A/N: Star Trek: Into Darkness wrapped up incredibly fast. The true emotional impact of Kirk's death was never really dealt with by any character except for Spock. McCoy didn't get enough screen time with Kirk in this movie and I feel like they needed to find come closure together. Hence, this fan fiction. Set in the time the crew first come back aboard the Enterprise after the Khan ordeal.
Bones sits in the observation deck in a secluded corner. It is 0300 hours. He should be resting, but his mind was not letting him get a wink of sleep. Bones rarely needed moments of reflection. He was a pragmatic man; he did what needed to be done. He didn't often allow himself time to ponder his life, his friends or the stress of his work.
Over the last year, he had no time for rest. Assisting in Jim's recovery was a time consuming task. His duties on Earth had kept him busy for the year the Enterprise was being repaired. He was burnt out. He hadn't realised until he came back to the Enterprise that he never had time to recover himself over the whole Khan incident.
A pair of familiar blue eyes enters the otherwise deserted room.
Bones turns to face Jim.
His closest friend, his brother.
Jim plonks himself down next to Bones and remains silent. They stare out into the expanse of space before them. Jim turns to look at Bones.
"Everything OK Bones?" Jim asks gently. "You look blanker than Spock today!"
Some of the tension is relieved. Bones smirks slightly and looks to Jim. He raises one eyebrow in a Spock like fashion.
Jim snorts with laughter and slaps his friend softly on the back. Bones' smirk spreads into a smile. Jim knows his friend is OK when he can still make a joke.
But Bones knows everything is not OK. The lighter mood does not remain; the silence becomes tense once more.
"You scared me Jim." Bones says breaking the silence. "I thought you were gone... I thought..."
He stops as he internally chides himself for breaking his tough exterior.
"Bones, I... You know that I had to do what I did. We never really talked about this, I know. But you saved me Bones! Look, I'm here now and I will be forever grateful. You know that right?" Jim says trying to lighten Bones back up.
"You didn't know you were coming back Jim! God man! When it comes down to it, a tribble saved your life!" Bones exclaims. Jim frowns a little.
"I did what I thought-"
"No, Jim. Never defend your actions. You were incredibly brave and courageous. You saved us all and you never have to explain yourself for that. You experienced fear in the face of certain death."
Jim remembers the time that Spock had said those exact words to him. They seemed to be prophetic.
"Bones," Jim starts after a slight pause "If there was any other way, I would have done it. But there wasn't, the crew needed to be saved...
And I took that upon myself."
McCoy turns away from Jim.
'Keep your composure Leonard.' Bones thinks to himself.
"Jim, you're the closest thing to a family member I have aboard this ship." Bones says, his tone solemn. Jim lets this sink in. Bones remains silent for a few moments. His face suddenly brightens a little. "So don't you go 'round doin' something like that ever again! You hear? Or I swear I'll bring back the wrath of the hypos!"
Jim laughs a little remembering how much fun Bones used to have torturing him with those.
"Is that a threat Dr McCoy?" Jim teases.
"You bet your ass it is Jim."
"Seems like everything is back to normal then."
Bones gives Jim a signature scowl and Jim breaks into a hearty laugh.
"Get outta here kid! You've had enough fun emotionally compromising me lately!" Bones orders light-heartedly.
Jim stands up and gives a mocking salute.
"Yes sir!" he replies sarcastically. Jim gives him a warm smile and then leaves the room.
Bones chuckles at the conversation he just had. He is so incredibly tired, but Jim somehow always left him feeling better. Trust Jim to downplay his own death.
Leonard's head had been cleared significantly. It seems that the conversation he had with Jim had given Bones closure. Khan... Marcus... Jim's treatment. It was all over. Jim knew how to break past the grumpy exterior who was Leonard McCoy.
A man who prided himself on his expertise and not taking crap from anyone.
James T. Kirk, the one man in the universe who could emotionally compromise Leonard McCoy. Bones sighs and shakes his head.
"Damn it Jim."