be sincere.
"Hey let's eat! I'm fucking starving."
"Yeah?" Jim's face was carefully blank except for the brittle smile that didn't reach his eyes.
Bones bent down a little, stepping into Jim's space and cupping the back of Jim's head, tilting his head so that they could kiss. Jim was absolutely stunned, eyes almost painfully wide as Bones brushed his mouth against Jim's once, twice, before shifting back just slightly, breathing a little heavier than normal.
"I don't give a fuck about Jocelyn. I was jealous, imagining you with her. Not her with you. She told me that you had spoken and… and I thought that she'd seduced you or something. Repeating history. I had it in my head that you guys had hid it from me. I told myself that it was because Jo could have so easily been hurt, but… but it didn't have anything to do with her, really."
They were so close that Jim was a little cross-eyed, staring at Bones as he spoke.
"I'm not going anywhere, Jim. If Jo is happy at your mom's school, then that's where she needs to be. But here? On this ship? This is where I need to be, Jim. With you." Bones barely recognized his own voice, strangled as it was with emotion. "I was going crazy with both of you gone. All I could think of was- you wouldn't know. Know how I felt. That you were hurt. That she was... God.That I had fucked up everything." Bones forced himself to step away from Jim. He darted a look down to his fingers to where he'd mangled the tail of his shirt.
"Bones—" Jim breathed, reaching out for him, bringing their mouths crashing together. This time when they kissed, it was like a spark had jumped from Jim's mouth to Bones', infusing his blood with heat. Jim kissed like he did everything else, confidently slanting his mouth over Bones', nipping at his bottom lip, following it with the tip of his tongue.
Bones lost time, breathing only when he had to, running his hands over Jim's chest, his shoulder and back, down to his hips. Bones flexed his fingers, tightening them just over Jim's uniform pants, and Jim's breath stuttered, puffing against Bones' cheek. Jim kissed down to Bones' neck, following the column of his throat, scraping his teeth over Bones' Adam's apple as his head fell back, Bones sliding his hands around to Jim's ass, pulling their lower bodies together.
Bones laughed a little, deep in his chest, sliding a leg between Jim's.
"What's a matter, kid?"
"Why the fuck did we wait for so long? I still can't believe this is real."
Bones snapped the button on Jim's uniform pants, tilting his hips so that their cocks bumped together. Both men groaned again, Bones cursing under his breath.
"Oh it's real. You gonna fuck me, Jim?"
Jim froze completely, every single muscle in his body tensing as he pulled away slightly, staring down at Bones in shock.
"You've never thought of it? How hot I'd feel? How tight when you shove into me?"
"Fuck, Bones!" Jim was actually panting, staring at him with eyes gone dark with want.
"That's the idea, Jimmy. Or, do you want me to do you? I'm not gonna lie, I've certainly thought about shutting that pretty mouth of yours right the fuck up, just shoving my cock down your throat till you gag on—"
Bones wasn't sure where all the porn dialogue was coming from, but it certainly seemed to be working as Jim attacked his mouth, kissing him so passionately that for a second their teeth clicked together as they both fought for dominance of the kiss.
Jim walked him backwards, his hand hard on his cock, cupping Bones through his jeans until Bones fell back on the bed, bouncing a little as Jim gave him a little push with his hands. He stared up at Jim as he tried to toe off his boots and take off his shirts at the same time, stumbling a little and barking his shin on the corner of Bones' bed.
Bones laughed, palming himself through his jeans, smirking up at Jim as he emerged from his clothes, face already a little sweaty.
Jim slid off his uniform pants and kicked them somewhere, sending them into the table, the dinner tray crashing off onto the floor, one bowl spinning in place before falling over with a flump.
Bones cupped himself again, spreading his legs a little. He slid his hands up to his chest, unbuttoning his shirt one button at a time, but before he could finish, Jim was on him again, kissing him hard and wet, sucking on his tongue and biting at his lips.
Then his shirt was off, and Jim was licking at his stomach, nails scratching against his skin as he pulled Bones' jeans down, sliding them off his legs with another moan and a muffled "Fuck, you're so hot."
Bones felt Jim's hands on his knees, pulling his legs apart. The feel of Jim's mouth on him sent him almost jackknifing up, curling around Jim's body as his mouth licked over him, sucking and teasing, the wet, slurping sounds seeming crazily loud over the faint hum of the engines.
