Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek. T for swearing.

"You're a fucking moron."

He hears before he sees. He hears people around him moving and talking and shouting, he hears the haggard beeps of machine. Then there's haze, there's the brightness of the overhead sickbay lights, and then there's Bones, edges fuzzy, brow furrowed, unmistakably furious. But, Kirk thinks in that moment, when isn't he?

The twitch of his mouth, the slight exhale that takes the place of where a chuckle should be. "Tell me something I don't know." Talking hurts.

He didn't even know that talking could hurt.

Breathing hurts, too. The breaths he manages to take are shuttering and shallow and end on a wheeze. He feels himself being poked and prodded and scanned and stabbed and wants to say cut it out but Bones interrupts before he has the chance to speak or the chance to register that he's being scolded.

"––Jim, why couldn't you have waited for the goddamn help to arrive before you started gallivanting about?"

Gallivanting. Big word.

"––said they were going to fire on the ship––" Mouth is dry. Tongue feels like a wad of cotton.

"––yes, a ship, with shields and weapons, you think you're fucking––" but Jim at that moment the good doctor is feeling his ribs and one gives and pain floods his senses and he gasps which also hurts and "Stop doing that, would you?" comes out as a dignified "sTOPdontthaturts".

"Only one fractured rib, you're goddamn lucky, the rest are just bruised." Kirk was tired of being told he was lucky.


"––is fine. His injuries are minor. Now you, on the other hand––"

But the relief is dizzying and Kirk stops listening. Or, it could be a mixture of blood loss and possible concussion, but he prefers to think it's the relief. Relief, that this whole convoluted and somewhat suicidal rescue mission wasn't just an extensive method of re-obtaining a corpse. Spock is okay. Spock is okay.

"Jim. Jim! Damn it, man, stay with me."

Kirk wants to tell Bones to shut up, stop being so loud, he's not going anywhere. He can't bring himself to open his open his mouth and he feels heavy and he's pretty sure he has forgotten how to form words. His answer is some sort of unintelligible noise. His line of sight is narrowing and he feels his eyes slipping shut and realizes, in a brief moment, that there is no pain. He just manages to make out Bones swearing at him, but the yells don't reach his ears, and he is gone.

to be continued

A/N: Thank you for reading!