Midnight Ship to Georgia
McCoy wasn’t sure who was panting more, the overgrown brat of a captain, or his titanium-stick-up-the-ass XO. He ignored them at first, reveling in the soft, warm air that covered him in a lusciously sweet scented embrace. Jim’s complaints were vocal, while Spock carefully (if not tactfully) reminded him that there was a reason Jim was supposed to stay behind. When Jim pointed out he was having just as hard a time breathing, Spock damn near growled at him. McCoy stalked off to check out an interesting plant.
The security team hovered over the three scientists that filled out the rest of the landing party, but the Chief Science Officer insisted on keeping close to McCoy, citing that he did not need the assistance of the security team, where McCoy could use as much protection as possible. The Captain was right on their heels, claiming that he might need the Chief Medical Officer before they were finished with the survey, and there was no way in hell he was gonna be caught fainting in front of Cupcake, whatever the hell that meant.
An hour into the survey and McCoy snapped. “Goddammit, Jim, the sensor readings told you the humidity was gonna be high!” “But I can’t breeeaaaatheeeee,” Jim whined for the millionth time.
“Sir, if breathing is difficult,” Spock fairly panted, “then perhaps it would be wise for you-”
“GODDAMMIT MCCOY TO ENTERPRISE THREE TO BEAM UP AND SO HELP ME IF YOU LET THESE TWO NUMBSKULLS BREAK REGULATION AGAIN I WILL KILL THEM BOTH PULL RANK ON YOUR DRUNK ASS AND PILOT THIS SHIP OUT MY DAMN SELF!” McCoy was still screaming into his communicator long after they’d materialized on the transporter pad. “GODDAMN INFANTS WHERE THE HELL IS MEDICAL GET THESE MORONS SOME RESPIRATORS BECAUSE A LITTLE EXTRA WATER IS JUST TOO MUCH FOR THEM TO HANDLE GODDAMMIT!” He stormed out of the transporter room and back to the dry chill of Medical.
Later that night, McCoy adjusts the environmental controls in his quarters to bump up the moisture and heat levels. He stops using the water showers, though it kills him dead to do so, and brings a decontamination filtration device from Med’s supply room to keep down any mold infestation. It makes sleeping easier, anyway.
A month later, McCoy receives the dressing down of his damn life from Christine Fucking Goddamn Chapel of all people, after Jim is rushed to Medical Bay with burns all over his body, and no one can find the filtration system because McCoy is planetside, trying to save the rest of the away party. Jim will live, the scars will fade, but his trust in McCoy’s judgment is shaken. That hurts like a bitch, until Jim admits he was never too sure about McCoy’s judgment outside the sickbay anyway. This from the Captain That Can’t Not Try To Suicide Himself In The Name Of Starfleet? That hurts like a rabid bitch on steroids.
McCoy turns down the moisture in his room and settles for ridiculously hot showers. Long, ridiculously hot showers. Loooong.
Of all the stupid, goddamn, dumb fucking luck, McCoy would be the one to twist an ankle and fracture a tibia when the goddamn Enterprise is out of goddamn communication range. He lays on the ground, wondering how he’s gonna catch up to the landing party when he knows that if he even tries to put a little weight on his leg, the hairline crack up the front bone of his shin will widen and shatter and take the fibula out with him and then he’ll be really fucked and if the natives come and drag him away at least the landing party will get away, Jim will get away and what the fuck is this shit?
“No no no no no don’t no…” he cried weakly, but that damn fool kid came back anyway. “Dammit, Jim, what the hell?”
“Jeez, Bones, skin and, you are not. C’mon, gimmie a little help here, I gotcha, we can do this.” Kirk struggled to help him off the ground, half assed dragging him in the general direction of safety. “C’mon, Bones, don’t give up, I need you.”
The crack in the kid’s voice galvanized McCoy to action. He pushed up with his good foot and began an exhausting hop slide…thing, while Jim staggered under his considerable weight. “You need more protein, Jim, if you’re gonna be rescuing clumsy dolts from hostile planets,” he huffed.
“You’re not a dolt. Less talk, more hop,” he wheezed. They continued like that through the bush until Kirk couldn’t take it anymore, and collapsed unceremoniously in the middle of some very itchy, waist high flora. The shit looked like pink wheat stalks and smelled like mint. And then it looked and smelled like vomited replicator food when McCoy landed unceremoniously on top of Kirk, jarring his leg and his ability to hold onto his breakfast. And if the day wasn’t just shaping up nicely enough, McCoy discovered that Jim Kirk is a sympathetic puker. Nice.
After a few minutes, they stiffened in the wheat-like growth, as the sound of careful shuffling filtered through the air. McCoy winced when a hand emerged through the pink stuff that hadn’t been bent by 300 pounds of Starfleet issued fail, but the hand was poking through a blue sleeve ringed with a Commander’s rank, and they both sagged in relief (and then immediately stiffened again because they’d sagged into their own vomit).
“Are you injured?”
Cue enraged flailing and swearing. Spock got the message, though, and lifted McCoy off the Captain as if he were a small child, cradling his battered body to his chest. He hooked an arm under McCoy’s wobbling legs and swept him up, grunting softly when McCoy cried out in pain. He held still while Kirk pulled himself to his feet by dragging on Spock’s uniform, waited patiently still for the captain to get his wits about him, then quietly reminded them both that they were far from safety and needed to move. McCoy stopped paying attention after that. He was too busy snuggling into Spock’s embrace.