"Jim!" Bones choked, flopping back down onto the mattress with a groan. Jim wrapped one hand around the base of Bones' cock, fisting lazily over him, sucking on the head while the very tip of his tongue did truly filthy things, swirling and tracing under the ridge, lapping up the precum that slid down his cock.
Bones felt his balls tighten, and choked out another cry of warning. Jim tightened his fist around the base of Bones' cock sliding off of him with a wet slurp, watching as he bobbed there, red and swollen and wet.
Bones had his wrist over his mouth, trying to muffle his own gasps and moans. He looked down at Jim as the younger man smirked up at him, slapping him on the thigh, licking his lips.
Bones would have laughed at himself had he been anyone else at the way he quickly flipped over, shoving his ass in the air, spreading his legs, knowing he was completely on display like this and not giving a fuck. He reached over to his bedside table and rummaged in the drawer, almost falling when he felt Jim's hands trailing over his ass, slowly, nails scratching at the skin.
He tossed the lube back towards Jim and pulled a pillow over, propping himself up. Bones expected to feel the wet glide of fingers, pulling him apart and teasing his twitching hole.
He did not expect to feel the wet glide of Jim's tongue against his balls, sucking them into his mouth and laving them with his tongue.
"Oh..Oh fuck, Jim…"
Jim's laugh was evil as he sucked a little harder, his nose pressing slightly against Bones' perineum. Bones froze, his breath catching in his throat. Bones felt Jim's hands spreading him apart, his wet mouth licking up, delving into the crease between his cheeks, nuzzling at his skin.
Bones cried out, muffling his yell into the pillow.
His ass was sopping wet from Jim's mouth, his tongue sliding against him, just as talented as before. Bones couldn't stop cursing, rubbing his aching cock against the mattress desperate for friction. "Jim, quick fucking around and fucking give me your cock—oh. Oh, nhhhhhhnnnghhh."
Jim's finger, slick with lube slid in next to his tongue, pressing against the ring of muscle, sending nerves flaring. Bones broke out in gooseflesh, freezing again, concentrating only on the feel of Jim's mouth, his finger breaching him, sliding into his ass.
Oh fucking motherfuck he hadn't done this in awhile.
Jim moved, resting his chin against Bones' thigh, slicking his finger again and teasing him, dipping in and pressing against his inner walls, sliding the lube around the thin membrane before sliding the finger back out. Bones lost track of time again, concentrating on that finger, then fingers, sliding into him and working the small, tight hole open until Bones couldn't keep still, fucking himself back on Jim's fingers.
"Look at you, Bones. So fucking hot. Christ, look at you take three like that. I could look at this for hours, could watch you close around my fingers like this for fucking…ever." He hooked his fingers, the callus on his middle finger rubbing against Bones' prostate, making him wail again into the pillow, trembling.
"Jim. Please. Please, darlin' I love.. I.. I..want.. I…"
Bones could feel his lips as they smiled against his leg, but couldn't seem to stifle the words as they tumbled from his mouth, desperate now for Jim, to feel him inside him, around him.
Jim was slick with sweat as he moved, sliding up and pulling at Bones' hips, arranging him exactly where he wanted him. The head of Jim's cock bumped, stuttered against his hole and Bones moaned again, a high-pitched whine of need.
"Shhh, Bones." Jim's hands petting at him, the slow, stretch of the head of his cock inside and Bones couldn't breathe, couldn't focus on anything except the smell and the feel of Jim.
"Jim. Jim. JimJimJim..."
Jim slid inside slowly, both of them sucking in strangled breaths at the sensation, Bones feeling stretched and full and fuck, this was Jim inside of him. Jim was pulling out, only to slide in, faster and faster until he was pounding into Bones' ass, yanking up his hips and changing the angle just …enough. Bones' neck couldn't support his head, lolling forward again onto the pillow. Jim snaked his hand around Bones' hip, wrapping again around his cock and Bones was thrusting into Jim's fist, slamming himself back on Jim's thick cock, lost in sensation and heat; sweat and Jim's breath whispering into his ear.
"Come on Bones, come on, cum for me, Come on c'mon…"
He felt the hot splash of Jim's cum deep inside of him, felt Jim shake and Bones lost it, screaming, lights bright behind his eyelids.
Bones woke when Jim tilted his leg up, sliding into him easily, still open and wet from before. Jim's arm pulled Bones back to his body, rocking lazily into him. Bones, never one to wake up gracefully, gave a sleepy, contented mutter and twisted, Jim sliding out of him when Bones pushed him back onto his back.
