Disclaimer: I own no part of Star Trek: 2009. This is all in good fun.
"Damn it, Jim!" McCoy barked as he followed Captain James T. Kirk down the corridor. "I told you an hour ago to get some rest!"
"No time," Jim answered curtly over his shoulder. He was scheduled to meet with Scotty in the engine room. The ship had been malfunctioning over the last two days. Until they figured out what was wrong and fixed it, there was no way he was going to sleep.
"You've been up for nearly three days," Bones continued, hot on his heels. "And by the way you're weaving, I estimate you have only hours until your brain shuts down to reboot itself."
"You make it sound like I'm some kind of operating system." He put out an arm to steady himself against the nearest wall. The lights flickered as he did so. Or maybe his eyes just closed for a second longer than normal. Either way, it was a bad sign.
"Don't make me sedate you-"
"Bones!" Jim snapped, exasperated and more exhausted than he'd ever been in his life. "I'll go to my quarters when I know the ship won't crash into New Vulcan while I'm unconscious."
He met Bones' gaze without blinking, feeling slightly guilty about the way it was filled with frustration. It looked as if the good doc could use some sleep himself.
Instead of withering under his hard stare, Bones seemed to square his shoulders.
"The first officer would never allow the ship to crash, Jim," he said slowly. The way he pronounced each word made Jim feel like an infant. Was that how Bones was treating him? He supposed it was rather childish to refuse to go to bed, but damn it all, he had the crew of the Enterprise counting on him. He wouldn't let them down when he'd already screwed up everything else in his life.
Bones was eying him with concern, as if he'd stopped talking in the middle of a sentence and Jim was too far gone to notice. Maybe he was.
Ignoring the words he hadn't heard, Jim turned on his heel and continued down the corridor. Before he'd met Captain Pike during a bar fight, he'd been nothing. Done nothing. Heard nothing. Saw nothing. He shut his eyes tightly for a split second, before blinking rapidly to clear his vision. Now wasn't the time to think of his past. He had too much responsibility to come undone at the seams over something that had already happened.
Turning the corner, he vaguely noticed a flash of blue behind him. Hmmm. So Bones hadn't left yet. At least he'd shut up. Sometimes he could be so-
Jim grunted as he collided with what felt like a wall. Hands wrapped around his upper arms to steady him, their grip bony and cold through his shirt. They held him up effortlessly, even as his legs gave out at the knees before he regained his balance.
Not a wall then. Spock.
"Captain," he greeted in his usual toneless manner. "In reviewing the ship's log, I calculated an illogical amount of time you have maintained your station without substantial refreshment. As I have recently meditated, I hereby suggest a temporary relief of your command-"
"Would both of you shove off?" Jim shook off Spock's grasp. He liked to think he did anyway. Past experience had taught him that Spock probably released him voluntarily. But who else was to know?
"He isn't cooperating," Bones spoke up behind him.
Jim shot him a look that promised retribution.
"Dr. McCoy is the chief medical officer aboard this ship," Spock stated, an eyebrow slightly raised. "The logical course of action would be to adhere to his medical opinion."
"The logical course of action," Jim answered, pointedly ignoring the way his words slurred, "would be for me to meet Scotty in the engine room to fix the ship. She's broken. We fix things that break."
Spock clasped his hands behind him. His eyes darted over Jim, as if noting his respiration rate, pupil dilation, and apparent lack of coordination. What was with Vulcans and their insane intelligence anyway? How had it evolved? He made a mental note to ask Scotty to brief him while they went over the ship's systems.
Spock finally said, "Your obvious state of exhaustion suggests that you will ignore any recited protocol regarding chain of command."
"Damn straight," Jim growled as he made his way around Spock. He could feel the Vulcan's gaze drilling into his neck. Bones may have been talkative, but at least he wasn't stoically intimidating. Jim would never let anyone know it, but since he'd aggravated Spock on the bridge, he was slightly scared of him. Only slightly. And he liked to think of it more as respect than actual fear. A captain didn't fear individual crew members.
As their footsteps followed him down the hall, the lights flickered again.
