Doctor Leonard H. McCoy ran his fingers through his hair as he read over the latest round of results. No progress had been made, just like the five tests before that. Seems like more, he thought to himself. Nothing that he and his team came up with was working and they had a life at stake. Lives, Leonard reminded himself. There were more lives than just his father's depending on this research. He pulled up a set of older results and began comparing them. There had to be some sort of clue; a key that would help him find a cure before time ran out. He wasn't just under the pressure of saving a life, but the board wouldn't fund him forever.


"Hmmm?" he asked without looking up from the PADD.

"We have something that you need to see." Leonard looked over at the nurse. The look on her face said it all; a kid. He got up and followed her and as they walked the familiar hallways Leonard looked at the info on the PADD she had handed him.

"What in the blue hell happened to this kid?"

Nurse Kaur's voice was stony, "He said he fell down the stairs on his way out of the house. Said someone dropped him off but no one helped him inside."

"Did he crawl in?" he asked looking at the possible bruising to the patient's knee.

"Walked, well, limped in with a smile on his face before he passed out. I didn't find any traces of internal bleeding, just some bruising." By the time she finished answering her voice had become sympathetic and Leonard nodded.

He searched through the patient's medical history and the permanent frown on his face became even more pronounced as he read over the list of injuries. All of them were suspicious; fractures, concussions, and bruises were a common thing and the list of allergies that came attached to the file was just as long, if not longer. There was a year missing from his file that was locked by the Federation and that caused the Doctor to audibly growl. He finally took in the name and looked at the nurse. "Kirk?"

Nurse Kaur nodded and stopped in front of the room. "Yes, Doctor."

Leonard simply nodded and walked in the room. On the bed was one of the most broken and beautiful things that Leonard had ever seen. The teen lying there was tall, nearly as tall as Leonard himself, who stood just over six feet, tanned skin that would have been flawless if it weren't for the scars and bruises marring it. He was well muscled, though not fully developed, and Leonard could see by the cracks and calluses on his hands that the kid knew what work was and how to handle himself in a fight. His hair was bleached blond by the sun and there was a light dusting of freckles on his cheeks, shoulders, and chest. The Doctor looked at the clothes that has been cut off and saw dirt-stained and holey jeans and a plain white t-shirt.

He looked back down at the preliminary scan that had been conducted and started to write out the best course of treatment and medications that Kirk could take without having a reaction. Leonard took a seat, charting everything out and studied Kirk's file more closely in order to avoid any other possible problems. He called Kaur and told her what equipment to bring him so that he could get started. Leonard was checking Kirk's vitals again when he heard a soft whine. He looked down and was met with a pair of blinding blue eyes. They reminded Leonard of the sky as the sun was setting, that last sliver of blue that was trying to stay seen. The eyes were cloudy but the kid looked alert and ready to bolt.

Leonard cupped the boy's cheek and forced him to focus on his face. "Shhh…calm down, kid. You're okay. I'm just gonna patch you up."

"'m not a kid," he mumbled trying to sit up.

Leonard placed his hands on his shoulder. "Look, you're in no condition to get up. No one here is going to hurt you."

Kirk looked around the room and studied him for a few moments before relaxing under him. "He's not gonna find me here." The sentence was somewhere between a question and a statement.

The Doctor shook his head. When the kid nodded Leonard placed a regenerator on his head to jump start the healing process. "So," Leonard said to make conversation, "What should I call you if 'kid' doesn't work?"

"Jim." Jim's voice was rough, probably because of the bruises ringing his neck.

"All right. Jim, I'm Doctor McCoy. I'm going to be treating you today. You're probably going to be in here for a while." Leonard ran his fingers over Jim's side feeling for contusions or any sort of reaction. "How old are you?"

"Seventeen." Leonard nodded writing something down. "How old're you?"

Leonard raised his eyebrow and smirked. "Old enough to call you a kid if I want to."

Jim laughed weakly and closed his eyes as it turned into a cough. "You're what? Twenty-eight?"

The Doctor frowned and jabbed Jim's neck with a hypo full of pain relievers.

The teen rubbed his neck and glowered at the Doctor, who had a twisted and satisfied smiled on his face. "What the hell was that for?"

