Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek. I own nothing interesting. All I've got is my bones, must be why I like McCoy so much.

AN: My take on what might have happened if he hadn't had Jim to protect him from all those other captains who wanted him on graduation. Since it's me do I really need to mention that this is mirror verse and dark as sin? I only managed to keep it under an NC-17 because I really, really can't stomach writing out a detailed violation of a child. If you're scared of the dark head the other way.

Where I Used to Have a Heart

Teris Xenite

McCoy remembers distantly a time that the screaming ensign beneath his hands would have disturbed him. Remembers a time when the order to flay the pretty young thing beneath him would have been answered with a 'fuck you, sir'. He remembers those days like one would a dream long faded, like it was someone else's life or a movie he saw, it didn't feel real. But those days are long past, and the only thing holding him to humanity is light years away, kept safe in the pristine world of rural Georgia, by his very willingness to do things like this.

As he cuts he remembers the whispered words of his captain during his 'training'. Remembers the look of terror in the girl's eyes, as the captain so very slowly allowed his hands to run over and into sensitive, delicate places. Remembers the promise that if he looks away or flinches that the captain will take his time, and draw out the girl's agony. Remembers how she screamed and begged before the end, while he sat bound and powerless to help her. He especially remembers the warning he received as the still twitching corpse was thrown at his feet. He remembers the promise that if he ever balked at an order to use his skills for the empire again, the captain would be making a visit to Georgia on his next shore leave, and bringing back something very special for the crews' entertainment.

And so he'd become the poster boy of the Empire as far as torture was concerned. He became cold, distant, and spent most of his off duty hours in a drunken haze for the first six months of his tour of duty on the Farragut. He'd spent a three day shore leave in his quarters puking his guts out when he realized that he'd come to enjoy hearing the screams. But he tortured everyone that they asked him to. He killed anyone that the captain ordered him to. And if in the end the captain had died on his table for the threat he'd made against his child, well then so much the better.

Later when his gloves have been taken off, the blood scrubbed away, he looks down at the crumpled missive in his hand, transfer orders, destination I.S.S. Enterprise. He supposes it was meant as a reward for his 'good work', but it still in the deepest part of him he felt the sting of realization that he'd become a walking violation of every oath he'd once held sacred. And that scared him more than the fact that Jocelyn had actually been afraid of him the last time he'd threatened her if she tried to keep Joanna away from him again.

He knew of the Enterprise, of course he did. Everyone in the empire knew about the Enterprise. Just like everyone knew that James T. Kirk was a vicious son of a bitch, who singlehandedly did more to terrify the alien worlds that the Empire sought dominion over than entire crews of other officers. From everything that McCoy could gather, Kirk was the living personification of every evil thing that lived in the darkness waiting to take a taste of you.

And he'd requested Leonard McCoy's transfer onto his ship personally apparently. As he stepped onto the transporter pad, he felt something break inside of him, the last vestige of hope that someday, somewhere he could be a good and decent man fading away like the utilitarian walls of the Farragut. As Kirk shook his hand as he granted him permission to board his vessel, he felt a heavy ache settle within him. He felt a lingering cold, a hollowness that had nothing to do with space, sink all the way down to his bones.

AN: This is what my brain came up with to explain the difference between my Through A Mirror Darkly McCoy, and the more bad assed McCoy that some of the other talented Mirror verse authors favor. I can easily see how McCoy could go down that path, hence this little ditty. I hope you enjoyed it, and I look forward to hearing what y'all think of a darker McCoy.