"What the hell is going on here?" he muttered to himself. "Lights flickering, entire systems failing in the middle of their programs, doors refusing to open…"
Several passing Ensigns shot him hesitant smiles, but he was too deeply absorbed in his thoughts to return them. Didn't smiling engage an absurd amount of facial muscles anyway? He couldn't afford to waste energy.
"Incoming!" a voice distantly yelled. "Stations!"
Jim didn't have time to react before the ship rocked with the force of an explosion. He was thrown against the wall, his head cracking against the surface. His vision flared white. Or maybe that was the shower of sparks that rained from the ceiling. Shouts, screams, and the roar of a second explosion were nearly deafening.
The ship tilted, altering its natural gravity until Jim found himself laying on the wall as if it were the ground.
What the f-
A third explosion tossed him into the air and deposited him further down the corridor.
That was it. Now he was mad.
As Jim struggled to pull a breath into his lungs, he turned his head to see Bones hauling himself to his feet and running towards him. Spock was nowhere to be seen.
"Jim!" Bones yelled, falling to his knees beside him. His hands immediately began to roam over Jim's head, searching for unseen injuries. Jim wanted to tell him how much the side of his face hurt, but he couldn't draw in a breath to talk. He could only lay there, his mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water. This sucked.
"Don't try to speak," Bones ordered. "Just breathe." There were shouts for medical officers over his comlink and he quickly ordered his men to assist in various areas of necessity. That's what Jim was going with anyway. It was difficult to separate one word from the next. And the way Bones had begun to blur like a smeared painting was mildly disconcerting.
"Hey. Hey, hey, hey." There was panic in Bones' voice. Interesting. He was usually so calm under pressure. There was little choice with everything a CMO had to deal with.
"Stay with me, okay, kid?" A hand lightly slapped his face while another pressed against the painful side. It made the throbbing worse and Jim's stomach lurched.
In seconds, Bones grabbed his shoulders and shifted him onto his side. His hips refused to follow, but somehow the man took care of that too. Jim was ridding himself of the contents of his stomach by the time he realized he was safely in what they'd deemed "the recovery position" at the academy.
He coughed and tried to put some distance between himself and the mess he'd made. Recovery his ass.
A moist cloth wiped his mouth. Bones was at his other side now, riffling through the small aid pack he must have grabbed from the wall. He produced a tricorder and swiftly began running it over Jim.
"Spock?" Jim sputtered over the cries of pain down the corridor. "Where-"
"He's on the bridge." Bones' expression intensified as he took in the readings on the tricorder. In the next instant, he'd set it down and was gently turning Jim onto his back. A moan escaped Jim's lips as the man did so. This was some serious vertigo. No drunken night of partying compared to it. And the pain.
He barely registered the hiss and sting of a hypo before the cool metal left his neck.
"S'at for?" he blearily asked.
Bones didn't bother answering before he administered another. There was a grim look in his eyes.
Jim didn't like it.
"Shoot, Bones, what's the matter?" he struggled to say. Something dripped into his eye and he winced. When he tried to bring his hand up to wipe it away, Bones grasped his hand hard enough to hurt.
"Just shut up, Jim," he said harshly. "You have a severe concussion, multiple internal injuries, four broken ribs, and a dislocated ankle. And I don't know if you noticed, but you're bleeding all over the floor."
"Right." Jim closed his eyes and nodded once. "The floor. Or th' wall."
Something grinded painfully against his sternum. He made a sound of protest.
"You're staying awake until we reach sickbay. I don't care if it means a hypo of adrenaline." A finger forced his left eye open. Jim found himself staring at the bulb of a penlight and struggled to turn his head. "Don't be an infant," Bones snapped. "Open your eyes."
"Wait." The corner of Jim's mouth came up in a half-hearted smirk. "Five minutes ago… you were ordering me to sleep. Now you want me… awake?" A giddy laugh bubbled up in his throat, but he kept it in check. His ribs were killing him.
"Five minutes ago, the ship was intact."