"I'm twenty-three," he said simply and went back to examining him. His fingers ran over Jim's back and he felt Jim shiver under him. "Cold?"

He snorted, "I've been worse. So, am I going to live, Bones?"

"Yeah, you're going to live…Bones?"

Jim nodded and laid back when Leonard guided him back. "Like 'Sawbones' but that's too long, so, Bones."

Leonard shook his head figuring that the meds were going to his head and continued cataloguing injuries, both old and new. When Jim hadn't opened his mouth for a few minutes he looked up and saw that Jim had fallen asleep. Leonard let himself smile softly and finished. His fingers carded through Jim's hair before he left and went to enter everything in the main computer and update Jim's file.

He checked on Jim later and saw that he was still asleep and that his pain was being kept under control. Leonard walked to the Nurse's Station and left instructions that if Jim had any trouble that he was to be called. He walked to his office once his shift was over and packed his bag.

Leonard drove home and welcomed the sight of large oak trees and the old-style plantation house and he could just make out the run down barn. He parked his car and made his way inside and followed his normal routine; he placed his jacket on the end table, put his bag in the living room, and then made his way upstairs to see his dad.

He walked into the master bedroom and saw the in-home nurse, Jocelyn, putting down a glass of water. "How is he?"

She turned and gave him a cheery smile, her green eyes catching the light. "He's tired. Your father didn't think that he needed to get some rest this afternoon and snuck out on the balcony."

"He's stubborn."

"Like someone else I know."

Leonard smirked and shrugged. "I have no idea who you're talking about." His eyes went over her lithe frame before going back to his father. "You can go and relax if you want. I'll sit with him for a while."

She bit her lip standing next to him, her body turned towards him. "I don't mind staying up here if you want some company."

He shook his head, "Go on, you canceled your plans this weekend because something came up, go ahead and take some time for yourself." Once she left the room, giving Leonard another smile, he took the seat next to the bed. "You're going to give that poor girl a heart attack, pops."

"No," David McCoy answered as he sat up slowly, "if you ever smiled back at her she would have a heart attack."

The younger man rolled his eyes. "Right, because I never smile. I just have a lot on my mind."

David watched his son's face and saw the worry trapped there. "Something happen at the hospital today?"

Leonard nodded, a scowl forming on his face. "We had a kid walk in today; gave us some story about falling down the stairs, like that ever works. But he let something slip about a guy finding him. There's evidence of past abuse. He's so…" he trailed off as he tried to find the right word to describe Jim. While he had looked young, there was something about his eyes besides the color that had caught Leonard's attention. "Hardened…he's so hardened looking and he's only seventeen. He was living with a step father but after that there's nothing in his file."

His father frowned, obviously trying to piece things together as well. "When does his file stop?"

"At age fifteen."

David nodded, dismissing possibilities in his head. "How long are you keeping the kid there?"

"At least a week."

"The best advice that I can give you is to see if you can get him to open up. Who knows, if you smile maybe he'll talk more, trust you."

Leonard nodded, not bothering to comment on the playful jab his father sent at him and rifled through the various bottles on the night stand. Carefully, he mixed the cocktail of drugs that he and his father had come up with in order to keep the disease at bay. "All right, pops, you know the drill." He managed a soft smiled as his father grumbled but tilted his head to the side. Leonard kissed his dad's head before he covered him up. "Get some rest and call if you need me. I'll check on you before I leave for the hospital in the morning and Jocelyn is right next door."

David rolled his eyes and wormed his way further under the covers. "Yes, dad."

"And you wonder where I get it from," he said laughing. "Now sleep." Leonard walked out after opening the door to Jocelyn's room. He made his way to his room and changed into a pair of flannel pants and one of his old college t-shirts before settling in the living room with a bowl of cereal. The news played quietly in the background while he ate his dinner and read over research articles.

He tried to rub the sleep from his eyes and he saw Kirk's name mixed in with his other paper work. Leonard remembered the feeling of Jim's skin under his hands the almost trust that had been in his eyes as he examined him. He shook his head, trying to rid himself of the guilt from his thoughts and forced himself to focus on his work.

A/N - I hope you enjoyed the first chapter, please let me know what you think. Any and all mistakes are mine.