A/N: Again thanks for all the overwhelming feedback :) You guys made this chapter come to life faster than planned! Enjoy!
Khan landed in engineering, conveniently out of sight of the few crewmates patrolling around the machinery. He snuck around for as long as possible, but was unavoidably spotted halfway to the exit. The first Klingon came at him with a rotary blade. He dogged smoothly and pulled the Klingon's arm to the right, causing the blade to ricochet of the wall and lodge in the guard's chest. The second Klingon, a larger specimen, tackled him from behind. His surly growl died when Khan reached back and easily snapped his neck, toppling the lifeless man from his shoulders. He had managed to exit the engine room and make it all the way to the other side of the ship before he was spotted again by two patrolling guards. This time he simply stunned the first man and tackled the second. Maneuvering his opponent beneath him, Khan pressed his lips against the growling man's ear.
"Where are you keeping Captain Kirk?" Khan asked in perfect Klingon.
The Klingon swore and made a few desperate bucking motions that would have dislodged a lesser human like a Dallas rodeo bull tossing a cowboy. However Khan, even in his weakened physical state, was no average man – and this was no rodeo. He grabbed the back of the struggling Klingon's head and smashed it hard against the metal floor. The painful whine made Khan smirk. It was as he had calculated; not so hard that the Klingon would pass out but hard enough so the prideful brute gets the point.
"I'm only going to ask you one more time," he pressed the cold nozzle of the phaser against the Klingon's temple, "and then I will color the floor with your blood. I will continue on my mission to rescue the Captain and will kill every one of your comrades who gets in my way. Now" he switched the safety off and let the energized phaser buzz ominously against the Klingons temple, "where is Captain Kirk?"
With one last frustrated growl the Klingon spat the location of the torture chamber. When he was done Khan mercifully fired a single shot through the guard's temple. He knew well enough what suffering would befall the Klingon for his betrayal. After all they were a primitive species, and the concept of mercy was a weakness seen without benefit. Removing the guard's phaser gun and throwing knife, Khan stealthily made his way down the hall and took a left turn on the second crossing. He paused a moment to prepare himself; then pressing the release button on the door, stepped in and easily stunned the two unprepared Klingons. They fell with a loud thud; a metal scalpel breaking free from one man's grasp, skidded across the polished floor and stopped at Khan's foot. Khan could see in his peripheral vision that it was dark with blood. A rage like the scorching of a supernova, blazed inside his chest. Khan saw red and ran towards Kirk, not hearing the urgent mechanical beeping, indicative of his rising hear rate. Jim was tied to a metal table with bands of steel, tightly binding his arms, legs and torso. His shirt was missing, reveling multiple gushes of bleeding cuts randomly scattered across his chest. Or one might think they were random, but to Khan they plainly stated the intended message. The words 'human bitch' were crudely printed in Klingon lettering. Releasing a roar of anguish, Khan tore at the metal binds, bending the metal but unable to break the lock. He searched desperately for the release button and spotted a small black leaver on the wall behind the table. When he pushed down, the metal bands slid free from around Kirk's unconscious frame; and Khan didn't waste a moment to embrace the captain. He pulled Kirk into a sitting position and held him firmly against his chest. The warm dampness soaking through his shirt almost forced Kahn to release another roar. There was too much blood! He was half way through activating the radio receiver on the handle of his Star Fleet phaser when a pair of cold, heavy hands landed on his shoulders. A Klingon had awoke from his stupor and with a firm pull to his shoulders, toppled Khan to the ground, the unsupported Kirk falling lifelessly with him. Khan barely had the time to move Kirk into a somewhat safe position under the metal table when the Klingon lifted him by the leg and swung his body against the wall. Khan rose quickly but faltered when he felt a sudden arrhythmic jump in his chest – only now registering the insistent beeping of the heart monitor.
Quickly he evaluated his options. The Klingon looked dangerous but confused and clearly weakened by the effects of the phaser. He was awkwardly lumbering towards him with an uneven gait. It probably wouldn't take much to take him down in this state. Khan looked at his monitor and almost swore in despair, the flashing screen revealed that he was already five bmp over his limit, it was only a matter of minutes, maybe even seconds, before he suffered a stroke. He didn't have time. Khan knew he couldn't let the virus consume him before he managed to rescue Kirk. If he survived he'd have nothing left to live for. The gravity of this thought and the implication behind it, prompted Khan into action. He came at the Klingnon and aimed a punch at the single weak spot in its solar plexus, but a sudden jump in his heart weakened his arm and Khan missed the punch, falling forward into the other, and giving the Klingon perfect aim to strike him across the back; thereby shattering his spinal cord. Khan used the last of his strength to shoot a look at his fallen Captain. His whole world deafened to the pounding of his heart. Kirk was rising from the ground a phaser clutched in his grip, he shouted something but Khan couldn't hear him. Khan saw a burst of light followed by strange coldness pressed against his face. He felt the world tilt again when he was lifted of the floor and pressed against something warm and wet – and then he noticed the strangely colored tears running down the side of his face. 'Why are they pink?' he thinks before autonomy left his face and his lids fell shut.