Jim gasped in pain as the Enterprise suddenly tilted and regained her natural gravity. He hit the floor hard, despite Bones' last second attempt to shield him from the impact. A wave agony had him clenching his jaw so hard that he felt a tooth chip. He was sucking in air through his teeth when he heard Bones unleash a string of curses. Among the obscenities, he made out the words hobgoblin and pointy-eared bastard.
It wasn't Spock's fault, of course. He'd only righted the ship. And by the subtle jolt around him, Jim guessed they had jumped to warp speed.
He finally managed to take a deep breath without too much pain. They were safe. For now.
The unsteady beep of a tricorder next to him preceded another curse from Bones and hands running over his chest and ribs. He jerked in pain when pressure was applied to his injured side.
"Sorry," Bones muttered. "The tricorder broke when it hit the floor. I'll be sending a personal request to the manufacturer to make them shock proof in the… damn it, Jim, what did I tell you about staying awake?"
Jim was beginning to feel strange. It was distressing. The pain had been replaced by a fluttery feeling in his chest and his hands wouldn't stop shaking. Why couldn't he feel pain anymore? He should have felt something attuned to-
"Don't you dare go into shock," Bones warned close to his ear. Something pinched his fingernail and he batted at it, trying to fight whatever was happening to him.
"Jim," a voice warned when he struggled to sit up. Hands pressed his shoulders to the ground again. "Jim, look at me. Stay still, you hear me? Don't move."
He ignored their warnings, needing to get up, to run. They didn't understand. The ship was in danger. He could feel his own life hanging precariously in the balance. Somehow he felt that if he could save the ship, then he could save his own life. What if he and the Enterprise were connected on a deeper level than anyone had come to realize? The thought was insane, but it was worth investigating.
Hands pinned his wrists to the floor, keeping him from moving. He tried to sit up regardless, but his ribs wouldn't allow it.
"Get me some help over here!" Bones yelled. "Damn it, Jim, calm down! I can't sedate you until I know the extent of your head injury."
Jim heard running footsteps. Everything was so blurry that he couldn't tell who they belonged to.
"What's wrong with him?" a female voice asked.
"He's going into shock," Bones answered. His knee must have moved to pin Jim's closest wrist, because one of his hands gently smoothed Jim's hair back in an attempt to soothe him. How strange. Bones wasn't the comforting type. Maybe he only wanted a closer look at the wound.
Never mind that. Jim shook his head rapidly. He had to get to the bridge.
"Get a stretcher over here now and send me some help to hold him down. He's panicking." As the footsteps faded, Jim picked up a softer tone when Bones spoke again. "Easy, Jim, it's all right. Everything is fine. We're gonna get you fixed up in sickbay. No one croaks on my time, you hear me, kid? Everything is going to be-"
Bones abruptly began choking, and Jim distantly realized why. A black haze had veiled his vision and it wasn't because he was fading. The corridor was filling with smoke. An electrical fire must have started when the circuits blew.
His own lungs began to burn from his place on the floor, the back of his throat feeling much too dry and scratchy.
"Scotty, turn on the damn sprinklers already!" Bones yelled into his comlink between coughs. He released Jim's wrists and got behind him to grab his shoulders.
The logical portion of Jim's brain screamed at him for being such a useless waste of space. If he was any kind of Captain, he'd be helping Bones with the wounded, not laying around like a liability. But there was another part of him that only cared to get to the control room and turn on the sprinklers himself. Scotty was clearly occupied elsewhere.
He settled for middle ground.
"Bones," he mumbled as he was dragged away from the hot smoke. "The switch for the sprinklers is in the control room. If you can just get to it-"
"Forget it," Bones snapped. He stopped pulling Jim along for a moment to re-inspect his injuries. "We can't go any further without me carrying you. I'm not leaving you here alone, so don't even ask. Just focus on breathing and staying lucid."
"Oh, the situations in which we find ourselves…" He sharply inhaled when Bones put pressure on the side of his face again. "What the hell?"
Bones coughed into his own shoulder. "It's nothing a dermal regenerator can't fix. You might have a scar, though."
I've got bigger problems, Jim meant to reply. But the words wouldn't come.