Jim blinked up at him solemnly, a sweet smile on his face as he did so, bracing his back against the headboard. Bones threw one knee over his legs, angling himself so that he could slide back down onto Jim's cock. They both hissed a little at the angle, Bones falling forward to kiss Jim's lips.
The kiss wasn't rushed this time. Jim's hands slid against Bones' skin, one hand on the back of Bones' neck, the other tightening on Bones' before the slide of their hands were rough, desperate, now they were achingly gentle. Bones moved slowly, rotating his hips, sliding playfully up so that Jim almost slid all the way out before clenching his ass and dropping back down, watching as Jim's beautiful mouth dropped open, stupid with lust and need. They teased each other for a little while, playing, until Bones' orgasm hit him, causing his cock to shake and spurt onto Jim's stomach. Bones sighed, sliding one fingertip over Jim's abs, swirling it in a figure eight, licking at his own taste.
"Bones," Jim's moan sounded wrecked. "God, Bones. I love you. I love you so fucking much."
Jim moved, sliding Bones onto his back again, thrusting into him with no finesse. Bones wrapped his legs and arms around Jim, whispering how much he wanted him, how beautiful he was, how much he loved him, needed him, over and over until Jim was crying out, shaking and coming apart over and in and around him.
"OH MY GOD!"
The shriek sent Jim fumbling, his arm coming out and belting Bones across the bridge of his nose.
"Oh God oh oh my god oh my Zefram's blessed butthole I'm blind I'm scarred for life oh my GOD!"
There was a brief tug of war for the sheet, before Jim, the coward, dove under the damn thing.
Bones huffed a breath, then had to laugh at the way Jo stood there, eyes covered, backing slowly away from the years of therapy barely decent from the one tiny corner of the sheet that Jim had left him.
The side of the bed near him began to shake suspiciously.
"Well, Jo." Bones began, yanking the sheet one last time so at least his entire ass was completely covered. "You said you wanted me to be friends with Jim, here."
"Oh my GOD! I'm just going to.. uh. Go. To the lab. Possibly to play with some radiation until my eyes melt. You two.. er…." But Jo couldn't think of anything to say, instead escaping out into the corridor.
Jim peeked at him from under the blanket, one blue eye bright with mirth.
"You suck. Also, good morning."
They both lost it then, sputtering into giggles and brays of laughter like kids.
Joanna, listening at the door, smirked, lips twisting into a look that any passerby could tell you was completely her father at his most amused.
"People really shouldn't underestimate me." Her whisper was satisfied. Jo straightened, flipping one of her braids behind her shoulder.
She had several credits to collect from Winona.
"—So, Jim, you know him, right mom? Captain James T. Kirk? Well, he swore that if daddy made him wear white that he would burst into flame or something. Winona let me find the spot. It was beautiful mom, a nebula that, like, cast this whole incandescent color over everything, shining through the windows of he observation deck. I even wore a dress. Can you believe it?"
Jo took a deep breath, catching a glimpse of Jim kissing the top of her daddy's head, giving him a cup of coffee. Her dad, deep into his PADD, looked up for a moment, catching Jim's eyes and pressing a light kiss on the inside of his wrist.
Gross. They were like … rabbits or something. Jo shuddered delicately, quite firmly putting that image out of her mind.
"—So, anyway. I'll be sad to leave them. It's been great being here on the Enterprise while they rebuilt down on the planet. I'm really excited about finally getting to start school. I've been studying like crazy. Pavel's been helping me. He's so awesome, mom. Totally cute and great and like scary smart."
(Jo, intent on her comm., completely missed the way her dad choked on his sip of coffee, or the way Jim's eyebrows completely disappeared into his hair, wicked grin lighting his face.)
"Tell Clay I said hi. Oh, and I just have to thank you."
Jo paused, glancing under her eyelashes over at her daddy and stepdad.
"I mean it, mama. If not for you, I don't think daddy would have ever gotten around to being with Jim. I don't think I've ever seen him this happy. And to think, it's all because of you!"
She ignored the sputter of laughter behind her.
"Night mom. Love you…. Bye!"
(Bonus if you can guess all the eps of TOS TAS TNG and the films I "borrowed" lines from.)
Hee! I hope you liked it bb. MERRY CHRISTMAS!