Dedication III: The Search for Bones
Michelle Perry
Prologue - Hopeless


Jim hadn't thought of himself as strong the first time he'd attended Bones' funeral. Everyone had said he was. He'd almost thought he could see their point, even though he hadn't felt strong in the least. Now, though, there was no sign of the stalwart young captain, standing firm with his friends beside him. Now, there was only a thirty-eight year old, lonely, broken man. He was physically broken, and now, he was emotionally broken as well. He had his children to be strong for, and he'd done his best - comforting them through their grief, and saving his own tears for when the children had finally cried themselves to sleep.

Now, though, instead of standing still, with jaw clenched and eyes shining as he had before, he couldn't seem to stop the tears. His body shook and he wept openly, only partially conscious of the many friends and fellow officers watching him with sympathetic eyes. T'Paola had a tight grip on one hand, and Joanna had hold of the other. Winona and Lenora were (of course) in attendance, and each had one of the younger Kirk children in her arms.

Jim wasn't able to speak this time. The hopelessness he felt, as he gazed at the large, smiling picture of Leonard McCoy that stood in front of the room, crushed him and made it impossible to do anything but cry. There could be no second chances this time. A man could not expect miracles to happen twice in the same way. And even if some all-powerful force could have been convinced to bring Bones back to life, there was no body to resurrect. No remains to somehow re-inject with life at the whim of some other planet's over-active deity. There was no hope. Bones was gone.


Chapter 1

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