McCoy heard the cry from the other room. He dropped the feeding tube he had been getting and ran into the main area. He saw Kirk's body convulse once before falling limp on the narrow bed.
He was at Jim's side in a flash. His hands, usually so steady, were trembling as he felt for a pulse.
McCoy could feel his panic growing. But on the outside, a deadly calm had settled. He worked carefully, using electric stimulation on Jim's heart. Nothing. Trying a shot of adrenaline. Nothing. Even the old mouth-to-mouth technique. Still nothing.
He didn't know how long he worked, Jim's blue eyes staring vacantly past him, tears drying on his cooling cheeks. McCoy's vision was blurring with his own tears.
Jim wasn't gone. He couldn't just be gone. He slammed his fist into Jim's chest in a mixture of anger and grief. He had tried everything but Jim still remained still and lifeless. McCoy's eyes searched Jim, looking for something, anything.
"Stop it! You aren't dead!"
He grabbed Jim's shoulders and shook him, as if Jim might just be sleeping. His head lolled grotesquely to the side.
"No..." McCoy sobbed. "No, no, no, no..."
He pulled Jim to his chest, cradling his limp form. McCoy had been so mad at him, but he had never stopped loving him. Had Jim known that?
A sob wracked through McCoy as he held Jim's lifeless body tight.
"I love you. I love you, I love you." He chanted, as if saying the words over and over would somehow make Jim know it was true.
It was impossible. The brave, wonderful man who was always quick to laugh and always quick to get into trouble couldn't just be gone forever. But McCoy's watery kisses on Jim's forehead could feel how the skin was losing it's warmth. That wild fantastic warmth that McCoy hadn't had a chance to fully enjoy under his fingertips.
Jim was gone, and in all of space, McCoy was alone.