Jim was panicking, he couldn't feel Khan's pulse and the heart monitor was displaying some irregular sign and flashing violently. Quickly he dialed Scotty on the phaser radio and preyed for a signal.
"Khan'?" Scotty's brawl sounded distant and broken-up
"Scotty! It's Kirk. Beam us up, now!"
"Captain? So glad to hear from yah' …"
"Scotty!" Kirk screamed, fear rising with every second Khan lay still in his arms.
"Oh right, I'm on it mate." A moment later Kirk felt a nauseas pull at his stomach and then the ultraviolet torture chamber was replaced by a brightly lit engine room. Kirk saw Scotty behind the teleportation system and a whole bunch of people standing behind him, but all he had eyes for was Khan's somewhat decrepit frame tucked tightly against him.
"Bone!" he screamed and looked desperately from side to side, searching through a sea of faces that looked blurry and disfigured. The CMO broke through the crowed, followed closely by Elsa and a couple of male medical staff. Bones promptly dropped to his knees beside Kahn and forcibly extracted his body from Jim's compulsive grip. Quickly he stretched the unconscious man on the ground and tore his shirt open.
"Damn fool," he mumbled and gestured for the staff to bring forth the portable defibrillator. The pads lubed and ready to go.
"Charging," said Aiden, the male nurse in attendance.
Bones waited for the go ahead before quickly pressing the pads to Khan's torso.
"Clear," announced the nurse.
"Again," barked Bones.
Bones once more pressed down the pads, but the reading on the screen didn't change. The straight line mocking him with its constant beep. Jim was all out sobbing at this point, his azure eyes red and swollen with tears. Standing over him, Bones could see Elsa holding one hand over her mouth, her shaking shoulders the only thing betraying her suppressed sobs. He was sure that had he a clear view of her face, her cheeks would be streaming with tears.
"Clear," Aiden said and switched the machine to charge mode.
"Again," ordered the CMO, but the third attempt proved no different. "Again!" Bones felt the gentle weight of a woman's hand land on his shoulder but he forced himself to remain focused on the body, unable to look away from Khan's pale face, so like his frozen imagine in the cryogenic tube. Only this was real, this was final.
"Call it doctor." Elsa's broken voice forced itself into determination, but he knew better. This was heartbreaking, and not just for the blonde shaking in distress beside Khan.
"No, again," he ordered.
"Doctor we follow protocol, three attempts and…" but Aiden was cut short.
"Again I said," shouted Bones and shot the young man his most vehement glare.
"Ch...charging," stammered the youth and indicated the go ahead.
Bones took a moment to look over at his broken friend, and felt his heart sink at the raw anguish. "Come on, live you son of a bitch!" Bones yelled and smacked the pads onto the pale chest. The body jumped at the force of the shock and Khan's eyes flew open, before quickly falling shut again. He lay still. No one so much as coughed, but the desperate sobbing coming from the Captain was palpable. Bones hung his head and let his arms sag to the floor.
"Time of death…" he looked up and caught sight of the monitor; it showed a jump in the line. A heart beat. The volume must have been disabled due to a drop in battery power, but the meaning was clear. Khan was alive.
"He's alive," whispered Bones, than louder, "he's alive!"
Jim, who by now sunk so much into himself that he was little more than a shaking mess, clutching at Khan's hand – shot his head up and stared at Bone's in disbelief.
"A…alive?" he stammered.
Bones smiled at Jim and clapped him consolatory on the shoulder, "yes Jim, alive." He rose from the floor and was unprepared when a small warm body fell against him and clung onto his lapels like a limpet. But Bones sure wasn't one to protest; he wrapped his arms around nurse Elsa in a comforting hug and let her hide her moment of weakness in his chest. He gestured for the male nurses to fix a stretcher and take Khan to the medical bay. The two quickly followed orders and soon had the unconscious man on his way to the hospital, with Jim running along side, a firm hold on the brunette's hand. Bones unwillingly extracted himself from Elsa and followed, the familiar click of her heels behind him, rushing to catch up.