Six hours later McCoy was staring at the ceiling of his domain, goddammit, while his nurses rushed about, taking orders from his second. He glanced at the bone knitter working on his leg, then stared at the ceiling again. He refused to look at his visitor.
He was disappointed when the visitor returned to the bridge without snuggling some of that heat into him first.
“He’s with somebody, you know.”
Leonard looked up from the chess game he was watching so intently. “Well, thank you Jim, I had no idea. Um, just to clarify, are we talking about Mr. Spock, or Mr. Chekov?” He looked back at the two men faced off across the beautifully carved levels of wood that comprised the chessboard, and hoped his face wasn’t as red as it was suddenly warm.
“Well, they both are, but… hey.” Jim flopped down on the couch next to Leonard and nudged him with a shoulder. “Come on, ignore him. I’ll make it worth your while…”
“I am not interested in watching the disgusting display of you slithering yourself into the Trillian ambassador’s pants, Jim.”
Jim stiffened slightly next to him before getting to his feet and stalking off in silence.
He wasn’t as warm as Spock, but damn, the rec room suddenly seemed a lot chillier.
Life went on, mostly the same, but Kirk kept his distance. Not a whole lot of distance, not enough for the crew to worry that the Captain and the CMO weren’t able to work together, but there was a new distance there all the same. It rankled McCoy, but not as much as it did to see that Spock had a new chess challenger. McCoy glared at them as Kirk began to make small talk with Spock when they began to play during their lunch hour. McCoy practically snarled when Spock began to have actual conversations with him. McCoy went into a flying rage when Kirk affectionately patted Spock on the shoulder after losing a very close game.
Literally. McCoy leapt from his seat, clambered over a table and launched himself at a suddenly startled Kirk, arms outstretched, hands rigid and clawlike, teeth bared. Spock stepped smoothly between a death-from-above McCoy and a deer-in-headlights Kirk, practically plucking the good doctor out of the air. McCoy marveled at the sudden silence when his screaming stopped, and looked up at Spock, who held him firmly to his chest. “Um. Uh… so… yeah, sorry about that,” McCoy stammered. “Uh… I thought… uh… from back there, it looked… the board I mean…” He gestured lamely at the gameboard next to Kirk, who was millimeters away from knocking it all over. “I thought… that is… clearly you won… um… fair… and… uh…” McCoy brought his hand back to the fold of Spock’s embrace, suddenly realizing that he had the opportunity to get good and warm for once.
“McCoy,” Kirk breathed from behind Spock’s shoulder. “What… the… fuck?” Kirk straightened up a bit, probably trying to save face in front of his crew. “Nevermind. Spock, have security take-”
“No!” McCoy reached out towards Kirk, who flinched and assumed a defensive position. “No, Jim, please, I’ll go quietly. Please…” He couldn’t bring himself to say the words. Please don’t make me take the Walk of Shame.
“Captain. The Doctor’s pulse is elevated. Perhaps he requires medical treatment.” McCoy looked up at Spock with widened eyes. Maybe the hobgoblin wasn’t so heartless after all.
“Perhaps.” Kirk’s voice still had a steely edge to it. “Very well. Can you assist McCoy to Sickbay?”
McCoy sagged in relief against Spock as he murmured his assent. Without another word, Spock rearranged their bodies so McCoy had his arm draped around Spock’s neck while a strong arm wrapped around his waist, and together they crabwalked towards Medical. McCoy leaned into Spock’s warmth the entire way.
M’Benga was not amused when he finished his scans and found absolutely nothing wrong with McCoy.
McCoy altered the records half an hour later to add some fancy medical jargon for General Panic Attack.
Three days later McCoy used his medical override to enter the Captain’s quarters while he was on the bridge. He left his whiskey flask on the table next to the bed, full of Jack Daniels Single Barrel, from his one bottle he’d brought with him when he’d left San Fran. He’d thought of leaving a rose, but he didn’t want to risk court-martial. A regular old “what the fuck is this shit” rejection would hurt quite enough.
The next morning the flask was on his desk in Medical. It was still full.
Two days after that, McCoy stalked onto the bridge and took up his old position, right between Spock and Kirk. Neither of them seemed to notice him at first, not until Kirk turned to ask a question. “Bones! What can I do for you?”
McCoy rounded on Kirk and stabbed a finger at him. “For one thing, you can at least try to bury the damn hatchet! I don’t even know what I did to piss you off, but I have a good mind to take you over my knee and spank your snooty little ass!” Kirk’s jaw dropped and his eyebrows came together, pointing at his widow’s peak. Before he could put on a mask of Captainy Awesomeness, McCoy turned his back and glared hotly at Spock. “And you! One word out of you and I’m gonna TEAR YOU APART!” With that, he vaulted over the security console and into Spock’s waiting arms, plastering a sloppy wet kiss on his face. “YOU DON’T GET TO LEAVE ME OUT I FOUND BOTH OF YOU ASSHOLES FIRST!” Leonard grabbed a very startled Spock by the hand, dragged him down to the Captain’s chair, hauled Jim up by the back of his collar and put all his strength (and the considerable weight of well trained muscle) into dragging his boys into the turbolift. He looked over his shoulder and caught a very confused (and angry looking) Uhura stopping short in the doorway. “Well it ain’t my fault he’s warmer ‘n a September evenin’ in Georgia!” The door slid closed, just muffling her indignant response.
Everyone got used to Kirk, Spock and Bones hella quick after that.