Spock was with Uhura who had been observing the whole scene from the start. She noticed how fidgety her lover became when Jim lost all self-control and began sobbing hysterically. At first she thought he might be uncomfortable with the captain's open display of emotions in front of the crew, which could in turn get him suspended for being emotionally compromised. Though after some consideration she began to doubt that line of reasoning. Since they started working aboard the Enterprise, Spock more than anyone learned to appreciate the uncontrollable all consuming rush of emotions that struck at the loss of a close relative or friend. It would be hypocritical of him to judge Jim on that. Further more he was well aware, as was most of the ship, of the growing fondness between Khan and the Captain, so the notion of their relationship couldn't have caused this reaction.
"Is everything alright Spock?" she asked.
He looked startled and dare she say it guilty for a moment, before promptly composing himself.
"Yes, Lt. I'm perfectly fine. Now I must speak with the Captain in the medical bay. If you could please resume your post on the command deck until the end of Alpha shift I would greatly appreciate it."
"Of course," she said, and gently cupped his cheek with one hand. Studying his face a moment longer with her intensive chocolate colored eyes, she departed with a quick kiss to his brow.
Bones had managed to stabilise Khan's condition and left for the lab to continue working on a cure. Elsa had followed close behind, having recovered enough from her meltdown to fire a stream of calculated ideas at the grumbling CMO. Jim was sitting on the side of Khan's medical bed, stroking pale knuckled with his thumb and smiling gratefully at the sleeping face; as if in this moment, an army of Klingon's couldn't squelch his ardent joy. And that's how Spock found him when he entered the room; the swish of the sliding door not earning so much as a glance from the focused blonde.
"Captain," said the Vulcan, nodding a greeting.
"Oh Spock," Jim turned and used one wrist to rub at his nose, still smarmy from the recent panic. "I didn't hear you come in."
"I thought you might be pleased to know that we lost the Klingon vessel shortly after we beamed you aboard. The ship didn't suffer any damage."
Jim nodded and allowed his eyes to once more drift to Khan. Spock fidgeted with his hands behind his back.
"I came to make a confession Jim," he said, voice falling a fraction in volume.
"What?" Squinted the confused blonde, tilting his head.
"I was the one who administered the virus to Khan." He paused and when no reply came forth from the Captain, continued. "I take full responsibility for his current state of health."
"Spock?" asked Jim, his voice hoarse from the recent meltdown, but laced with more than a trace of confusion and disbelief. He was obviously struggling to comprehend the meaning behind the words.
"I'm sorry Jim," said Spock, and then softer in a much more human tone, "I'm so sorry."
Jim continued to stare at him, but his eyes had morphed from a confused squint to wide, full-blown understanding. Without warning he leapt from the bed and rushed at his startled FO, landing a square punch to his jaw, followed immediately by another one to his stomach. Spock bent slightly at the second hit, but other wise remained stoic. He kept both hands linked behind his back and looked firmly over the Captain's head at the wall in front of him. This was his punishment, he deserved it. Jim was yelling profanities and punching him repeatedly in the chest and stomach. Then as if suddenly struck by the realization that his decrepit strength had no effect on the Vulcan, Jim grabbed the other man around the waist and toppled him to the floor. Caught of guard, Spock went down with Kirk landing heavily on top of him. Trying to push the Captain off, firmly but gently, so that he may rise; Spock began to put up somewhat of a fight. The punching and kicking subsided when Bones appeared from the medical lab and rushed to lift Jim of him.
"What the hell?"
Spock unable to suppress a howl when Jim landed a strong kick to his right hand, interrupted the doctor.
"…leave this room for five minutes and this is what I come back to!" Bones exclaimed, forcing the panting Jim to sit on the side of the nearby medi-bed.
"Damn it Jim, you opened up your stitches," Bones gestured at the blooming crimson stains on Jim's medical shirt. "What the hell happened?"
"Why don't you ask Spock?" spat the blonde, his glare never leaving the Vulcan's.
"Spock?" urged the CMO. Spock made to reply, but before he so much as opened his mouth, Jim was screaming.
"I trusted you!" Shaking himself free from the doctor's hold, Jim stood and pointed an accusing finger at his best friend, turned murder. Yes, because that's what he was, now. That was all he was. Spock knew he would be lucky to get out of this with his freedom intact, let alone his job or this friendship that still somehow meant more two him then the other two put together.
"Get out!" Spock hesitated; he didn't feel like he had explained himself adequately.
"Get out!" screamed the blonde and took a step forward but was quickly held back by the doctor. Spock nodded and allowed his head to hang low as he swiftly spun around on his heels and stalked from the room.
Important: This is your last chance to give me ideas for the epilogue. At the beginning of next chapter I will announce if the epilogue is mpreg or not, and list all necessary warnings, so look out for my author's note. :)